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In our new COVID world, in-home exercising has become the norm. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise your doing, keeping track of your stats is crucial if you want to improve your performance and stay motivated. For indoor exercise bikes, keeping track of your stats will bring your workout up to an entirely new level, and indoor bike computers can help you do that.
However, a indoor bike computer is not all you’ll need to track your stats. You’ll also need a cadence sensor to record the RPM and a speed sensor that will track your miles on a stationary bike. A heart rate monitor will round it out, enabling you to track a whole variety of statistics to help you improve your cadence, distance, speed, calories, and time.
There are many indoor bike computer consoles on the market today. This article will look at which ones are the best indoor bike computers for stationary bikes and deliver the most accurate data. So cycle on down to see the best speed/cadence computers for your indoor bike.
Table of Contents
What Should I Look For In An Indoor Bike Computer?
The things you will want to look for in an indoor bike computer a not much different than those you’ll look for on an outdoor bike. Most of the bikes on this list are primarily outdoor bike computers that can transform into indoor ones by connecting cadence and speed sensors.
That said, you will need to make sure the bike computer is compatible with those sensors, and this means it will have to have ANT+ or Bluetooth connectivity. Please pay attention to what your sensors need to connect to a bike computer and make sure the computer can sync with them before purchasing.
The other things you should look out for will depend a lot on the kind of training you are doing and the kind of data you want to keep track of. If you’re simply looking for the usual metrics, most of the cheaper bike computer models with Bluetooth/ANT+ connectivity will give you what you need.
If you’re looking for robust data collection that is fully customizable and want some additional features like training suggestions, you’ll be looking at something with a higher price tag.
There is a huge range in price points for indoor bike computers, so make sure you know whether you want to invest $500+ or whether you’re looking for something under $100. Also, take into account that you’ll have to purchase sensors on top of the computer. Luckily these are comparatively inexpensive.
IF you’re after an independent unit you can transfer from your indoor bike to your outdoor bike then you may want to avoid indoor bike computers that are ‘wired.’
These are computers where the cable connects the sensor to the monitor right on the flywheel.
Not only do they look nicer, but they are easier to install and easier to maintain.
Many bike computers are designed for outdoor bikes, not indoor bikes, and you’ll have to add sensors to get the most out of them. This can make the installation process somewhat tricky, depending on the kind of an indoor bike you have. Before you buy, make sure you will be able to mount the computer on the bike you have. You might end up having to buy a third-party mount.
The more feedback the tracker gives you, the easier it will be to achieve your fitness goals. You’ll want to look for indoor bike computers that will track at least your speed, time, distance, RPM, heart rate, and calories. Tracking your power output (watt) is another excellent option, but these will require an extra purchase in the form of power pedals.
There are several third-party apps you can use for tracking biking stats. Make sure the cycle monitor is compatible with whatever app you are using; otherwise, you might have to switch.
On the other hand, a few bike consoles out there do not come with ANT/+ or Bluetooth. This will mean that they won’t connect to any of the apps or sensors you might be using.
Which Indoor Bike Computer Is Most Affordable?
The XOSS GPS Bike Computer is one of the most affordable bike computers out there that features both Bluetooth and ANT+ connections for your sensors and monitors. The XOSS GPS is perfect for the indoor biker who needs a bare-bones computer to track their metrics and doesn’t care about some of the more advanced features.
Take a look below for a fuller review of the XOSS GPS Bike Computer.
Which Indoor Bike Computer Has Best Features?
Like with most things, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a bike computer that’s filled to the brim with features, the cheaper options probably won’t cut it for you.
The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus is hands-down the most powerful bike computer for indoor or outdoor use on the market today. Packed with features, the Garbin Edge Plus includes daily workouts based on your current training, a ‘my stats’ page that allows you to get the most out of your data, enhanced navigation features, some of which even crossover to an indoor setting, and many more.
The Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt comes in a close second, though, with nearly as many customizable features. And at about half the price you wouldn’t be wrong to choose it.
