Top 5 Best Watches For Cycling & Mountain Biking [Buying Guide]

Are you looking for the best watches for cycling? Have you found one? I know it can be very difficult to look for the best watch for cycling especially when you have too many options available. Most people just cannot decide what to pick when they have so many options available.

If you find yourself in such a situation don’t worry we have got you covered. In this article, you will get complete reviews about the top 5 best watches for cycling. I have written this article based on my personal experience and reviews from many watch owners.

A wristwatch, being used as a piece of jewelry nowadays is still as valuable as it used to be in the early days. In the early days, people in the military and aviation used to track time with the help of their watches. Tracking time was the most essential asset for people, especially sailors. As they used time in their measurements and with the help of it they would navigate their way to shores from the deep waters.

Unfortunately at that time, they had to keep bigger watches on their ships and vessels. With the passage of time and advancement of the technology, the size of the watches got smaller and smaller. People started to wear them on their wrists. Modern watches can track accurate time as well as it can give information about date and day.

Further development in technology has taken wristwatches to the next level. These watches are not only able to keep an accurate date, day and time but they can also be used for different purposes. The latest smartwatches possess different options such as GPS and pedometers. Due to these options, they prove to be the best cycling watches.

Best Cycling Watches in 2020

Here, you can find a list of top 5 best watches for cycling and also for mountain biking:

Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch – Health & Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate

Fitbit Ionic Watch
Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch

After digging quite a bit of research about the best cycling watches I found this one. It has earned a lot of respect among cyclers and many people seem to be happy with it. The Fitbit Ionic is a good looking smartwatch that is available in four different colors. you can synchronize it with your device in a range of 30 feet without any issue.

It allows its user to read their smartphone notifications without having to look at their smartphones every time. Though this function requires Android OS version 5.0 and above. It may not be a useful function for older OS versions but I think everyone uses the latest OS nowadays. It is able to sync with Mac 10.6 and above, iPhone devices above than 4S, iPad 3 gen and above and Windows devices. This ability makes it one of the best watches for cyclists.

It is because most cyclists use GPS to track their location as well as their destination point. Its functionality is not only limited to GPS and notifications but it can also store songs. The Fitbit ionic watch for cycling has the ability to store up to 300 plus songs. It can make cycling more easy and fun as you don’t have to buy extra gadgets for your smartphone.

It can also track your heart rate with quite good accuracy. It features a durable screen with corning gorilla glass 3 technology that makes damage resistant. You can not only wear it for cycling but also for swimming, and other workouts. It can be a perfect choice if you are looking for the best biking watches.

Pros

  • Battery life lasts for a week easily
  • Possess Built-in accurate GPS receiver
  • Comfortable and stylish
  • Damage resistant screen with corning gorilla glass 3

Cons

  • Not the best affordable for everyone

POLAR VANTAGE M – Advanced Running & Multisport Watch

POLAR VANTAGE M
Polar Vantage M

Polar Vantage M is another great piece of equipment for cyclers. There are a lot of features that make it one of the best cycling watches in 2020. Both variants of the polar vantage i.e. the V and the M variant features the training load pro.

The vantage series are the first in the polar family that looks like a regular watch. If you want a watch that you can wear all day and wear it to work then it can be a great choice. The cool features of the watch make it able to be worn during cycling, hiking or other sports and outdoor activities.

The Vantage M is purely made to resemble an ordinary wristwatch due to which it lacks the touch screen. This can be a con of the watch but I don’t think it is bad. It is because you can perform pretty much all the functions with the help of its push buttons.

Another cool feature of this cycling watch is its exchangeable bands. They are super easy to install and remove which gives you the freedom and flexibility to try different watch bands that match your style. If you are still thinking about how this can be a great cycling watch then let me tell you. It has got almost all the functions that you need when biking. Some of the cool functionality includes a step counter that can count the number of steps you take. It is pretty accurate as compared to other watches for running and cycling.

The 24/7 heart rate monitor tracking will help you measure your heart rate accurately and also your O2 consumption level. It can be a great tool if you are trying high-intensity interval training on your bike. Being an expert on the global navigation satellite systems I was pretty amazed when I saw the watch support feeds from two of the major GNSS. It is compatible with the GPS and the Russian GLONASS system. The availability of multiple GNSS makes the watch more accurate when it comes to navigation.

Though I have found A little bit of conflict between the Garmin and the polar when it comes to GPS. If you are looking for a watch with accurate navigation I would recommend you go for the Garmin. However, if heart rate measurement is your primary requirement you can go for the polar.

