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Best smart watches for cycling 2024 — wearable devices for advanced tracking to help you improve on and off-bike fitness

One of the best smart watches will provide real-time data and insights. Check out some of our favourites to suit all budgets

This article contains links to retailers. Purchases made after clicking on those links may help support by earning us a commission but all of our reviews are fully independent. Find out more about buyer's guides.

A smart watche can track and monitor various health and fitness metrics, providing real-time data and insights, as well as combining the functionality of traditional watches with the capabilities of smartphones, managing notifications, navigating and even communicating. In this guide, we're rounding up the best smart watches we've reviewed, and there's some handy advice under our selections too.

From keeping track of our health and fitness goals to managing notifications, navigating, and even communicating, smart watches may help us to stay organised, informed and active, with just a glance at our wrists. The functions of smart watches are useful for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as those that want to combine convenience, connectivity and practicality with their health and fitness goals. 

There are many ways to use a smart watch with specialised features tailored to athletes and for cyclists. Smart watches are becoming smarter, and power meter connectivity coming to Apple Watches could even kill off the dedicated bike computer, some predict. 

Smart watches are useful for both recreational and performance-orientated cyclists offering many cycling specific metrics. When choosing a smart watch for cycling you may want to consider factors such as battery life, GPS accuracy, compatibility with cycling sensors such as a heart rate monitor and the simplicity of data syncing with cycling apps. 

How we review smart watches

At, our reviewers don't just test products for a single outing. Each smart watch undergoes a minimum of a month's rigorous use before our reviewers reach their final verdicts. This prolonged testing period ensures that the smart watches undergo extensive use, allowing us to accurately assess their overall quality.  

Our smart watch reviews assess various factors such as the quality of construction, durability, and comfort. We then compare them to smart watches of a similar price when evaluating their value. We believe that this provides a comprehensive evaluation and valuable insights into what the smart watches would be like to wear regularly and for their intended purpose. 

Why you can trust us 

Our reviewers are experienced cyclists, as are those of us who put together these buyer's guides, ensuring that our recommendations are based on first-hand experiences. 

All the smart watches featured here have scored highly, indicating very good or excellent quality according to our reviewers' opinions. 

While we can make a small commission if you click on a link and buy something on this page, quite a few of the recommendations here afford us no opportunity to take that commission. Our priority is recommending what's best for you, not what's best for us. 

Tme for our top recommendations. If you're looking for a bike computer instead, there's a guide for that too over here

The best smart watches

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Best money-no-object smart watch
Buy now for £625 from Ebay
Double tap is a great new feature for cyclists
The very bright screen is impressively clear
Improved Tracking works very well
Quite large on the wrist

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a high-quality smart watch from Apple that manages to improve on its already impressive predecessor. The screen is brighter and sharper, the speed has gone up and the price has gone down slightly. Although the frames are identical in design, the Ultra 2 is one of Apple's first net zero devices, so rather than using virgin titanium, it uses 95% recycled titanium instead. 

Double tap is probably the element of the new watch that you're likely to find the most useful as a cyclist. So how exactly does it work? Well, you can perform the primary action on a notification by simply pinching your thumb and forefinger together twice. If you were to get a phone call, just pinch your finger and thumb a couple of times to answer it, and then do the same again to hang up. 

As for health tracking, the heart rate tracking is very good and it can also track your VO2 rate. The watch can also track multiple sports and with the OS10 software update, there's a Bluetooth cycling sensor support, which includes power meter connectivity.

Wahoo Elemnt Rival Multisport GPS Watch

Wahoo Elemnt Rival GPS

Best multisport GPS smartwatch
Buy now for £99.99 from Wahoo Fitness
Tailored to multi-discipline sports
Highly customisable
Clear display
No navigation

Wahoo's Elemnt Rival is a great choice for triathletes with the headline feature being Touchless Transition's automatic timing of your splits which gets your split times and discipline-specific information displayed for every leg of a triathlon, without you having to press anything during the race – just at the start and finish. 

Also, in Triathlon mode the Rival's 'motion detection algorithms' twig you've changed disciplines and serve you the right pages at the right time.

The Elemnt Rival uses an optical heart rate sensor which we found to be accurate but it does work better on some people and skin types than others. 

Wahoo has kept the Elemnt Rival clear and easy to use and battery times are good for the vast majority of us - stay in watch mode and the Elemnt Rival will run for up to a fortnight, but GPS mode shortens that dramatically to around 24 hours. 

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Best smartwatch for daily use
Buy now for £329 from Very
Impressive battery life
Loads of customisation
Good looking
Clear data presentation
GPS signal takes time to be found
No wireless charging and the cable is proprietary
Navigation not as good as others

One of the goals Garmin had for the Venu 2 Plus was brining it more in line with other smart watches and as a result there's added functionality such as the ability to make calls from your watch, use your phone's voice assistant, and store and listen to music.

It doesn't have the same kind of 'do it all' functionality as something like an Apple Watch, but for active daily use it excels.

