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What’s the Best Cycling Watch on the Market? Your Look at The Best Watches for Biking

[2020 Update]

You can’t be the best cyclist without a great cycling watch on your wrist. There is a wide range to choose from, which is why we went through them all. We found the best cycling watch available. So, let’s talk about it below.

The Watches - At A Glance

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk about our favourite watches and their specs.
Preview
Our Pick
Fitbit Ionic GPS Smart Watch, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
Our Premium Pick
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
The Most Durable
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire - Slate Gray with Black Band
Water Resistance
165 feet (50 m)
165 feet (50 m)
330 feet (100 m)
Strap
Silicone
Silicone
Silicone/Metal
GPS
Yes
Yes
Yes
Heart-Rate Monitor
Yes
Yes
Yes
Touch screen
Yes
Yes
No
Our Pick
Preview
Fitbit Ionic GPS Smart Watch, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
Water Resistance
165 feet (50 m)
Strap
Silicone
GPS
Yes
Heart-Rate Monitor
Yes
Touch screen
Yes
More Information
Our Premium Pick
Preview
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
Water Resistance
165 feet (50 m)
Strap
Silicone
GPS
Yes
Heart-Rate Monitor
Yes
Touch screen
Yes
More Information
The Most Durable
Preview
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire - Slate Gray with Black Band
Water Resistance
330 feet (100 m)
Strap
Silicone/Metal
GPS
Yes
Heart-Rate Monitor
Yes
Touch screen
No
More Information

The Watches

Our Pick

1. Fitbit Ionic Watch

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It’s no surprise that a Fitbit snagged our number 1 spot for the best smartwatch for biking. The brand is legendary. 

Riding is fun but can get boring. Having your favourite songs on the go will keep you entertained. The Ionic lets you store over 300 songs in it. At the end of the day, listening to music on your cycling watch is easier than carrying a phone with you. 

You can even download playlists from Pandora, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

You may have no idea where you’re going. That’s fine, even the most seasoned cyclists get lost. The Fitbit comes with a high-tech GPS, always keeping you safe. It even lets you track your pace. Who wouldn’t want that?

The Fitbit Ionic has a silicone strap. If you didn’t know, silicone is a very soft material. What makes thestrap even better is the fact that there are holes in it, preventing sweat from getting collected. 

The best cycling watches come with bright displays. The Ionic has a 1000 maximum nit screen, easily combating the sun. Let’s not forget that it’s LED too, so the colours are in-your-face.

Whether you’re an expert cycler or not, everyone falls off their bike. It’s unfortunate if you shatter your watch. This will be tough to do with the Ionic by your side. It rocks a Gorilla Glass 3 display, similar to a smartphone. 

Even if you won’t be using it for 4 days straight, it’s nice to know that the Fitbit can last that long. It’s also nice to know that the watch can be used for all sorts of things. From cycling to swimming, to running, the watch tracks everything with real-time stats. 

This isn’t the only way it’ll help you get fitter. The watch comes with workout programs by Adidas, even having on-screen guidance for your workouts. Like any good cycling watch, you’re getting a heart-rate monitor. The watch’s sensor tracks your heart-rate throughout the day. 

Being a great cycling watch, the Fitbit ionic needs to be water-resistant. No surprise, it can handle up to 165 feet (50 m) underwater. 

One of the many reasons why the Ionic is the best smartwatch for biking is that it comes with a touch display. Some smartwatches don’t have touch screens. They require that you use buttons to maneuver their interface. 

What makes it special: 

Workouts by Adidas

2. Garmin Forerunner 945

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What did you think about the 4-day battery in the Fitbit Ionic? The Garmin Forerunner comes with a battery that lasts up to 2 weeks. Whether you’re on a hunting trip or not, having good battery life is always handy. 

If you ever get lost, the Forerunner will help you out. It’ll send your real-life location to emergency contacts in your phone. It will do this automatically, depending on the activity mode it’s on. 

peaking of getting lost, you get a detailed, coloured map to avoid such a thing. However, more and more smartwatches are coming with such a feature. So, it isn’t that special. 

Like the Ionic, you can download music into your Forerunner. You can download playlists from all sorts of platforms, not just Pandora. This includes Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music. 

Whether you’re cycling or not, the watch records activities and gives you feedback. It even tracks how well you’ve been doing for the past week, comparing your work to optimum results. If you want to improve your performance, this is extremely useful.

Cycling’s a great way to pass time. It’s a great way to lose weight as well. If you have a couple of pounds to lose, the Forerunner’s PulseOX is a miracle worker. It monitors your heart rate so that you can get moving. Its pulse Oximeters also has another use, which is monitoring the oxygen levels in your blood. 

The Forerunner’s smart capabilities help you create custom work out plans. How useful is that?

