During the COVID-19 lockdown, people remained home and the streets emptied of cars. But the streets didn’t remain empty for long, they got filled up with bicycles. Across the world, the quarantine brought about a dramatic increase in bicycle sales in response to the pandemic.
Whether you’re an athlete with cycling at the core of your fitness journey, or you are just an amateur who enjoys cycling, it’s important to have a smartwatch with all the tracking features.
Below is our pick of the best cycling smartwatches in 2021.
Garmin Fenix 6
Garmin Fenix 6 has some of the best sports features. The heart rate sensor is so precise it can double up as a triathlon watch or running watch. One of the reasons this watch is ideal for cycling is that it has long battery life. This is really great if you are a long-distance cyclist, touring cyclist, or just someone who doesn’t like charging your watch every day. The other reason why this is my pick for cycling watch is its offline maps. When you’re commuting on a bike, it’s really nice to have a map on your wrist.
Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series is a fantastic cross between having a healthy lifestyle and keeping your cycling act in check! The most significant advantage of using the Apple Watch over anything else for cycling is the software options. Apple Watch Series 6 offers a hardware pulse oximeter and altimeter, which means the native fitness tracker from Apple will have more information on your oxygen absorption level and accurate elevation tracking. The Series 6 also offers GPS tracking, optical heart rate monitoring, and an ECG app. To be safe and extremely accurate, Apple Maps Cycling Mode is being built from the ground up. Apple is releasing it city by city so the company can get it right the first time without endangering the lives of cyclists. The interchangeable bands come in different colors and sizes.
Europe’s top-selling running watch, the Polar M430 is for those who prefer a fuss-free yet affordable cycling watch. The Polar M430 combines all the best bits for cycling, running, and any goal-oriented outdoor activity. It provides a better GPS, has powerful wrist-based heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, and smartphone notifications. The M430 is particularly designed as a sports watch, where it retained its monochrome style similar to that of M400. This design allows bicyclists to glance at the screen easily while biking. When the surroundings become dark, it has an option to invert the display and tap on a backlight. The softer silicone strap with holes makes it more breathable and ergonomic to better fit the wrist.
Suunto 9 Baro
Suunto 9’s massive 320 x 320px touch screen is easy to use while cycling. The watch doesn’t have a bum on the strap-like other watches, because Suunto has integrated the GPS antenna into the bezel. In addition to GPS, it has GLONASS, Galileo, and QZZS satellite networks. The smartwatch also features a built-in optical heart rate sensor, altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. The best thing about Suunto 9 is its battery superiority; the company claims up to 120 hours of tracking in the power-saving Ultra mode. The disadvantages: you can’t sync your workouts from third-party apps, no music control and there are no Strava live segments, reports CyclingNews.
Polar Vantage V2
Polar Vantage V2 is a lightweight premium multisport watch that helps you train smarter and recover fully. Thanks to its built-in GPS, wrist-based heart rate monitoring, and extremely long battery life, this sleek, lightweight smartwatch is an excellent option for cyclists. When you buy the cycling bundle, you get the Polar H10 armband for heart rate, a bike mount for the watch, and an exclusive saddlebag. The best training features are the built-in Cycling Performance FTP tests (when paired to a power meter) and new Running Performance tests, which enable you to more quickly and easily determine heart rate, speed & power zones within submaximal & maximal test options. The smartwatch also provides route guidance to make sure you never get lost. It connects easily to Strava, the running, and cycling tracking app.
So, that’s it for our top picks of the best smartwatches for cycling in 2021. With all the different types of smartwatches and fitness trackers out there, hopefully, this article has given you an idea about the options available and helped you in your quest to find the best smartwatch for cycling this year.