6 Best Smartwatches for Cycling In 2020 Reviewed

Smartwatches may not be the most important accessory for a cyclist, especially for those who still benefit from big-screened handlebar GPS. Nowadays, smartwatches have vastly improved and promises to deliver more than just GPS and route, which may interest many cyclists. 

In this article, we are going to dive specifically into cycling features in smartwatches, as well as the other features available. We will then offer you the best of the best watches that may be suitable to your needs. 

TLDR – Top Pick

Our top pick for the best smartwatch for cycling is the Fitbit Versa 2.

Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (S and L Bands Included)

    Last update on 2020-12-04 at 16:53 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Features You Need To Consider

    Not everybody needs a fancy gadget to accompany them during bike rides, but you might change your mind if you knew more about how a smartwatch can help track your fitness.

    There are certain features in a smartwatch that a cyclist needs and wants. Let’s dive right into the things you need to consider before purchasing your own smartwatch. 

    The Basic Fitness Features

    Even if you’re a dedicated cyclist, you want your smartwatch to be equipped with the usual features. Some of the most basic features include steps taken, heart rate, sleep cycle, as well as GPS. 

    A smartwatch should function as more than your typical handlebar GPS. You want your smartwatch to help monitor your fitness and progress even when you’re off the bike. This will then come in handy if you also enjoy other sports. 

    Heart Rate Monitor

    We know well that smartwatches use optical technology, which is not as good as the heart strap. There are certain limitations, your skin needs to touch the sensors at all times, and even then there might still be errors. 

    But an optical monitor is good enough for daily tracking or even training goals. To add, the technology is constantly improving and considerably more convenient than having to wear a chest strap all day. 

    Cycling Features

    Aside from the basic feature, you want a smartwatch that offers cycling mode. Each pedal is tracked differently compared to that of a step. Some smartwatches can automatically track your activities, but some need to be set beforehand. Either way, you need to have a cycling feature. 

    In addition, it would be great if your watch can be equipped with altimeters – to measure altitude, and accelerometers – to measure the increase and decrease of speed. This extra data can be useful, especially if you are training or if you have personal goals. 

    GPS

    Now, who wants to have to use a handlebar GPS after already buying a smartwatch. Nobody. Be sure to buy the smartwatch with the best GPS. Now some watches already have a chip, but others still need the GPS in your phone. Both are perfectly fine, but you ought to choose the first one if you can.

    Comfort & Design

    Last but not least, you want to consider if the exterior and functionality of the watch suits your needs. There are a couple of features to consider. 

    Display

    People like the handlebar GPS because of their considerably larger display. If this made you hesitant about getting a smart watch before, then it’s an easy fix. Just look for the smartwatch which has a bigger screen. 

    Battery Life

    Battery life is not much of an issue until you are enabling your GPS for the entire ride and forgot to charge your battery. The biggest drain in battery life is caused by GPS. As a cyclist, needing GPS, it’s important to set your sights on something that offers quality battery performance. 

    Water Resistance

    Nobody can control the weather, but you can control how you react to the weather. It’s always a good idea to be prepared before a storm and get that waterproof smartwatch. Aside from being useful during heavy or light downpour, you can also use your smartwatch during swimming – that is, if you swim. 

    The Best Cycling Smartwatch Reviewed

    If you are interested to purchase one and you already know what to look for, check out our review to make sure the smartwatch is a compatible fit to your needs.

    If you’re still deliberating, check out the pros and cons of each smartwatch here: 

    1. Apple Watch Series 5

    Key Features:

    • Available in multiple colors and sizes
    • GPS
    • Retina display
    • Large screen
    • Swim proof

    The Apple Watch series 5 is a great option for cyclists. With its built in GPS and large display. The screen will show all kinds of real time information. It is swim proof, so it can definitely withstand a little rain. It has an ECG app that works well. It has both an electrical and optical heart sensor which will track your heart rate throughout the day, as long as you have the watch on you. 

    This smartwatch supports outdoor fitness in multiple ways. It has a built-in compass, it can track elevation, and can send out an emergency SOS if it detects a fall. All of this feature is easy to see on their always-on display. It can also tell you if the environment is getting too loud. A little treat for the ladies, it can even track your menstrual cycle. 

    Apple Watch can also help you crush your fitness goals by constantly reminding you to stand up and exercise. All the health and fitness features aside, this watch can also stream limitless choices of songs and connect to various apps. Fitness and social apps alike. You can also receive notifications even when you’re away from your phone. 

