Best cyclist watch

Best cyclist watch in 2022 reviews

If you’re looking for the best smartwatch for cycling, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of expert reviewers have tested smartwatches from some of the biggest brands.

Best cyclist watch in 2022

Why choose a smartwatch for cycling over a great bike computer?

The screen size may not be as large as some cycling computers — smartwatches need to be small enough to fit on your wrist — but that makes these wearable devices popular among athletes who do multi-sports, triathlons, and more. Or do cross country. Participate in training.

Many smartwatches now have specific cycling modes, will support GPS tracking and connect to other training devices, such as power meters.

Best cyclist watch in 2022

Also, in some cases, smartwatches have more functionality than cycling computers with inbuilt heart rate monitors and other health tracking metrics, such as calorie counters, step counters and sleep quality monitors.

We have an in-depth guide that explains the pros and cons of smartwatches over motorcycle computers. But if you already know a smartwatch is for you, we’ve rounded up the best cycling smartwatches.

If you want to know more about these devices, you can finally check out our buyer’s guide to smartwatches.

The best smartwatches for cycling in 2022, tried and tested.

Compared to a GPS watch that fits on your wrist, a handlebar-mounted GPS computer offers the advantage of a larger (and often clearer) screen area to display maps and ride data. In addition, both tools offer relatively similar functionality to their users, with GPS watches continuing to add cycling-specific features to their already growing list of fitness tracking capabilities.

But there are situations in which a GPS watch has an edge. For multi-sport athletes, a smartwatch with running, swimming and cycling modes makes it easy to track all your activity and data in one place and reduces the clutter of two device electronics. Wearing your computer on your wrist also means it goes where you go—you don’t have to move it between bikes—and automatically tracks short trips that would otherwise bother you. Can’t (hey, they grow!) Both watches and computers are equally useful if you just want to track your pace and distance ridden. However, if you want to incorporate all your daily measurements into your training, including sleep tracking and activity throughout the day, a smartwatch is the way to go.

Best cyclist watch in 2022

All of the models below share a few key features that you should consider when purchasing. First, a dedicated cycling mode is clutch if you’re interested in syncing your rides with Strava or another training program. Next, battery life is important — not just overall runtime, but specifically battery life in GPS mode. And while wrist-based heart rate may not be as accurate as a chest strap, it’s still an important data point for calculating relative effort and calorie burn. Then there are bonus features, like turn-by-turn directions, power meter compatibility, and music. Not all watches here can handle these high-level functions, but many can. And the selection represents a range of feature levels, so you’re sure to find something to suit your needs.

How we tested

Every watch on this list has been thoroughly reviewed and tested by our team of test editors. We’ve raced and trained with these watches as well as worn them in everyday life to get the most accurate overall impression. We used them to measure our fitness, track our sleep, and replace and support bike computers. We tested smartphone compatibility and routinely pushed the batteries to the limit to see how long they lasted. Most models have been tested by our staff and are not carefully selected based on price, quality of parts, our experience with similar models, and how the overall package meets the needs of the intended buyer.

1.      Garmin Forerunner 945

Buy now from Chain Reaction (£329.99), Wiggle (£329.99) and ProBikeKit (£391.49).

The great thing about the 945 is that, no matter how deep you go into functionality, it’s still intuitive to operate. Instant media

  • £500 / €550 / $600 / AU$999 As tested.
  • Best battery life in GPS mode
  • Multiple features

The Garmin Forerunner 945 improves on its predecessor, the Forerunner 935, with new features for athletes as well as some more everyday functions that make this Garmin smartwatch even more attractive.

It has a new optical heart rate sensor and after a ride, its internal software will calculate how you fared aerobically and anaerobically.

The 30.4mm screen is easy to read and the battery packs an impressive 36 hours of life in GPS mode.

The watch has ANT+, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and will instantly share ride data with the best cycling apps on the market.

