Best fitness tracker for cycling 2017 (Buyer’s Guide)
Despite the crazy popularity of cycling specific computers, I am a firm believer that a GPS watch is the most convenient and best fitness tracker for cycling. I prefer cycling GPS watches because their features functionality is just amazing. If you are the kind of person who does not like to check your stats while in action, then you should definitely invest in the best bike watches available.
Best Fitness Trackers for Cycling- Quick Answer
- Apple watch series 2
- Polar M200
- Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch
- Garmin FitBit Surge
- Moov Now
- No. 1 Best Fitness Tracker For Cycling: Apple watch series 2
- No: 2 Best Fitness Tracker for Cyclists- Polar M200
- No. 3 Best Tracker for Cycling- Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch
- Garmin FitBit Surge
- Moov Now Review
- How to choose the best fitness tracker for cycling
No. 1 Best Fitness Tracker For Cycling: Apple watch series 2
Screen size:- 1.64 inches x 1.04 inches x 0.39 inches
Connectivity:- Bluetooth, WiFi & USB
Training Data:- Heart rate, distance, altitude, speed, time & Calories
Most people complained about the first model of the Apple watch series 2. This was attributed to the reason that it was not waterproof, and that the heart rate monitor had to piggyback to your smartphone so as use the GPS. Good thing is that Apple has integrated GLONASS and GPS; you do not have to carry your phone so as to record an activity.
When you need to record your activities, you just have to use the various iPhone apps such as Strava, Cyclemeter GPS, Apple’s native workout app and Map my ride. With the help of these apps, you can record metrics such as heart rate, speed, elevation gained, cycling route and distance. The only issue is that when using the workout app, you cannot export the data to 3rd party applications.
Apple series 2 watch uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to your iPhone, and has the ability to display apps and notifications on its 1.5 inches display. Another awesome feature is the 802.11b/g/n wifi that enables the watch to connect to the internet directly. You can use this smart watch during rain or showers thanks to its water-resistant property.
No: 2 Best Fitness Tracker for Cyclists- Polar M200
Battery life:- Up to 30 days of 27/7 activity tracking with the notifications turned off; up to 6 hours when using the GPS and optical heart rate
Compatibility:- syncs with Polar Flow app on iOS & Android
Connectivity:- USB & Bluetooth
Training Data:- Can measure distance, calories burned, Time & heart rate
Weight:- 40 grams
Screen size:- visible area diameter is 26 mm, 1342 pixels
The Polar M200 is one of my best fitness tracker for cycling; I appreciate the fact that it is one of the most affordable bike GPS watch that has a greater versatility than more expensive watches. The watch features an inbuilt heart rate sensor and integrated GPS skills. This wrist-based cycling tracker is efficient in tracking a wide range of metrics you wish. You can connect the watch so that it displays notifications directly through to your wrist.
The screen size is large enough to display glanceable real time data. The watch does not have impressive graphics, but it displays metrics in a simple and clear manner. The watch has a physical button that cyclists can use to cycle through live heart rate data, speed and lap times. The data displayed is always detailed and deep.
With the M200, you can track core metrics such as speed, distance, ascent, heart rate and calories burn in an in-depth manner. The watch allows you to overlay heart rate and speed graphics so that you can analyze in-depth details at every single point along your journey.
The M200 has its own app that works incredibly, however, this does not imply that you cannot use other popular tracking apps. I have recommended this app to most of my friends and they definitely loved its capabilities and features.
No. 3 Best Tracker for Cycling- Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch
Training data:- Heart rate, speed, cadence, distance, time, calories and altitude
Compatibility:- It uses the ANT+
Connectivity:- Bluetooth 4.0 & USB
Screen size:- 205 x 148 pixels
Garmin has been the leading expert in designing GPS navigation systems. Their expertise has extended in manufacturing the best fitness tracker for cycling. As soon as the GPS wearable watches became popular, Garmin was able to join the bandwagon with great and successful devices.
As a cyclist who loves smart watches, I must admit that this device features an excellent touchscreen design. For starters, the screen has a high resolution and is always readable even when there is sunlight.
The device has a GPS powered application that tracks the distance you ride, time spent, calories burned and the average speed. This fitness tracker for cyclists is compatible with most Garmin accessories such as cadence sensors, heart rate monitors and other cycling related accessories such as bike speed. It implies that the smart watch is ideal for cycling looking for serious exercise as well as casual use.
The Vivoactive can sync with the Garmin connect mobile; an app that works as a social media platform and tracker. The app will motivate you throughout your exercise since you earn badges from your participation. Besides, you can use the up to join fitness challenges with friends.
The Garmin vivoactive Smart watch comes with the Elevate Heart Rate technology that monitors your heart rate around the wrist area. You do not have to wear a chest strap when using the Garmin Vivoactive model. I appreciate the efforts by Garmin to ensure that this cycling gps watch is water resistant.
Vivoactive weighs only 38 grams, meaning that its lightweight for you to wear all day. It also features a high-end GLONASS/GPS chip, Bluetooth 4.0 to connect with your smartphone and ANT+ that you can use to connect to all compatible accessories.
Garmin FitBit Surge
Battery life: Can last for 7 days & GPS battery life of 10 hours (this data may vary with settings, usage & other factors)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 & WiFi
Tracking data: Time, distance, speed, calories burned & all day activities
Sizes: Small (5.5-6.7 inches); Large (6.3-7.9 inches)
The FitBit surge is one of the best fitness tracker for cycling that boast of its GPS capability. It’s one of the best devices in the FitBit models. Its large LCD wrist display enables to you to view live stats as you ride through trails. In addition, it features a backlit touchscreen that you can opt to control using the three side buttons.
