Updated April 2017
The passes are finally clearing, and summer riding weather is around the corner. We've updated this review as of April 2017 to include any updated product information. We've also reviewed the current market to make sure that our Editors' Choice winner is, in fact, still the winner.
Best Overall Bike Computer
Garmin Edge 820
ANT+ accessory compatible
Color touch screen
After reviewing the 2017 options, the Garmin Edge 820
takes home the cake, with a staggering list of features and an intuitive interface, cementing its spot as the Editors' Choice winner. GPS and GlONASS enabled for accurate navigation with turn-by-turn mapping, it boasts a color touch screen with iPhone-like usability. (The tap and swipe functionality is a huge improvement over the previous model.) It's chock-full of features, but the standouts are audio prompts, 16G of memory, and email alerts. The 820 is the only computer that boasts an accident alert system, which notifies contacts if you are in a crash. The 820 also maintains the features found on the old 810 model, including speed, power, and heart rate when connected to ANT+ sensors. Best of all? Garmin managed all of this while shrinking the unit's size. (It's now the same size as the Edge 520
.) With many other features, reading the full review is a good idea. If you are looking for the pinnacle of cycling computer technology, this is it.
Read full review: Garmin Edge 820
Best Bang for the Buck
Lezyne Super GPS Enhanced
GLONASS and GPS
Has less data metrics than Garmin
Lacks a color screen
Our Best Buy Award goes to the Lezyne Super GPS Enhanced
. While it is far from the cheapest bicycle computer we tested, it offers the most features per dollar and bang for the buck. Lezyne is still a new player in the cycling computer market, but the new Year 10 computer line is bringing them ever closer to the competition. The Super GPS Enhanced offers connectivity for both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ sensors with a huge range of performance metrics available for display. Smart phone integration is integral to the design and functionality, with awesome turn-by-turn navigation and call and text notifications when paired with a compatible phone. A simple four-button user interface is easy to master, but does not offer the fluid navigation of the touch screen found on the Edge 820. It does not have the dizzying array of performance metrics found on Edge 520, or the maps found on the 820, but for $149 there is nothing else on the market that offers the level of functionality and versatility of the Lezyne Super GPS Enhanced.
Read full review: Lezyne Super GPS Enhanced
Best Buy for the Casual Cyclist
Cateye Strada Slim
Wireless speed sensor
Not ANT+ compatible
Not very versatile
While the Lezyne Super GPS takes our Best Buy Award, we recognize that $149 is not a small investment. In addition, many cyclists have no desire to post their rides on social media or compete for KOMs on Strava. Most of us don't work with a coach, and we may not need to track years' worth of ride data for analysis. Basically, you just like to ride! The goal of data collection for you is to satisfy your own curiosity, and challenge yourself to go a bit further on the next ride. If this describes you, then take a look at the Cateye Strada Slim
, winner of our Best Buy Award for the Casual Cyclist. It is a simple wireless computer that tracks speed, distance, and time. No GPS, data downloads, or firmware updates. It turns on and off automatically when movement is detected, so all you need to do is get out and ride.
Read full review: Cateye Strada Slim
Top Pick for Strava Addicts and Racing
Garmin Edge 520
Maps are customizable
Maps aren't routable
Doesn't utilize Bluetooth Smart
The Garmin Edge 520
is a more utilitarian version of the Edge 820. Garmin sticks with a tactile button interface rather than a touch screen. We love touch screens, but external buttons can be nearly as effective with well thought out functions and positioning. The 520 is GPS and GlONASS satellite enabled, and uses the ANT+ sensor protocol for connectivity with an array of sensors including power meters, heart rate, speed, and cadence. Performance metrics such as Estimated VO2 Max, Recovery Advisor, and FTP Tracking and Testing will help you to get the most our of your training. While you do not get turn-by-turn mapping, the Edge has the memory capacity to load detailed maps of your primary riding area, allowing you to zoom in and see your position and surrounding streets. Smart Phone integration is excellent with call, text, and email alerts displayed on the screen. If you are a dedicated athlete or weekend warrior who takes your training and KOM hunting seriously, this is the computer for you. It is the compact, sleek, fine-tuned training tool you have been waiting for to replace or upgrade your Edge 500.
Read full review: Garmin Edge 520