The Forerunner 945 will let you play music directly from the watch to Bluetooth headphones and will also feature Garmin Pay for contactless payments.

This is the best Garmin cycling watch we’ve tested and the only thing holding it back is the high price.

2.      Amazfit GTR 4

Buy now from Amazon (£199.00).

  • £199 / €228 / $228 / AU$351 as tested.
  • Convenient cycling features at a reasonable price
  • Latent heartbeat, but no navigation.

The Amazfit GTR 4 keeps the best aspects of its predecessor, the GTR 3, but upgrades it to improve usability.

A new optical biometric sensor claims to be able to record a third more data than before. The updated software is less cluttered and responds faster to the touchscreen.

The smartwatch connects to your phone via Bluetooth to receive calls and messages, has an integrated music player and is waterproof.

The Amazfit GTR 4 battery is long-lasting – our tester ran the watch for a week using regular Bluetooth and GPS.

Outdoor cycling is one of the eight standard modes of activity and is quick to find a GPS receiver signal.

The heart rate monitor is slow to react to increased effort, but when it catches up, it produces data similar to Garmin cycling computers and heart straps.

3.      Koros Pace 2 Smartwatch

Buy now from eBay (£147.96), Sigma Sports (£150.00) and Wiggle (£179.90).

  • Good battery life and great value
  • Lack of navigation and routes.

Compared to its predecessor, the Coros 2 has a number of updates that make it an attractive option for cycling but even more so for multi-sport athletes.

These updates include five times more RAM and four times more storage for faster processing. The watch will connect to any compatible device via ANT+ and features a training plan that works in conjunction with the Coros app.

This watch is probably more suited to cyclists who also like to run than those interested in life on two wheels. It provides a moving power matrix and is operated with two buttons instead of a touchscreen. They are easy to use when running but not so easy when wearing thick winter cycling gloves or holding the handlebars.

It also doesn’t support navigation or routes, which may turn it off for many cyclists.

However, the Coros Pace 2’s claimed battery life is 30 days in regular use and 30 hours in full-on GPS mode, which we found to be plenty in testing.

4.      Garmin Phoenix 7 Sapphire Solar

Buy now from Go Outdoors (£689.00), Blacks (£689.00) and eBay (£699.00).

  • £779.99 / $899.99 / €899.99 As Tested
  • New touchscreen and better battery life
  • Precious

The Fenix ​​7 is Garmin’s flagship solar-powered GPS multisport smartwatch, replacing the Fenix ​​6 when it launches in January 2022.

The Fenix ​​7 has all the features you’d expect from a Garmin smartwatch and has several upgrades over its predecessor, including a touchscreen and better battery life.

The touchscreen brings the watch in line with the functionality of Garmin’s bike computers and other smart devices in general. Using custom maps is especially easy with a touch screen.

Battery life is impressive and solar charging keeps the watch running for a long time.

It’s also the first time you can get a Phoenix with solar charging and tempered glass.

The watch is loaded with training functions, but you’ll need a power meter to get the most out of them for cycling.

It has a built-in heart rate monitor, but it’s not as accurate as a chest strap monitor.

5.      Polar Ignite GPS Fitness Smartwatch

Buy now from Chain Reaction (£199.50), ProBikeKit (£143.49) and Wiggle (£159.99).

The strap is made of TPU plastic, while the bezel of the watch is made of stainless steel. Alex Evans

  • £174.50 / $229.95 / AU$349 / €199.95 As Tested
  • Great battery life and data
  • A heart rate monitor isn’t the best.

The Polar Ignite GPS fitness smartwatch is designed for cycling, running and other outdoor activities.

The watch handles almost all GPS duties as well as a dedicated GPS cycling computer, with GPS tracking only during test rides in particularly dense forests.

Vigorous activity led to some spurious readings from the heart rate monitor, but since wrist-based monitors are generally less reliable than other heart rate monitors it is difficult to pinpoint the clock.