Cyclists can use its GPS technology to track a cycling route and performance in terms of pace, burned calories, heart rate and elevation. You can track metrics without having to carry your phone with you. Athletes have been using the FitBit surge in activities such as circuit training, kickboxing, cycling, swimming, lifting weights and yoga. You just have to choose the type of sport you want to engage in at the Exercise menu.
When you select Cycling as your activity, the watch will acquire a GPS signal so that it can display your average speed, miles covered per hour, calories burned during the ride and our heart rate. After you are done with your ride, you just need to press the finish line button and it will display a summary of your tracked metrics. You can retrieve the summary and map of your cycling route by logging into the application.
Moov Now Review
Battery life:- Can last for 100 hours of active coaching & 6 months of activity tracking
sensors:- Magnetometer, Accelerometer & Gyroscope
Connectivity:- Bluetooth 4.0 (low energy)
Sports programs:- Running, Cardio Boxing, cycling, sleep tracking and swimming
Weight:- 6 grams
Display mode: LED feedback diode
One of the most unique features about the Moov Now is that you strap it one your ankle. This fitness tracker has a tiny pod that sits comfortable on your ankle at all times. In addition, it is fitted with silicone straps to ensure that you remain comfortable even during long distance rides. This feature also enhances accurate motion tracking. We cannot dispute the fact that this smart watch is great in terms of bike-friendly abilities.
The Moov Now will help you know the number of rotation you put through the pedals and the manner that they reduce when you get tired. This data is calculated at an interval of one minute. The main disadvantage of the Moov Now is that you cannot see the real time data. It lacks an inbuilt GPS and this means that you have to invest in a bike phone mount so that you can use your phone.
Moov Now App
Despite the shortcoming, the Now comes with an inbuilt coach that gives audio feedback when riding. This training data acts as an active coach and it offers great tips throughout your ride.
For the Moov Now fitness tracker to work well, yo must pair it with your iPhone or android phone. Yo will be require to download the Moov Now app at the play store or iTunes App Store. With this app, it is easy to listen to music while paying attention to your workout status updates.
Its features are a clear indication that the Moov Now is one of the best tracker for cycling. In fact, it is designed to provide cycling-specific metrics such as route difficulty and the tallest climb you rode your bike. The only disappointment is that it lacks a heart rate sensor which is an important feature for cyclists.
Additional Activities you can track using the Moov Now
Other than using the device as an indoor or outdoor cycling coach, you can use it for other sports and activities, these include:
2. Activity & Sleep
3. Cardio boxing
5. Cardio workout
How to choose the best fitness tracker for cycling
Nowadays, the market is full of many devices that are promising to help you improve your fitness and health. This is an issue that presents problems to cyclists when trying to choose a bike watch that has the right features. Our goal is to assist you weed through the available options by pointing out the key features and factors you should look for.
Check for ANT +/ Bluetooth
Bluetooth is one of the key features you should look for when choosing a cycling watch. Bluetooth connectivity is important because it allows you to connect the GPS watch to your smartphone. Most smart watch brands allow cyclists to download crucial metrics. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can create and edit activity modes.
Incredibly, watches with Bluetooth connection can display your phone notifications. Different watches will show various notifications, but you can adjust and limit them to just texts and calls when in action.
You’ll note that Garmin’s watches rely on the ANT+ protocol to link to cadence sensors. They also have the Bluetooth feature that connects to your smartphone. In addition, most of the best cycling watches can connect to your WiFi network. This helps you synchronize your rides without having a smartphone connection.
Check for Power meter support
If you plan on riding with a power meter, then it is wise to confirm that the cycling watch of your choice has a power meter support. You may be surprised that some of the most appealing activity trackers do not come with this feature; others will have certain limitations.
With current technology advancement, multisport watches and GPS head units are using touchscreens. I support that this is an awesome feature; however, I find the watch screens to be quite small for my fat fingers.
When looking for the best fitness trackers for cycling, I always look for the button lock feature. It would feel so bad when you realize that you paused your watch unknowingly when cycling. Ensure that your bike watch has a button lock to prevent such frustrations.
Check the quality of the Screen and strap material
The strap material does not play a major role here, everybody is entitles to their preference. Most of these smart watches have flexible silicon bands while others come with fabric and leather bands. You can also change the straps if you like.
Nowadays, Plastic screens do not exist; in fact, they do not offer resistance to scratches. Companies have realized that cycling fitness trackers should have mineral or Gorilla Glass screens. These screens do not get scratches or break easily. In case you are willing to spend on high-end units, you can get those with crystal or sapphire screens.
Ensure that the cycling watch has in-built sensors
For a watch to fall in the category of best fitness trackers for cycling, it should feature a couple of sensors. Quality watches will have an in GPS that helps track your ride. In addition, these watches are designed to connect to the GLONASS network so as to enhance accuracy. In addition these watches require you to connect to your smartphone so that you can track speed and distance.
The good thing about smart watches is that you can use them for sports such as swimming, mountaineering, and running. The latest models of smart watches have introduced wrist based heart rate monitors. These watches have the power of reading all the electrical activity in your heart when in action. The sensors must be in direct contact with you skin so that the machine reading can take place.