Cycling is a good way to stay fit, and the fact that you see nature’s views while biking is relaxing at the same time. With the advancements in technology, cycling enthusiasts can enjoy their experience more than ever. A GPS watch is now an essential tool for cyclists, and they are becoming more like bike computers, with added features on every new release. If you cycle on your way to work, cruise through your neighborhood or track trails at least once a week, investing in a good GPS watch is an excellent idea.
Here are the 12 best cycling GPS watches available.
If you need music to power up your cycling, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is for you. Unlike Garmin’s previous models, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music has a more stylish design. You can also load music on the device and listen while cycling or running. And compared to other Garmin watches, the Garmin FR645M is smaller and lighter, weighing only 42 grams.
When it comes to the step data, it is pretty accurate. This timepiece also nails the waking up and falling asleep points, but for some reason, is not able to track naps. Its ELEVATE Optical Heart Rate Sensor can follow 1-second intervals 24/7. However, unlike other smartwatches, it is not a touchscreen. You have to navigate your way around by using the five buttons. The device has a pretty decent battery, lasting 14 hours in GPS mode and seven days in standby mode.
The Garmin FR645M is loaded with lots of sports activities – from running to swimming to cycling to strength training to pure cardio, among others. Another cool feature of this timepiece is the Garmin Pay function, which lets you make payments with your device.
The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is not only recommended for cyclists; it is also suitable for triathletes. This timepiece boasts 100-meter water resistance, more than 80 sports modes, round the clock activity tracking, up to 12 hours of battery life while in training mode, and practical wrist heart rate measurement. It can track your steps taken, heart rate, distance, sleep, altitude, pace, calories burned, and much more. Its new color touch screen offers excellent visibility, especially outdoors, because it comes with a wide viewing angle.
This smartwatch will surely not get in the way of your routine because it is lightweight and comfortable. The Suunto Spartan Sport wristwatch was also made to last, with its stainless-steel bezel, watch face made of mineral crystal glass and rugged construction. It is a little pricey, but if you are willing to invest in this magnificent timepiece, you won’t be disappointed.
For athletes, the Apple Watch Series 4 is the most versatile smartwatch. It is made of an aluminum case with built-in GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, and Galileo. It has an impressive battery life at 18 hours on a single charge. The screen offers more visibility than the previous models, and it’s much broader, bringing the screen almost to the edge (40mm 394×324 and 44mm 448×368 OLED screen). It also comes with health features that can only be seen on an Apple Watch.
A unique feature only found on an Apple Watch is the ECG Feature which. However, it is only enabled for those in the US. It also has atrial fibrillation feature (runs only on watchOS 5) that detects irregular heart rhythms. The ECG and atrial fibrillation features have received clearance from the US FDA as well. The Info-graph Modular face is probably the most useful because it displays 6-piece information.
The Apple Watch Series 4 has a faster processor that initiating into a run occur almost instantly. Interacting with Siri is much easier with this smartwatch, too, because all you have to do is raise your wrist and start speaking. It is expensive, but given the unique features of this timepiece, we think it’s well worth it.
If you want an affordable timepiece that won’t disappoint, the Timex Ironman GPS Watch is for you. This smartwatch offers real-time speed, pace, and distance. It is water resistant down to 50 meters, and it’s lightweight. Tagged as the most uncomplicated GPS Watch Ever, its simple interface makes it easy to use. There are no unnecessary frills and hassles to hamper your activity.
The Timex Ironman GPS Watch has modes for swimming, running, and cycling with a range of metric displays and interval timers. It also has race mode for the most advanced athletes. On GPS, the battery lasts for about 12 hours. It takes pride in its fast connecting GPS because it uses state-of-the-art satellite location assistance and antenna technology. Its slim design makes it comfortable to wear, as well, so you won’t hardly notice it until you need to.
The Polar Vantage M is one of the lightest GPS watches at 44 grams. The most important features of this beauty are the optical wrist HR sensor (continuous tracking), sleep tracking, activity tracking, multisport mode, Bluetooth sensor support, GPS, and swimming metrics, providing you with every data needed for improved performance.
With this smartwatch, you can customize settings to suit your every sport. Whether you are into cycling, running, soccer, swimming, or any other activity, the Polar Vantage M is an excellent GPS watch because it can track up to 130 activities. It also has one of the most prolonged battery life, which can last up to 30 hours. It syncs seamlessly with the Polar Flow app, where you can take a look at your stats.
The Polar Vantage M is on the pricey side, but if you have extra to spare, this device will absolutely be worth it.
With the Fitbit Ionic, you can personalize your workout so you can attain your goals. Its built-in GPS can track your distance and pace. You can also store over 300 songs to get you in the mood for exercise, cycling, running, or other activities. It has a unique feature, the dynamic personal coach, that comes with an on-screen guide. It also has the Purepulse Heart Rate feature that can track calories burnt, measure fitness and health over time, and optimize workouts.
The Fitbit Ionic watch offers real-time stats for different workouts and sports, and Smarttrack records every exercise for you automatically. Its highly impressive battery lasts for over 4 days, so it can track your activities throughout the day and night.
