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GPS for cycling- How to choose the best one?

Cycling GPS. How to choose the best?

If you’re a regular cyclist, you’ll know the importance of a good GPS navigator as a companion on your route. If you are into road cycling, mountain biking, mtb, gravel or bikepacking, you will appreciate having a GPS on your bike, both to guide you along your route and to analyse the data during the ride or when you get home.

How does a GPS help me on my bike?

Whatever type of cycling you do, a GPS is always useful: 

  • A good bike GPS will be your guide during your outing. Whether you take the route marked from home or simply follow your position on the map, a GPS navigator on your handlebars will help you to know where you are and choose the most practicable route at all times. After hours of cycling, who wants to get lost?
  • Very useful to know the terrain if you are moving in unfamiliar places. Use it to reinforce and secure your orientation.
  • It is a powerful training tool. Set new challenges on each ride and beat the data from the previous one. You will have all the data stored on your bike and you will be able to compare both the current pace and the previous ones. In addition, you can link the GPS with other sensors such as heart rate monitor, cadence meter and monitor the data from the screen of your device.
  • You can create alerts for overexertion, tell it how far you want to go and your GPS device will warn you when you exceed the limits you have set yourself.
  • You can have detailed maps of the area on a small screen on your handlebars.
  • In risky situations where you don’t have coverage, your GPS will always know your exact position and can send emergency notifications to your contact list.

What type of GPS bike navigator am I most interested in?

The first thing to consider is your type of activity, which will determine the characteristics of the browser you need.

GPS for MTB Bikes

Features of GPS for MTB Bikes

During a mountain route, it is not only important to keep an eye on your GPS, but also on the environment around you: trees, slopes, obstacles in the middle of the road… That’s why your bike’s GPS should have a large screen that allows you to find your position on the map at a glance.

In addition, the GPS should include the most detailed maps possible of the area, to avoid surprises with unexpected trails.

It is also important to have a good GPS holder accessory on the bike that can withstand the bumps and potholes of any mountain trail.

See MTB GPS features

GRAVEL GPS

GRAVEL Bike GPS Features

Gravel is the most versatile type of cycling, so the GPS must be able to adapt to both road and mountain analysis. That’s why it’s important to have a GPS that allows you to customise the analysis data according to your needs: Altitude, cumulative ascent, power and, in addition, that offers you orientation tools for the mountain and performance data for the road.

The GPS should allow you to easily navigate and combine both road and mountain maps. This way you can choose the most suitable one for the stretch of road.

On gravel, the size of the screen is less important and you can choose a smaller GPS that takes up less space on the handlebars.

View Gravel GPS features

GPS for BIKEPACKING

Features of GPS for BIKEPACKING

If you’re bikepacking, you’re likely to be on routes lasting several days, so GPS battery life is the first thing to look out for and your device’s battery shouldn’t be a concern on your journey.

During a route lasting several days, there will always be points of interest that you will want to save for later reference, so the device must allow you to add them along the route, even on the bike.

It should also allow you to create your own digital roadbooks or route changes from the GPS screen itself, so it should be touch-sensitive and large enough to do so comfortably.

It is also important that it has enough capacity to store more than one map, because depending on how long your route is, you may need maps for different areas.

View bikepacking GPS features

GPS for cycling road
Photo : BillyFotograf & Jose Navas

Features of the GPS for ROAD CYCLING

In road cycling, data analysis should be a priority, so your bike’s device should provide you with the most relevant data from your ride, such as speed, pace, calories, etc., as well as being able to customise it to suit your training.

At the same time, it should offer you different training modalities, such as by time, distance, sections or even against yourself to help you excel in each of your outings.

Another thing to take into account when choosing a GPS for your road bike is the connectivity that it offers you with your heart rate monitor or cadence meter, you will probably want to monitor this data from your device, and it will warn you when you make overexertions that harm your activity, so it is necessary that you can set in your GPS the limits that you do not want to exceed.

When you finish your ride, you’ll want to share it on your major social networks, so make sure your GPS is compatible with the major ones like Strava™, Komoot™, TrainingPeaks™…

View road cycling GPS features

GPS multisport

Multisport GPS features

If you do other sports in addition to cycling, you need a versatile GPS that can do it all.

It will be important that you have a mount that can be adapted to different types of mounts, depending on the sport you are going to practice. Our Quicklock attachment for example fits both cycling and hiking accessories.

Depending on the type of activities you do besides cycling, you will have to consider whether the size of the display is more important or whether the GPS should be light and easy to carry. 

A multisport GPS should withstand shocks, water, vibrations and extreme temperatures, as you can use it on a mountain bike or on a paddle surf board.

