Considering the functions of cycling computers / computers, they can be divided into 4 groups. This division is based on their usefulness during cycling training, supporting the development of the competitor and a future-oriented view when it comes to equipment modifications (investment in power metter, etc.).
1. Basic counter with speed, time and distance measurement.
Each of us knows these counters and probably each of them has used them. You can feel sentimental about these computers. Measurement of speed, time, distance. Average speed, maximum. Spoke-mounted sensor. In the era of GPS counters, this is an archaic device. As for training under the supervision of a trainer, not very useful.
The cost is low.
But how much joy it can bring to a cyclist!
2. A heart rate monitor with time measurement.
From the training point of view, a very useful device for little money. For about $20-30, you have a device that will allow you to follow the guidelines from the trainer based on your heart rate or you will train yourself in the appropriate heart rate zones (i.e. at the right intensity). It can also be a chest strap paired with a smartphone, thanks to which we will get the parameters from the first point, such as speed, distance (rarely found in heart rate monitors).
An economical and valuable choice.
3. GPS counters with POWER and HEART RATE measurement and with the possibility of data export.
Bicycle computers in the price range of $80+
Here I recommend the SHANREN offer where for about $80 you can have an advanced training tool with the possibility of later expansion, e.g. with power metter.
The slightly more expensive SHANREN MAX 30 model presented in the picture has all the functionalities listed in this point.
Advanced bicycle computers, which do not lack anything when it comes to training under the supervision of a trainer or yourself based on power metter. It is worth looking at the purchase in a more “future-like” way and when buying a bicycle computer, pay attention to whether the device will support any additional power metter?
In addition, meters from this group usually (as not always) have GPS, thanks to which the speed, distance, time is calculated on an ongoing basis and it is possible to export data and training charts to external portals such as STRAVA (or the manufacturer’s application).
4. The last group of bicycle computers with navigation and the option of “uploading” a planned workout to the device.
Computers in this group cost more than $250 +
They have everything mentioned in the third point, but they have something else: “export of trainings from external applications to a bicycle computer”.
A group of devices that are very useful when working with the coach and also used during my cooperation with the athlets. As example GARMIN computers with an extensive API for software developers (integration with training portals).
Example is the integration of the JacaCoach Platform with Garmin Connect, thanks to which the athlete can send the planned training directly to bike computer and perform the next exercises step by step.