This is probably Samsung’s most sophisticated smartwatch because of its 4-day battery life and fitness tracking. The Samsung Galaxy Watch is also the choice for those who opt for a larger timepiece (46mm). It comes with a rotating bezel for menu navigation. Its design is aesthetically pleasing, and it does really look like a real wristwatch. Unlike the preceding models of Samsung smartwatches, such as the Gear S3, the Samsung Galaxy watch is more fitness-focused due to its improved Samsung Health app and additional sensors.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch has a fairly accurate sleep tracker and is water resistant at 50 meters. Made with Corning Gorilla Glass DX, you can rest easy knowing that the display is scratch resistant. Also, it can pair with both Android and iOS phones, but the iOS support is minimal.
With an adjustable battery mode, the Suunto 9 Baro can go for as long as 120 hours of uninterrupted exercise tracking. If you are into endurance and adventure sports, this is probably the best smartwatch for you. It can track your real-time average speed, cycling speed, maximum power, and bike lap. The device also features a training summary, complete with lap tables and graphs.
The Suunto 9 Baro comes with 80 sports modes, including swimming, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, triathlon, and more. It also has loads of features, such as barometric and GPS altitude, optical heart rate, training load, recovery time recommendations, and interval training. The technology in this device has been through immersion, humidity, severe drops, and freeze/thaw testing, and kept going; that’s why you can be sure of its durability.
The Garmin Fenix 5X Plus comes in three sizes: 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm. Its battery can last up to 13 hours in GPS mode and 20 days in smartwatch mode. Some say that it is the ultimate multisport GPS watch with features like routable cycling maps and other navigation features. With its rugged design and big bezels, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus has that armored, chunky feel to its look.
The Garmin Fenix 5X Plus has every feature you need in a GPS watch. It boasts of its fast and accurate GPS because it uses the Galileo system. Acquisition of the location is almost instant. It comes with a pre-installed Worldwide DEM Basemap, which is useful and detailed as well. A new feature for this timepiece is the pulse oximeter, which measures blood oxygen.
And Great news for those who are into music, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is compatible with Spotify. How cool is that? Although the device is expensive, it does offer more than your usual GPS watch, so it’s worth the investment.
The Fitbit Versa has a dedicated mode for cycling. With personalized reminders and over 4 days of battery life, the device is pretty awesome. It also has Smarttrack technology, which records exercises automatically and saves them on the Fitbit app. You can also load more than 300 songs if you need tunes while exercising or doing any activity.
With the Fitbit Versa, you can monitor your sleep stages and heart rate 24/7. It is slim and lightweight, making it comfortable to wear even while asleep. It also has 15 exercise modes you can choose from and is water resistant down to 50 meters. When your phone is nearby, you can also get calls, texts, and other app notifications.
This timepiece also caters to female users with the use of female health tracking to log periods and symptoms. You can also access your apps for weather and sports here as well.
The Garmin Forerunner 945 has a preloaded profile for cycling. It also has automatic multi-sport feature that allows you to switch into a different sport in an instant. This device will also detect incidents and monitor your VO2 max.
With the Garmin Forerunner 945, you are sure not get lost, thanks to its onboard maps. Its battery lasts for 10 hours on GPS and 2 weeks on smartwatch mode.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 comes with a dedicated cycling mode, which will track your stats while on the move. You can customize your own workout with this device or get training plans from Garmin Coach. Its safety feature is impressive – an incident detection feature, in case you run into an accident or take a hard fall, and no help is immediately accessible. The device will send your real-time location to your emergency contacts to let them know that something happened to you.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 can also discern if you’re overdoing your training or undertraining. Its advanced running dynamics come with stride length, contact time balance, and vertical ratio. The battery life is a little bit short, though, with only 6 hours on GPS with music and 7 days on smartwatch mode.
Before the era of GPS watches, I was always hesitant to go places that were unfamiliar to me, fearing that I might get lost. But when GPS watches came onto the scene, I could go anywhere without the worry of losing my way.
Some may ask, “Why do you want to buy a GPS watch when there is a handlebar-mounted bike model available?” First, I believe that the only advantage of a bike model is the bigger screen size. That’s it. And if you are an all-around athlete, a GPS watch is more useful and beneficial. A smartwatch may be small, but it is, in fact, a powerful device. Aside from tracking and fitness purposes, it can also measure the distance you traveled in a certain amount of time, can set waypoints through the wilderness, and can monitor your heart rate among many other functions.
Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing a GPS Watch
Each year, new and improved models of GPS watches hit the market, making it more difficult for users to choose the best one to buy. So, what are there specifications and features you should be aware of when selecting the right GPS timepiece?
- Make sure that the GPS watch you are considering has a dedicated cycling mode.
- The battery life when in GPS mode should be enough to last at least 15 hours.
- A timepiece with a heart rate monitor is a great feature for you to monitor your effort and calories burned.
- Some added features are not essential but quite attractive, such as music capabilities, turn-by-turn directions, and a power meter. It will depend on your preference if you require these features or not.
- Set a budget you are willing to spend for the item.