Are Cycling Computers Worth It? (5 Reasons Why They Are)

Whether you’re a professional cyclist or just a casual rider, you have probably thought about buying a cycling computer.

But you don’t know is it worth the money.

In this article, I am going to break down everything you need to know about cycling computers and whether they are really worth the money.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy a Bike Computer?

There are a lot of cycling computers on the market to choose from, in general, they tend to be a little bit more expensive, but there are some cheaper alternatives as well.

The average price of a cycling computer is between $40 and $400.

Of course, there are some differences between cheap and expensive computers which I am going to cover a little bit later.

5 Reasons Why Cycling Computer Is Worth Buying

First, I must say that I’ve never met a person who regrets buying a bike computer. It has so many helpful features that are specifically made to help people who ride a bike, it’s definitely worth it for both professionals and casual riders.

1. Gives You Motivation

Cycling with a bike computer is kinda like a video game. You play it and you try to beat the score you set earlier. Which sometimes can be very addictive and also very fun.

Cycling computers encourage you to beat your old best speed, power, distance, etc.

It gives you some sort of motivation to continue much stronger and to beat your previous records.

Also, once you return home, you will be able to review all the statistics and as a result, be even more motivated to keep going with your rides.

2. Keep You Stay On Pace

Cycling computers will actually have a lot of impact on your ride. Let me explain how is that even possible.

Riding without a cycling computer requires you to rely on your gut instinct to pace yourself instead of just looking at the numbers on your computer.

When you have the numbers right in front of your face you will get more out of yourself with the power there pacing you and telling you how fast you should go.

It is more of a psychological than a physical type of thing.

You will definitely notice the positive impact on your ride.

3. Lots of Cycling Specific Functions

A cycling computer has lots of different cycling-specific functions that can really be useful throughout the ride.

Here is a list of the features you will get when buying a cycling computer.

  • Average Speed
  • Current Speed
  • Maximum Speed
  • Odometer (distance traveled)
  • Auto Start/Stop
  • Clock
  • Stopwatch
  • Temperature
  • Wireless

Here is the list of features you will get when buying a more premium cycling computer (everything in the previous list +).

  • GPS
  • Touch Screen
  • Speed Comparator
  • Altimeter (Altitude)
  • Heart Rate
  • Cadence

Realistically even the cheaper bike computers will be completely enough for a casual rider and for someone who is a complete beginner.

However, if you are serious about cycling and you are willing to spend a little bit more money on a cycling computer, it will be a great choice.  

4. Long Battery Life

With a bike computer, you will not end up with a dead battery halfway through the ride.

It has such a strong battery, you will be able to ride for hours and hours before you need to change a battery.

Also, you will save the battery on your phone that way cause you can see most of the things right away on your computer.

5. Excellent Durability

Bike computers are specially designed for durability, their screens and frames are super strong to be able to withstand dust, water, hits, etc.

This will allow you to ride anywhere without worrying about it breaking down. This is especially important for mountain bikers and offroad riders.

Because of their size and shape, cycling computers also have great aerodynamics

Can You Use a Phone Instead of a Cycling Computer?

This is one of the most common questions in a cycling space.

The short answer is yes, you can use your phone as a cycling computer but it has limited capabilities and many risks involved.

I have a whole separate article on 10 things you should know when cycling with your phone, it can really help you with some basic stuff that you must know as a beginner.

There are two main drawbacks that I have when using my phone as a bike computer.

The first one is the risk of dropping it and the second one is poor battery.

All the cycling apps drain the battery like crazy, your phone will last a maximum of 5-6 hours.

If you don’t have money to invest in a cycling computer using your phone with GPS is totally doable but it’s not perfect.

But I still recommend buying one because it will totally change your bike game to a whole new level.

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