Best Fitness Tracker For Cycling (Top 5)

Some fitness trackers are great, but some are terrible. While most fitness trackers will count the number of steps you do each day, they’re not always well suited to cycling metrics, even if it does other cool things like measure your heart rate.

Without any location tracking or GPS functionality, there is no sensible way to track the distance you have cycled.

This is why we recommend that if you want a fitness tracker for cycling, you should go for one with GPS.

We’ve been checking out some of the best fitness trackers out now and examining their suitability for cycling. After much deliberation, we were able to handpick our top 5 to review for you. That’s coming up shortly.

But, we get that choosing one can be tricky, so we’ve also put together a handy buying guide for you. It lays out all the key things to think about before you buy. You can use it as a quick checklist.

A quick heads up – this article concentrates on fitness trackers you can wear on your wrist, but we have also included a cycling GPS unit which isn’t the same thing but may be worth considering.

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)
Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors and More, Black
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer with Mapping, Dynamic Performance Monitoring and Popularity Routing
Garmin vívosport, Fitness/Activity Tracker with GPS and Heart Rate Monitoring, Slate, Large
Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS
Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch
Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS
Garmin Edge 530, GPS Cycling Computer with Mapping
Garmin Vívosport Fitness/Activity Tracker with GPS and Heart Rate Monitoring
Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)
Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS
Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors and More, Black
Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS
Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer with Mapping, Dynamic Performance Monitoring and Popularity Routing
Garmin Edge 530, GPS Cycling Computer with Mapping
Garmin vívosport, Fitness/Activity Tracker with GPS and Heart Rate Monitoring, Slate, Large
Garmin Vívosport Fitness/Activity Tracker with GPS and Heart Rate Monitoring

Let’s get straight to it!

Our Best Fitness Tracker For Cycling Reviews

1. Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness And Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)

Talk about flying off the shelves! It’s the number one best-seller in the category of activity and fitness trackers with the leading online retailers.

On Amazon alone there are over a whopping 63,000 individual customer ratings on this watch, and that’s not to mention all those who bought the watch but didn’t leave a review. 

Better yet, even after so many individual customer ratings, the average customer rating still comes out at a very impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5.

It’s very smart and sleek and minimalist. You can have it in black, in black and granite reflective, or in rosewood.

There’s GPS already built-in, so you don’t need to pair it with a smartphone to track your cycling routes.

A workout intensity map will come up on the map, showing how your heart rate changes along your route. And it also uses your heart rate reading to calculate your calories burned.

One great feature of this watch is how it alerts you when you hit your target heart rate zone, perfect for those who are working out to burn excess body fat. And it will track your speed as well as distance covered.

We also love how it will play all your Spotify Premium music – nice touch!

It has a very high level of water resistance (you can even use it swimming) so you don’t need to worry about it breaking if you get caught in the rain.

In GPS mode the battery will last up to 5 hours on a full charge, which is long enough for most routes. It will last up to 7 days if you take it out of GPS mode.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular fitness tracker, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now. If you do catch a deal, it’s quite the bargain.

Pros

  • A bestseller with excellent customer ratings
  • Tracks your cycling route through built-in GPS
  • It has a smart, sleek and minimalist appearance
  • Measures heart rate to determine calories burned
  • In GPS mode the battery will last up to 5 hours
  • It has a very high level of water resistance

Cons

  • It’s not a smartwatch & won’t give you smartphone notifications

Check Latest Price

2. Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch


Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors and More, Black

Now, this is a fitness tracker that does everything! If it weren’t for the steep price tag, we would have made it our number one pick.

It’s both a fitness tracker and a smartwatch in one. And it’s also a GPS unit. There are over 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including, of course, one for cycling. The app is called Cycling App Professional, and it will track distance, speed, and time.

It will monitor your heart rate throughout the day. And this is perfect if you’re aiming to get your heart rate up to a particular level as you cycle.

And if you find yourself cycling in unfamiliar territory, you might be grateful for the safety features, such as sending your real time location to your emergency contacts.

You will receive phone and text notifications, and you can also use it for listening to and downloading music from apps such as Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer.

But what we believe to be the standout feature of this watch is how you can use it for contactless payments, which is perfect if you need to hop on a bus or train and don’t have any loose change to hand.

It has a very high level of water resistance (you can even use it swimming) so you don’t need to worry about it breaking if you get caught in the rain.

The battery will last for up to a whopping 6 hours in GPS mode, so you could use it for cycling for the best part of a day. In smartphone mode it will last even longer, up to a whopping 8 days.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular fitness tracker, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros

  • 3-in-1 smartwatch, fitness tracker & GPS unit
  • It tracks your cycling routes and your heart rate
  • Receives phone notifications and plays music
  • In GPS mode the battery will last up to 6 hours
  • It has a very high level of water resistance
  • It also features contactless payment

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price


Check Latest Price

3. Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS

Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite

Now this is a watch built for those who love the big outdoors and adventures far from home.

It’s navigational ability is phenomenal. Not only does it send and receive GPS signals, but also to and from other satellite navigation systems, such as Glonass and Galileo, which some would argue are better than GPS, and it’s certainly better than making do with GPS alone.

And that’s not all. It also features a built-in 3 axis compass, a barometer, and an altimeter, so you can see how high up you are above sea level.

There’s also a very handy trackback feature which will help you to navigate back to a named starting point. Perfect for cycling routes in unfamiliar terrain.

It’s built to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions with high levels of both impact and water resistance.

