If you’re a cyclist in the know and on the go, you’re aware that a great cycling smartwatch could mean the difference between hanging back in the pack and finding your groove on the pedals. Wearable tech has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and the latest and greatest bike computers now come in the smart-watch form.
When looking for the best fitness tracker and cycling watch for you, you need to search for a rugged watch with advanced features such as pinpoint GPS accuracy, optical heart rate monitor tech, support for power meters that will help you tweak your approach to your daily bike ride, outdoor and indoor sports apps, cycling-specific functionality and/or a dedicated cycling mode, and multiple satellite location networks to work with.
There are dozens of cycling smartwatches out there vying for your dollar. But, which ones are ordinary and which ones are actually extraordinary. We’re here to feature the real standouts with our list of the 7 Best Watches For Cyclists In 2021.
The 7 Best Cycling Smartwatches In 2021
7) Garmin Enduro Multisport GPS Watch
- [GARMIN ENDURO POWER BUNDLE] - Garmin Enduro Ultramarathon Endurance Multisport GPS Watch, PlayBetter HD Screen Protectors, 5000mAh Portable Charger & USB Charging Cable
- [BUILT FOR ULTRA ENDURANCE ATHLETES] - Prepare for even the longest races with advanced training features, including trail run VO2 max, ultrarun rest timer and the ClimbPro feature, which provides real-time information on your current and upcoming climbs, descents and flats
- [TRAIL VO2 MAX + HEAT/ALTITUDE ACCLIMATION] - Prepare yourself for any environment. See how your body is holding up in different environments with heat and altitude acclimation
- [GARMIN COACH + RECOVERY ADVISOR] - Overtraining can be as bad as undertraining so stay on top of your recovery with the advanced Enduro metrics! After each workout, the built-in recovery advisor will let you know how long to rest before another big effort
- [ULTIMATE ENDURO ACCESSORIES BUNDLE] - Keep your Enduro looking brand new with our crystal clear HD Screen Protectors while the PlayBetter Portable Charger ensures your electronics will always be with a charge!
For ultra-endurance cyclists, there aren’t many smartwatch options tailored to your everyday life quite like the Garmin Enduro Multisport GPS Watch. It features a longer battery life that is aided as you go by a well-placed solar panel. It also offers plenty of intriguing features in both GPS and smartwatch mode including compatibility with the Garmin Connect app, training load monitoring, onboard music storage, and animated workouts.
4 Key Features
- Solar-powered paneling aids battery life on the go.
- Includes topographic maps for all-terrain cycling.
- 80+ hours of battery life in GPS mode.
- Strong VO2 max tracking capabilities.
- This watch is built to last and built for cyclists who last.
- The included health sensors are tailored for high-stress cycling situations.
- We love the addition of a solar panel and how it boosts the overall battery efficiency.
- It’s pretty stripped down for a smartwatch at such an inflated price point.
- This watch lacks useful topographic maps for off-trail riding.
6) Sigma Sport ID.TRI Set Triathlon Watch
- FITNESS WATCH FOR TRAINING & COMPETITION: Sigma iD.TRI is the ultimate fitness watch for competitors who are training for triathlons, duathlons, swimming, cycling, or running. The watch has wrist heart rate, workout, and altitude tracking functions. The device is waterproof up to 5 ATM, making it perfect for outdoor use on wet or rainy days. iD.TRI is loaded with special algorithms that can be programmed to be discipline-specific, for triathletes, swimmers, cyclers, or runners.
- CUSTOM PROFILES & CRASH ALERT: iD.TRI is more than just a watch, with options to customize from four sports profiles. iD.TRI can be a life safer with its Crash Alert feature, where the device detects a fall and informed stored emergency contacts by SMS in case the user does not respond within 30 seconds. iD.TRI has a reliable GPS navigation feature to help you reach your destination, as well as access to popular hiking and biking route app from Komoot.
- EASY TO USE w/ SMART LIGHT & NOTIFICATIONS: The smart watch is designed with an easy to use menu structure and a simple 4 button operation, that is intuitive for all users. Smart light feature shows different colored lights, as well as display based instructions, and smart notifications feature to simplify the training process.
- CONNECTIVITY WITH SMART DEVICES: The watch can be connected to external sensors via Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ (included). This smart watch is compatible with .FIT file format, and works with Sigma's LINK app and DATA CENTER for detailed training assessments. Device also tracks weather trends to help you plan your fitness routine.
- STYLISH & SLEEK: iD.TRI is sleek and stylish with a high resolution, mineral glass display for easy viewing. iD.TRI makes fitness goals fun with its features such as target zone training, sleep analysis, personal best, and smart notifications. This smart watch with interchangeable silicone wrist strap can be worn comfortably on your wrist or attached to your bike using an easy SnapOn bike mount.