Pros

  • Possesses Training Load Pro feature
  • 130+ sports profiles to choose from
  • Straps are easy to change
  • Comes at a very affordable price
  • Beautiful looking design

Cons

  • Lacks touch screen

Garmin Forerunner 645 – GPS Running Watch with Pay Contactless Payments and Wrist-Based Heart Rate

Garmin Forerunner 645
Garmin Forerunner 645

Being familiar with Garmin devices I am pretty sure this watch will match all of your requirements. The Garmin forerunner 645 is the best GPS watch for mountain biking. Imagine you are going on an adventure. The main thing you should include in your checklist is a good GPS device. When you have the Garmin 645 on your wrist you don’t need to worry about a thing.

Now the watch is not only limited to GPS but it also includes some of the best features that great biking watches must-have. The watch itself is a kind of a masterpiece when I look at its clean display. It is not too big and can be worn as a standard watch with any kind of dress. Being a smartwatch for workouts and biking it is equipped with a heart rate sensor. The sensor can give you accurate information about your o2 consumption.

Now I must admit that the heart rate sensor is not that accurate as compared to the polar vintage but its GPS is remarkable. The bands are interchangeable which gives the flexibility to wear it in any situation. The bands are not super hard to change and you can do it easily at home. I personally used leather bands when I used to wear them to my office. It just looks amazing with a suit and that leather bands really make it stand out.

Another cool feature that makes it the best Garmin watch for cycling is its ability to download songs. Everyone enjoys music when working out and in that case, the Garmin 645 has got you covered. It has the ability to connect to headphones as well as playlists from Deezer, Amazon, and Spotify. You can hear tons of music clips right from your wristwatch without having to connect to your smartphone.

Again I will talk about its connectivity to global navigation satellite systems. The device has a built-in receiver that can take feed from the United States GPS and the Russian GLONASS. This increases the number of available satellites which results in precise and accurate navigation. If you are going out on your bike and you are leaving the Garmin 645 it means you are missing a lot.

Being synchronized with the satellites it can also get the correct time from the atomic clocks onboard. Now you don’t have to worry about the time issue as the clock will adjust its time according to the time zone due to satellite sync.

Pros

  • Gives the freedom to store and access about 500 different songs
  • Able to sync music with streaming devices
  • Heart rate measurements
  • Accurate Navigation with the help of multiple GNSS i.e GPS and GLONASS
  • Allows payments to be made right from your wrist

Cons

  • Not the best affordable ones in the market

Garmin Forerunner 235 – GPS Running Watch, Black/Gray

Garmin Forerunner 235
Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is another great choice when it comes to buying the best GPS watch for cycling. Keeping its tradition of accurate navigation the Garmin has done a great job once again by adding the multi GNSS receivers in this watch. The forerunner 235 model also features a great looking display. With its cool straps and good looking display, it can match almost any dress style.

It also has the option to see your notifications right from your wrist. If you have the Garmin 235 equipped you don’t need to pick out your smartphone just to read a text message. The display is totally customizable which gives you the freedom to keep the display you want. Despite an accurate GPS this cycling watch also has a heart rate sensor that can measure your heart rate. You can also track the number of steps with the help of its built-in pedometer.

The size of the screen is increased by Garmin in this version. Thus giving it a super clear and high-resolution display that is just brilliant with a crip clear full colors. The backlight has great viewing angles so you won’t have to struggle when viewing at an angle.

It is basically a universal watch that is suitable for both males and females. The user interface is also pretty outstanding and easy to use. It is also water-resistant about 50 meters that makes it good for swimming activities. Though it should be kept in mind that the watch will not track any of your swimming metrics. It doesn’t support triathlons and is supposedly shock resistant. Despite the fact that the watch is made of plastic it is quite durable and lasts longer.

The device also features Bluetooth for syncing it with your smartphone whether it be Android or iOS. The watch has a standard Garmin connect app easily available in smartphone stores. The app allows you to connect the device easily and does not involve any complex steps.

Although there is not a very huge difference between the 230 and 235 models, the 235 features a heart rate sensor. The straps of the 235 model are really soft and feel very comfortable once you wear them on your wrist. Another thing that makes it a good cycling watch is its weight. The watch is pretty lightweight that allows the user to enjoy their riding without the feel of extra bulky weight on their wrist.

