Bike Computer or GPS


where's me bike
i currently have a 5 function halfords bike computer on my trike of which i had to fabricate a bracket for the wheel sensor. It is a bit small to read the display but hey ho it was all i could afford when i bought it. Now i am wondering if it would be benificial to upgrade to a GPS when funds allow as i dont really like the idea of extra brackets and magnets etc as with the bike computer lol. If it would be beneficial then what would be good eg Garmin GPSmap but these are expensive but then me being a radio ham if it has an nmea output i could interface it with my radio etc thus providing dual use.
I am interested in peoples thoughts on the subject of bike computer vs GPS
I use a Nokia windows phone ( sadly no longer available new ) and there are a few apps on the windows store
Cyclemeter gives time , speed , max speed, distance , calories burnt and elevation and a post ride map . and a history of rides through the year .

With a 5" screen I am not going to change it for a while longer . second hand they are about £25 ish to buy and a new battery about £7 off ebay to replace .

laters emma


Used a wired, basic bike computer for years and was reliable until I dropped it on the garage floor and the lcd display lost half the digits. But over the years bought additional brackets and magnets, so the I could swap frpm bike to bike. The replacent is a garmin 200 for about £70 and some extra brackets off amazon. All works out much cheaper than another wired computer, magnets and expensive brackets needed for all my bikes.

Wouldnt go back to a basic computer now.


Perhaps This One.....
It depends what you want it for. Just tracking mileage then stick to the basics. I started wanting to use Strava to record my riding as part of a recovery a few years back, so bought a Garmin 200, great for mileage recording and seeing where you've been. You'll need to get to an 800 or 810 (or whatever the newer replacements are now) to get route planning and maps.
There are other options, and I've read good things of Wahoo units, so maybe a search on here will provide a bit more info.


South Tyneside
Used my smartphone, with an App called Runkeeper, for a few years, with no real problem, except phone battery life. No wires, magnets etc required.

When it came around to my 70th birthday, and the inevitable "what would you like for your birthday" questions, I hinted for a Garmin 800 Edge GPS, which I received, courtesy of my daughters.

I have no problem with the Garmin, recording rides, transferring data to Runkeeper etc (yes, I am a gadget freak, I admit), but, I have yet to use it successfully as a GPS.
I did the usual route of starting with computers, then moving on to smartphone Strava recording, struggling with battery life and finally buying a Garmin (edge touring). But for the last 2 years I haven't bothered with anything. I will occasionally get the Garmin back out if I'm in an area I don't know, as the 'get you home' function has been useful in the past, but generally I enjoy the freedom of not recording anything. Cycling is one of lifes simple pleasures. Why complicate it with too much gadgetry?


The Glue that binds us together.
Wahoo. Much better than a garmin.:okay:
Are you after just a distance/speed record or a map function to see where you're going/gone ??
If the first then a plain bike comp is easier.
If the second then you need to work out both for how long you want to ride on a charge and the ease of recharging it.
I use a Garmin eTrex 30 with either the UK or the pan Europe map simply for the fact it runs off AA batteries.
This means I can keep a second set of recargables charged off solar/hub dynamo while on tour.
It takes a bit to work out it's quirks while plotting a route into it, but I like it.

Luck ........ :biggrin:
I have a garmin gps smartwatch, tracks my steps, running, swimming and cycling. I just get on any of my bikes and go, nothing to attach. Doesn’t need a smart phone if you don’t have one as it’ll sync with a pc when you get home. Battery life is about 5-6 days as a watch and about 10 hours as a gps device, which means I usually get about 3 rides in before I recharge. Recharging takes about 2 hours and I never have to change batteries.

I don’t see the point in buying a separate computer/gps just for one bike.


Well-Known Member
My chum [he is the only one] recommended Despite being an ex RAF navigator he does know what he is talking about Its a free app which you download onto your phone. The maps you require are stored on the phone.

Last year when I rode to Vienna I had downloaded all the sections I needed, before I went, using wifi. Worked a treat , especially for finding loo's and restaurants.

Normally I have a Garmin Edge Touring, and wouldn't ride without one. Being a saddo I have kept a note of all the rides since I started at 50. Lots of noise last week when I passed the 95000 miles.
Have used loads of wired and wireless computers over the years.

And for a fair few years, gently, (I like to think) mocked folk on rides with GPSs.

Then eventually I bought a Garmin Etrex 20 - one of the cheaper ones but is fine for both navigating and checking distance and other stuff. And perversely perhaps I find that one benefit of it is I am less interested in the speed I am going. So despite all that data potentially at my fingertips I am actually far more relaxed. Swapping between bikes is also a doddle, even if a tenner for each separate mount seems a bit of a fiddle. But the mount is good.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the Etrex20 (now the 20x) but do check the screen size - it isn't terribly large and although fine for me it is possible that that might be an issue on a recumbent, depending on where/how you had it mounted.


Middle aged bald git.
Standard smartphone and external battery pack for longer rides. A choice of apps all do a good job of recording distance, speed, appx. calorie burn and map of route as well.

Time Waster

Well-Known Member
For just speed and distance garmin edge 20 GPS isn't bad. If you're after using sensors such speed cadence, hrm or power then the edge 25 model is good I have that. After a dodgy start with the first one bought for £79 at Aldi which stopped working reliably I got a second from Aldi for £45 and it's been very reliable. A lot more than the wahoo cadence sensor I tried with it for a while. Now it's just a speed and distance display while I ride. My fitbit Surge does the recording of my ride now. I should just put a basic computer on (wired obviously because wireless signals gets interfered with by most flashing front lights IME).
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