A cost-efficient fitness watch with plenty of trackers and pre-loaded apps worth utilizing, the Sigma Sport ID.TRI Set Triathlon Watch is a very solid budget cycling watch. You can connect to your smart devices via ANT+ or Bluetooth, keeping track of your texts and notifications on the go. And with cycling-specific features like crash alerts, you’ll never be left in a lurch whether on the track on or on the trails.
4 Key Features
- Smart light technology is a cool feature that helps you tailor your notifications.
- GPS function is tailored for biking, hiking, and many other active pursuits.
- The crash alert feature will automatically detect falls and inform your emergency contacts if you don’t respond after 30 seconds.
- The wrist heart rate monitor is accurate and provides detailed information.
5) Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch
- Receive a Daily Readiness Score that reveals if you’re ready to exercise or should focus on recovery (requires Fitbit Premium membership. Premium content recommendations are not available in all locales and may be in English only).Water resistance depth:50 meters
- Run, bike, hike and more phone-free—and see your real-time pace & distance—with built-in GPS. Then check out your workout intensity map in the Fitbit app
- Active Zone Minutes uses your resting heart rate to gauge exercise effort and gives you a buzz when you step up the intensity so you can make the most of your workouts. Fitbit Versa 3 is water resistant to 50 meters
- Better track heart rate 24/7 with PurePulse 2.0, Fitbit’s enhanced heart rate technology
- Use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa Built-in to get quick news, set bedtime reminders and alarms, control your smart home devices and more just by speaking to your watch
Don’t sleep on Fitbit fitness trackers. The Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch is a multisport gem that offers strong battery life, great GPS functionality, and plenty of bells and whistles for avid cyclists and casual rides to enjoy. It also has a sleek, attractive presentation that looks good with most outfits and in most social settings. And with constant syncing to the Fitbit app, you can always monitor your progress and tweak your approach while riding.
4 Key Features
- Up to six days of battery juice in between charges.
- 12 hours of battery life in full GPS mode.
- Expert GPS route tracking rivals the best Garmin watches.
- Reliable access to music streaming apps.
- The battery life for this smartwatch is strong in all modes.
- We love the suite of apps available in the Fitbit marketplace.
- This is one of the best-looking cycling smartwatches we’ve ever profiled.
- The side buttons are clumsy and lack responsiveness.
- A Fitbit Premium subscription is critical for getting the full Versa 3 experience.
4) SUUNTO 9 Baro GPS Sports Watch
- Suunto 9 Baro: This durable multisport GPS watch is designed for athletes who demand the best; Featuring over 80 sports modes, a barometer for accurate altitude info, and wrist heart rate monitor
- Built To Last: Made for training, racing and extreme adventures, this GPS watch delivers up to 120 hours of continuous exercise tracking; Water resistant to 100 meters; Great for running, hiking, cycling and more
- Get Connected: Connect to your favorite sports apps and services from the Suunto app to get more from your watch; Share with your sports communities and access specific training analysis and guidance
- Adventure Starts Here: Combining Scandinavian design with ultra durable materials, our watches track your sports, daily activity, and sleep to help you keep life, training and recovery in balance
- Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high-quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products. Proudly made with 100% renewable energy
With a sizeable touch screen and plenty of battery life to work with, the SUUNTO 9 Baro GPS Sports Watch is an affordable diamond in the cycling watch rough. The onboard GPS is well done, yet it’s the FusedTrack suite of tools that really sells this watch. When your watch can’t connect to a GPS signal, you still have built-in gyroscopes, accelerometers, and compasses to aid you on your cycling journey.
4 Key Features
- 120 hours of battery life in full power saver mode.
- Uses GLONASS, QZZS, Galileo, and GPS satellite networks.
- Bluetooth connectivity works well with smartphones and power meters.
- Intuitive FusedTrack system kicks in when GPS connectivity is unavailable.
- The overall battery life is really impressive.
- The touch screen is large, responsive, and easy to use.
- There are plenty of health sensors to use both with a GPS signal and without.
- There is no third-party workout syncing with this smartwatch.
- No music control functionality to speak of.
3) Apple Watch Series 6
- GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wrist
- Measure your blood oxygen with an all-new sensor and app
- Check your heart rhythm with the ECG app
- The Always-On Retina display is 2.5x brighter outdoors when your wrist is down
- S6 SiP is up to 20% faster than Series 5
Undoubtedly the most trusted and beloved smartwatch in the industry, the Apple Watch Series 6 is breaking wearable tech stereotypes left and right. It has all the smartwatch features you’ve come to expect from an iOS device and plenty of room for customization for cyclists to utilize. Do you want fitness trackers, maps, and GPS connectivity? You have it here in a gorgeous, color-rich package that is simply a joy to experience and gawk at.
4 Key Features
- Paces the field in terms of cutting-edge smartwatch features.
- The gorgeous new display is sharper and more colorful than previous Apple Watches.
- Plenty of third-party fitness apps for you to choose from.
- A plethora of health sensors works both on your wrist or with the aid of a chest strap.
- It’s a stunning watch that will get you plenty of compliments on the go.
