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The Best Cycling gps reviewed and compared

Updated on November 13, 2012

GPS enabled cycle computers

Many cyclists will ask "what is the best cycling gps?" and "is a cycling gps actually needed?" First off, let's look at whether a cycling gps is actually needed or not. If all you want to do is measure oyur speed, distance and time a gps is not needed, however if you want to track and record your actual route, plan a route and follow it and check out all the relevant stats a cycling gps is most definitely needed.

When it comes to cycling gps units there is not much choice and Garmin make the best cycling gps currently available. For a selection of the best cycling gps units currently available make sure you check out this lens.

Garmin Edge 800

The Garmin Edge is the top of the range Garmin made cycling specific GPS enabled cycle computer. The Edge 800 is jam packed full of features and is an impressive piece of kit, although it does come at a cost as you would expect.

If you want the ultimate GPS enabled cycle computer the Garmin Edge 800 is the one to buy. This is a top quality piece of kit that is jam packed full of features. With the Garmin Edge 800 you get the usual speed, distance and time that all cycle computers record but you also get heart rate, cadence, power and several training aids including a virtual partner which you can compete against in order to reach your training goals.

The Garmin Edge 800 replaces the Garmin Edge 705, which itself is a first class gps enabled cycle computer. The Garmin Edge 800 is an improvement over the 705 and includes a highly responsive and easy to use touch screen that is larger than the 705’s (non touch screen) screen. The Edge 800 is smaller and lighter than the 705 and also includes a thermometer to record ambient temperature.

The Garmin Edge 800 is intuitive, user friendly and a dream to use. It finds satellites quickly and once locked on it remains locked on, even in wooded areas, rocky areas and the urban jungle. It really is an awesome piece of kit.

The Garmin Edge 800 isn’t cheap but if you want the best of the best you are going to have to shell out some bucks for it. The Garmin Edge 800 is a gadget loving cyclist’s dream piece of kit and well worth a purchase.

Garmin Edge 705

The Garmin Edge 705 used to be the Daddy of cycling gps computers. Even though it has now been replaced by the Edge 800 the 705 is still a wonderful piece of kit and is something you should consider. Since the introduction of the Edge 800 the price of the Edge 705 has decreased somewhat, so there are definitley bargains to be had.

The Garmin Edge 705 is another cycling specific GPS computer that was developed to help cyclists monitor their training whilst reaching their goals. THe Edge 705 is a relatively small unit that can be strapped to any cycle, either race, cyclocross or mountain bike and used to record data from the ride.

The Garmin Edge 705 has a full colour screen and an SD card slot which accepts maps (which are sold separately). With the Edge 705 you can go on any mapping program you want, devise a route and download it to the Edge 705. The Edge 705 will then give you full directions for your intended route, all on an easy to read screen. You don't get turn by turn directions, like you do with Car satellite navigation systems, but then do you really need turn by turn directions? I am thinking probably not.

The Garming Edge 705 is tough, durable and fully waterproof which means you can use it in all weather conditions, although cycling in the rain isn't much fun is it? That said, it is easy to get caught out in a rainstorm and this is where the Garmin Edge 705's build quality comes in very handy.

You can also pair up the speedcadence sensor and a heart rate monitor with the Garmin Edge 705, which allows you to monitor and record your cadence and heart rate throughout the duration of your ride. THis information is essential to see how your cycling is progressing.

The Garmin Edge 705 is a great gps enabled cycle computer that is well worth a purchase. Don't let the fact it has been replaced by the Garmin Edge 800 put you off, in fact you should see this as an advantage as you can now get some very good deals on the Garmin Edge 705.

Garmin Edge 500

The Gamin Edge 500 is a cycling specific cycle computer with GPS technology that was made for cyclists by cyclists. The Edge 500 is the current base model, although this doesn't mean it isn't worth investigating if you are looking for a gps enable cycling computer.

The Garmin Edge 500 is a top quality bit of kit. First and foremost it is a cycle computer that records all the data from each and every ride. The basic Edge 500 will record the distance travelled, the total time taken, the maximum speed and the average speed amongst other things. THe Garmin Edge 500 is a plug and play computer and all you have to do is put the mount on your bike, power up the Garmin Edge 500, press start and then go for your ride. It really is that simple to operate.

If you have a Garmin Edge 500 you can also buy the heart rate belt and the speed/cadence sensor. The heart rate belt, once paired with the Edge 500, will monitor your heart rate at all times, allowing you to get in the desired training zone, hence taking the guess work out of interval training. The Edge 500 not only records current heart rate but also maximum heart rate and average heart rate, so it is a useful tool.

Pairing up the speed/cadence sensor allows you to monitor your cadence along each and every ride. This means you can get your legs spinning however fast you need them to in order to reach your training goals.

The Garmin Edge 500 is a well built and durable piece of kit that is fully waterproof and will provide many years of service. One of the best things about the Garmin Edge 500 is that it is wireless and can be used on multiple cycles with ease.

Other devices as gps enabled cycle computers

A cycling specific gps enabled computer is a great solution, however buying one of these is going to put a dent in the wallet. There are other gadgets, which you may already own, which can be used as a gps enabled cycle computer and the two most common are the Apple ipod Touch and Apple iphone.

If you already own either one, or even both, of these Apple products you can use them as gps enable cycle computers, although you will have to get some other accessories.

Ipod touch

If you own a ipod Touch there is no need to buy a separate gps enabled cycle computer for your training since with the ipod Touch you are halfway there. In order to turn your ipod Touch in to a gps enabled cycle computer you are going to need an external gps receiver. In addition, you are also going to need to download one of the many cycle specific apps, such as ImapMyRide.

Bad Elf gps receiver for ipod Touch and iphone

The gadget you will need to turn your ipod Touch or iphone in to a gps enable cycle computer.

Apple iphone

If you own an iphone with a built in gps reveiver the cheapest way of getting a gps cycle computer for training is to download one of the many cycling specific apps. There are many different cycling apps to choose from, such as Cyclemeter or ImapMyRide, which is totally free.

If your iphone doesn't have a built in gps receiver you are going to need to buy an external one and plug it in. The best external gps receiver for Apple products is the Bad Elf, as previously described. The Bad Elf may not be cheap, but then products for Apple items never are, but it is great quality and the best money can buy.

If you know of any other gps enable cycle computers you feel are worth shouting about please feel free to post them in my guestbook. Alternatively, if you have any comments (good or bad) you may note them down here.

Do you have any recommendations?

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      Stephenprag 12 months ago

      Hello UK. to be precise, i read