The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

How We Tested Bike Computers

Friday April 5, 2019
Testing the Edge 1030 on a mountain bike ride using the out front mount.
Testing the Edge 1030 on a mountain bike ride using the out front mount.

The bike computers in our review have been put through their paces, from dry pavement to mud and snow. We ride a lot and race frequently, and we put the products we tested to use in the most demanding conditions. Our goal during testing is to accumulate the maximum amount of stress on the product, examining it for weakness. These products were all tested side-by-side on the same rides for accuracy. Occasionally, we forgot to take our computers off the bike when driving home in the rain… it happens. Corners were taken too fast, and a Garmin contender on an out-front mount saved our carbon handlebars from a tree.

Some aspects of computer testing are more fun than others.
Some aspects of computer testing are more fun than others.

Did we mention we don't baby the equipment?
Looks pretty water resistant to us.
Looks pretty water resistant to us.
We spent months scrutinizing every detail of each computer, from attachment to the user interface, and evaluated all available features to determine their usefulness in the real world. Many of the products we tested are compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart accessories, and we used a wide range of sensors, including heart rate monitors, speed, cadence, and power meters from Quarq and Powertap during testing. When you go to buy a product we've reviewed, you can be sure that it has been put through the wringer, and evaluated on the basis of head-to-head, real-world comparison.

Then there are the countless hours of nerding out on every feature and aspect of each computer's design. Not as fun as riding  but still kinda fun...
Then there are the countless hours of nerding out on every feature and aspect of each computer's design. Not as fun as riding, but still kinda fun...