Looking for the best fitness tracker for cycling? There are many great smartwatches that can help you in cycling, but which one is PERFECT for you, we have made a detailed list of some of the top and best fitness trackers, that you can choose from.
Here are the some of the 10 Best Fitness Tracker For Biking:
- Garmin Fenix 6X Pro
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Fitbit Versa 2
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Polar M430
- Fitbit Inspire HR
- Garmin Instinct
- Garmin vívoactive 3
- Fossil Gen 5
- Garmin Forerunner 235
Biking, also known as cycling, has evolved from being just a mode of transportation. An activity that can be enjoyed by people across all age groups, the numerous health benefits offered by biking makes it a great option for physical exercise too.
Biking has many health benefits as physical exercise. Improved hand-eye coordination, strengthened posture, reduced levels of stress, improved cardiovascular fitness and joint mobility are just a few health benefits you stand to gain by biking regularly.
Studies by the University of Glasgow showed commuters who bike to work regularly were at a lower risk of development and death due to all diseases. Cancer and cardiovascular disease were the two diseases with the most lowered risk.
Biking also requires very little equipment. A bike, helmet, and a water bottle is all you need to hit the road. With the boom in wearable technology, fitness and biking enthusiasts have also turned to fitness trackers and smartwatches for an in-depth analysis of their bike rides.
The distance covered, monitoring of vitals like heart rate and pulse rates, and elevation changes are amongst the few features that come in handy during a bike ride
Fitbit and Garmin are the industry leaders in exclusive fitness trackers, but smartwatches from companies like Apple offer tough competition in the market, with multiple features and advanced smartphone and GPS connectivity.
Traditional watchmakers like Fossil and Skagen offer an element of style and elegance to this segment of smart wearables. The wide range of products can often confuse you while looking for a new watch for cyclists. This article will list a range of products with an in-depth look at the features of each device.
This will help you make an informed decision about the best fitness tracker for cycling available in the current market.
10 Best Fitness Tracker for Biking
Fitness trackers are devices that help track vital parameters like heart rate, pulse, and so on. They also measure the daily step count and distance covered.
Most fitness trackers are equipped with Bluetooth which allows them to be wirelessly connected to an app, which can be downloaded on your smartphone.
The app summarizes all the data it receives from the watch and stores it for use at a later point of time. Most apps also analyze this data received and then help the user set fitness goals for the future such as calorie and water consumption, daily exercise time, and step count goals.
The apps also have communities that help you connect with users across the globe, providing you with various fitness and lifestyle that will help the user to improve their physical well being. We will now review ten of the most popular fitness trackers and smartwatches and help you find the best fitness trackers for cyclists.
The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro is a sixth-generation product belonging to the Fenix series of Garmin smartwatches, designed for multisport use.
The Memory-in-Pixel (MIP) display allows for comfortable viewing even in bright sunlight. The 1.4” inch display is encased in a 51mm and allows for clear reading of maps, which has the most details.
The diamond-like carbon adds a layer of protection to scratches and wear. The overall build quality feels durable and rugged, which makes it a perfect smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts.
- Garmin provides great technology on the Fenix 6X Pro, such as ANT+, NFC, and Bluetooth, which offers good connectivity to devices and wireless payment features using Garmin Pay.
- The Fenix 6X Pro has outstanding health features with advanced training metrics. The pace feature acts as a running coach while the PulseOx2 offers acclimatization data by sensing oxygen absorption levels. The heart rate sensor works well too but can be inaccurate during high-intensity activity
- The Fenix 6X Pro has inbuilt pre-loaded maps, which makes for clear viewing and great navigation assistance with an advanced GPS system
- The 32 GB onboard memory allows users to store multiple apps
The Fenix 6X Pro has an outstanding battery life for a smartwatch. 14 days of battery life, 10 hours with GPS, and 48 days with the Battery Saver mode, according to Garmin, is a stellar battery life to even boast about.
