10 Best Garmin Watches for Cycling | 2023 Ultimate Guide
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For a cyclist, it is important to measure speed and cadence. GPS support is also significant for additional support like finding routes or local maps. In the field of GPS watches, Garmin makes some incredible lineups of smartwatches.
The earlier smartphone did the job of tracking ride, health, and fitness data. But now the number of dedicated health and fitness gadgets is increasing. Among them, the smartwatch is a more popular wearable for tracking activity.
The Garmin watches are always preferable by pro players and athletes. If you are choosing a watch for tracking your cycling, then you will get some best gadgets from this brand. Here we have reviewed the 10 best Garmin watches for cycling.
Why Choose Garmin Smartwatch
When it comes to choosing smartwatches for sports, Garmin has received the crowning achievement. So as a cyclist, you can satisfy your needs with one of these watches. They are appealing to all fitness levels.
The 10 Best Garmin Watches For Cyclists | GPS Fitness Watch
Garmin has many lineups like Venu, Vivoactive, and Fenix. There are many series and models in each lineup. So it is difficult when you particularly find a smartwatch for cycling. We have picked and reviewed those Garmin watches that absolutely meet your needs. Scroll it down.
Our top picks: At a glance
- Best for Active Cycling Session: Garmin Fenix 7X Solar
- Best For Outdoors: Garmin Instinct
- Best Multi-sport Watch: Garmin Venu 2
- Best GPS Watch: Garmin Forerunner 945
- Best Of All: Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
- Best for Advanced Cycling: Garmin Forerunner 935
- Best for Comfortable Cycling: Garmin Forerunner 45S
- Best For Beginner Cyclists: Garmin Vivoactive 4
- Best For Affordable Price: Garmin Vivoactive 3
- Best For Battery Life: Garmin Fenix 5x Plus
10 Best Garmin Watch For Cycling
Let’s take a look at our 3 top picks
1. Garmin Fenix 7X Solar – Best for Active Cycling Session
If you looking for a long-running solar-powered multi-sport watch, the Garmin Fenix 7X Solar will be a deal-breaker. Its athletic design and 1.4” always-on display make it an ideal choice for wearing during cycling.
- Screen Size: 1.4”
- Style: 7X Solar
- Water Resistance Level: Water-Resistant
- Compatible Devices: Smartphone
- Connectivity Technology: GPS
- Human Interface Input: Touchscreen, Buttons
- Battery Life: Up to 37 Days
Real-time Stamina Checking
When cycling, our heart rate remains high. This watch has a well-monitoring feature that monitors your heart rate 24/7 with the right accuracy. Also, it is equipped with real-time stamina checking, training status, etc., helping you to take your cycling session to the next level.
- Up to 28-days battery performance when indoors
- Built-in LED flashlight lets you see the time easily in the dark
- Trusted button controls
- The design is not much impressive
2. Garmin Instinct – Best For Outdoors
Garmin Instinct is a great outdoor smartwatch from the wide collection of Garmin. It is an excellent watch for the outdoors. Though you may miss the advanced features, the price is affordable. The functions of the watch are satisfying for the price.
If you love to do outdoor cycling, hiking, or trail runs, then the watch is the right choice for you.
- Dimensions: 1.8 x 0.6 x 1.8 inches
- Weight: 1.76 ounces
- Screen size: 1.27 inches
- Resolution: 128 x 128 pixels
- Battery life: Up to 14 days
Build for outdoors
Garmin Instinct watch is designed based on outdoor climate because it is built for durability. The chassis is big, bulky, and available in many colors. The boost thing is the durability department. The watch is made following the U.S. military standard 810G that has amazing shock, thermal, and water resistance up to 100 meters.
So it is totally reliable and rugged for use outside. It’s a 45 mm-sized fiber-reinforced polymer case that adds strength and durability. The display is scratch-resistant and features high contrast for reading in bright sunlight.
The watch has 1.27 inches screen with 128 x 128 pixels. It is not a touchscreen but the navigation is not easy with the five physical buttons. They are coated with a textured finish for use in all conditions. It has an Always-On display mode and a backlight for following you anywhere you go.
Outdoor Fitness features
There is no shortage of activities that Garmin can track. The core tracking modes of the watch are cycling, swimming, and running. There are also many dedicated modes to monitor hiking, climbing, or skiing.
The built-in 3-axis compass, altimeter, barometer, plus multiple global navigation satellite systems all support tracking your route in a more challenging environment. You can make your own cycling round and return journey by using the TrackBack feature that navigates you from the same route back to the start.
The watch features an optical heart monitor on board. It shows results even on steady-paced workouts. It provides the maximum accurate heart rating based on your wrist. You can also add cadence sensors for cycling too.
Further, the Pulse OX sensor helps to find out the oxygen level of your body. You can find out your step counts, and all-day stress tracking based on HRV measurements.
This watch provides a long battery life. It supports up to 14 days in smartwatch mode. Here you can operate many tracking features and other smart functions. If you use GPS mode, the watch will last for up to 16 hours.
There is another mode named UltraTrac. It is a battery saver mode and allows you to run the watch for 40 hours with GPS.