- You can tailor this smartwatch to your heart’s content with plenty of third-party apps.
- The improved heart rate monitor is well worth the price of admission.
- If you don’t have other iOS devices, you’ll be limited in overall functionality.
- Before customization, it’s pretty much an ordinary fitness tracking watch.
2) Garmin Forerunner 945
- LTE connectivity (must have an active subscription plan and connectivity to a Category M1 LTE network) enables phone-free safety and tracking features, including LiveTrack and Assistance Plus, a feature that connects you to the Garmin IERCC, a professional 24/7 emergency monitoring and response center (Assistance Plus is not available in all markets where Category M1 LTE network connectivity is available), plus you can receive messages from fans during your race
- o Battery life: up to 2 weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode, 12 hours in GPS mode with music and 7 hours in GPS mode with music and LTE LiveTrack
- Bring music for every mile by downloading from music services (may require premium subscription with a third-party music provider) such as Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify and more to easily store and play up to 1,000 songs from your wrist when paired with compatible headphones
- Train smarter with performance measurements adjusted for heat and altitude, track recovery time, predict your race finish time, monitor heart rate (this is not a medical device) underwater and much more
- Leave your cash and cards at home; Garmin Pay contactless payments (with a supported country, payment network and issuing bank information) let you pay for purchases on the go
The first of two Garmin watches to finish out our cycling smartwatch countdown, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is a natural evolution from the Garmin 5 Fenix Plus. Rather than utilizing plastic for its bezel, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is durably reinforced with solid metal. And with a wealth of cool features such as stable WiFi connectivity, Garmin Connect capabilities, and cycling-specific goodies, the Forerunner 945 is one heck of a cycling assistant.
4 Key Features
- Includes new ClimbPro feature along with altitude and heat acclimation services.
- WiFi and ANT+ connectivity work seamlessly with multiple types of external sensors including power meter tech.
- Bright, full-color maps are a joy to use wherever you may go.
- 36 hours of battery life in ultra track mode.
- This watch’s reinforced structure will hold up nicely on your bumpiest bicycle rides.
- The map suite is intuitive and a cinch to use.
- Battery life is very strong regardless of which mode you’re using.
- The tech is somewhat lacking compared to the newest Garmin Fenix model.
- The overall GPS accuracy leaves something to be desired.
1) Garmin Fenix 6 Pro GPS Cycling Watch
The pinnacle of cycling smartwatches, the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro GPS Watch does it all and does it all well. Prior watches in the Garmin Fenix series have thrilled cyclists for years now, and the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro takes things to a whole new level. We love the improved screen resolution and color palette, the precise Elevate optical heart rate sensor, and the litany of added features including a three-axis electronic compass. In the world of cycling watches, it’s the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and then it’s everyone else.
4 Key Features
- Larger, brighter screen than the Garmin Fenix 5 Smartwatch.
- Accesses GLONASS, Galileo, and GPS satellite networks.
- Garmin’s Elevate optical HR sensor includes a Pulse Oximetry function.
- Facilitates WiFi, Bluetooth, and ANT+ connections.
- This is the complete fitness tracking package for cyclists and other athletes as well.
- The new heart rate monitor and blood oxygen sensors are exceedingly accurate.
- The attractive overall presentation of this smartwatch rivals the Apple Watch.
- It’s quite expensive.
- The inclusion of actual mobile data would have been a huge plus.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cycling Watches
Why are GPS mode and fitness tracking essential for the best cycling watches?
GPS tracking is an absolute game-changer in the world of cycling timepieces. With the right built-in GPS around your wrist, you’re always connected to the best fitness tracking technology in the industry today. In addition, GPS watches keep you on the map even when you’re cycling deep in the Great Outdoors.
And with a top-tier fitness tracker strapped on your wrist, you are privy to all the features that cyclists are looking for such as sleep tracking and sleep monitoring, sport-specific features for mountain biking and road traveling, third-party apps, huge battery life hours in GPS mode, offline music storage, stress tracking, Bluetooth connectivity, optical heart rate sensor technology, Garmin Pay included in the best Garmin watch offerings, and stable WiFi connectivity.
What kind of battery life is good for a cycling watch?
The difference between the claimed battery life for smart-watches and the actual battery life is often significant. And when you’re using the cycling watch to connect with a smartphone GPS or you’re utilizing the built-in GPS, you will drain your battery life much faster than if you’re using it as a straightforward digital watch. Look for about 12-18 hours of battery juice from the best cycling watch options in GPS mode, and anywhere from five to seven days of battery life in saver mode.
If you’re a true cyclist, it pays to put the ordinary sports watches away in favor of the best in cycling computer tech. Whether you’re cycling outdoors or training on an indoor track, the right smartwatch bike computer will help you better your times and increase your overall fitness on the pedals. The seven fitness trackers and smart devices above put other watches for cyclists out to pasture. Grab one of these cycling smartwatches as soon as you can and get rolling towards a more complete fitness experience.