The watch also has a custom battery mode to suit your needs, which adds flexibility according to your usage
The Fenix 6X Pro is provided with a one year warranty. Customer satisfaction is very high, with many adventure junkies and explorers in favor of the watch thanks to its multiple features, sensors, and extremely reliable battery life.
The price point however makes it expensive for most customers unless the many features of the watch cater to your needs.
- Long-lasting battery, even with features like GPS and Bluetooth on
- Advanced health monitoring tracking features like PulseOx2 and PacePro which provides advanced training metrics
- A slim, durable, and rugged design which is resistant to wear and tear
- Easy to read and large display allows reading of maps
- Great connectivity to external devices, ANT+ and NFC provided
- The very high price point
- The heart sensor is a bit inaccurate during high-intensity exercise
- The design is very manly
The Fitbit Charge 4 is a fourth-generation fitness tracker from Fitbit. We will discuss its features to see if it is an ideal fitness tracker.
The Fitbit Charge 4 has a basic grayscale display, measuring one inch diagonally. The display is uncluttered and offers multiple watch faces according to your preference.
However, the display is hard to read in bright areas like under the sun. The device is sleek and light, which makes it convenient for biking and intense workouts, along with the silicone straps.
- Built-in GPS allows users to go on biking trips without the need for their phones. The Dynamic GPS feature ensures the GPS turns on only when the phone is not around
- The Charge 4 is water-resistant up to 164 feet, allowing users to go for swims with the tracker
- The Fitbit app is a great companion app with a host of features that allow for easy sync and data transfer from the device
- The Charge 4 is equipped with Active Zone Minutes, which measures the intensity of work put in by the user according to their age group
- Charge 4 can also effectively track your sleep and provides you with insights about the quality of your sleep. It also has Smart Wake enabled, which wakes you up during light sleep using machine learning algorithms
- It also has Fitbit Pay, which allows you to pay without any contact
The battery lasts a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 7 days, depending on the usage of the device. The battery life is excellent for a fitness tracker, with multiple features including GPS and heart rate monitoring.
However, the intense battery saving can prove to be sluggish while having to wake up the display. The Fitbit Charge 4 comes with a one year guarantee and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
The product is amongst the best fitness trackers available in the market and is quite affordable considering its plethora of features and the quality of its health and fitness monitoring.
- Sleek and thin design, lightweight and silicone straps for sweaty workouts
- Excellent battery life
- Waterproof up to 164 feet
- Great companion app from Fitbit, with multiple features and Fitbit Premium to help plan for fitness goals
- Excellent sleep tracking facilities, with Smart Wake and sleep analysis
- Built-in GPS with dynamic mode for battery saving
- The display is basic, with sluggish response to waking up when touched
- The display is not bright enough, troublesome to read in bright sunlight
- Interface is basic
- No storage onboard, music cannot be stored on the device
The Fitbit Versa 2 is a 2nd generation model of the Versa series from Fitbit. We will now discuss the various aspects of Versa 2 to help us understand if it is the best fitness tracker for biking.
The Versa 2 comes with a square display that has a vivid AMOLED color display. Text is legible and the screen can be viewed in sunlight with ease.
The display has an Always-On feature too that can be activated using the app.
However, the large bezel accompanying the square display makes the design look a little stale.
The straps can be changed, although it is a major inconvenience considering the process. The strap is comfortable though and the watch is a comfortable one to wear.
- The upgraded processor offers smoother interface performance, and supports the display well, but isn’t as smooth as other models in the market
- The Versa 2 is equipped with a microphone, that enables the integrated Alexa to be used for calls and notifications
- The heart, step, and distance measurement sensors are quite accurate. Accompanied by the Fitbit app, it allows for a great overall understanding of physical fitness as well as sleep tracking
- 2.5 GB onboard storage for storing music on the device
The battery of Versa 2 lasts for a week considering regular usage and notifications enabled.
However, the addition of the Always-On feature drops it to two days, which is very poor for a fitness tracker with limited smartwatch capability.
The Versa 2 is provided with a one year warranty, like most Fitbit products. This device has favorable reviews for its nominal price point but lacks the features to make it more competitive in the market.
