Should I buy a cycling computer?

I currently use my Coros Apex Pro GPS watch mounted on my road bike to monitor power, speed, distance, and lap time. I don’t use the map features. Given this, is it worth investing in a dedicated cycling computer? What are the benefits of a cycling computer other than slightly bigger screen? and do they provide power data more quickly compared to a watch?

No, that’s the job of your choice of power meter. Any computer will merely be a representation of your chosen power meter device.

If you don’t need to navigate on the map and you can see everything you need I don’t see a point tbh. I recently bought the quarterturn adapter from aliexpress for my Garmin 6X and can now use the watch on the outfront mount.

This has been a useful accessory to use the waych as a bike computer. If I don’t navigate I don’t really need that much info.

For me, the three main features are climb pro, navigation and a workout screen with a lot of data screens.

In the winter i just use my watch because i ride the same route and don’t care about those features.

But navigation for me is awesome, I have gone on so many rides i would never have done before.

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I’ve been using a watch (Garmin epix) on the handlebars after I sold my computer (Garmin Edge 1030+) last year. I was planning on upgrading to a newer unit but after a few weeks I realized I didn’t miss the computer that much.

I still prefer the computer but unless I find a great deal, I don’t think I need it just for the additional benefits.

It’s very personal at the end, but there’s a big overlap between watches and computers.

I use the Garmin 130+ for training and races. It effectively got no mapping (well I can scroll to a breadcrumb map and get a rudimentary series of dots to follow but there’s no background map). I’ve not got a watch mount but I think I would still prefer the 130+, I think it would be easier to read and certainly would have a better battery life than my watch.

You’d think but watches have great battery life. A fenix 7 with solar can do a few days. But typically you get insane battery life as long as you don’t use music with most watches.

LIike you said, mostly its the bigger screen
You also get more data screens relevant to cycling
Ergonomically designed to be used while mounted on the bars rather than the wrist. i.e different button layout.

Likewise cycling is my main sport so I bought a cycling computer before I had a GPS watch, when I started running I bought a quarter turn wristband adapter and record my runs with my cycling computer on my wrist.

For anyone who has tried using their watch on the bike and been annnoyed by the position.

This will fit a Fenix (or any other garmin - 20, 22, and 26 adapters included) to a normal quarter turn bike mount.

I had a Wahoo bolt that was on the blink and started being forced to use my Fenix 6 watch, which was irritating to look at on the bike / follow nav etc. I was convinced I’d buy a 130, or something else. Since I got this I actually prefer not pissing about with multiple devices.

PS you can buy them for about £4 on Aliexpress.

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Exactly. And they seem to be identical:

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Honestly the more I think about this as a product the more I think garmin cocked up here.

Like I would have bought an 540 or an 840.

But now I didn’t.

I won’t buy a 130 as it’s heavier than this and offers me nothing I need. It even tucks in pretty aero on an extension.

Literally the only reason now for me to buy a bike computer is to a) run “apps”, but I gave up on XERT because of lots of reasons and b) climbpro.

But I race off road not on road, so honestly climbpro does nothing for me.

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and with the 7X you even get a flashing front daytime running light. Something that’s missing on the edge series as well…

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Planned workouts, easy buttons to pause, rewind or fast forward intervals, trainer controls

I’m not denying that there is a difference - but I just mean - I just don’t know when I’d ever be on a turbo trainer but not have my phone or my laptop to hand?

A stick on quarter turn mount for your phone case is 50p if you have a thing about integration?

The point is - if I had £xxx to spend, would I buy an 840 or pgrade my fenix 6 (i run as well) ? I dunno, but without that quarter turn mount it would be a different decision.

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If you don’t use the mapping features and you don’t feel limited by using your GPS watch, it might be worth saving a couple of bucks and sticking with your watch.

If you want something that’s more purpose-built for cycling, or if you eventually want to use mapping features, then a bike computer might be a better choice. A bike computer may also have more data fields you can add to your screen that are relevant to cycling, as @JonGreengrass said. They can be nice to have for cycling-specific workouts too, as @ArHu74 mentioned.

Ultimately, it’s your choice! I’m a big fan of the navigation features commonly found on cycling computers – like @HristoZA, I’ve done a ton of cool rides I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise thanks to the ease of having route directions right in front of me.

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I don’t know about the Coros but there is mapping on some Fenix watches. Obviously the experience on something like a Garmin Edge, Wahoo or Karoo is much better for cycling, no arguing against that. If you don’t need maps or sophisticated outdoort workout screens, there are not that many arguments against using the watch as a bike computer imho.

My Fenix does both mapping, routing and cycling-specific workouts, and allows me to display all of the cycling metrics that I might have on an bike computer?

Might be something else I can’t think of tho.

Would you say the $5 mount is secure enough to hold the watch? I saw a review of similar product where someone’s watch fell off during a descent and was run over by a car. Also, what information do you display on your main screen while riding?

I did all of my triathlons, including full and half IM races, with only a watch. But I did have the quick release mount so I could mount it on my HB for the bike legs.

Note - that included all of my training for the tri’s as well, not just the races themselves.

So no, you don’t “need” a bike computer.

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It’s the same mold as garmin. and if you don’t trust it, you can run a little loop like on the edge series to hold the watch to your handlebars

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