The world today is driven by technology and activites such as recording data has never been this easy. A cycling computer is a necessity for any biker. These computers are the best at displaying important factors such as your trip distance, speed, and cycling duration.Â Â
Hello! My name is Joe and I am an IT professional as well as a cycling enthusiast. Over the years I have participated in many cycling marathons and preparing for these marathons is not so easy. To ensure that I successfully break my record, I made the choice to purchase a cycling computer that would record where I cycled to, when I cycled and how fast I cycled.
Cycling computers are very expensive and it is not easy to get a great computer with amazing features. In this article, I list down the most ideal bicycle computers available at less than $100. If you are interested in finding an affordable way to collect and permanently save data as you cycle then this is the best review for you.
Best Bicycle Computer Under $100 â€“ Comparison TableÂ
The Elemnt Bolt GPS Bike Computer from Wahoo Fitness
The Edge 830 Performance Computer from Garmin
The Edge 1030 Plus Bike Computer from Garmin
The ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer from Wahoo Fitness
The Mega XL GPS Bicycle Computer from Lezyne
The Hammerhead Karoo from H
The Edge 25 Cycling GPS Computer from Garmin
Best Bicycle Computer Under $100 â€“ Comparison overview
The Elemnt Bolt GPS Bike Computer from Wahoo Fitness
When designing the Elemnt Bolt computer the Wahoo industry placed a lot of emphasis on delivering a screen that is simple yet very sophisticated and stylish. This bike computer is one of the first computers to be manufactured with aerodynamic features in mind. The initial bike computer models have a boxy design and features; however, the new models make use of wind tunnel designs.
These bike computers are manufactured with both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity functions. This allows the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt to effortlessly pair with all your devices providing you with a frictionless experience as you enjoy your cycling experience. One of the best advantages is that in less than two minutes you can easily manage your display settings from your smartphone.
Another great advantage is that users get the chance to benefit from the 60-day trial that is offered for free. You also get the chance to try out the Strava live components at absolutely no price at all.
- It is small and light in weight
- It is very easy to use
- The Front End is aerodynamic
- There is no touchscreen
The Edge 830 Performance Computer from Garmin
Garmin is actually the first manufacturing industry to include the GPS navigation feature in their bicycle computers. The Edge 830 performance computer is one of the most popular bicycle computers and a ton of cyclists make use of the GPS device on this bike. This computer is designed with a number of great features, however, the most valued feature on this computer is the GPS navigation that also makes use the proprietary Garmin Cycle Map.
With this feature you can view the most popular local cycling routes. You can also use the mountain biking model that features trail data. It works well with Bluetooth and ANT+ which is great as it simplifies the transfer of data from your smartphone.
Users can also use this bike computer for an extended period of time before the power dies. The battery life is excellent, functioning for up to 20 hours.
- The computer is designed with an extensive list of great features
- The navigation instructions are intuitive
- The battery life is extensive
- There are a few software versions that not stable
The Edge 1030 Plus Bike Computer from Garmin[amazon box=”B087W13RGL” template=”horizontal” ]
This computer can be described as a great product providing you with a lot of value for your money. The screen is quite large at 3.5 inches proving to be a better option than your smartphone when it comes to the display capabilities. The Edge 1030 provides users with an amazing experience when it comes to viewing that super cedes whether you are biking in sunny conditions or wet weather conditions.
With this computer users get to make use of the Garmin Connect app and the Garmin Map app. With these apps you can source data from billions of miles away from another user data and you can even get to make use of the turn by turn directions that are provided.
You can also choose to come up with your own directions and routes and upload these routes to the computer. This is great as you can never really get lost as you can find your way back by simply using the GPS tracker. This computer also comes with additional accessories like the cadence and speed sensors as well as the heart rate monitor from the Garmin industry.
- The color screen is quite large
- The battery life can last up to 20 hours
- The computer is designed with a number of great features
- New users may get confused trying to interpret and understand all of the data that could appear from the screen from a single source.
The ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer from Wahoo Fitness[amazon box=”B07JZSCSTK” template=”horizontal” ]
When designing the ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer the Wahoo industry focuses on the advancements on the popular Elemnt Bolt and Elemnt features. One of the most recognizable features from this bike computer is the beautiful screen that is colored. In addition, the bike screen comes with a ton of amazing add-ons that include a Back on Track feature. This feature works well in guiding you to return to your previous destination just in case you get off course and forget your way back.
This computer is also designed with a light sensor that is ambient. This is great as the brightness of your screen will change according to the light condition in your surroundings. The computer has a battery life of 17 hours. This is long enough giving you the chance to enjoy all of the features and functions for a long time before it finally goes off.
It works well with both Bluetooth and ANT+ making the syncing process with your smartphone really easy. This also allows you to benefit from other great functions such as Strava live segments.
- The GPS connection is very accurate
- It is easy to use
- Extensive battery life of up to 17 hours
- The bike computer mounts are not the best
The Mega XL GPS Bicycle Computer from Lezyne[amazon box=”B07FZ4SGVK” template=”horizontal” ]
The Mega XL GPS bike computer is designed with a ton of functions and can do it all while providing you with a lot of battery life. With this computer, users get the chance to make use of monitors for your heart rate, speed sensors, live tracking functions, turn by turn navigation features as well as wireless pairing such as bluetooth for your power meters.
With this bike computer users do not have to worry about the battery life as this computer can function up to 48 hours without going off. You can auto sync the data of your bicycle ride using Strava, Todayâ€™s Plan or even Training Peaks.
This bike computer is one of the largest in the market. The screen is 27 inches. To improve the aerodynamics, you can simply mount this computer on top of the stem or right in front of the handlebars.