It struggles to properly fit the profile of either a smartwatch or a fitness tracker.
- A great companion app for vital parameter and sleep tracking, with a great interface
- Straps and casing make for a comfortable wearing experience
- Android and iOS connectivity
- Good battery life provided Always On is disabled
- AMOLED and legible color display, easy to read in the sunlight
- Onboard storage for music and apps
- Lacks in-built GPS, requires a phone to be carried for position tracking
- Always On feature drains the battery very quickly
- The proprietary charger that is not backward compatible
The Apple Watch Series 5 is a smartwatch with excellent fitness tracking options. It has always been a pioneer when it comes to features, which we will discuss below.
The Apple Watch Series 5 has a great display. The large display (759 sq mm) and high resolution (448×368 pixels) make reading detailed reports a comfortable experience.
The addition of the Always-On feature makes it all the more appealing. However, the Always On mode does not work with all apps and needs some getting used to, while also draining the battery life.
The titanium casing helps retain the premium feel of the device while making it lighter to.
- Advanced health monitoring features, including ECG monitoring, which is very accurate. It also has fall detection which can be a really good feature for those planning solo biking trips.
- The new Noise app tracks decibel levels and warns you when you are risk of hearing damage
- The titanium models in this series weigh lighter than its stainless steel predecessors, which make it suitable for biking without additional strain on your wrist.
- The performance is smooth with the upgraded watchOS 6 and S5 processor.
- Upgraded Bluetooth connectivity for wider range and wireless connection, which works well if you want to listen to music
- Upgraded hardware includes a compass and altimeter that provides heading details and improved information of altitude and elevation.
The battery life on the Apple is a let down on an otherwise exceptional smartwatch.
The battery lasts only 18 hours on a single charge with moderate use, which means you will have to charge your watch every day around bed-time.
The Always On feature has an impact too on the battery, which can be a let down for those hoping for a longer battery life which would enable to wear the watch in their sleep too
The Apple Watch comes with a one-year hardware coverage and 90 days complimentary service under their limited warranty scheme.
If you are looking for an extended warranty, AppleCare+ packages offer up to two incidents of accidental damage every 2 years.
The Apple Watch Series 5 is a very well-received product, with many acknowledging it as the best smartwatch in the market.
- Premium feel and look sleek and modern design
- Advanced health tracking and monitoring features, with accurate sensors
- Altimeter and compass give more accurate data to tracking and fitness apps
- Large and clear display with Always On feature
- Noise app to monitor decibel levels
- Partnership with Nike for fitness activities includes a special band and Nike Run app
- Poor battery life
- Does not connect to Android OS
- Lack of an inbuilt sleep tracking app
- Pricing is on the higher side
The Polar M340 is described as a running GPS watch offering its users an advanced sports watch with added features.
The monochromatic display is 1.3 inches across, with a fairly low resolution. The design of the watch is very dated and unattractive.
The elastomer strap does not allow for the watch to be laid on its back and proves troublesome during charging. It lacks a sleek design but is very comfortable to wear.
- The M430 is equipped with a heart rate sensor and GPS which are very accurate, which makes biking an activity that it tracks very well.
- It is swim-proof up to a 100ft but loses some heart rate accuracy while doing so.
- The Polar Flow app is iOS and Android compatible, and offers a multitude of features and options for the user, as well as in-depth fitness and sleep analysis.
- Rugged construction, with the straps and casing showing no signs of wear and tear despite regular use
The battery is small at 280 mAh and relatively quite weak. However, the lack of features and connectivity of the watch ensures the battery sustains the M430 for at least a week, with moderate exercise and activity. It however drops if the heart rate sensor is used frequently
The warranty on the Polar M430 is two years provided by the manufacturer. Most users prefer the M430 if they prefer a flashy and large fitness tracker with excellent comfort, good fitness, and position tracking and a good companion app.
If smartwatch features are what you are looking for, this is not the model for you. We also made a detailed comparison between Polar M430 vs Garmin 235 about this product, you can read that as well.
