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Navigate your training | Everything you need to know about Cycle Computers

Words by Will Crump

on 02/08/2021 10:30:00

Cycle-Computers

If you’re still new to the world of Cycling, you might be wondering why so many people have Cycling Computers strapped to their handlebars and what they are useful for. No matter what discipline of cycling you partake in, a Cycle computer will have a range of different uses and functions as well as price points… Some can be as cheap as a new Jersey whilst others can be half the price of a bike - it depends how far you want to enhance your riding!

Alongside the computers can come a load of useful, ingenious and smart accessories that can track different aspects of your riding so you can accurately dial in your training based on real life and current statistics displayed on your Cycling Computer. Some of these accessories include: Power Meters, Speed and Cadence sensors and Heart rate monitors.

In this blog, we will go through the benefits of the various Computers (including the ones that include inbuilt GPS Navigation), What Cycling Computer would be suited to you, and the accessories that can further enhance your ride and training.

GPS-Cycling-Computers

Overview -

Discipline - All

Usage - Training statistics, General cycling overview and GPS Navigation

Key brands - Wahoo, Garmin, Cateye, Giant

Features

  • - Ability to add accessories to get more statistics
  • - Able to base training and cycling performance off statistics
  • - GPS Navigation available on certain models
  • - Most have an aerodynamic design whilst being durable to fall offs
  • - Text/ Phone & Emails received on certain models

What Cycling Computer should I get?

Whilst all cycling computers are easy to use whether you’re training for race day, racing the clock on the commute to work or just out for a leisurely ride, finding the right one for you is down to many factors with the main one being: What do you want to gain from your Computer? All Cycling computers, whether it be a GPS Cycling computer or just a training statistic gadget, will sit out in front of you on the cockpit of your bike to ensure that the numbers are easily readable and you can access all your data on the move.

GPS-Cycling-Computers

At the beginner end of the market, we have a mixture of wireless and wired Cycle computers which gives you the basics of everything you would want to know at that level. Some of the statistics you will receive include: Trip Distance, Speed Measurements and Time which is good for the cyclists who are curious about shaving seconds off of their commute or local Sunday loops. As we move up the range, more options become available such as an in-built stopwatch, Heart rate monitor compatibility and even bluetooth options so you can upload your ride to train software such as Strava and TrainingPeaks!

Shop our range of Cycle Computers

GPS-Cycling-Computers

In the middle of the range is when we start to see the introduction to Garmin and Wahoo products which are arguably the market leaders when it comes to Cycle Computers and Cycling Navigation. With all of the above statistics on offer, what these products offer you is higher accuracy, certified bluetooth connections and even more features to take your training to the next level. We also see GPS navigation thrown into the mix which will allow you to record your rides and give you turn-by-turn navigation whilst on the move! Long gone are the days where you have to stop, pull out your phone and map to check the routes.

GPS-Cycling-Computers

At the top end of the range, we have the highly accurate, well loved and incredibly popular units that are bought by Road Cyclists, Mountain bikers and Gravel riders alike! With top of the range GPS technology available, you can find yourself in the middle of nowhere, traversing the landscape and still receiving turn by turn navigation in places where even your phone loses signal.

On top of the GPS benefits, you can link several accessories using ANT+ and Bluetooth connections to ensure that there isn’t a single bit of data that you will miss. Speed and Cadence sensors, Heart rate monitors and power meters are all available to be connected on your ride with all data easily displayed in front of your eyes. Furthermore, you have the compatibility to connect some of these units to Turbo trainers so you can keep your training going even when the weather outside is poor.

Wahoo-Roam-Bundle

Wahoo Elemnt Roam GPS Bike Computer Bundle - Tickr Gen 2 and RPM

The Element Roam GPS computer is built to let you expand your riding horizons and explore further than you have before. With "Back on Track" re-routing, you'll make it to your destination even if you stray off your preloaded route.

  • Battery life - 17 hours
  • Display size - 2.7 inches
  • Turn by Turn Navigation
  • Route to start, back on track, rerouting options
  • Bundle includes Tickr HRM, Speed Sensor & Cadence Sensor
£359.99 - Shop now
Garmin-Edge

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus GPS Computer

Explore your world and your limits with Edge® 1030 Plus. This advanced GPS cycling computer syncs structured workouts to your device and provides suggestions based on your training load and VO2 max.

  • Upto 48Hrs battery life with added Garmin Charge Power pack
  • Display size - 3.5 inches
  • Turn by Turn Navigation
  • MTB Jump statistics so you can measure how smooth you ride
  • Bundle includes Tickr HRM, Speed Sensor & Cadence Sensor
£519.99 - Shop now
Shop our range of Cycle Computers

Accessories to propel your training and fitness -

GPS-Cycling-Computers

Heart Rate Monitors - Heart rate monitors can come in all different forms depending on how accurate you want to check your heart rate. Most professional athletes or people who are into training hard will often use a chest mounted HRM as it can accurately measure how intense your workout is depending on your BPM. The Chest mounted heart rate monitor also proved to be the most accurate in a scientific study with the wrist mounted HRM being considered less accurate.

Shop our range of Heart rate monitors here

Speed & Cadence Sensors - This accessory is quite self explanatory! Located on either the crank or the rear triangle, the sensor works out how many rotations of the cranks you are doing per minute which will give you an accurate cadence statistic. The speed sensor on the other hand uses a Magnetometer that calculates the rotation of the wheel with the surrounding earth's magnetic field which gives you an accurate speed reading.

Shop our range of Speed & Cadence sensors here

Power meters - Located on the bike (usually on the crank or in the pedals) power meters measure the rider's power output in Watts by measuring torque and angular velocity. Many riders who look at power output often are usually looking to work out their FTP (Functional threshold power) which is the average amount of power you can hold/ produce over an hour, which is useful to know when entering long distance races or working on general cardio!

Shop our range of Power Meters here

GPS-Cycling-Computers

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