- Rugged build quality
- Durable and scratch-resistant display
- Display with high-contrast
- Effectively track your activity
- A great choice for outdoor sports including cycling
- Not suitable for narrow wrists
3. Garmin Venu 2 – Best Multi-sport Watch
Garmin Venu 2 is one of the favorable fitness smartwatches in the market. It tracks multiple sports and health conditions. The watch is a helpful wearable whether you are buying it for cycling or tracking health. You can navigate other smart features too. So this is a perfect package for every aspect.
- Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.48 inches
- Weight: 4 ounces
- Screen: 1.3 inches
- Display technology: AMOLED
- Display resolution: 416 x 416
- Battery life: 11 days
Garmin Venu 2 has a classic look combining all high-tech specs. It comes in different sizes and colors that fit on anyone’s wrist. The watch frame is made of a polymer with metal bezels. The build quality is solid for everyday use. With Corning Glass 3 protection, the watch resists shock, wear, and scratches.
The watch features a 1.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels. This improved display shows you a clear crystal view whenever you look at it. You can easily see under the sun. Setting Always-on display, you can see the watch during cycling or biking anytime.
Well, the touchscreen is easy to navigate, still, there are two physical buttons on the side for controlling the watch. We found it helpful when your hands are sweaty and make undesirable touch.
You can set attractive watch faces and give a unique appearance to the screen. Some faces can show more data at a glance. Since this is a sports watch, there are silicon straps. They are comfortable and lightweight for wearing for a long period.
Garmin Venu 2 has 25 built-in indoor and outdoor sports apps that can track almost all your body movement. It can track various exercises like cycling, swimming, walking, running, etc. There are also animated workouts for strength, yoga, HIIT, cardio, and much more. They are easy to follow and ensure fitness.
The watch features built-in GPS which is the most necessary feature when you choose the smartwatch for cycling. GPS gives you accurate data and a route map of your cycling. You can find out steps, calorie burn, and heart rate while cycling.
Along with fitness tracking, the Garmin Venu 2 is a well-featured smartwatch. You can see a lot of information right from your watch. You can know notifications, weather conditions, reminders, daily schedules, and much more from your watch. Moreover, the watch alerts you when getting email, text, or phone calls on your smartphone.
The watch can run up to 11 days at a stretch in smartwatch mode and up to 8 hours with GPS mode with music. The battery life is fairly extended for the smartwatch. So you can run the watch without any hassle. The watch has a rapid charging system to fill up juice quickly.
- Perfect fitness watch
- Long-lasting battery life
- Built-in GPS shows accurate data
- Pre-loaded sports apps track your movement
- Animated workouts are great
- Limited third-party apps
4. Garmin Forerunner 945 – Best GPS Watch
If you are a true athlete, then Garmin Forerunner 945 is the best choice. This watch will serve you premium services making it the right tool for the job. While preparing for triathletes, you can chase victory using this smartwatch.
However, the watch has a simple classic design and features a rugged build quality. It is slim and much lighter to put on for a long time.
- Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.9 x 0.54 inches
- Weight: 1.80 ounces
- Screen size: 1.2 inch
- Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels
- Display Type: Transflective display
Garmin uses a 1.2-inch screen with transflective display technology in this watch. In turn, the display is more visible and clear under the sun. It has a backlit too for seeing the watch in the dark area.
The watch has five buttons around the frame. All the buttons control all necessary navigation UI. As the watch doesn’t have a touchscreen, the buttons give a satisfying click.
Despite spending too much time dragging sweaty fingers on the screen of the watch, the physical buttons are more effective than a touchscreen.
There is a silicon band to fasten the watch securely, and it is comfortable enough. The watch is also light enough and doesn’t feel any stress after wearing it for an extended time. It also has 5 ATM water-rated that allows you to take it swimming multiple times without any issue.
Forerunner 945 is a great watch for cycling because it can track your every movement. Whether you are cycling on the city streets or riding densely on covered trails, the watch will assist you to stay on track, thanks to its built-in mapping.
The mappings are full-colored mapping with map data optimization. Using location tracking features you can find out the best trails and routes for cycling.
The watch has a multi-network system including GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS that allows satellite reception to trace your path in more challenging places than GPS alone. While preparing for a marathon or something longer session, you can customize training plans and custom workouts. You can even predict race time and prepare yourself.
This smartwatch effectively tracks your VO2 max and modifies the value based-on heat and altitude. This feature inspires you to be ready for your next touch challenge. You can analyze your recent exercise history and performance that indicates your training productivity. You can develop your endurance, speed, and power.
The watch estimated wrist-based heart rate using a Pulse Ox sensor. It also monitors blood oxygen saturation levels and supports advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation.
The watch gives up to 2 weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode and 10 hours with GPS mode with music. If you turn on the UltraTrac mode the watch will run up to 60 hours.
- Perfect for Athletes
- Bright and clear design
- Visible under the sun
- Effectively tracks your cycling route
- Analyze your VO2 max for development
- Pricy for limited functions
5. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar – Best Of All
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar is our top pick because it is the best fitness watch from Garmin. The watch represents the brand’s innovative determination. Along with multiple fitness features, it adds a unique segment in a wearable that is juicing up the power through the sun’s rays.
