7 Best Fitness Trackers for Cycling in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

We should truly count our blessings for living in an era that enjoys a massive influx of new tech regularly. With the emergence of high-tech fitness trackers, it has become extremely easy to stay abreast of our performances and fitness goals.

Fitness trackers of today don’t only work as an extension of your smart phone, but also provide useful features separately. They come equipped with integrated GPS systems, heart rate monitors, power meters, and other useful trackers to help you measure wrist-based heart rate, cycling speed, distance traveled, calories burned, quality of sleep and stress data tracking, and even useful route mapping specifications.

Plus, guess what? The features don’t stop here as newer models continue to break new grounds with each passing day.

You’d be foolish not to invest in a fitness tracker or a smartwatch if you want to improve your cycling performance.

However, I must admit that the market is currently flooded with fitness trackers. So, choosing the best tracker from a wide range of options can be a painstaking process—fret not as I am here to assist you.

Without beating around the bush any further, here are some of the best fitness trackers for cycling!

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Fitness Trackers for Cycling

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the fitness trackers for cycling that most people buy).

  • Apple Watch Series 5 Top Pick
  • Garmin Fenix 6 Pro GPS Runner-up
  • Garmin Forerunner 935 Runner-up

Top 7 Best Fitness Trackers for Cycling 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Apple Watch Series 5

What I like about the Apple Watch Series 5 over its predecessors is the fact that you needn’t move your wrist to activate its display as the display screen on the Apple Watch Series 5 is always on. This auto-start feature facilitates safe riding as it lets you look at your heart rate, live speed, and other stats at a glance.

The 24/7 heart rate monitor on the Apple Watch Series 5 is arguably the best in the business. Approved by the FDA as a reliable medical device, none comes close to the heart rate monitor of the Apple Watch 5 in terms of providing accurate results.

Other features of this marvelous tech include independent music playback and GPS tracking system, built-in barometric altimeter and compass, and in-built cellular facility that allows you to send texts and emails and make calls without touching your phone.  

Regrettably, the Apple Watch 5 comes with below-average battery performance. A lack of a sleep-tracking feature on the smartwatch is also telling.

People may also find its inability to connect with ANT+ based devices a major drawback.

Regardless, the other features offered by the device make up for its high price point.

Pros

  • Accurate heart rate tracking and ECG monitor system
  • Built-in compass and barometric altimeter to help you identify your whereabouts
  • Can be mounted on bike handlebars
  • Easy to read
  • Outstanding GPS mode
  • Ergonomically designed to fit your wrist

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a sleep monitoring feature
  • Poor battery performance
  • Costly device

2. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro GPS

If you are willing to spend the big bucks, you should consider the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro GPS. This GPS sport watch will fulfill all of your requirements as an enthusiastic cyclist as it possesses all the best features you’d find in smartwatches, cycling computers, and fitness trackers.

Think heart rate monitoring, oxygen spirometry, GPS tracking, route mapping features, sleep and stress data tracking, waterproof features, and so on—the Garmin  6 Pro has it all!

A successor to the 5, the Fenix 6X Pro smart watch also allows you to customize your screens and workout sessions as you deem fit. Of course, this stellar gadget can pair with all ANT+ sensors and other devices through Bluetooth as well.

You are gravely mistaken if you don’t think the Fenix 6X Pro can display messages, app notifications, and voice call prompts. With the Fenix 6X Pro, you will no longer require any other smart watch.  

Finally, I love that the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro can also be mounted on bike handlebars, giving you the opportunity to use it as a high-quality GPS bike computer too.

On the downside, this gadget is not exactly the lightest around. Plus, it isn’t something most people can afford.

Pros

  • Exemplary battery life of 36 hours with GPS and 10 hours with GPS and music
  • Dons the hat of a fitness tracker, bike computer, and smartwatch
  • Can be mounted on bike handlebars
  • Features heart rate tracking
  • Ergonomically designed to fit your wrist

Cons

  • Not for someone on a budget

3. Garmin Forerunner 935

Another Garmin product makes it to the list in the form of Garmin Forerunner 935.

This fitness tracker is appealing to the eye, lightweight enough to be worn for hours on end, and has a well-functioning integrated GPS that showcases and monitors everything including cycling speed, cadence, pace, and distance traveled in real-time. What more could you possibly ask for from a fitness tracker for cycling, right?

I am also a big fan of the Garmin Forerunner 935’s user-friendly interface. Navigating through the menu layout has never been easier.

