Fitness trackers have come a long way since being introduced years ago. They’re no longer just step- and calorie-counters.
A good example is what many consider the best fitness tracker for cycling. This is none other than the Garmin Fenix 6X.
The Fenix 6 is essentially a top-of-the-line GPS bike computer. Except, it comes in the form of a feature-filled and sleek-looking but durable smartwatch. It’s almost perfect if not for its high asking price.
Of course, there are other alternatives too. Some might even be considered better in some areas.
If you’re looking for the best fitness tracker for cycling, be sure to scroll down below.
You might just find exactly what you’re looking for.
Garmin is king when it comes to cycling GPS computers, and the Garmin Fenix 6X is the best of the best.
It’ll take more than just a couple hundred words to list down all the features that the Fenix 6X has. However, we can certainly try to single a couple out.
For one, there’s basic heart rate tracking and something called oxygen spirometry. It’s even got near-universal Bluetooth compatibility.
In addition to this, the Fenix 6X has full smartphone-connectivity. This includes the ability to play voice call prompts and display messages, among others.
The Fenix 6X also benefits from being from Garmin. It has the same handlebar adapter design as other Garmin products. This lets you mount it on your bike’s handlebars with no problem.
Basically, what you’re getting for the price of the Fenix 6X is everything. You’re getting more than just a fitness tracker. It’s a fully-functional smartwatch. At the same time, it’s also a dedicated GPS bike computer.
The only problem is, well, the price.
- 36-hour battery life
- Fully customizable screens and workout profiles
- Garmin Ecosystem
- Only takes three hours to fully charge
- Fully GPS bike computer functionality
- Very expensive
The Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker is hard to beat in terms of value.
This is the go-to choice for many cyclists for a reason. It’s the best fitness tracker for cycling without punching a hole in your wallet.
It’s got a built-in GPS module (finally) and the ability to store as many as six different activity types at a time. It even lets you take advantage of Fitbit Pay for contactless payments. You can also use it as a remote via Spotify control.
Two other notable features include Sleep Score and Sleep Intervals. The former comes extremely handy when measuring sleep quality. Meanwhile, the latter can help you sleep better at night.
The small touchscreen isn’t perfect. It can feel a bit too small and tedious to use at times. Yet, at the same time, it also doesn’t feel too large, which is a good thing.
Besides, the screen is fairly responsive. It’ll work as well with dry hands as with wet hands.
All in all, the contentious screen and lackluster battery life are two small prices to pay for something so affordable and feature-filled.
- Built-in GPS
- Active Zone Minutes support
- Screen can feel small or tedious at times
- Expensive proprietary charger
Do you prefer Garmin’s ecosystem more, but don’t like their bulkier fitness trackers or can’t afford them? Then, don’t worry. The Garmin vívosmart® 4 might just exactly be the best fitness tracker for biking for you.
The vívosmart® 4 is available in 2 different sizes in 4 and 2 colors, respectively, and weighs only
In comparison, Fitbit’s more popular offering, the Charge 4, weighs nearly twice as much at 30 grams.
The slim and unobstructive design is paired with a bright, easy-to-read display and advanced features. This includes advanced sleep monitoring with REM sleep and a wrist-based Pulse Ox² sensor.
It can even track your heart rate, stress, and has a timer dedicated for relaxation breathing.
Speaking of dedicated activity timers, you can connect it with a compatible smartphone’s GPS system for accurate tracking.
However, even without this, the fitness tracker itself has numerous dedicated activity timers. This includes everything from strength training to walking, running, yoga, and more.
As a bonus, the fitness tracker has vibration notification alerts for text messages, calls, and more.
- Slim and stylish looks
- Advanced sleep tracking
- Low price
- Small screen is sometimes unresponsive
4. Polar Grit X
Even if you’re into cycling, you might prefer something that also works for other activities.
After all, not everyone can afford to buy a fitness tracker for every activity that they are into.
If that’s the case for you, then we recommend taking a good look at the Polar Grit X multisport smartwatch.
Polar bills the Grit X as their most tech-filled and durable smartwatch ever made. True to this, it’s built tough like a sports watch.