- Inbuilt GPS, great fitness tracking and position monitoring
- Durable build quality, with comfortable straps and casing
- Swim resistant up to 100ft
- A polar Flow companion app is iOS and Android compatible, capable companion app
- Battery life is decent
- Dated, bulky, and unappealing design
- Lacks many features compared to competitor products
- Troublesome charging because of short cable and strap rigidity
- Poor notification system
The Fitbit Inspire HR is the heart rate integrated version of the entry-level Inspire from Fitbit. Let’s take a look at its features and see if it can compete for the title of the best fitness tracker for cycling.
The Inspire HR is extremely thin and lightweight at just 20g. The display a grayscale, 128×72 touchscreen display. This width is compromised by the large bezel though.
The display isn’t easily legible in sunlight and offers subpar screen clarity, but is sufficient nonetheless.
- The Fitbit Inspire HR is equipped with a heart rate sensor that tracks data quite accurately
- Swimproof allows for waterproof applications
- A strong companion app from Fitbit gives the Inspire HR access to the great sleep tracking and fitness aspects like other Fitbit models. The sensors provide the app with sufficient data for this
The battery lasts for 5 days, which is great considering the heart rate monitoring can’t be turned off. The charger is a bit slow though and takes around two hours to charge from zero to full. The battery life is one of the best aspects of the product nonetheless.
The warranty, like other Fitbit products, is for one year. Customers looking for a budget tracker with good fitness tracking and a great companion app, that is also lightweight and sleek, will definitely love the Inspire HR.
If features are what you’re looking for, this is not the product for you.
- Lightweight, thin and sleek design
- Good battery life
- Heart rate sensor with accurate data measurement
- Strong Fitbit companion app
- Poor display and thick bezel
- Unresponsive touchscreen and basic features
- Lack of advanced tracking sensors
The Garmin Instinct is an adventure watch from Garmin. Let us discuss a few features of this watch before we make this decision.
The 45mm fiber-reinforced casing houses a 128×128 monochromatic display that has a rugged and tough feel to it.
The display helps preserve battery life for important functions while making sure it provides the user with the information they want.
A raised bezel prevents damage to the display, while the QuickFit straps are easily replaceable and comfortable to wear over long periods of time. The device still weighs only 52g, which barely strains the wrist.
- The Instinct has a five-button layout that is intuitive and easy to get used to, providing great ease of access to the customizable user interface options
- The Instinct has health and wellness features like sleep tracking, calories burnt, etc., which makes it more than a fitness watch
- The heart rate tracker and step count sensors are accurate and also has sensors to provide data on altitude and elevation changes
- Being an adventure watch means it has the integration of GPS, GLONASS and Galileo support, giving it a great advantage in positioning and tracking
- The watch has modes for physical activities like running and biking, making it easy to monitor the important parameters according to your activity
- The phone lacks onboard maps but gives the users access to navigation using the basic navigational maps with a multitude of navigational aids
The Garmin Instinct provides great battery support, with up to 14 days of battery life under regular use.
Intense use of the features like navigation and heart rate sensors ensure the battery last the entire day without any issues, which makes it a great advantage for adventure watches like the Instinct
The warranty offered by Garmin is for one year from the date of purchase. Reviews are favorable for the watch when it comes to adventure activities like biking and hikes, with its multiple features for each activity and informative display.
If you are looking for smart features and app integration, this model will be a big disappointment for those uses.
- Rugged, lightweight construction and durable build, yet comfortable to wear straps
- Informative display and five-button layout for intuitive user interface
- Long-lasting battery with given features
- Great positioning tracking; GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo compatible
- Accurate tracking for heart rate and elevation changes
- Lacks smart features unlike other smartwatches like apps and touch displays
- The monochromatic display feels a bit dated
- No third party apps accessible through this watch
- Functional design reduces the visual appeal of the watch
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is the 3rd generation of the vivoactive smartwatch series by Garmin.
The vivosmart 3 weighs 42g and has a stainless steel construction that gives it a premium feel. The straps feel comfortable and flexible, allowing users to be comfortable.