Pros

  • Accurate GPS sensor
  • Possesses a heart rate monitor
  • Allows its user to read notifications
  • Water-resistant
  • Customizable display
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable straps
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Lacks music play
  • User may face connectivity issues sometimes
  • Heart rate is not the most accurate

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire – Multisport GPS Watch for Fitness, Adventure and Style

Garmin Fenix 5
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire

The Garmin Fenix 5 is also a good choice when it comes to the best GPS watches for running and cycling. Fenix 5 is the coolest and the most capable watch available in the market. The first thing that I want to cover is its stainless steel Exo antenna that can take feeds from multiple satellite constellations.

You can connect the device to GPS as well as GLONASS and this function increases the accuracy of navigation. The rugged design makes it good for cycling and hiking activities. If we talk about the display of this device it has got a super crisp and clear display. The display has some really outstanding bright colors and the backlight has some great viewing angles.

Unlike many wristwatches, the display is visible even in the bright sunlight which is a positive point for cycling watches. The display is totally customizable and you can keep whatever you want on the main screen. The case material is also of pretty standard quality; the rear of the watch is also stainless steel.

This device is also able to provide notifications right on your smartwatch. This makes it easy to read messages, emails, and other necessary notifications without having to look at your smartphone. Once you download the Garmin connect from the smartphone play store you will be able to connect it without any issue. The Garmin connect makes you able to upload automatically to the online fitness community. You can easily track your workouts and cycling activity and never miss a track of it.

We can also recommend your extended version of the Garmin watch – Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. This watch is more expensive but it has more functions and more refined than in the basic version.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
Garmin Fēnix 5 Plus

You can also use the app to download a lot of free watch faces that are being developed by generous developers. The Watch is not only limited to a GPS/GLONASS receiver but it also possesses some other great features. The other features include a 3 axis compass with a gyroscope that can be used to perform inertial navigation if in case the GPS is out of reach.

The barometric altimeter will give you altitude information with a decent amount of accuracy. Overall this is a great cycling watch and with such outstanding features, it proves to be one of the best GPS watches for cycling and workouts.

Gramin Wristwatches are well known for their accurate GPS receivers that help most hikers, bikers, and travelers.

Pros

  • Accurate navigation
  • Possesses Gyroscope and a barometric altimeter
  • Dual GNSS signal receiver and can take feeds from GPS as well as GLONASS
  • Clear display with amazing view angles

Cons

  • Lacks an accurate heart rate sensor

Buying Guide – Points to look for when buying a cycling watch

If you are a beginner and want to buy the best watch for cycling and running here is a quick guide for you. Considering these points will make you able to select the watch for cycling that can fulfill all of your requirements. Although different brands have different specifications and with different specifications comes to different features.

Make sure some of these points are present when you are about to buy a smartwatch for cycling.

GPS

If I am going to buy a smartwatch the main thing that I look for is its GPS. I remember when I had my LG G2 smartphone. Its GPS was terrible with the most inaccurate results. I then realized the advantage of GPS accuracy. As we are looking for a cycling watch it should have accurate GPS.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus GPS

It is because an accurate GPS will help you navigate your way when you are out on an adventure. A GPS receiver not only helps you navigate accurately but also keeps your clock synchronized with the atomic clocks of the satellites on board.

You can also measure your speed, and amount of steps accurately with a watch that has an accurate GPS receiver. However, if you invest in something that has access to multiple constellations such as the Garmin watches. The accuracy of the navigation will increase significantly. It is because the receiver that is capable of receiving signals from multiple satellites increases the coverage.

Water-Resistant

Fitbit Ionic Water Resistant

Another quality that makes a watch good for cycling is its ability to resist water. We know cycling is an outdoor activity and it involves all kinds of weather. If you invest in a pricey watch and only a few drops of water ruins it, you have just wasted your money. A water-resistant watch not only helps you take it outdoors but also you can take showers and wash your hands without even taking your watch off.

Water resistant watches also give you the flexibility to take it on almost all occasions. You can wear it to swimming and in water parks if you happen to visit one.

Notifications

It can be really hard to read your smartphone notifications, read messages and emails when you are out for cycling. It seems impossible to use your phone when riding a mountain bike. For such purposes, a watch that is able to sync with your phone is the best option.

There are certain wristwatches such as the Fitbit and the Garmin watches that are able to be connected to your smartphones. With the availability of such connectivity, it will easily show you your smartphone’s notifications, messages, and emails on your wristwatch. Now you will be able to read them right away from your wrist instead of taking your phone out of your pocket and read it.

Fit

Make sure you invest in something that fits right on your wrist. Most watches are loose which are terrible options when it comes to buying a watch for cycling. A good watch for mountain bikes and bicycles should be fit enough. It should not move on your wrist freely because when you are riding on rough terrain it will not shake vigorously and disturb your peace.

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