Riding without a GPS is becoming a rare sight in today’s technologically advanced world. The longer the ride, the more critical it is to have a GPS to count on. The problem is, the world is becoming so oversaturated with options that many are finding it difficult to make proper decisions.
Depending on budget, people can get something that is very basic, or splurge for something that can do everything. Below, there is a look at different price ranges so people can shop within their means.
No matter what type of budget a person is working with, there are options available that make a lot of sense.
1. Garmin Edge 130
For right around $100, this is a perfect solution for those on the budget who still want something from a reputable company. Garmin is one of the most trusted brands in this industry, and the Edge 130 (Amazon) is simple but effective.
All the essentials are here with this cycling computer. Not only does it have a GPS, but it tracks everything from distance to elevation and heart rate. It is easy to connect to a smartphone, it holds up in different weather conditions, and it is just about the perfect size possible.
Operating the GPS is also pretty easy, as the buttons are very responsive. There is nothing worse than working with a GPS while on the bike that is not capable of responding in the right manner.
The navigation provided by Garman with this device is not the best, but that is the sacrifice a person makes for staying so low overall.
Most shoppers know going in that they are not going to get the best of the best as far as GPS options are concerned, but they can make do because it is such a budget-friendly option.
All in all, the Garmin Edge 130 is a great investment for people who are just starting and wanting a GPS that gets the job done. People might upgrade later on, but this will be just fine and well worth the cost.
- Easy to use.
- Responsive screen and buttons.
- Trusted brand.
- Navigation is very basic.
- Some complain it is a little too heavy and bulky.
2. Garmin Edge 830
Consider the Gramin Edge 830 (Amazon) the mid-tier option for people who want a little bit more information than the one above.
It is is still going to be pretty expensive for the average person, since it sometimes is over four hundred dollars, but they provide just about everything a person needs when out on a ride.
The features on the 830 are simply sensational. This is a bigger device that provides excellent detail, and several measurements that can help a person get everything together that they might need.
Cyclists will love that it measures just about anything a person can think of, but it also works for mountain bikes. In fact, there are a lot of mountain bike riders who believe that this is the best of the best when it comes to GPS computers.
A nice bonus with this option from Garmin is that there are some safety features in place to help keep people safe when they are on long rides.
There are tons of people riding in locations that they might not be familiar with, and it can be a pretty scary situation. Instead of trying to take on everything without any assistance, this is one way to get the information necessary.
Not only can a person look up information, but there is an opportunity to get help and alerts if there is something nearby that needs attention.
The final thing to point out is that his battery life is perfect for even the longest ride. A person can get 20 hours of battery out of the GPS, and they can also bring a power pack along with them for additional battery life.
Simply put, a person is not going to run out of battery when on a long ride, unless they forgot to charge things up for a few days.
This has just about everything in person could ask for, but the most powerful option is below. With that said, this provides excellent value, and many people are surprised by just how much it brings to the table.
- Performs well by providing dynamic performance numbers at all times.
- Plenty of safety features included.
- Free updates during its lifetime.
- Quite a significant jump up in price from the Garmin 150.
- Can feel a little fragile at times.
3. Garmin Edge 1030
Whether a person opts for the base or performance model, there is no doubt that this Garmin Edge 1030 (Amazon) is one of the crown jewels out there for people to utilize while riding.
Cyclists have been counting on this GPS for quite a while, and they can stay connected during the entire ride. It really feels like so much information is available for every rider, and they never feel like they are alone no matter where they might go.
With a 3.5 inch display, a person can easily see exactly where they are going. There is also a chance to access any information they need. Everything is right there and easy to access, so a person never feels like they are putting themselves in any danger by looking down at it for too long.
The navigation system, which is the main reason why so many people buy something like this in the first place, is really unique. A person knows exactly where they are going at all times, and that sense of security is always nice.
Having the messages from rider to rider feature is also great for those who do not want to feel like they are alone at any time. A person can reach out for help or let a person know where they might be located. It is a simple feature that comes in handy whenever a person needs it most.
Customization is also a big part of the Edge 1030. A person can create their own personal ultimate cycling hub instead of only depending on the apps and add-ons that a GPS Computer provides. It is pretty interesting to take the time to set up before going on a ride, as it will give all the information necessary.
When a person spends the extra money for the Edge 1030, they are basically getting every single thing a person could ask for out of a GPS system right now.
Compared to the two versions above, having more customization and a slightly longer battery life are the main selling points. It is not that much more expensive than the Edge 830, but if the battery life does make a difference, it is worth the extra money.
- Excellent customization options.
- Very long battery life.
- Makes riding easier overall.
- Has trouble responding when used by sweaty hands.
4. Lezyne Super GPS
Everything with the Lezyne Super GPS (Amazon) is going to be a much more affordable solution than a similar version from Garmin.
The brand is known for keeping prices low and still offering a quality product, as more and more people are making a switch when they do comparison shopping.
This GPS has excellent connectivity with a smartphone to set everything up as far as riding maps are concerned. People can track everything while they are on a ride, and the GPS is very easy to utilize when moving around.
