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How to Choose a Bike GPS for Cycling: 6 Essential Facts

bike GPS

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Bike GPS like the Garmin Edge 830, found its way to the modern world just like any other modern technologies. 

However, we know that for some of you, this type of modern technology can be challenging. Especially when it comes to choosing a bike GPS. 

So, how to choose a bike GPS for cycling?

Well, that is why we are here with a guide to help you choose the best bike GPS. So, without further delay, let’s get going-

What is a Bike GPS?

Before we start it’s for the best if you know a bit about a bike GPS first. You see, modern technology has gone so far that you’re getting a sport-specific device that you can mount to your bike. That is what’s known as the bike GPS.

This particular device uses satellites to track where you are, the distance, your speed, and the time. It can even record the route that you’re on or were. 

Worried about your cadence, power, and heart rate? No need to worry because the bike GPS also has all of these covered.

You can also record all of these data to evaluate your performance later on if you need it. This feature is known to be very useful for training a rider.

Where are You in the Rider Category?

You might be thinking that how does a rider category relate to choosing a bike GPS. Well, that can be a very significant question.

You see, when you know where you’re at the rider category, you’ll know what you like. Most riders don’t even know what they want for themselves because they don’t know where they are in the rider category. 

So, here are the categories available:

  • Casual Cyclists:
    Casual cyclists usually don’t bother about knowing anything more than the speed, distance, and time. They don’t really need any advanced bike GPS for themselves.
  • Enthusiast Riders:
    Some riders often go on tours with their bike. Touring riders like them and commuters usually like more options in their bike GPS. Like the trip distance, average speed, maximum speed, etc.
  • Competitive Riders:
    Competitive riders often compete in many cycling races or competitions. They need to compare their output in order to improve more.

That’s why they want to record cadence, elevation gained, heart rate, and power output.

How to Choose a Bike GPS for Cycling: 6 Factors to Keep in Mind

Just like any other device this product has some features that make it a bike GPS. 

However, we’re going to show you all the factors that you need to consider while you’re getting a new bike GPS for yourself. So, let’s go-

1. Forward-Seeking GPS or Backward Looking GPS

seeking bike gps

Do you want a look forward or look back? Well, this is probably the most critical question you should ask yourself when you’re about to get a bike GPS.

You see, a forward-seeking GPS usually costs more as they have features like additional storage, built-in map, navigation, and more. Also, you get a larger display to operate those features.

On the other hand, backward-looking GPS is at large these days. It’s because the riders get all the live information that they want. 

These also provide a more detailed analysis when you’re done with riding. However, it’s less likely to receive detailed navigational data from backward-looking GPS.

2. Phone Connectivity

Well, it’s quite obvious for you to ask for mobile connectivity from a bike GPS. There are several bike GPS that offer you Bluetooth connectivity. 

You’ll be able to share your progress or other reports on your phone. Also, some of them have features like music control, text alerts, call alerts and you can even upload your ride data.

3. Mounting Facility

Most people often overlook the mounting facility. But it is one of the most overlooked features ever.

It is essential that your device attaches to your bike or not. Most of the GPS units are attachable to the stem or the handlebar of the bike. 

Well, we’re not done yet because there are some devices that you can even wear like a wristwatch. However, that might not be the idle one for you because of the wrong viewing position.

4. Display Type and Size

Generally, the devices you’re able to navigate with or have a mapping feature, they come with a larger screen. 

The larger the size of your screen, the better viewing experience you’ll get. However, the larger size makes this screen hefty for one to use which makes it inconvenient for the riders to carry.

With time these bike GPS are almost like smartphones. If you are searching for a navigational one, resolution and screen size are the two things that you need to be concerned about. 

If you want to be able to see your desired route or waypoints, you can get a screen that is 2.5inch or larger. 

Also, you can consider color displays and touch screens as they are normal nowadays to simplify all the data.

5. Backlight Feature

If you ever have to cycle in the dark, this feature might be of great use to you. You see, the backlight feature allows you to read the screen more comfortably. 

You don’t need to use your helmet light to read the screen anymore Ride in the dark? A backlight feature makes your screen more readable than does shining a helmet light on the screen.

6. Battery Life

Most of the bike GPS has a rechargeable built-in battery. They often last 20 hours or longer. The batteries often last a couple of years.

On the other hand, a mobile phone with a cycling app lasts 5-8 hours max.


So, now you know how to choose a bike GPS for cycling. We hope that we were of great help to you in the choosing process of your bike GPS.

However, we would be very much delighted to hear about your riding experience. Also, if you have any feedback to give, you’re more than welcome to share it with us.

Happy cycling guys!

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