The circular and sleek construction also makes it look like a premium watch. The display is a color transflective screen designed to improve legibility under bright sunlight.
A single button on the side provides access to certain menus, while also acting as a back button. The Always-On feature is a bonus, with the display dimming in this mode
- A built-in GPS and heart rate sensor is provided in the vivoactive 3, which makes it a great watch for fitness tracking applications, which works accurately. The heart rate sensor also allows the device to measure your VO2 max score, which helps determine your fitness age
- Equipped with Garmin Pay, the vivoactive 3 allows for online contactless payments
- Advanced workout tracking features which provide routines across various activities like biking, hiking, and running
The battery life of the vivoactive 3 lasts for around 7 days, which is great considering its color display and GPS enabled features, which provides the device with the functionality while ensuring the user doesn’t have to fear running out of charge.
The device is provided with a 1-year warranty from the purchase date. Users believe in the potential of the fitness tracking capacity of the watch, considering the focal features.
Although lacking in advanced features like some smartwatches, the Garmin vivoactive 3 is a great buy for fitness enthusiasts looking for a bit of smart tech too.
- The long-lasting battery and easy to charge
- A plethora of fitness tracking features and workouts, like heart rate sensor and GPS
- Comfortable, lightweight, and stylish design, comfortable straps make for a pleasant user experience
- Garmin Pay enabled for contactless payment
- Poor sleep tracking features
- Lack of onboard memory, no song storage therefore
- Notifications and alerts need major updates to solve issues across iOS and Android platforms
The Fossil Gen 5 is a fifth-generation smartwatch by Fossil, running the Wear OS software by Google.
The elegant design, with emphasis on the watchmaking aspects, makes this stand out in the market. Here are a few features of this product
With a 1.28 inch AMOLED display and a pixel density of 328 PPI, the Gen 5 offers a crisp and sharp display that is encased in a 44mm case that looks sleek and elegant.
The three buttons on the side of the display are programmable, with a rotatable crown in the middle.
- Classy design that makes for elegant viewing while being a versatile smartwatch
- 1GB RAM and 8GB onboard storage make for smooth operation while operating the Google Wear OS
- Speaker module which enables interaction with Google Assistant
- Improved health features such as GPS and heart rate sensor for accurate fitness tracking
- Multiple battery modes for user requirement
- Easy to change straps
- NFC enabled for Google Pay
The battery has a standard performance, with normal usage allowing the watch to last for 18-20 hours.
It is accompanied by 3 battery modes that help you extend battery life according to your needs. The single-day battery life can be a hindrance though if you want to track your sleep too.
The Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch is provided with a two-year warranty. It has a good reputation for delivering style and elegance along with smartwatch capabilities that impress the user.
However, for biking, the nearly 100g weight makes it an uncomfortable experience over extended durations of use, despite the premium quality of materials.
- Connectivity to both Android and iOS, with Google Wear OS
- Speaker for Google Assistant command readouts
- Battery management options
- Sleek and stylish design, with replaceable straps for different usage
- NFC connectivity for Google Pay
- Improved health tracking features
- Low battery life
- Watch weighs quite a bit, can be tiresome over extended periods of usage
- Google Wear OS lacks features compared to other watch software
- Pricing is a bit expensive
The Garmin Forerunner 225 is a running watch designed by Garmin. The Forerunner looks beautiful thanks to its red and black color scheme, along with the oversized dial. The display is vivid and legible in sunlight.
The dullness experienced in the dark can be countered with the backlight. The design is not very rugged and falls can result in scratches and damage
- The Forerunner 225 is provided with an optical heart rate sensor that detects the heart rate quickly. It combines nicely with color-coded heart rate zones during workouts for easy understanding
- The GPS is quick to lock in and accurately points out the routes of runs/biking trips undertaken
- AutoPause and AutoLap detect pauses at signals and laps completed, providing the user with a comprehensive understanding of their workout
- The Garmin app allows you to set personalized fitness goals according to your requirement
GPS enabled usage will lead to at last 10 hours of battery life on the Forerunner 225. If activity tracking is all you need, Garmin claims a battery duration of upto 4 weeks, which is plenty.