Once paired with your mobile phone, you will never miss out on important notifications. Additionally, you will also gain access to Garmin Connect and Music Control.

What really sets the Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS watch apart from its rivals is its ability to ensure your heart is pumping correctly.

Yes, it showcases your heart rate, but it also enables you to discover your heart-rate variability stress-level and lactate threshold. This useful bit of information can help you know the condition of your pulse and give you the chance to make adjustments.

Pros

  • Quick charging
  • Accurate GPS mode makes it best for cycling
  • Bright display makes the screen highly visible even in broad daylight
  • User-friendly interface and navigation
  • One of the best fitness trackers for cyclists
  • Good heart rate tracking
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Too large a size for my small wrist
  • Inability to play music
  • No touchscreen display

4. Fitbit Charge 4

A highly awaited successor of the Fitbit Charge 3, the Fitbit Charge 4 more than lives up to the hype. This fitness band comes equipped with an integrated GPS system, no-contact pay options through Fitbit Pay, Spotify control, and Sleep Score for sleep monitoring purposes.

The touchscreen on the Fitbit 4, despite being small, is extremely responsive.

Unfortunately, the display just is not bright enough in broad daylight. Don’t be surprised if you have to check the display under a shady area.

Enough talk of the Fitbit 4’s drawback, let’s discuss its most important feature. This fitness tracker boasts of Fitbit´s latest fitness metric—Active Zone Minutes.

This tracking feature allows you to track the intensity of your activities over a certain period. With such info, you’ll be able to determine whether you need to intensify or lower your workout load to meet your fitness goals.

Granted that the Fitness Charge 4 doesn’t possess all the features you’d find in a smartwatch, but for its price point, I would definitely call it a steal.  

Pros

  • Best choice for cyclists who want a basic fitness tracking band to go with their bike computer setup
  • Integrated GPS
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Useful fitness metric features
  • Cheap pricing
  • Water-resistant
  • Best fitness tracker for the budget-conscious
  • Successor of the Fitbit Charge 3

Cons

  • Small screen isn’t visible enough under direct sunlight
  • Battery life of only 5 hours with GPS usage
  • Don’t expect this fitness tracker to function like a smartwatch

5. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire

Why do we have another Garmin product on this list? Well, let’s see if you ask the same question after I list out all the outstanding features of the Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire.

Some of the amazing features included in the Garmin 5X Sapphire are an integrated GPS system, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracker, and fantastic satellite reception that enables you to keep track of your cycling speed and distance traveled. The factory set cycling maps on this device are also pretty effective.

I also like the fact that the Garmin 5X Sapphire sports a rather durable design with its stainless steel bezel construction and scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal screen. I must speak glowingly of the buttons on this fitness tracker too as they are easy to use and work as well as they need to.  

Ideal for use as a fitness tracker for cyclists largely owing to its three built-in cycling profiles, indoor, normal, and mountain biking, the Garmin 5X Sapphire is truly worth the investment.

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel bezel construction with sapphire lens resistant to scratches
  • Effectively tracks your cycling speed and distance traveled with its GPS
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • High-resolution display with a user-friendly interface
  • Outstanding battery life
  • High water-resistance ratings

Cons

  • The pins aren’t resistant to rust
  • Doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity

6. Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch

What makes the Polar V800 Sports Watch an excellent choice for cyclists keen on improving performance is its ability to keep track of speed, time, distance traveled, and optimum performance. It has a fully integrated GPS system and a built-in barometer and altimeter to help its cause.

You can also use the V800 to create and track numerous sport profiles to follow your progress.

Durable enough to be used even under adverse weather conditions, the Polar V800 Sports Watch also features monitoring systems that track your sleeping cycle and calculate calories burned.

What makes the V800 so darn sturdy you ask? Well, it features scratch-resistant gorilla glass lens.

The high-resolution display on the V800 is also worth gushing over as the screen is highly visible even in broad daylight.

Compatible with both the Windows and MAC operating systems, the Polar V800 Sports Watch also has an H7 Bluetooth smart heart-rate sensor that offers accurate readings.

Pros

  • The V800 GPS watches are durable and resistant to scratches
  • Features high-range, accurate GPS
  • Easy to operate
  • Screen offers visible readings even under direct sunlight
  • One of the best fitness tracker sports watches around

Cons

  • The customer service isn’t of the highest quality
  • Not a huge admirer of its poor charging port design

7. Fitbit Ionic Watch

The Fitbit Ionic Watch is an iconic smartwatch as it holds the distinct honor of being the first smartwatch from Fitbit to have a built-in GPS system.