Top Indoor Bike Computers For 2021
XOSS GPS Bike Computer
There are a few different models of bike computers made by XOSS. The XOSS G is a very basic GPS computer with no ANT+ transmission that does not support sensors. It does, however, support Bluetooth for uploading to your mobile apps.
The XOSS G+, on the other hand, supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth. With the G+, you can attach both a heart rate monitor and a cadence/speed sensor, as well as upload your data to a mobile app.
Either way, XOSS puts out a quality, cost-effective bike computer with great tracking technology and a seamless experience.
Indoor bike classes throughout the world use CardioSports bike consoles. Unlike some of the other models on this list, CardioSports consoles are built specifically for spin bikes. They come in three models: Bronze, Silver, and Gold, and their data accurately displays on a triple display that features RPM, heart rate, and training data.
With a sweat-resistant case and a long battery life, this is an excellent choice for your indoor bike. It contains ANT+ wireless technology, so you’ll have no trouble hooking it up to sensors and monitors.
This computer has many similar features to other lower-budget cycling computers with a similar price range. Easily used on a stationary bike, getting the CooSpo calibration and set up is simple. The menu is user-friendly, and it can interact with many apps like Strava, Runtastic, or Wahoo.
The CooSpo wireless computer is intuitive, dependable, and easy to operate. External sensors are easy to sync with, and the CooSpo will serve most intermediate or casual riders well. It is the perfect first indoor bike computer for someone just starting to track their rides. Overall, an excellent computer for those with a budget.
The CYCPLUS M1 is another excellent cycle computer for the budget-minded. But even though it has a low price point, it’s still an excellent option for those looking for ANT+ connectivity and a multi-tracking display.
With a large, non-touch, 2.9″ screen that is easy to read, the CYCPLUS has a Garmin-style quarter-turn mount, making it easy to use third-party mounts (or you can purchase the CYCPLUS Z2 out-front mount separately). With an easy-to-use setup, the CYCPLUS is one of the better budget cycle computers on this list, although, like the others, it is not easily customized or adjustable.
Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt
The Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt is a decent, higher-priced GPS computer that contains robust functionality for its compact size. Boasting an incredibly long battery life, the Bolt has all of the standard metrics, including time, speed, power, distance, and elevation. It can easily integrate with any of your sensors or devices.
The biggest appeal of the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt is its customizability. With the Elemnt app, which is easy and straightforward to use, you can prioritize your data display by simply dragging and dropping which data you want the display to feature and in which order.
Sync the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt with Strava, Best Bike Split, Singletracks, and many other apps. Strava Live segments work well with the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt, allowing you to receive progress reports for when you’re ahead or behind in your goals. You will also be able to use GPS files on your Bolt computer to replicate an outdoor route on your stationary bike.
Overall, the Bolt is an excellent bike computer with robust options, a mid-range price tag, and plenty of customization options.
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
The Edge 1030 Plus has improved training functionality and a beefed-up navigation system compared to previous models. It will smoothly integrate with Strava, TrainerRoad, and other cycling apps. With a battery life claimed to last 24 hours, it’s one of the best cycling computers on this list (and also the most expensive).
For the indoor cyclist, the Edge 1030 Plus offers a lot. Training features that include training focus, load, suggested recovery times, and VO2 estimation enables you to stay on target with your training. You can access your data through the Garmin Connect app. The Edge 1030 Plus will also use your data to make training suggestions.
There is no bike computer out there with as many features as the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus, but if you’re an indoor cyclist, you’ll need to ask yourself whether all of these features are useful to you and if not, maybe that hefty price tag will dissuade you.
Many stationary bikes do not have a built-in computer to give you all the stats you’ll need to keep you motivated to train and improve your health and fitness. Lucky for you, there are tonnes of great options to keep track of your stats.
A good biking computer can cost you as little as $50-$100 dollars, to well over $500. It all depends on what kind of features you’re looking for. Most indoor cyclists will be more than happy with a lower budget/middle-of-the-line model.
Just make sure that your sensors and monitors can properly connect, and you’ll be good to go for miles.