Whether designed to make riding safer and more fun or to improve cycling performance, cyclists love gadgets, and there’s no shortage of new and interesting technology. Many of the coolest cycling gadgets come from established brands like Shimano and Garmin.
At the same time, smaller companies and startups are looking to carve out a niche for themselves in this highly competitive marketplace by releasing innovative and fascinating new products for bikes. Check out these exciting gadgets that will improve your bike workouts.
1. Heart Rate Monitor
Monitoring your heart rate while cycling offers several benefits. Heart rate monitors can help you find and maintain the optimal exercise intensity to reach your goals, measure the amount of effort you’re putting out, prevent you from over-exercising, track your training progress over time, and motivate you to tackle just one more workout for the week.
While there are fitness trackers with heart rate monitoring that you can wear on your wrist or in different positions, they generally aren’t as accurate as chest-worn devices like the Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor.
2. Cycling Power Meter
Unlike other sports, such as swimming or running, where you need to measure physical output using your heart rate alone, cyclists can use power meters to measure the amount of power in watts that they are producing while riding their bikes. If you are serious about monitoring performance and developing training routines that will help you go faster when pedaling, these devices are essential for you.
Power meters come in various shapes and sizes and can be mounted on a bike’s crank spider, pedal, rear hub, or crank spindle. Or you can mount one like the Stages Power L Shimano GRX RX810 Power Meter on your bike’s crank arm.
3. Bike Speed and Cadence Sensors
Speed and cadence sensors measure how fast you’re traveling as well as the number of rotations your pedals make every minute. Understanding your pedaling speed is one of the best ways to improve your riding technique and improve your cycling performance. These devices can be installed on indoor trainers as well as outdoor bikes. They usually connect to a companion app.
Speed and cadence sensors such as the Magene S3+ Cycling Speed or Cadence Sensor are easy to install and super affordable. Using Bluetooth and ANT+ technology, you can use these sensors to train as you work to increase and maintain an optimal rotation speed.
4. GPS Navigation Devices
GPS devices provide the most reliable maps and location services that you can use while cycling. In the world of bike-based GPS devices, the Garmin Edge line of navigational aids offers great value for money. However, if you’re using an Android smartphone as your bike computer, you don’t need a separate device.
There are several Garmin Edge models each with varying features. For example, the Garmin Edge 530 is small and depends on physical buttons to navigate the device’s software, while the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus comes with a large touchscreen.
5. Trailforks App
There are many reasons why Trailforks is the best app for navigating mountain biking trails. The app boasts a database of nearly 500,000 trails in over 100 countries, which means it’s likely you’ll find maps for trails where you’re riding.
With interactive trail maps, Trailforks makes it easy to pick and choose routes—from easy climbs to double black descents, flow trails to technical sections—and each is labeled with a community ride score, level of difficulty, distance, elevation gain, and average time to complete. Many trails also include pictures and videos.
Downloads: Trailforks for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
6. Skarper DiskDrive All-in-One Motor and Battery
E-bike conversion kits are a great option for people who love to bike, and research in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives found that those who rode e-bikes got more exercise minutes per week than those who rode normal bikes.
The problem is that e-bikes tend to be much more expensive than regular bikes. For this reason, you might consider an e-bike conversion kit like the Skarper motor. The Skarper motor aims to give you the benefits of an e-bike with as little hassle as possible.
Skarper has also engineered its e-bike motor to be fully detachable, which further distinguishes it from every other e-bike conversion kit on the market. This means that you can install a Skarper rotor on more than one bike in your stable and transfer the motor between bikes!
7. Rear View Taillight with Camera
The Garmin Varia RCT715 Radar Camera Tail Light has a slew of benefits that can make you safer while out for a ride on your bike. The built-in camera continuously records everything happening behind you and saves footage automatically if the camera detects a crash.
The Garmin Varia device also has a built-in radar that can alert you to your handlebar-mounted Garmin device when vehicles are approaching you from behind. Of course, this gadget also has a light to make sure other travelers can see you after the sun sets.
8. Smart Helmets
Helmets are the most important gadget of all because they’ll keep you alive in case of a crash. Smart helmets come with several additional features that you might find helpful, including built-in lights that can increase your visibility, especially in the dark. Some smart helmets also feature turn signal indicators to let other road users know which way you’ll be turning and Bluetooth connectivity to listen to music, GPS navigation, or podcasts. You can even use them to take phone calls.
For example, the Lival Smart Helmet includes lights, turn signal indicators, speakers, and a handlebar-mounted remote to control music, podcasts, or phone calls. If you’re a DIY-er, you can always build your own helmet camera as well.
9. Arclight Pedals by Redshift Sports
The Arclight Pedals by Redshift Sports are one of the best gadgets you can add to your bike to improve visibility, especially at night. The pedals feature integrated lights that move with the motion of the bike’s pedals, making you not only more visible but also recognizable as a cyclist.
10. Smart Pump
Every cyclist should carry a portable pump and spare tube or flat repair kit because you never know when you’ll get a flat. Smart pumps, such as the Urban And Hawk Smart Pump, are some of the latest gadgets to emerge. This lithium-ion battery-powered bike pump can inflate a tire up to 150psi automatically without the need to actually do any pumping.
This gadget comes with a mounting kit so that you can easily attach it to your bike frame, as well as accessories to ensure you can inflate both Schrader and presta valves (as well as sports balls, if needed). You can also use the pump’s battery as a charger in case any of your other gadgets run out of power when you need them the most.
Improving Your Cycling Experience With These Gadgets
If you’re a cyclist who loves gadgets, and you want to improve your performance, stay safe, or simply have more fun while you ride, take advantage of the latest tech gadgets to upgrade your bike and your gear. With these products, you’ll no doubt be able to achieve your goals and hit the roads or trails better prepared than ever.