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Bike computers and Smartphones: What Do You Need to Consider?

Feb. 12, 2022

New technology makes it easier than ever to keep track of your cycling data. But is the latest bike computer necessary? Or will a smartphone in your jeans pocket be enough? Use this guide to help you determine the best option for your needs.


Before you can determine whether it's best to use your smartphone as your primary cycling GPS device or to use a dedicated bike computer, you'll need to consider several factors.


Battery Life

Are you a century rider or a commuter? Unless you carry a spare battery, your phone may not be on for more than five hours. However, if your rides are around 30 to 40 minutes long, then battery life will not be an issue.


Price

Bike meters can cost anywhere from $25 to a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, if you already have a smartphone, you won't incur any new costs. If you decide to use your smartphone in all weather conditions, you will also need to purchase a case and mount.



Functionality

Despite the versatility of a smartphone, a bike yardstick is designed for one purpose - it makes the overall function of the bike more efficient. Smartphones can make it difficult to view maps and indicator data on one screen, and they are much more cumbersome to read than a bike computer.


Training

How often you ride If cycling is a one- or two-day-a-week affair, then carrying more equipment isn't necessary. However, if you are training for a race and cycling five or six days a week, then a bike computer will provide you with more useful data to meet your needs.


Accuracy

To get the most accurate data possible, you need to have speed, pedaling and power sensors on your bike. If you use a smartphone app that relies only on GPS, your numbers will not be as accurate as a computer that communicates with these sensors.


Durability

Things can get bad on the road. While a weatherproof case may be an option for your smartphone, keep in mind that it adds to the size of the device and makes the touchscreen features harder to use. On the other hand, most bike computers are weatherproof.



With these factors in mind, I'm sure you already know if you need to buy a bike computer. If you are a race prep athlete, cycling enthusiast, fitness data collection crowd, or a person with plenty of money, you can visit our website to find the right product and contact us for a quote.

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