Polar Ignite has other matrix properties that, not specific to cycling, have proven to be surprisingly useful. These include sleep data and daily activity monitoring, where exercise is presented as a percentage to help you know when you should rest.

The watch is a good choice for more casual cyclists who don’t want to pay the price of a halo product or someone looking for more insight into fitness, physical stress and sleep.

6.      Polar Vantage V2

Buy now from Chain Reaction (£449.00), Wiggle (£349.00) and ProBikeKit (£349.49).

  • £449 / $500 / AU$699 / €500 as tested
  • Range of cycling test
  • Route visuals are limited.

The Polar Vantage V2 is a multisport smartwatch with metrics for many different activities, but includes cycling-specific functions and tests including Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and VO2 Max.

The watch also has a function called Fuel Wise that tells you when to eat and drink. The reminders depend on the intensity of the ride, which is established by the smartwatch’s inbuilt heart rate monitor.

This Polar smartwatch has navigation capabilities when paired with Komoot, but despite the bright display, visual guidance is basic. The watch will also connect with Strava to show live segments.

The touchscreen works very well when wearing gloves, but there are buttons if that proves difficult.

Battery life is impressive at 38 hours in full GPS mode (claimed battery life is 40 hours), and GPS pickup and retention is also impressive.

7.      Suwonto 9 Peak

  • Battery life: Up to 14 days (up to 170 hours in GPS mode)
  • Price: AU$1,000/US$569

In our opinion, Suunto makes some of the best-looking smartwatches on the market, but considering the brand hails from Scandinavia, that’s hardly surprising. The Suunto 9 Peak sits at the top of the company’s range, and is claimed to be its thinnest and toughest watch to date. Easy, when you’re spending hours every day outside of tough cycling terrain.

 Inside this small body, however, there are plenty of features that all avid cyclists will find plenty of use for. For starters, you get highly accurate GPS data, although you can sacrifice some accuracy in the name of battery life if you need to. However, considering that you get at least 25 hours in Full Accuracy mode, you don’t need to. FYI, you can get up to 170 hours of battery, still with GPS, but without some accuracy.

Stored data can be synced to Strava and Training Peaks. You can also monitor your heart rate and blood oxygen levels in real time, and of course there are pre-loaded tracking metrics for cycling, such as current pace and average pace, interval guidance and real-time lap tables. , a host of other sports.

8.      Apple Watch Series 7

  • Battery life: Up to 18 hours
  • Price: TBC

Due to be released in mid-October, the Apple Watch Series 7 will undoubtedly improve on the performance of the Series 6. However, most of the improvements will come from the software side as opposed to the hardware. However, on the hardware front, you get a bigger and brighter screen, longer battery life and better accuracy of heart rate monitoring.

However, with the WatchOS 8 update, features cyclists should look out for include auto-ride detection, as well as auto-pause, which should prove particularly useful. Cycling exercise modes will also get a fall detection mode, which will call emergency services if you suffer a serious fall and injury or collide with a motorcyclist, for example.

And, because it’s an Apple Watch, you can install a whole range of third-party cycling apps to log your data or view your stats in real time. Naturally, it works incredibly well as a smartwatch, practically inventing the category, making it a popular choice for many.

9.      Apple Watch SE

  • Battery life: Up to 18 hours
  • Price: From AU$429 / US$279

Since the WatchOS 8 update is responsible for most of the new features aimed at cyclists, the slightly more affordable Apple Watch SE might be your best bet. You lose some screen size but still benefit from all the cycling-specific features like fall detection, voice prompts for milestones and distance, and auto-ride and auto-pause detection. .

It’s also compatible with a number of third-party apps, making it the Apple Watch for the masses.

10. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

  • Battery life: Up to 40 hours
  • Price: From AU$449 / US$250

Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch, the Galaxy Watch4 is also packed with GPS, a heart rate monitor and a number of other trackers to help give you a clearer picture of your health. In terms of cycling, there is only one preloaded cycling mode, but GPS accuracy is generally quite good, recording accurate distances. It has an auto-pause function that recognizes when you’ve stopped cycling, and the always-on display can show you important metrics without eating too much into battery life, keeping you from taking your hands off the handlebars.

It runs on the latest version of wearOS, now co-developed by Google and Samsung, meaning you can install a raft of third-party cycling apps to record your data. The Watch 4 is a very minimalistic, rather attractive watch (the Watch 4 Classic looks like a more traditional timepiece), and has admirable battery life for the price.

11. Wahoo Element Rivals

  • Battery life: Up to 14 days (up to 24 hours in GPS mode)
  • Price: AU$600/US$380

As you may have already gathered from reading this list, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a watch that is purely for cyclists, instead, they offer multi-sport support. It’s no different for the Wahoo Element Rival, built with triathletes in mind. One of the standout features is the seamless transition between run, cycle and swim during a triathlon race, with the screen automatically changing to reflect the new sport, displaying relevant metrics. Wahoo’s watch will sync incredibly easily with the company’s range of bike computers, with all data shared between the two.

If you use TrainingPeaks, you can easily view your training calendar to easily see the value of the next week’s workouts, and log all the other routine metrics, such as calories, steps and heart rate. the ratio of.

12. Fitbit Charge 5

  • Battery life: Up to 7 days
  • Price: AU$270/US$180

The Fitbit Charge 5 is unlike the other watches on this list, mainly because it’s a tracker, as opposed to a watch. This basically means you can’t install third-party apps on it, or interact too much with notifications from your smartphone. However, it has a built-in GPS and heart rate monitor, as well as an Active Zone Minutes feature that can show how intense your workouts are over the course of a day or week, allowing you to see how hard you’ve worked. . Every ride you ride

So, if you’re not too concerned about syncing data with other platforms like Strava, the Fitbit Charge 5 is a pretty basic fitness tracker that gives you the most important information.

13. Fitbit Ionic Cycling Smartwatch

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock.

Award: Best Music Support

Why we love it: The perfect cycling watch with built-in music support that allows you to store up to 300 songs on the device, while also providing GPS access and 50m water resistance.

Pros

  • 5ATM water resistance GPS comes in two band sizes to track fitness metrics.

Cons

  • Not a smartphone replacement.

An interesting note about Fitbit is that many of their watches and general fitness trackers offer similar support. The biggest difference between products with this brand is the total number of game modes that are available and access to smart features. The Ionic is another smartwatch from the brand that provides most of the standard fitness metrics you’d expect while also giving you more options to go hands-free. The Ionic supports multiple cycling modes for indoor, outdoor and stationary, making it one of the best cycling watches for those who prefer a true fitness tracker watch.

Like other Fitbits, the Ionic provides better data for steps, heart rate, sleep, activity, and calories burned. It can also pair with Apple and Android devices. GPS support tracks your route but you will also get elevation details. The battery can last up to four days depending on how often you rely on power-hungry features like GPS. We love that this pick can store up to 300 songs directly on the device. You will get limited smart support like notifications for calls, texts and calendar updates. Android users will also get support for popular media streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora. Consider the best smartwatch for medical professionals, nurses too.

14.  LetsCom Fitness Tracker Cycling Smartwatch

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock.

Award: Best on a Budget

Why we love it: A streamlined wallet-friendly fitness tracker with 14 sports modes, GPS support, and a heart monitor that still offers limited smart functionality and up to seven days of battery life.

Pros

  • 14 sport modes include heart monitor GPS support.

Cons

  • Drop Sync with occasional phones Low IP67 water resistance

Whether you’re shopping on a budget or just don’t like the bulky size of most smartwatches, we love the LETSCOM fitness tracker as a slim and wallet-friendly alternative to the most expensive smartwatches. It still provides the key benefits you need without the sticker shock. The pack has 14 training modes, with a cycle option that includes indoor and outdoor cycling modes. You’ll also get GPS support so you can track your routes in an app that works with both Apple and Android devices.