Garmin provides Forerunner 225 with a year warranty from the date of purchase. Users find the watch to be an impressive watch with many useful features for physical activities, running is the primary benefactor.
- Optical heart rate sensor and integrated user-friendly heart zone monitor
- Accurate and responsive GPS
- Personalized fitness goals using the Garmin app
- iOS and Android connectivity
- Good battery life
- Construction is not very durable
- Sleep information is limited
- Heart rate is monitored only during workouts
- Not the best companion app provided by Garmin
Things to keep in mind before buying a Fitness Tracker for Cycling
There are a lot of factors before considering a fitness tracker, and if you don’t like any of the products that we recommend then you can buy by your own research, we will help you things that you need to keep in mind before buying a tracker.
The fitness tracker must have good positional tracking, which means it must be GPS integrated.
Activity tracking and monitoring modes must be provided for biking specifically to allow for relevant information to be displayed during the bike ride.
Heart rate monitoring is also vital as it helps the user ensure they are not overstraining themselves during long rides. Water-resistance is an added benefit in the eventuality of bad weather
- Battery Backup
The battery life must be good enough to last at least 7-12 hours with GPS and heart rate tracking on to ensure that the user can monitor all parameters throughout the ride without having to worry about the battery drain completely.
Since bike rides happen at a considerable speed from other physical activities, the trackers must be durable and comfortable to ensure a long period of usage without wear and tear, while ensuring scratch and damage resistance in the eventuality of an accident or fall
Depending on the budget of the consumer, the fitness tracker must provide great physical fitness tracking primarily.
The smartwatch features are an added bonus but may be available to you at a higher cost if you have the budget for it.
- Looks and Display
The display must be clearly visible in bright sunlight while providing legible and easy to understand information during biking.
A clear display will ensure a quick understanding by just a glance of the watch, which will help the user maintain their balance and keep their eyes on the road during the bike ride.
- Compatibility with Android and iOS
Most users would not be willing to change their smartphones for their fitness trackers. Thus, the fitness trackers must be compatible with both the iOS and Android platforms through their respective companion apps
What is the best fitbit for biking?
From our article, the best fitness tracker for biking from Fitbit would be the Fitbit Charge 4. It has a light and sleek design which barely exerts any strain on the wrist, aided by the ergonomic straps. It is also waterproof and provided with Dynamic GPS. Another great feature is the long-lasting battery life which makes it ideal for long biking trips.
How to maximize the battery backup of a fitness tracker?
Fitness trackers come with battery saving options to ensure the battery lasts for longer durations. This includes quicker display shutoffs, lower frequency of vital parameter sensing, and Dynamic GPS (in Fitbits) to ensure the GPS is switched off when the device is in the mobile range. Other options include reduced display brightness and deactivating the Always-On display feature.
Which is better for tracking, the GPS of a smartphone or a fitness tracker?
Fitness trackers with GPS trackers are better for tracking. This is because smartphones come with GPS facilities, but sacrifice on the overall quality of the sensing system to make way for other systems in a smartphone. The GPS in trackers are there for a specific reason, with it being a key selling point, and hence they are more developed and focused on to ensure accurate readings and positioning.
Our reasons for choosing the Charge 4 as the best fitness tracker for biking are listed below.
- Great battery life, makes it ideal for biking trips
- The sleek and lightweight design makes it a comfortable fit on the wrist, especially during bike trips. Added to this is the comfortable straps that latch the module onto the wrist well. A simple yet informative display also ensures clarity and legibility of the information displayed
- Great fitness parameter sensing such as heart rate monitoring, combined with the informative and well designed Fitbit app ensure a comprehensive understanding of the bike ride
- Dynamic GPS ensures accurate GPS tracking in the absence of a phone. In the presence of a phone, the GPS sensor is shut on the Charge 4, aiding further battery conservation
We come to the end of our article, crowning the Fitbit Charge 4 as the best fitness tracker for biking.