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8 Best Cycling Watch for Beginners and Professionals


If you are a cycling enthusiast and love to track your body metrics, a smartwatch is meant for you. It all started with big GPS enabled bike-mounted devices. 

Best Cycling Watch for Beginners and Professionals

Cheers to frequent advancements in technology, there are GPS enabled cycling watches having multiple functionalities like custom cycling mode supporting both indoor cycling and outdoor cycling.

While people may still be comfortable with the bike-mounted devices, multi-sport athletes choose smartwatches because of its robust features & versatility. 

Besides this, a cycling watch has scope for tracking body metrics for an overall analysis of the body during workouts.

If you are keen to access fitness tracking data both during and after cycling, a smartwatch shall offer you this added benefit by switching the mode to either Running or Swimming. 

Following is a list of features you should expect in a smartwatch:

  • GPS Navigation & Route Tracking
  • Bluetooth for answering calls/connect a headset while working out
  • Music Mode to play your favorite songs
  • Average Battery life up to 10 days
  • Waterproof, Dustproof and Sweat Resistant

Best Cycling Watches for Beginners

Here’s a list of 8 best GPS watch models for cycling you should consider before buying. We have listed out the pros and cons of each device for your convenience.

1. Garmin Instinct Wearable GPS 

Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS
Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS

The Garmin Instinct is a very lightweight and durable smartwatch. It is considered as one of the best watches for mountain biking. But, don’t get confused with its size, it is more powerful than a 6-inch smartphone. Having a chemically reinforced glass, it does not break under extreme conditions. 

It is QuickFit watch compatible and has a compact size of 45x45x13mm with a circumference of 132-224mm on the wrist. The screen has a two-window display of 23x23mm and a screen resolution of 128×128 pixels. 

Having a monochrome display, users can easily see their body metrics even when sun rays fall directly on the device. It weighs a mere 52gm and has a waterproof rating of up to 10 ATM. 

The device has a good battery life (16 days standby mode) and even when you use it actively ( GPS Mode: 16 hours, UltraTrac Mode: 40 hours). Besides this, it has a barometric altimeter, thermometer, and accelerometer for advanced tracking of body metrics.

One of the major attractions to this cycling watch is its heart rate sensor. Yes, the Garmin Instinct has a pre-built sensor that tracks your heartbeat by reading it from your wrist. It has a dedicated sports mode with multiple sports activities like cycling, swimming, and even rowing. Having a 16Mb of storage space, this device is able to store body metrics for further analysis. 

Pros
  • Equiped with latest Technology.
  • Durable and Light weight.
  • It is durable.
  • Waterproof up to 10M.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring
Cons
  • Bit expensive

2. Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch

Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch
Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch

One of the most durable GPS enabled smartwatch for both indoor and outdoor cyclists. One of the best GPS watches for cycling, it is designed for multi-sport athletes especially cycling enthusiasts. Having an intelligent battery management system, it sets up notifications so that it uses power as per your requirement.

Equipped with an in-built GPS Navigation System, it helps cyclists measure their track length and daily routes along with GPS tracking. It has a barometer altimeter and is water-resistant up to 100m. Supporting over 80 sport modes, it is designed for outdoor sports activities. 

Having weather insights on your device is a good idea. Suunto gives you daily weather reports so that you have an idea of how to frame your routine if the weather changes suddenly.

It has 3 different battery modes, Performance, Endurance and Ultra Mode with battery life ranging from 25 to 120 hours. It has a variation of 9 smart reminders to ensure that the device is fully powered when you are working out. 

Equipped with a FusedTrack algorithm, it uses motion sensors combined with GPS data to ensure you get accurate data. After being tested for thousands of hours by people globally it is recognized as an overall or fitness tracking. 

Pros
  • Suitable for both Indoor and outdoor cycling.
  • Smart and Stylish Design.
  • Easily integrated with Smartphone.
  • Multi-Sport Tracking.
  • GPS.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring.
Cons
  • Heart Sensor is not so accurate.
  • Not suitable for beginner cyclists.

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3. Polar Ignite Sports watch

Polar Ignite Sports watch
Polar Ignite Sports watch

Launched last year in June, this device has slashed prices and offers new features. The Polar Ignite is a GPS watch primarily built for semi-pro athletes but it is being widely used by beginners due to its versatile and sleek interface.

Its price range varies from $200-$250 and it has a myriad of features in it. Equipped with training and recovery metrics, it gives the users valuable insights that are aimed at improving you faster/stronger/agile. Based on your activity history, it provides you dynamic workout schedules with targets.

It has a single button colored screen display. The display is activated by gestures (like raising your wrist) and has a custom workout mode. The device is waterproof up to 30 ms and has swappable wristbands, one is made of rubber and another is silicone.

The device has a prime optical heart rate sensor that can be integrated into your smartphone via Bluetooth. It has a Sony GPS chipset and an average battery life of 5 days with 17 hours of battery life in GPS mode.

Pros
  • Stylish & Sleek Look.
  • Interactive Display.
  • Sleep analysis.
  • Heart Rate Sensor.
  • Supports both indoor and outdoor mode.
  • Designed for cyclists.
Cons
  • Only touchscreen.
  • Settings adjustable only via a mobile app.
  • No music player/smartphone playlist integration

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4. Garmin Fenix 5x Sapphire 

Garmin Fenix 5x Sapphire
Garmin Fenix 5x Sapphire 

Combining world-class features and delivering quality results, this is your ultimate sports companion. Considered as one of the best Garmin watches for cycling and running, this is the first model of the Fenix series to have a pre-built all-color TOPO Canada Mapping. This is designed for rugged, adventurous and outdoor activities.