We like that you get a range of limited smart functions including notifications for calls and texts, as well as updates from your social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, LINE, and Twitter. You’ll get fitness tracking support for steps, heart rate, sleep, activity, and sedentary reminders to stay active. Uniquely, this pick comes with a remote camera app so you can control the camera on your smartphone. The only downsides we saw were that it’s limited to an IP67 rating which means it can be exposed to water occasionally but isn’t designed for swimming.

 Additionally, we noted through customer reviews that the watch occasionally gets out of sync with phones, which can be a problem if you’re trying to track fitness. For your training purposes, you can consider the best fitness smartwatch that includes sleep and fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level, and ECG sensors.

15. Suunto 9 Baro Cycling Smartwatch

Award: Best Stability

Why we love it: One of the best watches for mountain biking with more than 80 tracking modes, 100 meters of water resistance, and on-screen map navigation that relies on better GPS support.

Pros

  • Supports more than 80 tracking modes 10 ATM water resistance On-screen map navigation

Cons

  • No local heart rate tracking

If you’re going to be traversing rough trails and traveling less charted routes, you need the Suunto 9 Baro. While most cycling watches are limited to one or two additional satellites in addition to GPS, the 9 Baro has five satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and Beidou. Along with that, you’ll also get ABC sensors and two tracking metrics known as Climb and Loop, two tracking metrics that run on the Sky for floor climbing and outdoor activities. This makes it one of the best watches for mountain biking. There are also heatmaps for discovering new trails—all of which sync with the watch for a hands-free experience.

Suunto 9 Baro is water resistant up to 100 meters and also offers more than 80 sport profiles. It includes robust cycling tracking for pace, laps, average heart rate, and interval guidance. Standard fitness and health tracking includes calories, steps, activity, stress, sleep and recovery. Battery life can range from 25 hours in training mode to 14 days in time mode using GPS. Oddly, this puck lacks a wrist-based heart rate tracker as it must be purchased separately as a chest strap accessory that is compatible with the watch. And for your kids, consider buying the best smartwatch for kids that has a dial pad that can be disabled through a parental control app on your cell phone.

How did we decide?

  • Smartwatches can track quite a bit of data, but when you’re shopping for your cycling accessory, some metrics carry more weight than others. To create our guide to the best cycling smartwatches, we focused on cycling profiles, GPS support, functionality and battery life. In addition to the Apple Watch, all of our picks are designed to work with both Apple and Android devices.
  • GPS is important for people who like to ride their bikes outdoors or in more rugged areas that may not be as easy to follow on a basic map. So, in addition to GPS, you’ll also want to look for watches that include additional satellites like GLONASS, Galileo, or Beidou. Likewise, cyclists especially need to look for watches with more optimized cycling profiles. It is quite common to find watches with options for indoor, outdoor and stationary cycling exercises.
  • All of our selections include some level of smart support. Those looking for a true smartphone alternative should consider their current smartphone and choose either the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Both these models are designed to seamlessly connect with their respective OSs and offer full app support for making and receiving calls, sending and receiving texts, and more. This isn’t always possible with third-party brands like Garmin or Fitbit, especially if you’re an iPhone user.
  • Finally, you need to consider battery life. For people cycling indoors or on a stationary bike, battery life may not be as big of a concern. But for outdoor enthusiasts—especially people who mountain bike over rough terrain—a battery that can support GPS use for long periods of time is important.

The best smartwatches for the cycling buyer’s guide

Best cyclist watch in 2022

The most important factors to consider

OS compatibility

Most smartwatches that track your fitness metrics are designed to sync with a smartphone so you can review the data in more detail. Most of the smartwatches you can find in the market are designed to work with both Apple and Android phones. But, depending on the age of your phone and the current version of the operating system (OS) you are using, your smartwatch may not support older OS versions.

