GPS computers usually do everything that cyclocomputers do, but with the added bonus of accurate location information.
What does it do?
GPS computers record the distance you’ve travelled and the speed you travelled at, in addition to plenty of other information on your performance.
Unlike cyclocomputers though, some models can also show your position on a map with great accuracy, meaning they can be used as a kind of sat nav for your bicycle. This means you can record the exact route taken as well as use the device to ensure you don’t go off course!
Many will also have the ability to record your heart rate and cadence, as well as your altitude.
There will also be the option to share the recorded data with your computer or smartphone.
How much does one cost?
You can get a GPS computer without maps (i.e a cyclocomputer minus the sensors) for anything between £40 – £200. The huge range in prices is down to the amount of data it can store, the quality of the screen, its compatibility with computers and smartphones and of course it’s build quality and ability to cope with various conditions.
For a GPS computers with maps, designed mainly for cycle-touring and long distance rides, you’ll be looking at a minimum of about £170. A top of the range Garmin Edge 1000 will set you back around £440.
How does it work?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The computer uses satellites to locate where you are positioned, meaning it can accurately work out how fast you were travelling and for how long.
Some will come with cadence and heart rate monitors – usually they will utilise similar technology to non-GPS computers like magnets.
What are the main brands?
What else do I need to consider?
How big a screen size do you need?
What’s the battery life? Can it be recharged by USB (i.e, would you be able to use a travel battery pack for emergency juice)?
Does it have an anti-glare display?
How does it mount on to your bike?