Best Bike Speedometers

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

45 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
141 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bike speedometers

Last Updated December 2019

Could you imagine driving your car without a working speedometer? It's one of those little things that you simply can't do without. You may not have previously considered one to to be as essential for biking, but once you use a bike speedometer, you’ll never want to be without one again.

It’s a valuable biking accessory, but there are a great deal of choices you have to make when it comes to purchasing a bike speedometer. Is a wireless model better than a wired model? Do you want advanced features, or are speed and distance monitoring enough for your needs? And, perhaps most importantly, how much do you want to spend?

If you're thinking of buying a bike speedometer, you've come to the right place. We'll outline the options you have when it comes to features, answer your burning questions, and even provide some training tips. When you’re ready to buy, consider one of the highly rated models we've spotlighted in this guide.

If you are extremely serious about your bicycling data, it might be a good idea to have two bike speedometers: a high-tech, expensive one for collecting a plethora of data during each trip and a durable, no-frills model as backup in case the expensive one fails.

Key considerations

A bike speedometer might also be called a bike odometer or a bike computer. Depending on the type you purchase, it allows riders to monitor and collect various types of data that are beneficial to your training progress. When deciding which bike speedometer is best for you, there are three aspects you should consider first.

Type of data collected

A bike speedometer can collect a wide variety of data on every ride. You will want to purchase a model that collects the data that is important to you. If all you need is miles traveled and current speed, even the most basic bike speedometers will have you covered. Advanced units can store and average the data for you so you’ll also have figures for average speed, maximum trip speed, and accumulated miles. Your ride time can also be tracked. The most expensive models may display the temperature and altitude and monitor your heart rate, cadence, and more, making them highly effective training tools.

Rear wheel capabilities

If you plan on training indoors, you're going to need a bike speedometer that can be attached to the rear wheel. Because of cable length limitations and sensors that might not fit the bike's chainstays (the part of the bike frame that is closest to the chain), you need to verify that the bike speedometer you are considering will also work on a rear wheel before purchasing.

Durability

You might not notice it, but your bike takes a lot of hits, especially if you’re not always riding on smooth, paved surfaces. You need a bike speedometer that can handle harsh impacts, especially if you frequently ride off road. Additionally, you will want one that is waterproof, so it will hold up if you get caught in a storm or are the victim of stray puddle splashes.

DID YOU KNOW?

Whether your bike speedometer is wired or wireless, the way it measures speed and distance is the same. The only difference lies in how it transmits that data to the display mounted on your handlebars.

Features

There are a few other elements to think about when purchasing a bike speedometer. Consider your specific needs when it comes to these features.

Wired or wireless

Wired or wireless, your bike speedometer keeps track of your speed and distance by counting how many times and how quickly the tire rotates. The main difference between the two types is that a wireless model will require two batteries, while a wired bike speedometer only needs one. Additionally, some cyclists prefer the cleaner look of a wireless unit.

Routing capabilities

High-end bike speedometers are GPS-enabled. Not only does this feature mean that your data will be gathered differently than through tire rotations alone, it also means you can create and store routes. These routes can be categorized by distance, elevation, terrain type, or any other criteria you prefer. A GPS can also come in handy when you're biking in a new and unfamiliar location.

Display

The display is how your bike speedometer communicates with you. Although you want a small unit, you also want the display to be large enough that you can read it at a glance. You may also require a backlight or other illumination so your bike speedometer can always be easily seen, day or night. Your pedometer should display the most important information without the need for you to interact with it while you’re riding.

Ease of setup

You’ll be glad to have a bike speedometer that’s easily installed and set up, even if you only need to set it up once every five to ten years.

Wake-up feature

Some bike speedometers automatically turn on as soon when they sense movement. Others have a sleep and wake-up feature that will stop timing and speed averaging when you come to a stop — at a red light, for example.

Bike speedometer prices

Inexpensive: If you are just looking for the most basic information, you can purchase a no-frills bike speedometer for between $8 and $15. These models are affordable, but they may not be as tough as pricier versions.

Mid-range: For a little more information to better monitor your process, such as average speeds and distances, you’ll likely spend anywhere between $15 and $25 on a speedometer.

Expensive: In the $25 to $50 and above range, you will find high-tech devices that are tailored for monitoring your fitness and tracking your cadence, heart rate, and calorie burn. If you are training for competition, you may want to consider an elite model that costs over $50. However, for the average cyclist, staying below that $50 mark will get you everything you need.

EXPERT TIP

If you use an indoor bike trainer, be sure the speedometer you get is designed to work on the rear wheel.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Never leave home without backup batteries for your speedometer.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

Your bike speedometer is an incredible tool. Even the most basic model can be the linchpin of your training. In order to get the most out of your bike speedometer, here are a few training tips that will push you to be your best. Note: some of these activities require extreme exertion; do not engage in training until you've consulted with your doctor.

  • Track your maximum speed on level ground, not when you’re travelling downhill.

  • If you truly want to step up your game, increase your uphill speed.

  • Use your speedometer to see how long you can sustain a certain level of exertion — it can be peak speed or something less than full tilt. Then, when you’re ready, push to extend it.

  • Track your averages, whether it’s average speed or average distance per ride that you’re measuring. As this number increases, you'll know you're getting fitter.

  • Your bike speedometer is not only useful for pushing yourself. You can also use it during cooldown or recovery days to make sure you’re not working too hard.

  • If you have an advanced model, use it to estimate calories burned and track your cadence.

  • The best way to evaluate progress is by analyzing data collected over an extended period of time. Keep a log or bike journal detailing your journey.

Other products we considered

Depending on what you want to track and how much you'd like to spend, there is a wide variety of options when it comes to bike speedometers. Because of this, we'd like to offer you a few more choices. On the lower end of the price scale, Raniaco has a Multifunction Wireless Bicycle Speedometer that only measures speed, distance, and riding time. It comes with a two-year warranty.

Nellvita's moderately priced Multi Function Wireless Cycling Computer has an extra-large display screen and a motion detector, which automatically wakes the unit when you start to ride. For a heftier price tag you can get it all with Wahoo Fitness' ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer. Share routes, find friends, get alerts, and more with this top-shelf product.

At some point, you are going to get caught in the rain. Because of this, it is important to purchase a waterproof bike speedometer.

FAQ

Q. Why do I need a bike speedometer if I have a smartphone?
A.
In order to see your smartphone while riding, you will need to mount it on your handlebars where it will be exposed to weather and jostling from the road. If you fall, it will likely be destroyed. If you don’t have a problem putting your smartphone directly in harm's way, you can use it as a speedometer. However, it’s much less risky and and far more cost-effective to use a device specifically designed to withstand all of the above.

Q. How hard is it to program a bike speedometer?
A.
It's actually very easy. On the most basic models, you might only need to set your preferred unit of measurement and the size of your bike tires. Even on a more advanced model, the information you need to enter would be things you already know, such as your age, weight, or your home location.

Q. What is an IP rating?
A.
IP stands for International Protection or Ingress Protection. Basically, it is a standard expressed in two numbers that classifies how well-protected your device is from solids and liquids. The first number represents solids and can range from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dust tight). The second number represents liquids and can range from 0 (no protection) to 8 (full submersion according to manufacturer's guidelines). A bike speedometer rated IP64, for example, would be dust tight, but it would only provide protection from being splashed, not submerged.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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