Cycling profiles

Tracking movement while riding a bike is different from walking. So you want a smartwatch that has different sports modes. In particular, look for models with different cycling modes. In some cases, you can even tell if you’re riding on the road, on an indoor track, or on gravel. This helps the smartwatch track your data more accurately and make adjustments as needed based on location.

Methods of cycling

Because smartwatches are designed to be used in multiple sports, they often come with different modes to suit everything from swimming to alpine skiing. These modes will display different data fields related to your chosen game.

Many have specific cycling modes, with multiple profiles suitable for road or mountain biking. Others will go to establish training zones to provide training exercises and cycling performance tests.

While some provide many specific functions for cycling, others will be weighted more towards running for example, so it’s worth thinking about what you want from a watch and whether it’s right for you. There is functionality.

Connectivity

Wahoo says its Element Bolt computer works seamlessly with rival Element smartwatches. Wahoo Fitness

If you use a heart rate strap, speed and cadence sensor, or power meter, you’ll want a watch that will connect to them.

  • For the most part, Bluetooth seems to be the protocol of choice for brands these days, although some high-end watches will also include ANT+ connectivity.
  • If you connect your smartwatch to a power meter, it can display data such as power-to-weight ratio, which is one of the most important stats for climbing.

However, the ubiquity of Bluetooth in GPS watches can cause some problems if you ride with a power meter as SRM and Quarq’s units only broadcast ANT+ signals. However, most other power meters will broadcast over Bluetooth.

Bluetooth connectivity also allows the watch to connect to a phone. Obviously the functionality this opens up varies from watch to watch, but most riders can sync wirelessly, create and edit activity modes, and if connected to your phone, use apps, Allows downloading watch faces and metrics.

A Bluetooth connection also allows the watch to display notifications from your phone. There’s some inconsistency about which application notifications each watch shows, but they can all be limited to calls and texts or turned off entirely during an activity.

Other smartwatches will work in conjunction with a cycling computer or smart trainer. Connecting to a cycling computer is especially useful for triathletes who switch from a swim leg to a bike leg and then to a run.

Many of these watches also have the ability to connect to your home Wi-Fi network, so you can sync your rides without a smartphone connection.

GPS and ABC sensors

If you’re cycling outdoors, GPS support is a great idea if you want to track your route or find new routes. Many smartwatches not only use GPS, but also a combination of satellites such as GLONASS or Galileo. And for those who want to traverse different elevations or spend more time outdoors, an altimeter, barometer, and compass (ABC) sensor is a smart investment. The ABC sensor verifies your altitude and can also tell how close you are to your target destination. But it can also provide weather information such as a storm alarm that can automatically notify you of impending bad weather.

Functionality

Smartwatches can do a lot more than track your movements. Even more fitness-focused versions can support notifications for calls, texts and calendar events. And if you prefer more robust brands like Apple and Samsung, you’ll find hands-free smartphones with mirrors for sending and receiving calls and texts, controlling music, contactless payments, and even app support. You will get experience.

Battery life

No one wants to ride and find that their watch is dead. If you like to ride for long periods of time, a watch with a long battery life is a must. Often, you can find watches with a variety of battery modes to extend battery life depending on whether you’re using GPS. And sometimes that includes the option to rely on solar charging when you’re out and about in the area. But keep in mind that watches designed to act as hands-free smartphone alternatives tend to have shorter battery lives due to the number of functions they offer.

What materials do smartwatches use?

Best cyclist watch in 2022

Most sports activity trackers are designed to be rugged, so they can withstand knocks and shocks. They are also usually waterproof enough for diving.

More basic models will have a plastic case and strap, but spend more and you’ll get a metal bezel or casing, a toughened glass face and you can even buy a metal strap.

If your primary goal is to track sports, though, beware of flashy features. We’ve tested high-end smartwatches that are heavy and uncomfortable to wear, with sharp metal edges that dig into your wrist when gripping the bars.