    Pros:

    • Sleep tracking works great
    • Built in GPS
    • Large screen display
    • Compatible with many apps
    • Great basic fitness features

    Cons:

    • Missing parts because of shipping
    • Pricey
    • Battery life is not great
    • Difficult to return
    Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport Band
    Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport Band

      Last update on 2020-12-04 at 16:53 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      2. Samsung Galaxy Watch

      Key Features:

      • Supports GPS
      • Bluetooth connectivity
      • Available in 2 sizes
      • Available in 3 colors
      • Multi day battery

      The Samsung Galaxy watch is a great smartwatch for cyclists, simply because you are able to leave your phone behind on your rides. Aside from that, this watch supports a multi-day battery and can stay on longer even with the GPS on. If you have a Galaxy Phone, you can boost the battery with Wireless Power Share. It also supports running, swimming as well as other exercises. Being available for swimming, you already know that it is waterproof and is safe to use in all types of weather. 

      If you use the watch throughout the day, you can also track your Meditation, Stress, Sleep and even breathing. A great collection of data to help improve your fitness and cycling abilities. Another cool feature on this watch is its safety feature. You can set up an emergency contact who will be notified if you ever suffer a hard fall during your ride. Although it doesn’t track ECG, it has various advanced health monitoring. 

      The watch face is high resolution, durable, and stylish (personal preference). Even though everything is visible in real time, you can always view the data later on your mobile or computer. 

      Pros:

      • Great for fans of a big watch
      • Great display resolution
      • Great battery life
      • Significant improvement compared to the previous generation
      • Syncs perfectly with mobile devices

      Cons:

      • Pricey
      • Is not compatible with Verizon
      • Not suitable for a small wrist
      • Issues with the LTE Version
      • ECG unavailable
      Sale
      Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (45mm, GPS, Bluetooth) Smart Watch with Advanced Health Monitoring, Fitness Tracking , and Long lasting Battery - Mystic Black (US Version)
      Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (45mm, GPS, Bluetooth) Smart Watch with Advanced Health Monitoring, Fitness Tracking , and Long lasting Battery - Mystic Black (US Version)

        Last update on 2020-12-04 at 18:03 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        3. Fitbit Versa 2

        Key Features:

        • 6 colors available (including special version)
        • Built in GPS
        • Built in Amazon Alexa
        • Tracks Sleep
        • Control various apps

        The Fitbit Versa 2 is one of many products by Fitbit which is great for cyclists. Although not waterproof for swimming, it’s still safe to use during a downpour. You also get a built-in GPS, so no need to piggyback off the GPS on your phone. Aside from the cycling feature, it also accommodates other features such as heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, connectivity with other apps, getting notification, and even access to Alexa.

        Connect to other apps such as Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, and play songs from your wrist. Keep it on during the day and track your steps, distance, calories, activities, floors climbed and much more. You can easily view this on their considerably larger display. They support up to 6 days of battery life, of course this varies with your usage. It is compatible with both Apple and Android devices. 

        A clear contender for a fitness watch, with all the features a cyclist is bound to be looking for. 

        Pros:

        • Budget friendly
        • Easy access to Alexa
        • Built in GPS
        • Receives notification (if synced properly)
        • Tracks fitness

        Cons:

        • Not compatible for swimming
        • App integration issues
        • Issues synching with devices
        • Bluetooth issues
        Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
        Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (S and L Bands Included)

          Last update on 2020-12-04 at 16:53 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          4. Garmin Fenix 6S

          Key Features:

          • Available in multiple colors and styles
          • Display size is 1.2”
          • Wrist heart rate tracking
          • Outdoor navigation feature
          • Up to 9 days of battery

          The Garmin Fenix 6s is a very attractive design, personal preference. It is on the smaller side and is better for people with smaller wrists. It comes with a ½” display and stainless steel buttons. It has Pulse Ox to track your heart rate and to monitor your sleep. Do not use it and expect to monitor actual medical conditions. You can see various things on the display including training load balance, training status, as well as running and cycling dynamics. 

          This watch proves to be great for cyclists, its outdoor navigation feature is amazing. It has a built-in sensor for 3 axis compasses, barometric altimeter, and even supports many global navigation systems, better than your typical GPS system. Compatible with smartphones and has a quite impressive battery life, up to 9 days. Of course, the battery life varies with your GPS usage. 

          The design, aside from being stylish, has also been tested and found to withstand thermal, shock, and is water resistant.