It can be used to record rides as well as 25 other activities and it also records a huge amount of health data such as stress level, sleep quality and breaths per minute. You can connect it with ANT+ accessories too. 

The battery life is one of its strongest features, with a phenomenal 10 days maximum, depending on how you use it. 

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS

Best smartwatch for Andriod users
Buy now for £199.99 from Amazon
Easy to use
Good cycling integration
Dual screen is clever
Lots of health data
Wear OS integrates nicely with android
Battery life is reasonably short
No wireless charging
LCD backlight really bright at night

A TicWatch Pro 5 was released earlier this year but the TicWatch Pro 3 is still a strong performer, packing in every fitness tracking sensor you could ask for.

It's built on the Google Wear OS platform, and it features lots of good features out of the box with the option to add apps to extend its cycling-related capabilities.

It's easy to get along with on a day-to-day basis and if you're using an android phone then the communication between the two is pretty seamless in nearly all cases.

It has a reasonably short battery life which has been improved on the TicWatch Pro 5 but offers 45 days of charge if you just use the LCD screen and around 72 hours of normal use. 

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

Best smartwatch for customisation
Buy now for £469.99 from Sigma Sports
Huge degree of customisation possible
User-friendly health data
Excellent multi-band GPS
Improved heart rate sensor
Proprietary charging cable

We are starting off with the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar smart watch which featured on the recommends for its multi-sport capabilities and added bonus of solar charging. 

You can use it for navigation and it also supports ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors, enabling you to connect power meters and heart rate sensors.

The battery life depends on the mode you choose and we found that the claimed 20 hours battery life was accurate, and there's a further 22 hours with solar charging assuming three hours per day exposure in 50,000 lux conditions, which is a not-so-sunny overcast day.

If you're looking for something less expensive, the non-solar model of the Forerunner 955 is £80 less than the RRP, priced at £439.99. 

The best of the rest: more of our top smart watch recommendations

Suunto Race

Suunto Race

Buy now for £388.95 from Amazon
Excellent multi-band GPS
Good looks
Quick charging and impressive battery life
Well priced
Poor heart rate sensor
Sensor connection process

The Suunto Race is a good multi-sport watch that collects a huge amount of data that you can customise to your own individual needs. The Suunto app is then very good for analysing your health and training data. 

The new AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen looks great and it easy to read, particularly for reading maps which you can download through the Suunto app. 

Tester Ben said, "I think the watch's 49mm diameter offers a nice balance between a decent size screen to display your desired data. I think it looks good enough to wear in any situation, not just for when you're cycling or training" 

Garmin Instinct 2S Solar

Garmin Instinct 2S Solar

Buy now for £299 from Currys
Impressive battery life thanks to solar charging
Plenty of customisation
Power meter support
Only breadcrumb trail for following maps
Cable is proprietary
Some might find it's too bulky for sleep tracking

Garmin's Instinct 2S Solar is a tough and highly customisable solar-charging sports watch with impressive battery making it suited to multi-day adventuring away from home. It comes in a vast array of colours too. 

It has a tough and rugged design for practicality ideal for if you are an adventurous sort who loves being outdoors while also incorporating a whole host of features that cover day to day health and wellbeing monitoring.

The Instinct 2 series supports Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate broadcasting and can also be paired with power meters. 

Best smart watches: how to choose and what you need to know

Do smart watches track cycling?

All smart watches will track pretty much any sport you do with higher-end models having more cycling specific features allowing you to track your heart rate, calories burned, speed and distance. 

Some high-end smart watches even pair with Bluetooth sensors and ANT+ allowing you to connect to power meters and external heart rate monitors and many now support GPS tracking. 

When choosing a smart watch for cycling you may want to consider factors such as battery life, GPS accuracy, compatibility with cycling sensors such as a heart rate monitors and the simplicity of data syncing with cycling apps such as Strava. 

Is a smart watch better than a cycling computer?

Bike computers are purpose-built devices, but there is now a wide range of smart watches offering cycling specific features which are capable of recording and uploading rides, and some high-end ones can even connect to power meters and heart rate sensors via Bluetooth and ANT+.

Not only do some smart watches provide all of the data you'd get from a dedicated GPS bike computer, they are also capable of tracking your health and wellbeing off the bike too.

Do I need a smart watch for cycling?

If you want to keep a closer eye on your cycling then many smart watches can facilitate this. They are a convenient way to access data and navigation features by tracking things like your heart rate, calories burnt and often speed and distance. 

As well as offering insights into your rides to help with your training, they are useful off the bike too as they can also track things like sleep, heart rate variability and recovery. 

Why are smart watches good for cycling?

While smartwatches aren't a necessity for cycling, they offer a combination of features that can enhance your cycling experience, help you track your progress, and provide insights into your performance. 

Smartwatches are a convenient way to access more cycling data as it's worn on your wrist and they can act as a good motivator as you can share your stats with others on apps such as Strava. 

Some smartwatches also have safety features like crash detection and emergency SOS alerts which can be crucial for cycling safety. 

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…