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Monday, April 8, 2013

How to Pick the Right Fitness Device for Cyclists

Cycling may be the most geek-friendly activity out there. You can find more gadget options here than in any other category, but we suggest focusing on the basics. A good way to start is to choose a cycling computer (with a heart-rate monitor), a cycling website, an indoor trainer, and, if you can afford it, a power meter.

The Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer

The best options

Your cycling computer is the single most essential piece of cycling tech, for the roads or the trails. A dedicated computer is easier to read than a smartphone, can include barometric pressure for better altitude, and lets you avoid killing your smartphone's batteries (helpful on those days when you flat out one too many times and need to call for a ride). Aside from keeping tabs on your speed limit, a cycling computer can track your distance and location (even more important when riding compared to running), and it can pair with heart-rate or power sensors to improve your training.
Skip the old wired models and go with a wireless, GPS-enabled unit such as the venerable Garmin Edge 500 or the Magellan Switch Up watch. If you also run, many GPS watches (especially from Garmin, Polar, and Suunto) will work for cycling too; bike mounts for these watches are widely available (and will keep your hands on the handlebars). Most models use simple maps that will display only where you've been, so step up to a Garmin Edge 810 if you want full maps. The Garmin Edge 510 and 810 can connect with your phone over Bluetooth and piggyback on the data connection to send out live updates and automatically upload your workout...


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