          Pros:

          • Great fitness tracking
          • Adequate sleep tracking
          • Great packaging
          • Battery life is grand

          Cons:

          • Difficulties installing   battery
          • Heart rate monitor has issues
          • The size is smaller
          • Does not support Wi-Fi
          Sale
          Garmin fenix 6S, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Smaller-Sized, Heat and Altitude Adjusted V02 Max, Pulse Ox Sensors and Training Load Focus, Silver with Black Band
          Garmin fenix 6S, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Smaller-Sized, Heat and Altitude Adjusted V02 Max, Pulse Ox Sensors and Training Load Focus, Silver with Black Band

            Last update on 2020-12-04 at 18:03 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            5. Suunto 9

            Key Features:

            • Available in 3 colors
            • Size: 1.97 x 1.97 x 0.67 inches
            • Waterproof
            • Up to 120 hours battery life
            • GPS tracking available

            The Suunto 9 Smartwatch is truly designed for sport. Both indoors and outdoor. The outdoor features are great for cyclists, it offers more than you would need. It is also waterproof, up to 100 m and is more than enough to withstand your typical downpour. It has GPS, barometer, and altimeter. It has over 80 sport modes including cycling, running, swimming, interval training, and more. The battery life can stand up to 120 hours, of course it varies with your usage. The GPS and navigation are reasonably accurate. It also displays real time information viewable from the watch face. 

            If you wear it throughout the day, you can stay connected with your notifications and social media. Other than that you can also track instant heart rate, your steps, and also calories burned. Although the step count proves to be less than accurate. You can connect to sport services such as Strava, Endomondo, Adidas Running and much more. 

            In the box you get the watch a USB cable, a quick guide, as well as a warranty leaflet. It weighs around 70g and will fit wrists sizing 130 up to 230mm. 

            Pros:

            • Great for various exercises
            • Battery life is great
            • Intuitive user interface
            • Altimeter and barometer is great
            • GPS functions well

            Cons:

            • Customer service response time is not good
            • Step tracking is inaccurate
            • Compass needs time to load
            Sale
            Suunto 9, GPS Sports Watch with Long Battery Life and Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Barometer, Black
            Suunto 9, GPS Sports Watch with Long Battery Life and Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Barometer, Black

              Last update on 2020-12-04 at 18:03 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              6. POLAR IGNITE 

              Key Features:

              • Multiple sizes
              • 7 colors available
              • Size: 0.17 x 0.17 x 0.04 inches
              • Integrated GPS
              • Measure recovery during sleep

              The Polar Ignite is an impressive sport smart watch. It has the basic feature of a built-in GPS every cyclist should look for. But aside from that, upon usage, the features prove to be extremely accurate. The technology they used to track heart rate is spot on. They also offer additional features such as a daily training guide which can help you if you do need that feature.

              Another training benefit they offer is the nightly recharge feature. They track how much your body recovers during your sleep. However, this feature does not work as well as the other features they offer. They also track your sleep during sleeping, and that feature works great. 

              The Polar Ignite can also guide you through breathing exercises, monitor your calories and notify you on text and emails. Aside from cycling, it’s also compatible for running, hiking, swimming and much more. Outdoor sports are made more interesting since you can track your speed, distance and route. 

              Pros:

              • Built in GPS
              • Accurate heart rate tracking
              • Accurate GPS tracking
              • Easy to use
              • Compatible with multiple sports

              Cons:

              • Difficulties synching
              • Night recharge feature has issues
              • Battery life has issues
              • Display choices limited
              Sale
              POLAR IGNITE - Advanced Waterproof Fitness Watch (Includes Polar Precision Heart Rate Integrated GPS and Sleep Plus Tracking)
              POLAR IGNITE - Advanced Waterproof Fitness Watch (Includes Polar Precision Heart Rate Integrated GPS and Sleep Plus Tracking)

                Last update on 2020-12-04 at 18:03 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                Our Top Pick

                After going through all the worthy smartwatch for cycling, Fitbit Versa 2 does come out on top. Fitbit focuses on a fitter lifestyle and this version offers a built-in GPS, a bigger watch face, and other features a cyclist is bound to be looking for. Aside from that, it’s also budget friendly while still supporting many features higher end models support.

                At the end of the day, it comes down to your preference, because all the above choices are perfectly suitable for cyclists. 

                Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
                Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (S and L Bands Included)

                  Last update on 2020-12-04 at 16:53 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  Perry
                  Perry
                  Hello, my names Perry and I've been a freelance writer for the past 5 years and a cycling enthusiastic since I can remember. I love the road, but my main passion is mountain biking.