Best Fitness Tracker for Cycling

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    Health enthusiasts nowadays are hard pressed in choosing the activity tracker that would suit their needs due to the dozens of trackers available in the market today. This happens despite the fact that all of these trackers based on the same core technology.

    The reason may lie on how the personality of each product present to their customers coupled with its function, design and of course, marketing. Brands reach out to various target audiences such as athletes, fitness buffs and to the everyday people who would like to lose weight.

    The truth of the matter is that not every tracker is for everybody. This leads us to ask, what is the perfect tracker to suit my needs? What if I’m focusing on improving myself in a given sport like cycling? Here are some things that should be considered when choosing an activity tracker.

    Cyclist Fitness Tracker Buying Guide

    The activity it will track.

    If your primary activity is cycling, take note of trackers that capture the specific data related to your cycling performance or else, you may not get full credit for your workout minutes and burned calories.

    The compatibility of the technology being used to your lifestyle.

    First off, some people find the setup and functions of these gadgets intimidating. Navigating through each function may need some getting used to but with a little practice, it will be just another part of their daily routine. After setting up the tracker, the big question is, how are you going to keep it charged? Some trackers use disposable watch batteries that need to be replaced after a couple of months and one big disadvantage for this is the cumbersome task of removing those tiny batteries and finding their replacement in the market. Others have internal batteries that need to be recharged after 5 to 7 days of use. This really appears to be no big deal but the idea of adding another device to your daily charging routine, could be annoying.

    The organization of data and access point.

    Finally, after completing your activity and tracking, where and how can this data be accessed? Most trackers send their data to computers or handheld devices and the communication process between these gadgets may require other connectors or peripherals. To computers, trackers may need a USB connection or wireless connection to upload the data gathered. Often, trackers are capable in linking directly to smartphones and transferring the data on the fly. As simple as it may seem, there is still the need to have the right connection to be considered especially if it would be via Bluetooth. This challenge is coupled by the demand being placed on the smartphone which will manifest through the battery depletion. This can be easily remedied by more frequent recharging cycles of your smartphone.

    Choice of where it will be worn.

    Trackers nowadays vary in shape, size and form. These factors influence the method on how you will wear it or attach it to your gear. Depending on your preference, make sure that you are comfortable with the tracker you choose so that it wouldn’t be an obstruction to your activity. There are trackers that are meant to be seen and appear in different colors. Of course you can choose to hide them under your clothes but it defeats the purpose of their design. If you are the type of person that prefer to hide them, then you can choose clip-on trackers so you can place them on your belt or undergarment.

    Here are different trackers according to their form.


    • Bands

    These are the most common type of trackers in the market today. Generally unobtrusive, they are worn around your wrist and come in a variety of color which you can pair with your wardrobe and mood. Mostly are made of rubberized material which makes them water resistant and comfortable to wear. They are discreet and sometimes have a very small display which shows specific tracking details.

    • Watches

    These trackers have a larger form factor compared to bands since they also give you the time along with other important tracking metrics related to your fitness. Some can also show text messages and other related notifications on their watch face.

    • Clothes

    Fitness tracking companies have taken the step of weaving the fitness tracking sensors onto the fabric that you will wear during workouts. This is really a revolutionary approach and it can track a greater number of things such as depth and frequency of breaths, perspiration and skin temperature with can be difficult if not impossible to capture with a band or clip-on device.

    • Headphones

    Many people wear headphones while doing their workouts and idea of integrating fitness tracking is a welcome innovation. These “hearables” suggest that they will keep track of heart rate and breathing in addition to the other fitness metrics.

    • Others

    These trackers are a mixture of different types which cannot be categorized under bands, watches or shirts. Some can be clipped on your clothes, wrapped around your body or mounted to your gear. These are sometimes intended for specific workouts like count the number of repetitions you have made while lifting weights or give the speed you are travelling.

    Now that you know what are the different types and selected the features you are looking for in a fitness tracker, here are some of the best trackers to choose from which would be best for cycling.

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    Spark Activity Tracker

    This is a plastic wireless activity tracker that is about the diameter of a quarter which you can attach to your pocket, shoe or undergarment. The clip is very strong which allows you to easily wear it almost anywhere you like without worrying of losing it. The Spark can track the calories you have burned, activity time, distance, and steps. It can also track your activity while on an elliptical machine and bicycle with its 3-axis accelerometer which measures your patterns of motion. To view the details of your workout, you will need to install the app on your computer and connect it via its USB receiver. Once the data is synced, the information is viewable on the SparkPeople website.

    Timex T5K615 GPS Bike Computer

    It is a cycle trainer that you can attach to your bike or elliptical machine to measure your speed, distance, cadence and other related fitness metrics. With the wireless HRM which you strap on, it measures your heart rate with the use of ANT+ technology. Pairing up the Timex T5K615 with other ANT+ sensors can be very useful for training since you can check if you are within the parameters of your power, cadence and heart rate goals. You can upload your workouts to Training Peaks to compare and keep track of your workout.

    Garmin Vivoactive Black

    It is a high-resolution color touchscreen smartwatch that has built-in sports apps for various sporting activities. You can pair it with your smartphone for text, calls, emails and calendar item notifications form other apps. When using the Garmin Vivoactive while cycling, you can choose to wear it on your wrist, mount it on your bike with the use of a rubber watch bike mount. After your ride, it will automatically upload the information to Garmin Connect where all the data is displayed on easy to understand graphs laying out the details of your workout. It can also be paired with other ANT+ sensors available in the market to capture more fitness metrics that you would need.

    Microsoft Band

    It is an activity tracker aimed to help you achieve your fitness goals and help you become more productive with its calendar alerts and email previews. In addition to the roster of exercise-heavy apps in the band, it has a Bike app that allows you to track your rides indoors or outdoors while optimizing the heart rate monitor for this activity. It tracks elevation, distance, duration and burned calories that can be viewed in the Microsoft Health app. Much like other cycling apps it can map out your ride with the use of GPS as well as track your speed.

    Moov - Smart Multi-Sport Fitness Coach & Tracker

    It is a wearable fitness coach for various sports and actively monitors your workout teaching you how to exercise better. The programs on the Moov aims to find your current limit on cardio, strength, power or endurance and improve your performance from that point. The three sensors that form the 9-axis motion sensor system not only tracks your type of movement but also how you’re performing the task. It has an accelerometer and gyroscope which detects the force of motion and movement in space while the magnetometer calculates rotation.

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      Activity TrackerWorld

      We are a team of fitness junkies who test out all of the latest and greatest fitness trackers, smartwatches, and wearable technologies. We'd love to see you hop over to ActivityTrackerWorld.com for the latest reviews.