Unfortunately, it’s not a waterproof watch, so we’re disappointed. You’ve probably cycled through rain before, so you know how important this is. 

Unlike the Ionic, it doesn’t have a touch display. 

What makes it special: 

Ability to create custom workout plans
Our Premium Pick

3. Apple Watch Series 5

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Do you want to ride in style? The Apple watch is right up your alley. It comes in a beautiful aluminum case with silicone straps in a multitude of colours.
 
No matter how comfortable silicone is, you might be allergic to it. That’s why we love the fact that you can swap the watch’s straps out. 

When cycling, you can’t take your hands off the wheel. If you’re expecting an important text, your hands would be too busy to wake your watch up. Thankfully, the Apple watch’s screen is always on. This feature is seen in most of the watches on our list too. 

It doesn’t come with a pulse-ox. Instead, it has an ECG monitor. You’ll be able to track your heart rhythm, seeing how it’s responding to your riding. However, this isn’t the coolest thing the Apple watch does. It has a noise alert, notifying you when you’re in settings that could impact your hearing. 

We get another water-resistant watch on our list. Just like the Ionic, the Apple Watch can withstand 165 feet (50 m) underwater. When you have an aluminum case, worrying about the rain rusting your watch is not an issue. You also won’t have to worry about muck staining its straps. Remember that it’s silicone, so dirt slides off with the flick of a wrist. 

It’s a GPS bike watch. As the device has an LED screen, you’ll be able to follow directions in high-quality maps. Along with the GPS, the Apple Watch 5 comes with an easy-to-read compass. The compass even tells you the elevation level you’re at, which is helpful when on hiking trips.

Being an Apple device, it’s no surprise that it connects to Apple Music. From songs to podcasts, rides will be more entertaining. 

Does it have a touch screen? Yes! It is an Apple device, after all.

What makes it special:

Ability to change its straps

4. SUUNTO 9

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Ever rode by a lake and wanted to get in? Don’t worry about getting the SUUNTO wet. It’s one of the most water-resistant watches on our list, being able to withstand 330 feet (100 m) underwater. 

It doesn’t have the longest battery life. You get 5 days out of it, still beating the Ionic in our number 1 spot. 

What is noteworthy is the number of sports modes the Suunto has. There are 80 options for you to choose from. So, the sky’s your limit. 

Having a GPS is nice, but every cycling watch comes with it. The Suunto goes the extra-mile by tracking your whereabouts with its bread crumb system. We’re more than pleased with it. The cherry on top is the fact that the watch lets you plan and mark your routes ahead of time. 

If you’re cycling on a trip, you need to cover as much distance before the sun sets. Without whipping your phone out, you can find out when the sun will set with the SUUNTO 9. It even comes with a storm alarm, letting you get to safety before things get ugly. 

Staying fit with the watch is a piece of cake. The device lets you connect to sports services, getting hold of excellent workouts. 

No, you don’t get a Gorilla Glass display. You get something better, Sapphire glass. It can take quite the beating and will leave you exhausted trying to scratch it up. It’s great for the clumsiest of riders. 

But is it a touch device? Unfortunately, no. 

hat makes it special: 

Its storm alarm
The Most Durable

5. Garmin Fenix 5X

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Garmin seriously knows what they’re doing. They have a second watch on our list, and spoiler alert, there’s a third one too. The Fenis 5X looks rugged. Its stainless-steel case is thick, providing it ample durability. 

The fact that the stainless steel is matted is appreciated. Not only does this make the watch look better, but the matting helps when cycling. It prevents the case from reflecting too much light. 

As you may have noticed from our Apple watch review, we’re fans of . Luckily, Garmin knows how great the material is. The Fenix 5X rock a sapphire display

The Fenix outdoes itself, coming with GPS and GLONASS tracking as well. This lets you maneuver through the hardest settings. You get a 3 Axis compass too. 

Its GPS shows topographic maps, which is great. What’s noteworthy is the fact that you have access to cycling routes. 

The smartwatch is easy to read. Its display is a chroma display. This results in a screen that’s as colourful as can be. It’s LED too, so everything’s bright. Its screen is a gift that keeps on giving as it’s full of transflective tech, never making glare an issue. 

It’s also easy to wear. The Fenix 5X comes with a silicone strap. Remember how we said silicone is uber comfortable? If you ever want to spice things up, you can get the watch with a metal strap instead. It’s much heavier though. 

Other than cycling, the Garmin is great for running. It comes with a widget that shows your training stats at all times. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or not, you’ll appreciate tracking your progress so easily. 

The smartwatch is a great water-resistant piece too. It can handle a 330-foot (100 m) dip underwater. Like the SUUNTO, it takes the cake for the most water resistance. 

If you’re wondering if its touchscreen, the answer’s no.

