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Choosing a GPS cycling computer: The 5 best devices on the market 2022

Do you want to trace a gravel road and have all your data under control? Or have you found some interesting GPS tracks, but you don't know how to make the most of them? The solution lies in a GPS cycle computer, a device that, in addition to monitoring all the usual data from your ride, can become a real satellite navigator for your bike. An indispensable accessory for all those who want to plan a route and go bikepacking.

The technology in this area has come on leaps and bounds over the past decade and a good bike computer with GPS can be purchased at a really competitive price. As follows, five devices.


  • Garmin Edge 130 Plus
    An excellent solution for those who want a compact, no nonsense cycle computer with a crisp easy to read screen, capable of displaying turn by turn navigation along your route. While it does not have all the features of the top of the range models, for example, the display is not in colour, it is lot more powerful than it's small size might suggest, and the 130 Plus can store up to 30 GPS tracks. The monitoring and accuracy of the GPS is guaranteed as the 130 Plus utilises the three main satellite positioning systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo).There is also a barometric altimeter and an accelerometer that, automatically sends your location to preloaded emergency contacts if it detects an incident. The Garmin ClimbPro function also allows you to view the remaining ascent and grade when you’re climbing while following a route or course. This helps you gauge your effort and see how much you have left to suffer.An ideal device for all those who intend to take their first steps in gravel and beyond. The battery boasts an autonomy of 12 hours and this could be an important aspect to consider.

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  • Bryton Rider 860
    The Bryson Rider 860 is equipped with a 2.8" colour touchscreen display, and offers interesting map integration with the OpenStreetMap system. During your ride it is possible to visualise any points of interest found along your Komoot itinerary route, Komoot being one of the third-party software platforms compatible with the Rider 860. The GPS detection system works with GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS protocols. Battery life can be for up to 16 hours. A bike computer dedicated to those who already have experience with third-party software platforms (eg. Komoot) for the elaboration and planning of routes.

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  • Wahoo Elemnt Bolt
    The Wahoo Element Bolt has a 2.2" high contrast 64-colour screen with an ambient light sensor for riding in low light conditions. In addition, the Bolt can be set up to highlight colour selectively on customisable easy-to-read charts and graphs to show your route and performance data at a glance. The battery life is up to 15 hours, and can be recharged during use. It comes out of the box with North America, Europe and Australia maps preloaded, while Russia, Asia, Africa can be downloaded via the free ELEMNT app. Using the ELEMNT app you can easily set up your device to match your individual training goals and personalise each page. The Bolt automatically generates turn by turn instructions  for all routes and file types, including GPX files, TCX files and routes imported from Strava, Ride With GPS and Komoot. The display is equipped with LED lights that flash to warn you should you wander off route. A function that is extremely welcome when you are faced with winding paths or crossing a city. Should you decide to abandon your route:the Elemnt Bolt automatically recalculates the route. It is also possible to reconfigure the track and points of interest directly from the device without using a smartphone or other external device. The Element Bolt does not utilise a a touchscreen, choosing to use three easy-sense convex buttons placed at the base of the screen and two on the side.

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  • Garmin 1030 Plus
    È uno dei migliori ciclocomputer GPS sul mercato al momento. Utilizzato in condizioni estreme anche da Omar Di Felice durante le sue avventure artiche. Display da 3,5’’ touchscreen con autonomia fino a 24 ore, grazie al Garmin Charge Power Pack è possibile aggiungere una batteria aggiuntiva per un’autonomia fino a 24 ore. Il 1030 Plus offre avvisi di alimentazione, idratazione ed il monitoraggio di svariati parametri fisiologici.
    Le potenzialità del dispositivo vengono ampliate grazie alla memoria da 32Gb che dà la possibilità di avere in dotazione le mappe di Europa, Africa e Nord America a cui si aggiungono i percorsi mountain bike. Da non sottovalutare la possibilità di interfacciarsi con il software gratuito Garmin Base Camp che permette di pianificare nel dettaglio i percorsi con possibilità di creare mappe 2D e 3D.
    Il 1030 Plus è un bike computer dedicato a chi vuole mettersi alla prova e desidera intraprendere avventure estreme e non vuole lasciare nulla al caso. Propone un profilo attività dedicato al gravel.

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  • Hammerhead Karoo 2
    Hammerhead is a US company, taken over in January 2022 by the bicycle component  manufacturer giant SRAM. In a very short period they have become a major  competitor to Garmin. The Hammerhead Karoo 2 has a 3.2" screen and is equipped with an accelerometer, magnetometer and three-axis gyroscope. One of the down sides is the relatively short 14 hours of battery life. The real advantage of the device is a custom version of the Android 8.0 operating system and the fact that Hammerhead guarantees fortnightly updates. The Karoo 2 has a responsiveness equal to that of a medium-high-end smartphone, which is also reflected in the fast battery charge (from 0% to 50% in one hour). Another plus point is the ability to insert a SIM card and take advantage of 4G connectivity. However, at the moment the Karoo 2 is not comparable to a smartphone even if apps on the Google Play store can be installed, via PC. World maps are pre-loaded with the possibility of choosing to have points of interest under visible or not. A very interesting offering that will certainly propose interesting updates in the future.

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