However, it’s arguably far more durable than it looks. In fact, it’s passed several MIL-STD-810G military-grade tests. It’s been tested for humidity, resistance to extreme temperatures, and heights.
But, that’s not all. At just 64 grams, this smartwatch is one of the lightest out there.
Yet, despite being lightweight, Polar was able to pack a lot of technology into the Grit X. This includes a 40-hour battery with GPS turned on and all-day heart rate monitoring.
It can even remind athletes when to eat, drink, and rest. It also comes with other features like sleep tracking, weather reports, and even navigation.
The Grit X also works seamlessly with the Polar Flow, Polar’s own online training management platform. It can also auto-sync with other online fitness platforms. This includes Strava and MyFitnessPal, among others.
- Military-grade durability
- Polar Flow app
- In-depth activity insights
- So-so battery life
- No support for offline maps
Best Bike Computer
Bike computers have become somewhat obsolete to the functionality of many smartwatches today. However, there’s still something to be said about having a separate bike computer onboard your bike.
This is especially true if you are a hardcore cyclist that likes to take detours off of the beaten path.
With that said, the Garmin Edge® 830 leaves nothing to chance.
When we say that it has everything, we mean it. It’s got on-device route creation, customizable apps, an alarm function, and even performance monitoring with insights.
The computer will even tell everything from recovery status to your training load. You’ll even get info about the status of nutrition and hydration after taking a ride.
TLDR; this is a class-leading GPS bike computer that’s miles ahead of its closest competition.
- Impressive feature set
- Easy-to-use and read
- Touchscreen works really well
- Some of the features can get a little clunky at times
Best for Elegant Style
We really wouldn’t blame you if you bought the Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch just because it looks good. It really does. It’s easily the best fitness tracker for cyclists who prefer something more eye-catching.
Just don’t let its good looks fool you. The Steel HY Hybrid is packed full of technical features dedicated specifically to fitness-tracking.
Everything is contained within its 36.3mm small and circular monochrome OLED screen. It’s got heart rate monitoring, 24/7 automatic tracking with 30% activities available in workout mode.
It can even track your sleep and can sync with your smartphone for app notifications. It’s also water-resistant up to 50M and has automatic swim recognition.
That’s not all. Unlike other smartwatches, this one can last up to 25 days on one charge. You can even extend it to add even 20 days more if you’re only tracking time and activity.
And, well, who are we kidding? It looks absolutely awesome.
- Absolutely beautiful
- Can last up to 45 days on a single charge
- Useful companion app
- Expensive for a glorified fitness tracker
Garmin might have a monopoly at the bike GPS computer market at this point. The only thing stopping that from being a sure thing is offerings like the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt.
In some ways, the ELEMNT Bolt might even be better than the Garmin Edge 520 and 820. It’s certainly not as expensive. But, at the same time, it’s easier to use, more compact, and has a way better battery life.
It can measure everything from speed, distance, power, heart rate, elevation, and time. It also has seamless integration with a wide array of devices.
The ELEMNT Bolt even has a “take me anywhere” feature. All you need to do is to search out a destination. Then, once set, the ELEMNT Bolt will pretty much guide you there.
For all its features, the ELEMNT Bolt does have a huge drawback. It pretty much requires a smartphone to work. Yes, it does have several physical buttons, and it can work with a smartphone.
However, for full functionality, you’re reliant on a smartphone. That’s not exactly ideal for when you’re out in the mountains.
- Aerodynamic design
- Long battery life
- Hard to see in bright daylight
- No colored maps
- Set-up requires a smartphone
Best Google Wear
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle is the best activity tracker for cycling if you’re looking for a more watch-like Apple Watch alternative.
It’s just as good if not better than the latest Series 5. The performance benefits greatly from the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and an additional 1GB of RAM.
What also sets the Gen 5 apart is that it is a watch first. It’s beautiful and comes in a variety of finishes, straps, and colors. It doesn’t look like a smartwatch at first glance. This is one of its key selling points.