What makes it special: 

Its rugged design

6. POLAR VANTAGE M

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Its GPS has one of our favourite features: the ability to track the routes used. It even shows you how long you spent on them. It also comes with training programs. 

They’re custom, you but aren’t applicable for cycling, only running. 

Like many watches on our list, the Polar Vantage tracks how well you’ve been working out. Whether you’ve been cycling or not, it analyzes the strain you’ve put your body through. 

It comes with decent battery life. Compared to the watches on our list, it doesn’t do as well. The Vantage can last over a day with a full charge. Once again, it’s not like you’ll be cycling for days on end. 

Most of the watches discussed were water-resistant, you’d expect the Vantage M to be as well. It doesn’t disappoint. The watch rocks a 100 foot (30 m) water resistance rating. Its silicone strap helps with the water resistance, not letting water stick to it. 

Speaking of its strap, there are holes all over, which prevents sweat from collecting.
If you know anything about Polar, you’d know that their heart rate monitors are insanely accurate. No surprise, the one on the Vantage M is very sensitive. The brand says that their watches use the latest bio-impedance electrodes and optical sensors to do such a thing. 

In terms of its screen, it’s not a touchscreen. There are buttons on the side to maneuver the device. 

What makes it special: 

Its sensitive heart rate monitor

7. Garmin Forerunner 35

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The Forerunner 35 tracks your steps. The best thing about this is that it tracks the intensity of your movements too.

It wants you to be in shape. It regularly reminds you to move. What’s great is that it even tracks your heart rate throughout the day.

Like most cycling watches, the Garmin comes with a GPS. If you’re cycling to lose weight, knowing how fast you’re going is a must. The Forerunner 35 will give you this information. 

So far so good, but things are about to get better. With the watch by your side, you’re joining the Garmin community. It lets you access their fitness community, where you can find a myriad of fitness challenges to do. More importantly, you can speak to like-minded people and tell them how your journey is going. Who knows, you could make some new friends too. 

Your heart rate is important when it comes to cardio. That’s why you should vary it as much as you can. The Forerunner 35 tells you when you should slow and speed things up. Unfortunately, this only works for running, not cycling. 

What about its battery life? The smartwatch has one of the largest battery lives on our list, coming in at 9 days. 

To top things off, its strap is silicone. 

Other than this, we don’t know what type of glass it has. What we do know is that it’s pretty tough, so it’s definitely strengthened. 

Is it a touchscreen? No. There are buttons on the side that work it. 

What makes it special: 

Lets you join the Garmin fitness community

Things You Should Know

You’ve probably decided which cycling watch is most worth your time after reading our review. But before we wrap things up, give the below section a read.

What Do You Look For In The Best Cycling Watch?

Water Resistance

Let’s face it, it’s not always going to be sunny when you’re out cycling. The rain could seriously wreck your watch. That’s why the best cycling watches are water-resistant.

Comfort

You need a watch made out of silicone or resin. These materials are pretty comfortable, which is important as you don’t want a sore wrist when riding for hours.

GPS

Whether you get a good, great or amazing cycling watch, it needs to come with a GPS system. Although you might know your way around town, you’re going to get lost at least once. If you’re off-roading, this could get ugly. 

Battery Life

Imagine that you’re on a ride, in need of GPS, and your watch dies. Yikes. The better a cycling watch is, the longer its battery life would be. However, you don’t need a watch that can last a month. 

Why Should You Buy A Cycling Watch?

Never Get Lost

With a cycling watch by your side, you’ll drastically reduce your chances of getting lost. Who wouldn’t want that? Especially if you’re in a life or death situation.

Be Healthier

The watches come with a range of fitness features. You can track your heart rate while you ride, ensuring you get the best work out. Many of them also come with calorie trackers and step counters. The very best gives you access to workouts with guidance. 

Listen To Music

You can listen to music on your ride without your phone. This makes rides easier as you don’t have to worry about your phone falling out of your pocket. 

Never Lose Your Phone

The above example summed it up perfectly, but having your phone in your pocket on a long ride does not sound like a good idea. 

Make Life Easier

Cycling watches weren’t exactly made for cycling. They’re smartwatches that aid in a range of physical activities, including riding a bike. As a result, their smart features can be used anywhere, making your life easier. 

Look Great

How could we not talk about how great you’ll look? Smartwatches complete any outfit. This needs no explanation, just wear one and you’ll understand. 

Conclusion

If you’re a cyclist and want to make rides easier, having a cycling watch is a good move. In our opinion, the FitBit ionic is the best fitness tracker for biking. However, the other watches on our list are just as great, and the competition was close. 

Did you enjoy our review? Whether you’re looking for cycling watches or something else, you can learn more about your favourite timepieces on our Facebook page. We regularly update it with informative content for watch lovers!

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