But it doesn’t just do GPS. As a fitness tracker it will measure your heart rate, and you can train against preloaded activity profiles, including of course, a cycling one. 

It’s also a smartwatch, which means when paired with your smartphone, you will be able to receive smartphone notifications.

But what really impressed us with this particular watch is the unbelievable battery life. It will last up to a whopping 16 hours in GPS mode, or up to 14 days in smartwatch mode.

It’s available in 17 different color options, sp there’s something for everybody. 

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular fitness tracker, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros

  • Links to several satellite navigation systems
  • Features an altimeter, barometer and compass
  • Can withstand all kinds of weather conditions
  • It can receive all of your smartphone notifications
  • Impressively long battery life, 16 hours in GPS mode
  • Effectively monitors your heart rate as you cycle
  • Train against a preloaded cycling profile

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price

Check Latest Price

4. Garmin Edge 530, GPS Cycling Computer with Mapping

Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer with Mapping, Dynamic Performance Monitoring and Popularity Routing

This is not the kind of fitness tracker that you wear on your wrist, but it actually does a better job of measuring your cycling workout than a watch would. With the exception that it will not measure your heart rate.

It features GPS and it will track the distance cycled, your speed, and your average speed for the route so far. And if you’re cycling as part of a group and get split up, you can use it to message your fellow cyclists.

Routes, including trails and trail difficulty are all mapped out for you, And if you were to deviate from a particular route, there’s off-course recalculation, or alternatively a route back to the starting point.

But it doesn’t just track your location. When paired with compatible sensors, it can monitor your altitude acclimation, hydration, recovery and more. Plus you can add any free app from the Connect IQ Store.

And if you’re a mountain biker, you’ll appreciate the MTB dynamics track jump count, jump distance, hang time, grit, and so on.

The battery life is nothing short of amazing, with the GPS on it will last a whopping 20 hours!

Pros

  • Uses GPS to map out your route & tracks cycling stats
  • You can use it to message fellow cyclists in the group
  • There’s off-course recalculation & a trackback feature
  • It can be used to measure various mountain bike stats
  • Amazingly long battery life, 20 hours in GPS mode
  • Pair it up with sensors for greater tracking capabilities

Cons

  • Can’t be worn on the wrist
  • Does not measure your heart rate
  • Premium product at a premium price

Check Latest Price

5. Garmin Vívosport Fitness/Activity Tracker with GPS and Heart Rate Monitoringr

Garmin vívosport, Fitness/Activity Tracker with GPS and Heart Rate Monitoring, Slate, Large

This is not the kind of fitness tracker that you wear on your wrist, but it actually does a better job of measuring your cycling workout than a watch would. With the exception that it will not measure your heart rate.

It features GPS and it will track the distance cycled, your speed, and your average speed for the route so far. And if you’re cycling as part of a group and get split up, you can use it to message your fellow cyclists.

Routes, including trails and trail difficulty are all mapped out for you, And if you were to deviate from a particular route, there’s off-course recalculation, or alternatively a route back to the starting point.

But it doesn’t just track your location. When paired with compatible sensors, it can monitor your altitude acclimation, hydration, recovery and more. Plus you can add any free app from the Connect IQ Store.

And if you’re a mountain biker, you’ll appreciate the MTB dynamics track jump count, jump distance, hang time, grit, and so on.

The battery life is nothing short of amazing, with the GPS on it will last a whopping 20 hours!

Pros

  • Uses GPS to map out your route & tracks cycling stats
  • You can use it to message fellow cyclists in the group
  • There’s off-course recalculation & a trackback feature
  • It can be used to measure various mountain bike stats
  • Amazingly long battery life, 20 hours in GPS mode
  • Pair it up with sensors for greater tracking capabilities

Cons

  • Can’t be worn on the wrist
  • Does not measure your heart rate
  • Premium product at a premium price

Check Latest Price

Best Fitness Tracker For Cycling Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. Here’s what to look out for in a fitness tracker for cycling.

GPS Functionality

In order to accurately measure the distances you have travelled, your fitness tracker needs to be able to see your location. You can either achieve this using built-in GPS, or by pairing it with a smartphone that features GPS.

We favor the former because it means you can cycle without the need to carry a smartphone with you.

Heart Rate Tracking

One of the key metrics with just about any form of exercise is your heart rate. By knowing your heart rate you can tell whether you are in the “fat burning zone” which is important to know if your goal is to reduce excess body fat.

Water Resistance

You never really know when it’s going to start raining, so we would recommend that you get yourself a fitness tracker with a decent level of water resistance. At a minimum we would recommend that you go for a watch with a minimum water resistance rating of at least IP56 or higher.

Battery Life

Using the GPS on a fitness tracker can really drive down its battery life. So, if you intend to go on long excursions, be sure to check the battery life when in GPS mode to ensure it will last for the duration of your route.

Other Features

Fitness trackers often come with a great many other features besides. You will need to decide whether you want your fitness tracker to double as a smartwatch, so that you can receive notifications from your smartphone.

Brand

You may already know that there are two main best selling brands in the world of fitness trackers, namely Fitbit and Garmin. They are the best sellers for a reason.

A great many alternative cheaper fitness trackers have come about but none of these have the good, well established reputation of Fitbit and Garmin.

Value For Money

Fitness trackers can really vary in price, with the cheaper ones costing about $15 or so, while the higher end options can cost about $250. 

This is why we recommend that our readers check the prices as you go along, and learn what your money can buy you, so you can make a good, well informed decision about how much your budget should be. 

Last update on 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API