Purchase a cycle-computer: the functions whose you can’t do without

Purchase a cycle-computer: the functions whose you can’t do without

A modern cycle-computer is able to provide interesting data on your bicycle performance and not only, so it is suitable for both who does cycling at competitive level and for a mere amateur. It can also be a valuable helper for cyclists.

Here are the main features of a modern cycle-computer:

  • Calculation of distance and speed: this is the easiest function (the same as the normal speedometer for bikes).
  • Map Navigation with GPS: Probably the most interesting feature for a cyclotourist because it allows you to track GPS tracks like on a car navigator. With a quick look you can check whether you are following the right course or not.
    These GPS tracks can be downloaded from the internet for free or created autonomously through software like Google earth.
    Alternatively, you can also record live the path you are doing and download it later on your computer to share it with others.
  • Sharing and searching for routes: Cycle-computers manufacturers also give you the opportunity to share your paths within an online community, allowing you to confront people who have been pedaling on the same track.
  • Heart Rate Detection: When connected to a chest-band, equipped with a sensor, cycle-computer are able to detect heart rate. This way you can keep your heart rate under control while you pedal, a function useful for agonistic athletes but also for those suffering from heart disease.
    In fact, it is possible to establish a certain heart rate threshold beyond which the cycle-computer warns that it is necessary to slow down.
  • Power Detection: cycle-computers perform measurements that accurately estimate the strength expressed in watts by the cyclist.
  • Detection of pedaling frequency: to make less effort on bike, you need to increase your pedaling frequency by using shorter ratios. Determining the pedaling rate is therefore important to find the correct one and keep it.

Some of the latest generation cycle-computers have a colorful LCD screen, but outdoors, under the sun can become difficult to read. It is better to prefer a non touch-screen and gray screen computer that is much more visible.

An alternative to buying a cycle-computer is the smartphone. Nowadays, there are numerous apps that give more or less the same features: Google My Tracks, Runtastic, Strava and many more. If your smartphone supports them there can also be connected the power detection devices, heart rate etc…