Another added bonus is that this GPS works with electric drivetrains, as people are starting to invest in these alternative traveling options. This definitely helps out considerably when making life easier with a GPS.
Turn by turn navigation does come in handy when people are riding fast and the internet is not the best in an unfamiliar area. Some people will not use it that often, but others will clearly benefit if they can dial into it.
The brand might not be as well known as Garmin, or others for that matter, but it is worth examining for the price. Many other reviewers online have taken a chance on the GPS, and they have nothing but nice things to say.
- Very affordable.
- Turn by turn navigation.
- Not a known brand.
- Tough to repair when needed.
5. Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS
As one of the best selling options at a reasonable price point online, Wahoo Element Bolt (Amazon) seems to really be bringing people in who want a simple yet effective GPS for their cycling.
A person can get all the maps and layouts that they desire by using the companion app, and everything pairs with the GPS quickly. There is also a chance of using third party apps like Strava and Ride with GPS, which allows for some customization as well.
It is a GPS that does not have any of those extra features that might drive up the cost of other GPS devices out there. That is good news for some people because they do not want to spend any extra money on what they might use sparingly.
Not only that, but it is much easier to find exactly what a person is looking for, and then keep going. Some people get a fancy your GPS, only to not be able to use it while riding because they do not know where anything is located.
If something was to happen to the GPS, it is a very rugged computer that a lot of people rely on. It seems like something that makes a lot of sense for owners to have with them as a precious option overall.
It holds up well, comes with a great waterproof rating, and people will find that they get a lot of use out of it for the price.
- Affordable GPS option.
- Rugged and waterproof.
- Pairs up with companion apps.
- No real extras.
- Can feel a little sluggish after heavy use.
6. CooSpo Bike Computer
For under $100, there are not very many options that are serviceable enough for the average cyclist. This all changes with this option from CooSpo (Amazon), as a person gets all of the basics while also being surprised with everything else it can do as well.
This is a pretty small option that has a very long battery life, and people like it as something they can pop on and off of their bike whenever they need it.
The screen is simple by design, as it is meant to be extremely easy to access at a moment’s notice. A person can get the directions they need a short amount of time, and then they are on their way.
Feel free to transfer this GPS to any bike, as it is very easy to take on and off when necessary. It might not be the fanciest option, but it gets the job done as a first GPS option for those who really only want some features.
- Priced under $100.
- Operates fast.
- Easy to read.
- Provides only basic information.
- If it breaks, it is not worth the time and money to fix it.
What features matter the most when shopping for cycling GPS?
Every person is going to have slightly different preferences when it comes to shopping for a GPS for cycling, so it is essential to comb through the different options and see what is available in a certain price range.
With that said, there are some features that almost universally get praised for one reason or another. Make sure to pay attention to what each option brings the table in these categories.
If a person can’t easily identify everything they need to on a GPS screen, it is not going to do them any good. It is one thing to have a screen that is pretty big and clear, but a person also does not want to be distracted.
Color options usually tend to be a little more bright and easy to see in any weather, but they also come at a higher price. Getting a big size matters, but going too big can make it feel a little cumbersome.
Do not think of a touchscreen as being a huge factor with a cycling GPS. In fact, a lot of people will not even use any touchscreen features if they are available while riding. There are just a few buttons that can be pressed to move around and navigate fast.
While riding for hours and hours at a time, people do not want to miss out on calls or texts that might be important. They also do not want to take out their phone and check things out constantly. One way to combat this is to have a GPS that has phone connectivity to some degree.
Those who rely on their phone for work or family might need to make sure that they can do everything on a GPS as far as operating the phones concern. Having this feature usually comes at a price, but it is worth it to be as hands-free as possible.
Most GPS options have a pretty long battery life, so a person will not have to worry too much about how to conserve battery life as much as possible.
It can be frustrating for individuals to try to pull something like that off because a person needs to get back home. Just make sure to charge the GPS regularly so that it is never pushing to the fact that it is running low.
Having a screen in use and lit up is going to eat a battery the fastest. If it seems like the battery is running low, try to use the screen at a minimum. Check what needs to be checked, and then have it off so that it is not draining the battery fast.
The final difference in GPS options simply come down to navigation. Every single computer is going to show basic ride data, but the amount of navigation goes up with more expensive options.
People can get for directions and maps delivered to them all the time in some cases, while others provide a more rudimentary display.
If a person is constantly riding familiar trails where they do not need to have navigation all the time, it might not be necessary to go with a full-fledged model that acts like a very expensive GPS in the car.
The focus might be more on tracking fitness and understanding the numbers in that regard. For others who like to go exploring, having a great GPS keeps people safe and in the right areas.
A high-quality GPS for riding a bike is going to cost some money, and it could be several hundred dollars if a person wants a true top-of-the-line option.
The good news is that as long as these are taken care of, they will last a very long time. In fact, some people have GPS devices longer than they have their bike.
Make sure to store it in a climate-controlled area when it is not in use, and do not be afraid to clean it off once in a while as well.
At the end of the day, a GPS can be just as valuable as any other piece of equipment for a cyclist. Do not overlook just how important it is to know where a person might be during any part of a ride. There is no reason to get lost while riding a bike in today’s world.