Smartwatches for Cycling FAQ

What is the best smartwatch for cycling?

The best smartwatch for cycling offers a range of cycling modes to accommodate you across multiple terrains. Also, look for watches with better GPS support that include additional satellites like GLONASS and Galileo and ABC sensors. And depending on what you prefer, smart function support like options like making and receiving calls or texts, controlling music, or other hands-free features can be good options.

Is the Apple Watch good for cycling?

Apple’s new watches feature GPS plus ABC sensors, making them ideal for cyclists who want to ride outdoors. Additionally, you will get emergency trip and SOS support as a safety feature. Because it offers more robust features such as water resistance, and true hands-free smartphone switching functionality, it’s a great option for a cyclist who’s an Apple user.

Do I need a touchscreen?

Some smartwatches have a touchscreen interface, though most operate with an array of buttons. Touchscreens can be very intuitive and easy to use away from the bike, but they can be difficult to work with when you’re riding, so having buttons is also useful as a fallback.

Deciding between a touchscreen and buttons is more of a personal preference than anything else. The buttons have a more tactile feel and guaranteed feedback, while the quality of the touchscreen, and their performance in wet weather, can vary by brand.

On the other hand, touchscreen displays are often more aesthetically pleasing with fewer bezels and sometimes smaller screens. Typically a touchscreen smartwatch will also feature buttons. This can allow you to use buttons to control functions during exercise to prevent you from inadvertently stopping recording while riding.

What battery life can I expect?

The best smartwatches include advanced battery management functionality, which lets you squeeze out plenty of battery life between charges.

You can expect about a week of battery life from the best smartwatches, if you’re only using them in smartwatch mode. Once you start using a GPS chip to track your activity this will decrease significantly, but they should still compete with the best cycling computers.

If you’re doing long rides, a good cycling smartwatch should include the option to dial up the battery’s maximum functionality to add days to its runtime. This may include reducing the sensitivity or sample rate for GPS tracking or turning off certain connectivity functions or inbuilt sensors, or simply powering down the screen.

Garmin has increased battery life by adding an option to opt for solar charging in some of its smartwatches. We didn’t get much of a boost in battery life in the Phoenix 6, but its replacement, the Phoenix 7, has significantly increased battery life. The Garmin Enduro, also charged by solar power, is claimed to last up to a year between charges in its lowest power mode and 95 days with low-power GPS tracking.

When it comes time to recharge your smartwatch, most use a USB cable, although it may be one with a connector that is specific to your smartwatch.

What navigation features do smartwatches provide?

You can expect route planning and navigation in a smartwatch designed for sports. As a minimum look at the breadcrumb trail of the default route, but a more sophisticated one will also include a base map.

If you follow a predetermined route, the best smartwatches will give you turn-by-turn directions like a cycling computer. You can find a way to ride in, though it may require you to carry a smartphone with you.

You can find many other features of the best cycling computers such as back-to-start routing, hill climb profiles and weather alerts.

What connectivity features should I look for?

Before buying, check the compatibility of your power meter or cadence sensors with a cycling smartwatch. Some watches don’t pair with external sensors, especially if they’re intended for general fitness as well as cycling.

The best smartwatches for cycling include BLE connectivity so you can connect to these devices. You’ll also often find ANT+ connectivity on devices designed specifically for cycling and multisport tracking.

Optical heart rate sensors work by illuminating your capillaries with LEDs. As your blood pumps, the density changes and light is reflected differently. The watch then translates this into a beats per minute reading.

Although many smartwatches have wrist-based heart rate monitoring, you can get a more accurate measurement if you wear a separate heart rate monitor strap, as the motion and sweat optical sensors in the wrist work together. can affect the way

If you already have an HRM, check that the smartwatch will work with it, although most modern HRMs will broadcast both BLE and ANT+ signals.

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