The Garmin Fenix comes with in-built navigation sensors having the ability to track more complex terrain using 3 axes compass, gyroscope, and barometer altimeter. To make things more exciting, it provides the user key/vital stats on the display along with a performance widget to adjust training schedules, structures, etc.

It includes smart notifications and automatic uploads of fitness data to Garmin Connect, an online fitness community of Garmin users which is created to provide custom insights based on the data collected.

It has a staggering battery life of up to 12 days in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS Mode and up to 35 hours in UltraTrac Mode. Having a protective PVD layer and LED backlights, it offers you the best of both worlds, be it corporate or workout. 

Pros
  • Waterproof.
  • Activity Tracking.
  • Smart notifications.
  • Heart rate Sensor.
  • Multisports tracking
Cons
  • No music player.
  • Battery life is less as compared to other Fenix models.
  • Only outdoor tracking.

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5. Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945
Garmin Forerunner 945

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is a premium sports companion. From cycling sessions to training sessions, it covers all. This is more focused on your overall activities and keeps a track on basic data like steps walked, calories burnt and amount of REM sleep on a daily basis. 

This does not mean that the device is below par. It actually has a variety of functionalities that combine to make one of the best cycling watches. It has a GPS enabled navigation system with an average battery life up to 2 weeks, 10 hours in GPS mode or 60 hours in UltraTrac Mode.

It has an added benefit of a music player, you can listen to music directly from your smartphone using Bluetooth. It boasts of supporting GarminPay, an online payment solution aimed at personalizing payments to the next level.

Performance monitoring is available along with features like VO2 Max and growth reports with adjustment for parameters like altitude status, training load, heat, training time, aerobic and anaerobic training effects. 

It has an in-built feature to onboard maps of a specific location making it easier for you to set daily routes. Combined with safety precautions, the device sends an alert to emergency contacts if an anomaly is detected during usage.

Pros
  • Highly Durable.
  • Music Player Enabled.
  • Safety precautions.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Impressive battery life.
Cons
  • Features are limited.
  • Expensive.

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6. Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music packs a number of features in a wearable smartwatch that cyclists and fitness freaks shall adore. For those of you not aware of the Vivoactive series, it is specially designed for multisport activities. It supports multiple sports like cycling, swimming, golfing and running.

It supports both indoor and outdoor sports tracking with a sleek design that fits in parties and workouts, both! Having an in-built music player, you can either choose your playlist from the online community or just enable Bluetooth on your smartphone and enjoy the groove while you exercise.

It has a round watch design and boasts of multiple features such as an Optical Heart Rate Tracker, Barometer Altimeter and ANT+ sensors which help in training & optimizing the workout sessions respectively.

Pros
  • Sleek & stylish design.
  • Data is highly accurate.
  • Many features.
  • Value for money.
  • Good Battery Life.
Cons
  • Can’t store music in it.
  • GarminPay not supported globally.
  • One button feature is not so efficient.

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7. Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6
Garmin Fenix

It is one of the most efficient sports companions your money could buy.  Launched in August 2019, it offers a slight bit of update from the Garmin 5x Series. From performance tracking to GPS navigation, it has got all the features you need for an outdoor cycling session.

It has a slightly larger screen of 1.3” and is used to display more than 6 different fields in running mode. At 82gm of weight and 14.7mm width, it is lighter and thinner than most of the devices in the market.

Boasting of a 32 GB internal memory, you have a lot of space to store the favorite playlist while cycling or you could just stream from Spotify and such easily. The battery life has also been greatly improved, having an average lifetime of 46 days.

A new feature called the Body Battery allows the device to monitor your energy level throughout the day. This gives you an overall idea of how different activities/work can affect your body.

One more innovative feature in this is the ProPacer, which gives you data-backed suggestions to modify your pace while cycling according to the terrain and other parameters.

Pros
  • Supports Solar Charging.
  • Outstanding battery life.
  • Power-packed features.
  • Music, WiFi, and Bluetooth support.
Cons
  • A bit expensive.

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8. Apple Watch Series 5

What is Wearable Technology, Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5

Launched in September 2019, this sleek and powerful smartwatch has one of the key features apple users were waiting for. The Always-On Display. Yes, you can now glance at your watch while driving, cycling, swimming without making any gestures or pressing a button.

It has an inbuilt magnetometer for helping the navigation system. The international SOS alert system is very efficient without you needing any cellular contract.

Having a sleek and stylish design, it is one of the most efficient cycling watches which can be used even while going to the office. It is now available in both Titanium and Ceramic color.

Pros
  • Always-on feature.
  • Built-in compass.
  • Complimentary Apple Watch App Store.
  • GPS.
  • Waterproof.
Cons
  • Expensive.
  • Low Battery Life.

Check Price

Conclusion

So, whether you are into a rigorous schedule involving outdoor cycling or if you follow an indoor cycling routine religiously, a smartwatch can help you track, process and provide valuable insights so that you become healthier.

With power-packed features like sensors, music players, altimeters, gyroscopes and much more, companies dominating the market are manufacturing new smartwatch models that just get better and better with the next release. So, if you think “I must wait till the next model”, you are technically right but that same model would be overrun by another company rolling out a new model. 

We hope that these cycling watch reviews we gave for the smartwatches help you decide your device, whether you might be looking for something light, easy to use and affordable or something advanced, with pro features to help your exercise regime and make your sessions more optimized than the last one!

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