When you choose the best GPS cycle computer then, you select the best one. Cycling in the digital world is more than pedaling. It is important for a cyclist to know not only the distance he traveled but also at what average speed he drove, what cadence and pulse he had, what total mileage per season … Almost all this information can be given by a smartphone if you put an appropriate application on it, but a special device is able to cope with this task much better. The only question is how to choose a cycle computer so that it fully corresponds to your capabilities.
Cycle computer GPS
Step number 1. Determine what data you want to receive from the cycle computer
Before buying yourself answer some questions for yourself:
- What travel information do you need, and how are you going to analyze it?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- What additional options you may need?
By answering the questions how to choose the best GPS cycle computer? you will receive the subjective characteristics of your future cycling computer. Now it’s time to do the objective, and what is important is what type of cyclists you consider yourself.
- “Normal” cyclist. You do not consider yourself an athlete, and you need a bicycle to actively relax in nature or regularly ride to work. For these people, only three characteristics are usually important: distance, speed and travel time.
- “Advanced” cyclist. For you, the bike season starts as soon as the asphalt is dry, and it ends with the first snow. You spend the whole weekend in a company with an “iron horse,” and if you have a few good days in a row, collect your things and go camping. Most likely, you are already a member of the local community of cyclists, which means that you definitely need to measure something with your colleagues in the club – mileage over a season, average and maximum speed, or set heights.
- Cyclist athlete. Everything is serious here – you regularly train, which means you need information to compare it with the results of other workouts. Therefore, you need a device that can track what is listed above, as well as heart rate, cadence, calories, and other data.
Step number 2. Determine preferences by device type
There are three ways to get information about your bike trips:
- With the help of a bicycle computer. This is a special device that is mounted directly on the bike, so it cannot be used for other purposes. Among the advantages of waterproof, small size and impact resistance.
- With the help of a fitness monitor. This is a multipurpose device that can be attached to the handlebars of the bicycle and set the appropriate settings. Also, fitness monitors can be used during jogging, swimming, and hiking.
- Using a smartphone and a special application. It has more disadvantages than advantages, for example, it is poorly protected from moisture and damage, it is difficult to attach it to the bike, and constantly turned on screen and GPS very quickly spend battery power.
Step number 3. Select the type of cycle computer
If you stopped at a special device for a bicycle, then this is also not so simple. There are several types of cycle computers, each of which is designed for different tasks.
Magnetic is the simplest type of cyclometer. A magnet is attached to the needle, and a sensor with a reed switch that reacts to a magnetic field is mounted on the plug. The cycle computer counts all the parameters, based on the frequency of the “span” of the magnet past the sensor. As a rule, these are small devices that very slowly consume battery power but have high impact resistance and water resistance. Magnetic cyclo-speedometers are divided into two types:
1) Wired. The platform of the device is connected to the sensor by long wires, which, if improperly installed, may get tangled or catch on bushes.
2) Wireless. Both the platform and the sensor have their own batteries, and therefore do not need additional wiring. Such a cycle computer is easier to install, and the bike looks much neater.
To determine the distance, speed and other parameters using the signal from the satellite. These are more expensive and heavy devices that require constant recharging. But they can be transferred from one bike to another, as well as used as a navigator and a map.
Step number 4. Select additional features
Additional characteristics may also affect the choice of the bike computer, for which you will have to pay a little extra:
- Illumination – for evening and night pokatushek.
- Long “life” of the battery. The best GPS cycle computer usually work up to 20 hours without recharging, smartphones – 5-8 hours, depending on the model, magnetic devices – the most enduring, the battery charge (most often it is CR2032) lasts a couple of years.
- Display data on multiple screens. All parameters can be displayed on one screen or on several that can be changed.
- The ability to export data to a PC – most often magnetic devices do not possess it.
- The clarity of the image depends on the type of display. In bright sunlight, data from magnetic cycle computers is the best read.
It is difficult for a beginner athlete to choose a cycle computer and navigation apps– there are too many information from manufacturers on the Internet. Therefore, it is better to focus on user reviews, pay attention to the advantages and disadvantages of suitable models, and then compare them – put all the data in a table and see which device fully meets your requirements.