Speaking of selling points, it’s also one of the few stylish smartwatches that don’t look ostentatiously big. It’s not small, but it’s slim and fits on smaller and larger wrists all the same.
Plus, it’s got a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen working for it, which is bright enough to use even under direct sunlight.
As a watch, the Gen 5 checks all of the right boxes. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for its fitness tracking. It’s bogged down by the lack of functionality of Google’s Wear OS. It’s simply just not as good as what Samsung and Apple offer.
There’s no denying that the Gen 5 looks good. It’s just not good for those who want comprehensive and advanced health tracking features.
- Striking and sharp looks
- Responsive AMOLED screen
- Excellent performance
- Looks more like a conventional watch
- Wear OS
- Fitness and health tracking is lacking
Are you budget-conscious? Then the Willful Fitness Tracker is the best fitness watch for cycling for you.
The fitness tracker costs a fraction compared to other fitness trackers. Yet, it has many of the features that most cyclists are looking for.
It can track heart rate, steps, calories, distance, sleep quality, and workout. It also comes with 14 different exercise modes. Naturally, this includes a mode for cycling.
The fitness tracker can even connect with a smartphone. This means that it can check for calls, messages, and notifications.
You also won’t have any problem using this fitness tracker. It’s very smooth and responsive. The overall design is user-friendly.
You can also pair and sync it with the VeryFitPro app for added functionality. Plus, since it’s IP68 certified with 7-day battery life, you’ll have no trouble using this fitness tracker for days at a time in between charges.
- IP68 waterproof rating
- Low, low price
- Long battery life
- The display turns off every 10 seconds
- You can’t see the screen in daylight
Best Fitness Tracker for Cycling Buying Guide
Buying a fitness tracker for cycling is not as easy as it sounds. The market is full of fitness trackers claiming to be aimed at cyclists.
This is why it’s important that you know what factors consider, including:
Fitness Trackers vs Smart Watches
Admittedly, there’s been a bit of overlap between fitness trackers and smartwatches in recent years. That’s why we don’t really blame you if you think these terms are interchangeable. However, there are notable differences between the two.
At its very core, fitness trackers are bands with sensors that relay data to smartphones. On the other hand, smartwatches are essentially wrist-bound smartphones.
In general, smartwatches can do a lot more than just track fitness and health. They’re also a lot more expensive.
You’ll find yourself spending less money looking for a fitness tracker that’s almost like a smartwatch. This is as opposed to buying the most affordable smartwatch out there with competent fitness tracking features.
Fitness trackers are naturally built tough. Even the cheaper ones can withstand its fair share of beatings. It’s when we talk about riding them in wet and harsh conditions where durability becomes a factor.
For example, if you bike in the mountains, you’ll want something that’s built to withstand you literally falling on top of it.
But, if you’re just on paved roads most of the time, you can get away with minimal elemental resistance. However, regardless of where you ride, water- and dust-proofing are essentials.
The ideal fitness tracker will have an IP certification of at least 67.
The more basic a fitness tracker, the longer the battery life usually is. This means that, if you plan on taking advantage of all the functionalities a fitness tracker has to offer, do take a look at the battery life first.
At the very least, you’ll want something that remains functional throughout how many hours you plan on riding.
Look for devices that support apps like Spotify and Apple Music if you like listening to music.
There are three features that every cyclist will want to have in a fitness tracker. GPS is one of them. The other two is an altimeter and heart rate tracking.
If your fitness tracker has all three, then you’re golden.
Other bonus features like Bluetooth functionality and ANT+ compatibility also come in handy. These features mean that you can make use of external sensors like power meters and cadence.
This effectively transforms your fitness tracker into a viable alternative to having a bike GPS computer.
The Garmin fēnix® 6X – Pro and Sapphire Editions remains, by far, the best fitness tracker for cycling. It’s arguably the only fitness tracker we recommend that’s capable of replacing a bike GPS computer on its own. However, not everyone needs that kind of functionality, nor can everyone afford it.
Ultimately, it’s hard to say if something is the best fitness tracker for cycling for you unless we know what you want.
This is why, for those with more specific needs, we made sure to recommend other fitness trackers too.