View Multisport GPS

But how do you choose the best GPS for cycling?  

There is no one best GPS for cycling, it all depends on your needs as a cyclist to find the one that best suits you. What we can show you are the main features you should look for when choosing the best cycling GPS for you.

GPS maps for cycling

If you go on long bike rides or are someone who likes to discover the world on two wheels, it is essential that you make sure that your GPS has enough capacity to store all the maps you will need. As well as access to the main maps of each region/country.

Battery life

In addition to analysing our training data, the GPS can be a great lifesaver in the event of going off the marked route or having an accident. So the battery life of the GPS is a key point, especially if you make routes of several days and you are not going to be able to charge the GPS. So a GPS with more than 20 hours of battery life would be ideal for your outings without worrying about the battery.

Display

El GPS para bicicleta siempre se usa bajo la luz solar, por lo que es importante asegurarse de que la pantalla ofrece una óptima visión incluso bajo la luz solar directa.
Una pantalla de alta calidad Blanview con Optical Bonding protegida por Gorilla

Cycling GPS is always used in direct sunlight, so it is important to ensure that the display provides an optimal view even in direct sunlight.
A high quality Blanview display with Optical Bonding protected by Gorilla Glass. Cutting-edge technology gives you optimal viewing in the strongest sunlight.

The size of the screen will depend on the type of activity, and whether you like to go out following a route or improvising as you go, in the latter case a larger screen will be better.  But if you’re more of a track-follower, a smaller, more manageable GPS screen is probably ideal for you.

Touch

GPS with buttons or 100% touch? Both are equally good. If you wear gloves, you’ll probably appreciate large buttons on the front of your GPS or a secure thumbstick if you’re MTBing.  However, if you’re a multisport user, you’ll probably appreciate a 100% touchscreen with no buttons protruding from the GPS.

Cycling GPS analysis data

The more data a bike GPS provides, the better the subsequent analysis of your ride, so you can never have too much data.  An ideal GPS is one that allows you to configure the data that fits your profile and training characteristics, and the sport you practice. The data analysed by a mountain biker will not be the same as the data analysed by a road cyclist.
TwoNav GPS offers you more than 120 data to monitor your performance in real time, graphs and statistics: altitude, speed, cadence, distance, time, pace…

Sensors

To correctly analyse all the above data, the GPS should be able to connect via Bluetooth to your heart rate monitor, cadence meter or other sensors, in order to provide you with the most accurate data possible about your training.

But how do you choose the best GPS for cycling?  

What makes TwoNav GPS essential for your cycling trips?

  • GPS with different screen sizes to suit your needs on routes. With tactile or physical buttons depending on the GPS, they give you practical and reliable control of the most important functions, even in difficult conditions and while wearing gloves. All buttons are configurable.
  • GPS with integrated Quicklock attachment on the housing, which allows you to mount it on different brackets and handlebars.
  •  It has 6 buttons, 4 on the sides and 2 tactile front buttons that give you convenient and reliable control of the most important functions, even in difficult conditions and when wearing gloves. All buttons are configurable.
  • High-resolution, high-quality Blanview display with Optical Bonding, protected by Gorilla Glass. Cutting-edge technology for detailed sunlight visibility of maps and routes.
  • Standard battery life of 20h, which will allow you to make trips of several days without worrying about the battery.
  • Built to withstand harsh conditions. They meet IP67 and MIL-STD-810 standards for shock, temperature, water and vibration. Making them a truly rugged GPS.
  • Highly accurate positioning via GPS + Galileo + Glonass networks, integrated in the device. 
  • Large internal memory with 32 GB so you can store high quality maps, including maps of other countries. Also includes the free Topographic Map.
  • Create and edit routes and waypoints, with the possibility of classifying them in folders or collections. Easy route navigation, with alarm, roadbooks, auto-route possibility, turn options…
  • Full connectivity (WiFi, Bluetooth, BLE, ANT+) so you can synchronise all content in the GO cloud, transfer routes, view mobile notifications, relay your position in real time, send emergency alerts, or connect to external sensors or third-party services (Strava, route providers…).
GPS de bicicleta Trail 2 BikeGPS de ciclismo y senderismo CROSS
TRAIL 2 BIKE

Trail 2 Bike is designed for cyclists who enjoy both extreme activities and more relaxed rides.
View Trail 2 Bike
CROSS

TwoNav’s smallest GPS. Compact, multi-sport navigator, ideal for cycling and other sports.
View GPS Cross

GPS Comparison: Cross and Trail 2 Bike The two TwoNav cycling GPS.

 
To finish this analysis on GPS bike we share this article by Melcior Mauri, about the importance of GPS in a cycling race as hard as the Titan Desert.

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