Best Overall Bike Computer
Garmin Edge 820
The Garmin Edge 820
is the winner of our Editors' Choice Award. A staggering list of features and slick intuitive user interface have firmly cemented the 820's dominance. It is GPS and GlONASS-enabled for accurate location and navigation with turn-by-turn mapping. The crisp color touch screen utilizing capacitive technology for an iPhone-like tap and swipe functionality is a huge improvement compared to the previous Edge 810 design. The list of features is long, but highlights include audio prompts for mapping and performance metrics, 16G of internal memory with detailed maps, as well as text, call, and email alerts. The 820 is also the only computer available with an accident alert system that can notify contacts if you are involved in a crash. In addition to all of the new features never seen on a Garmin device before, the 820 maintains all of the features found on the old 810 model, including speed, power, and heart rate when connected to ANT+ sensors. Oh, and Garmin managed all of this while shrinking the size of unit, which is now the same size as the Edge 520
. We have barely touched on the capabilities and features of the 820, so be sure to read our full review for all the details. Simply put, the Edge 820 is the most compact, powerful GPS-enabled cycling computer on the market. If you are looking for the pinnacle of cycling computer technology this is it.
Best Bang for the Buck
Lezyne Super GPS Enhanced
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.
Best Buy for the Casual Cyclist
Cateye Strada Slim
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.
Top Pick for Strava Addicts and Racing
Garmin Edge 520
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.