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BUYER'S GUIDE

10 of the best cheap cycle computers — get your ride data

Find out how fast you're going, how far you've ridden and much more

If you want to know how fast you're going and how far you've been, you need a cycle computer, a sm​all electronic widget that sits on your handlebars and measures your progress. You can get a surprising amount of performance for your money from one of the best cheap cycling computers.

How much you pay for a bike computer depends on the functions you want. You'll pay more for a wireless sensor than for one connected to the head unit by wires, for example, and still more if you want functions like a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor of ability to pair with a smartphone.

  • With a couple of exceptions we're defining a cheap cycle computer here as costing less than £50

  • The very cheapest cycle computers tell you speed, distance and time, but functions expand rapidly when you spend a bit more

  • You can now get a GPS-enabled cycle computer for just £25

  • Want heart rate and other measurements? You can get them too, though you might have to add extra sensors

10 of the best cheap cycle computers for 2020

We've found the best deals on cheap cycle computers in a range of categories, from brands with good reputations for reliability and usability. Before you wade in, though, you might want to read our general guide to cycle computers.

Basic computers

You can get basic bike computers from manufacturers you've never heard of for as little as £3 from Amazon, but on the rare occasions they have reviews, they're not exactly rapturous. Our selections are a little more conservative.

B'Twin/Van Rysel 100 — £7.99

B'Twin 100 computer.jpg

French sport superstore chain Decathlon is always worth a look for a bargain, You only get five functions in this minimal unit — speed, average speed, trip distance, total distance and clock — but for just eight quid what more do you want or really need from a bike computer?

CatEye Velo 5 — £12.00

CatEye Velo 5

Just over a tenner gets you this nifty little five-function unit from CatEye. It's supposed to be £14.99, but CRC has it at the price above, and CatEye's reputation for reliability makes it a good deal at that price.

It's a wired unit and tells you speed, maximum speed, trip distance. odometer and time. It comes with a universal mount but the cable is only long enough to reach the front wheel.

Find a CatEye dealer

CatEye Velo 9 — £21.99

cateye-velo-9-computer-white_2

If you want a few more functions and a bigger screen with more data, another few quid gets you this CatEye bike computer. You get a stopwatch as well as a clock, and it'll attempt to work out how many calories you've burned. That's really only useful for comparing the amount of work you've done between rides; don't hit McDonald's hard just because it says you'd burned off the equivalent of three Big Macs.

Find a CatEye dealer

Wireless computers

B'Twin/Van Rysel 500 — £19.99

B'Twin 500

For just £20 this is one of the cheaper wireless bike computers we've found from a significant brand (though if you're really strapped, the B'Twin/Van Rysel 120 is even cheaper at £14.99). It has a big display, with a backlight, and features include average and maximum speed, trip and total distance, clock, stopwatch and speed comparison against the average so far.

Cateye Velo Wireless — £25.00

cateye-velo-wireless

We've chosen a lot of CatEye bike computers in this selection because they're widely available, reliable and easy to use. The Velo Wireless is the company's cheapest wireless computer but gets solidly positive reviews.

In effect, it's the wireless version of the Velo 9, though it lacks that unit's calorie guesstimate function.

Find a CatEye dealer

Cateye Strada Slim — £39.99

Cateye Strada Slim

If you want something a bit more posh, the skinny version of CatEye's Strada bike computer is available heavily discounted. It has a bigger screen than the old Strada, and a comes with a slimline sensor so it's less obtrusive on your bike.

As well as a full range of functions, it has a second trip distance meter, so you can, say, measure intermediate sections of a long ride.

Find a CatEye dealer

Heart rate computers

Rolson 22-function heart rate computer — £19.99

Rolson 22-function HRM.jpeg

Cheap bike computers that also tell you your heart rate are rare, but this super-cheap unit from Argos is probably worth a punt.

You get your usual computer functions, plus current and average heart rate and it even gives an estimate of how many Calories you've burned.

Ciclosport Ciclomaster CM 4.4A HR — £64.39

 CICLOSPORT CM4.4A HR

Okay, we have to admit a bit over 60 quid isn't exactly cheap, but the Ciclosport CM4.41A is the least expensive cycle computer we've found that gives you both a heart rate monitor and an altimeter.

There's a decent suite of heart rate functions too, including target zones and heart rate-based Calorie consumption.

GPS computers

Computers that can use the Global Positioning System to find your precise location, and speed without wheel sensors can now be found for under £50 if you shop around. We've saved you the trouble.

Sigma Sport Pure GPS — ~£55.00

Sigma Pure GPS

An excellent price for a modern ride-recording GPS with a barometric altimeter and a nice big clear display.

Bryton Rider 15 — £51.18

Bryton Rider 15

Despite its very modest price, this new base model from Bryton picks up signals from just about every constellation of navigation satellites up there: GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BDS and QZSS. It has a built-in barometric altimeter and works with Bluetooth LE sensors for speed, cadence and heart rate.

Explore the complete archive of reviews of cycle computers on road.cc

About road.cc Buyer's Guides

The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

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Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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