With the integration of such a useful feature, the Fitbit Watch allows you to keep track of useful performance stats including pace and distance traveled. Additionally, the feature also enables you to record the elevation climbed, your split times, and the route you took on your cycling sessions.  

The Fitbit Ionic Watch can be an ideal choice for the cyclist who prefers listening to songs during rides as this gadget can save and play over 300 songs. Plus, as you would’ve been accustomed to with frequent smartwatch usage, the Ionic also gives you access to your calls, texts, and emails and allows you to make payments through Fitbit Pay.

Other notable features of the Fitbit Watch include a heart rate monitor, calorie burn tracker, and personalized coaching facility that provides you with real-time on-screen guidance as you carry out your physical activities.

On the downside, you may experience some connectivity and software problems with the Fitbit Ionic Watch.

Pros

  • Personalized coaching facility makes it best for cycling
  • Well-functioning GPS tracking
  • Effective 24/7 heart rate and sleep monitoring feature
  • Large display screen that is highly visible even in direct sunlight
  • This fitness tracking watch is easy to use
  • The Fitbit Ionic Activity Trackers have a long battery life

Cons

  • Susceptible to connectivity issues and software problems
  • Unable to track heart rate during cycling sessions
  • Doesn’t have the best MP3 system

What to Consider When Buying a Fitness Tracker?

GPS System

Having a fitness tracker with an integrated GPS system can make a world of difference. Such a useful feature will allow you to navigate through cycling trails you’ve never been before.

A built-in GPS can play an instrumental role in helping you keep track of your whereabouts. With this feature, you’ll never get lost again.

Activity Tracking

Fitness trackers for cycling must be able to track your pedaling speed, stride length, vertical ratio, ground contact time, cadence, pace, distances traveled, and provide other useful performance-enhancing ride data. The fitness band must also be able to monitor your heart rate and check the calories burned in real-time.

Remember that you can only improve your performance if you have the necessary training data to analyze.

Also, only target fitness trackers that have ANT+ or Bluetooth connectivity. Such trackers will be able to use data from external sensors such as heart rate straps,  power meters, and cadence, thus helping them become less reliant on a smart phone or GPS computer.

Water Resistance

As a cyclist, you must be all too aware of the unpredictable weather conditions during cycling sessions.

How many times have you started your cycling journey with clear weather conditions only to face a downpour during mid-rides? Many, I figure.

For your fitness band to be well-protected from the elements, it must have a high water-resistant rating. A water-resistant tracker is also a necessity for adventurous bikers who don’t say No to unpredictable weather and challenging trails.

Sleep Monitoring Feature

Many people tend to underestimate the importance of proper rest and good sleep. On the contrary, professional athletes are well aware of the benefits of sleep to maintain high fitness levels.

If you are serious about your well-being too, invest in a fitness band that offers sleep tracking. Such a tracking feature will let you know the duration of your deep sleep against light sleep.

Also, when you are aware of your sleeping patterns, you can make positive changes for better results.

Battery Performance

It would make no sense for you to invest in a fitness activity tracker with poor battery life. After all, your fitness tracker must be well-functioning round the clock to provide the most accurate results.

Invest in a tracker that has a long battery life as doing so will allow you to follow your progress at any time of the day.  

Understand that a fitness band that features GPS, heart rate, Bluetooth, and ANT+ functions drain the battery a lot. These trackers can only perform optimally with good battery life.

Conclusion

To wrap this up, if you want to achieve your fitness goals and maximize your cycling performances, it is in your best interest to invest in a fitness activity tracker that has built-in GPS.

I understand that choosing a worthy tracker from seemingly innumerable options can be tricky, to say the least. If you’d like to follow my advice, I’d recommend you to get the Apple Watch 5.

Though priced rather exorbitantly, it has an excellent, well-performing barometric altimeter and built-in GPS compass that lets you pinpoint your whereabouts no matter where you go in the world. With this watch on your wrist, you’ll never get lost or need a phone.

I also like the fact that this watch is available in a built-in cellular system version, which means that you can get almost all the functions of a smart phone without needing one on standby.

However, if you can’t afford to pay through the nose and are willing to settle on a basic fitness band, I would recommend the Fitbit Charge 4. This affordable fitness tracker is easy to read and best suited for those who want a basic fitness band to go with their bicycle computer setup.