After having used my phone to initially track my rides, I got myself a Garmin 830 bike computer. Priced at around SGD600. this has been my most expensive accessory for my bike. Bike computers attach to a bicycle and provide real-time information about the rider’s speed, distance, and other performance metrics., and are an invaluable tool for cyclists.
The Garmin 830 is one of Garmin’s top-of-the-line GPS cycling computer with a large, color touchscreen display and a wide range of features for both training and navigation. The device offers advanced performance metrics, including power and VO2 max data, as well as the ability to create custom training plans and track progress over time. Additionally, the 830 has a built-in GPS and GLONASS receiver, as well as compatibility with ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors, making it easy to track a wide range of data during your ride. The device also has a long battery life and is durable enough to withstand the rigors of daily use. This is a highly recommended device for serious cyclists looking for a high-performance training and navigation tool.
To get the best value out of this bike computer, you will want to pair it with a heart rate monitor, aa speed sensor, and a cadence sensor. I initially used this with a pair of Magene sensors which I found gave me erroneous readings. Once I switched to Garmin’s sensors, this worked perfectly.
Why use a bike computer instead of a Smartphone
While smartphones can be used to track cycling performance and provide navigation, there are several reasons why a dedicated bike computer is a better option:
- Durability: Bike computers are specifically designed for use on a bicycle and are typically more durable than a smartphone. They can withstand the vibration and exposure to the elements that come with cycling.
- Battery life: Bike computers have a longer battery life than smartphones, which means you don’t have to worry about running out of battery mid-ride or having to carry a power bank.
- Easy to read display: Bike computers often have a large and easy to read display, which makes it easy to see your data while riding.
- Mounting options: Bike computers usually come with a mount that attaches to the handlebars or stem, which keeps the device securely in place and within easy view.
- Specialized features: Bike computers are specifically designed for cycling and often have features like power meter integration, Strava Live Segments, turn-by-turn navigation and more that are not available on smartphones.
- Power-saving mode: Many bike computers have a power-saving mode that turns off the backlight and other features when not in use, preserving battery life for when you need it most.
What functionality does a bike computer offer
- Navigation: Bike computers often come with GPS and mapping capabilities, which can help riders navigate unfamiliar routes and plan new rides.
- Tracking Progress: Bike computers allow riders to track their performance over time and monitor progress towards specific goals.
- Training: Many bike computers come with advanced training features, such as the ability to create custom training plans and track power and VO2 max data.
- Safety: Some bike computers have a built-in light or alarm system that can help increase the rider’s visibility and security while on the road.
All that said, if you’ve been riding seriously for a while, a bike computer is the way to go.