One of the best cheap cycling computers can record where you've been on your ride, logging your speed and other data every second or so, and providing you with a rich and complete log of each bike trip. Some can also guide your ride with on-screen maps and turn directions. These are the best cheap cycling GPS units we've found.
The functions of a cheap GPS cycling computer are useful whether you're training and want to track effort and hills against speed, or whether you're exploring and want to know where you've been. There are probably as many ways of using GPS on a bike as there are cyclists.
Even a basic cheap GPS cycling computer can record your rides in far more detail than a standard computer.
Many cheap GPS cycling computers have a 'back to start' function that'll help get you home if you get lost.
You don't get maps and full car-satnav style directions with many cheap GPS cycling computers, but some have rudimentary breadcrumb navigation that can help you find new routes.
If you also want fitness data, pick up a cheap GPS cycling computer that can read heart rate or even power from ANT+ or Bluetooth sensors.
10 of the best cheap GPS cycle computers for 2022
Buy Now for £49.99 from Amazon
We have one of these very modestly-priced units on test and first impressions are good. The interface is straightforward, it gets a location fix quickly and it works with ANT+ sensors, including power, which is unusual for such a cheap GPS. With Coospo's Android & iPhone app you can have it send your rides straight to Strava, though it's slightly odd that the app is the only way to download your ride data from the device.
Buy Now for £62.04 from Amazon
If you want a bigger screen that displays more data at any given time, this inexpensive unit could be just what you're looking for.
Bryton Rider 420E
Buy Now for £99.99 from Tredz
The Bryton Rider 420E is a competent and compact GPS computer that packs in a lot of tech for its diminutive size and small price. It has excellent battery life too.
With no colour touchscreen, detailed maps or wi-fi, the Bryton might seem a little bit lacking in this day and age. If you want a computer that is simple to set up, use and that works with all of your ancillary devices, though, you won't really be disappointed.
The Rider 420E is a top-notch unit. It feels well built and is certainly durable – it got dropped a few times just to see how it would cope with a crash and there isn't a single mark on the body or screen. As far as the software goes, that worked flawlessly too. I haven't had the unit crash on me when out riding, and all the uploads have been taken care of without issue.
Read our review of the Bryton Rider 420E
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Garmin Edge 130 Plus
Buy Now for £147.80 from Amazon
Currently widely discounted, Garmin's Edge 130 offers a lot of performance in a small package, with ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor and smartphone connectivity, decent battery life, an easy-to-use button-controlled layout and, perhaps best of all, an absolutely pin-sharp display. You don't get fully fledged navigation like the pricier Garmin models but the basic setup is usable if that's not your top priority.
Garmin's GPS computers have been getting bigger and more feature-packed over the years, but the Edge 130 Plus harks back to the iconic 500. It's not only compact, but the stripped-back features focus on offering the core functions and fewer superfluous ones that, in my opinion, have been bloating some of the bigger and pricier Garmins at the expense of solid reliability.
Read our review of the Garmin Edge 130 Plus
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Mio Cyclo 210
Buy Now for £159.00 from Amazon
As far as we know this is the cheapest bike-specific GPS with map display. It has a touchscreen too.
It uses Open Street Map files for its mapping, which helps keep the cost down. This open source mapping effort has improved in leaps and bounds in the last few years, but it's still not quite as good as Ordnance Survey maps. For this price, though, you really can't grumble.
The downside is that the Cyclo 210 has no ANT+ or Bluetooth connectivity so you can't hook up cadence, power or heart rate sensors and you have to use a cable to connect to your PC to upload rides to Strava and the like. If you can put up with that limitation, though, this is a good-value, capable little GPS.
Read our review of the Mio Cyclo 210
Polar V650 with OH1
Buy Now for £159.99 from Amazon
Polar's V650 is an easy-to-use GPS bike computer with some neat features. It communicates to other devices only via Bluetooth Smart and not ANT+ but unless you have a big collection of ANT+ devices that's probably not as big a deal it once was, given so many devices now use both protocols.
It's slightly amazing that the V650 is still around; we reviewed it in 2015 which in terms of GPS development might as well be the Old Stone Age. Nevertheless, it was a decent unit then and subsequent firmware upgrades added plenty of useful features to its original set of metrics, including mapping and navigation.
It’s also compatible with a few power meters, although most of the ones Polar lists have since been discontinued, leaving the the excellent Favero Assioma pedals as your sole option. But with an Assioma Uno for £327.15, you’re looking at power measurement and satnav for under £500.
Read our review of the Polar V650 with OH1
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Garmin Edge Explore
Buy Now for £199.99 from Decathlon
The Edge Explore is something of an outlier in Garmin's range of GPS-enabled computers in that it's focused on touring, just going for a ride and, as the name suggests, exploring, rather than fitness and training. That means it has a nice big map display, an excellent touchscreen and ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor compatibility, except for power meters which recreational riders are assumed not to use. Garmin has also stripped out a load of other fitness and training-related features like Strava Live segments and training metrics like FTP and VO2Max.
If you're not fussed about training and fitness, the Edge Explore is a really good cycling GPS with a big screen and nicely-executed navigation for a very sensible price.
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FAQ: Things to know about GPS cycling computers
How do GPS cycling computers work?
GPS-enabled bike computers pick up signals from a network of satellites that orbit the earth at an altitude of about 20,000km. These satellites use atomic clocks to transmit time and position very accurately. A GPS receiver uses the signals from several satellites to work out its position to within five metres.
Technically, GPS is the name for the United States' satellite constellation and signalling system. Others includes Russia's GLONASS, the European Union's Galileo and China's BeiDou. The tech industry wants us to call these global navigation satellite systems, GNSS for short, but non-nerds seem unlikely to stop calling them all GPS any time soon.
Who makes cycling GPS computers?
US-based company Garmin dominates the field of GPS-enabled cycling computers, partly because it has a wide range of good quality products, partly because it was first to market with the Edge 205 and 305 models in 2006.
As GPS receiver chips have become more widely available in the last few years, more manufacturers have entered the market. GPS-enabled computers are available from traditional bike computer makers such as CatEye and Sigma, as well as new players like Lezyne, Bryton, and Mio.
If you have multiple bikes, a big advantage of GPS computers is that you can swap them from one to another without faffing changing set-up.
Do all cycling GPS units have maps?
No, only the more expensive ones. There are two types of GPS bike computer. Less expensive units use GPS to replace the sensors of a traditional bike computer and display data such as speed, trip distance and time, as well as recording your ride for later analysis.
More expensive GPS units have full satellite navigation functions, with map display and turn-by-turn navigation of a preset route, or one the computer generates on the fly.
Some GPS units are able to pick up signals from heart rate monitor straps and on-bike sensors to log additional data such as heart rate and cadence.
How much do they cost?
You can get started with on-bike GPS logging for as little as £50 if you shop around. Mapping GPS units start around £150 because of the larger screen and battery and more sophisticated electronics.
Explore the complete archive of reviews of GPS cycle computers on road.cc
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