Three of the newest cycling computer options to fit your needs.
Electronics powerhouse company Garmin has held a dominant position in the market, but a bevy of new products released in the last year has shifted the conversation. The increase in competition is great for triathletes and cyclists looking to find the head unit that best serves their needs. Here’s a look at three new GPS units that fit the entry-level, mid-range and high-end price points.
Lezyne Mini GPS
Bottom line: Simple, compact and clean
Lezyne is a newcomer to the GPS market with three cycling computers launched in 2015, but the company has expertise in electronics with its background in making bike lights. The Mini is diminutive, weighing a scant 30 grams, but it boasts plenty of useful features with a simple-to-use three-button design. The Mini can’t sync with a heart rate monitor, power meter or phone, but you can upload ride data to Strava or Training Peaks via computer. The display is small and therefore easiest to read with two data fields, but you can customize the screen to show up to four. Sselect auto scroll to rotate through fields in order to keep an eye on how many feet you’ve climbed or calories you’ve burned. All of Lezyne’s GPS computers come with an out-front mount, and the unit’s aesthetics stand out from the crowd. The Mini is ready to go out of the box with minimal setup, making it perfect for GPS newbies or triathletes who want a bike unit separate from their high-end watch.
Bottom line: Fully connected with unique features
The Elemnt is Wahoo’s first GPS cycling computer and is loaded with cool features, like the programmable LED QuickLook indicator lights that blink to keep you on track with your preset speed, cadence and power. This computer has mapping capabilities that can give turn-by-turn directions to keep you on course. You can also load saved Strava routes, and the live tracking feature allows others to see your exact location while you’re riding. The Elemnt has Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ connectivity, so it will pair seamlessly with every sensor and power meter. The Wahoo companion app allows you to control the data fields, create custom profiles, track your performance and share ride data. The Elemnt will display text and e-mail alerts if you’re riding with your phone, and it comes with three mounts, including one for aerobars.
$200 with heart rate monitor, $170 without, Polar.com
Bottom line: Effective training tool, solid value
The M450 is easy to use, highly customizable, connects to your smart phone and can provide valuable metrics like training load and recovery time. It syncs with Polar’s Flow app, which lets you to track and analyze your workouts. Thanks to a recent update, Flow can also sync your rides instantly with Strava. The Smart Coaching feature provides training guidance with detailed analysis, allowing you to chart your progress. The M450 pairs with power meters via a Bluetooth Smart connection, which eliminates the ability to use power meters that work with an ANT+ connection. (That narrows the list of compatible power meters to the PowerTap C1, G3 and P1 along with crank arm units from Stages Cycling and 4iiii.) The M450 has some stiff competition at this price from the Garmin Edge 520, but it is a strong option.