- The battery life can last upto 48 hours
- The screen is quite large
- Some users have mentioned that this bicycle computer is very bulky
The Hammerhead Karoo from H[amazon box=”B06XZS3BL6″ template=”horizontal” ]
The Hammerhead Karoo bike computer is still quite new to the market yet it is quite ideal. Instead of focussing on the idea of that the bike computer should be smaller the H manufacturing industry prioritized on ensuring that reading the data on the computer is a lot easier.
The Hammerhead Karoo computer has a stunning visual display. Users enjoy the high resolution features of great color as well as the massive scree of 3.5 inches. Another great advantage is that you will not struggle to read from the screen by shielding the screen from the sun or squininting. With this computer you can benefit from the mapping system that is easy to read and you can easily read and interprete the graphs of your ride data.
The computer is android based and the sensors work well with the Bluetooth and ANT+. This allows you to easily view your heart rate, the power output and cadence. This computer is quite large with a profile of 98mm x 72mm x 28mm. It also weighs 168g.
- The LCD Screen is beautiful at 3.5 inches
- The bike computer screen is also easy to use
- The build of this bike computer is of very high quality
- It is not light in weight
The Edge 25 Cycling GPS Computer from Garmin[amazon box=”B010DI6C3M” template=”horizontal” ]
The Garmin industry is know for producing bike computers that are laaded with high â€“ quality features. The Edge 25 GPS computer is very small and light in weight packed with a ton of amazing features.
With this computer, you can easily track your ride and share your location with your any of your contacts. You can make use of GLONASS and GPS and share your location in real time. Users can also benefit from the ANT+ giving you the chance to easily pair it with your candence sensors and heart rate monitors.
This computer functions well with the Garmin Connect giving you the chance to download courses that you can follow and put together as your cycling stats. It weighs only 25 grams and measures 40mm x 42mm x 17mm. This computer keeps a low profile on the handlebars of your bike.
- It is light in weight
- The bike computer is designed with GLONASS connectivity and Dual GPS.
- The screen size is very small
Factors to Consider when Purchasing the Best Bicycle Computer Under $100
The Type of Cycling Computers
There are three different categories of cycling computers, with different prices, as every category has an increased amount of features.
There are the basic computers that are the best options for beginners. These computers come with basic display features such as time, ride duration, distance and speed. There are the mid-range bike computers that have a wide range of features. The display screen is larger and comes with a color screen that can be customized. These screens work well with Bluetooth connectivity, AT+ and WiFi simplifying the upload of various online apps such as Strava.
The Premium computers are for cyclists who are looking to make use of features a total suit of different features simmilar to the features present on your smartphone. These kind of computers take the features that are present on mid-level computers and intensify then with improved navigation system, batteries that are long lasting, more options for storage, larger screens, and enhanced display options.
The Ease of Use and the User Interface
An important factor that you must consider when purchasing your computer bike is the interface that you would like to use as well as how easy it is to read and interprete the data and the fields presented. Some computers come with a screen that can be customised with additional data fields while other computers cannot be customized. The computers also vary from full touchscreen to screens that only operate using buttons. There are some types of computers that use both. At the end of the day the computer that you select depends on what you would like and how comfortable you are when using it.
The Battery Life
A bike computer that makes use of a ton of features will definitely consume more battery power. The larger computers that are designed with dynamic color screens with different connectivity options will drain the battery life faster than the basic kind of computers. The basic computers may not be as stylish and may not be packed with different features, but when it comes to the battery life you can be asured that it is long lasting. There are many computers designed with a battery saver mode that prolongs the battery life.
The Turn by Turn Navigation SystemÂ
An important question that you should ask yourself is, do you think you need to use any navigation functions? If your planning to cycle on bike paths that you really know, then you probably do not need to use any navigation syste,, however, if you are enthsiastic about cycling on new roads or you would like to create a new cycling route for yourself, then a navigation system would come in handy. With this system you can also upload the routes to your computer. Selecting a computer that comes with a highly functional navigational system is an amazing choice.
Different connectivity options are the best in serving your own individual needs. If you enjoy using fitness apps such as MapMyRide or Strava, or perhaps you want to make use of heart rate monitors and power meters, then you will want to choose a computer that is designed with Bluetooth capabilities and ANT+.
However much you would like to cycle, and however much data you will choose to record, a bicycle computer will improve your ride. With this device you can save a record of where you have cycles, when and even how fast. In this review I have listed very affordable bike computers that will give you the chance to improve your performance as well as the tools to enhance your riding experience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)Â
Can I use a bike computer on my indoor trainer?Â
Yes this is possible. If your trainer is compatible with FE-C protocol and ANT+ then you can make use of a bike computer. The computer fuctions well in performing several roles such as riding a virtual course, synching with a structured workout session, re-riding a course that you have previously cycled and also riding a manual workout.
How can I sync my bicycle rides to Strava?Â
If you are using the basic bike computers, you will have to download Strava to your computer using a USB cable, then you can upload Strava manually through the .gpx file or .fit. If your computer is compatible with WiFi and Bluetooth, you can easily link it to Strava during the set up process. After each of your cycling sessions, the ride will automatically upload as soon as you connect the computer to wifi or through your smartphoneâ€™s Bluetooth connection.
How can I review my training data?Â
If you would like to review your training data, you can sync the bike computer to your smartphone. Your computer should be compatible with Wifi or Bluetooth. You should also instal different apps such as Lezyne Ally, Wahoo Elemnt or Garmin Connect to your phone. Once the computer is synched functions such as incoming calls and messages can be displayed on your screen. As soon as you complete your ride, the ride data can be synched with softwares such as Strava and even Training Peaks.