This premium multisport GPS Watch is designed for those who struggle to get through a multi-day marathon eke out and need more battery life.
- Size: 0.59 x 2.52 x 2.01 inches
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Display: 1.3 inches
- Display Type: Transflective Memory-in-Pixel
Solar charging is the key selling point of Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. The craftsmanship of solar power is very modern. There is a Power Glass Lens that has solar charging capabilities. This unique watch panel absorbs UV rays and transfers the power to the battery unit.
Using the solar charging system, you can cut the charging time. When you cycle outside, your watch will always be exposed to the sun. So you can charge the watch adequately. It is perfect for long cycling sessions.
There is also a customizable power manager mode in the watch. If you enable the solar charging and power manager mode, then your watch will be performance-ready for weeks.
The watch lasts up to 14 days of battery life using smart mode. If you turn on the solar charging mode and stay at least 3 hours per day outside in 50000 lux condition, the watch will go 16 days with smart mode. Or using GPS mode, the watch gives 36 hours of battery life and 40 hours with solar charging.
Fenix 6 Pro watch features a 1.3 inches display with stainless steel, titanium, or DLC coated bezel. It has a bulky frame but the build is rugged and suitable for extreme usage. The display has a transflective screen with 280 x 280 resolution, so you can see the watch even in bright conditions. All your data will be super clear.
The watch has preloaded sports apps that allow you to track many activities including cycling, running, swimming, hiking, surfing, and much more.
You can navigate preloaded TOPO maps, ski maps, GPS, Glonass, built-in sensors for 3-Axis compass, barometric, altimeter, and gyroscope for knowing the outdoor route. These functions are incredible while you are cycling on unknown routes.
The MTB Dynamic is a helpful function for mounting biking. It tracks every ride, flow measurement, and grit. It shows the rate of trial difficulty and how smoothly you descend. It also gives you a score to beat next time.
The watch tells you wrist-based heart rate and alerts you when the heart rate is too long or low. It also monitors your body’s energy using heart rate conditions, stress, sleep, and other data. You can also make daily fluid intake reminders and stay hydrated while cycling for a long time. It also estimates sweat loss after your activity.
- Solar-powered watch for long time use
- 1.3-inch large display that is clear to read in any condition
- Upgraded functions to track your daily activities and cycling
- Easily navigate GPS, and ski maps
6. Garmin Forerunner 935 – Best for Advanced Cycling
The Garmin Forerunner 935 is specially designed for cycling, running, and triathlons. It is made of quality materials, offering many years of service. Also, this watch is compatible with iPhone, Android, and Windows, giving you the flexibility to track your cycling sessions.
- Screen Size: 1.2”
- Human Interface Input: Button
- Display Type: LCD
- Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi
- Map Type: Worldwide
- Battery Life: 15 Days
The strap material is silicone, guaranteeing prolonged service. Due to its silicone materials, the strap resists water effectively and retains its color for many days. The overall weight of the watch is only 49 grams, giving you a comfortable feeling when cycling for long days.
- Silicone strap material
- A built-in barometer provides elevation changes
- Fiber-reinforced polymer bezel
- Unavailability of touchscreen feature
7. Garmin Forerunner 45S – Best for Comfortable Cycling
The Garmin Forerunner 45S is a small-sized watch that makes its easy-to-wear when cycling. Its GPS functionality accurately tracks your pace, distance intervals, and other necessary cycling parameters. This is a personalized coach right on your wrist.
- Screen Size: 1.04”
- Shape: Round
- Band Material Type: Silicone
- Connectivity Technology: GPS
- Compatible Devices: Smartphone
- Style: 45S
Safety & Tracking Features
It will send real-time locations to emergency contacts. As a result, when cycling, if you experience any unwanted situation, the watch performs as a lifesaver. At the same time, it estimates your heart rate to let have a comfortable cycling session.
- iPhone and Android compatible watch
- Efficiently track your pace, location, heart rate, etc.
- Charging cable included
- Small display
Related Post: Garmin Forerunner 45 In-depth Review
8. Garmin Vivoactive 4 – Best For Beginner Cyclists
Garmin Vivoactive 4 is an excellent smartwatch that is suitable for beginner-level cyclists. It is a mid-range wearable, ideal for those who want a functional smartwatch at a reasonable price. The watch features necessary functions that are favorable for a cyclist. You will get the best fitness tracking functions in the smartwatch.
- Watch size: 1.78 x 1.78 x 0.5 (LxWxH) inches
- Weight: 36 g
- Screen Size: 1.3 inches
- Screen Resolution: 260 x 260
- Battery life: 8 days and 6 hours with GPS mode
Design & Display
Vivoactive 4 is available in two sizes that are appealing to a wide variety of people. The watch contains steel bezels that look smart, stylish at the same time, durable, and solid. It is suitable for use in harsh conditions without any damage.
The silicon band is durable, soft-textured, and comfortable enough. The watch also features a 5 ATM water-resistant rating to withstand a depth of 50 meters.
The 1.3-inch touchscreen of the watch has a 260 x 260 resolution, and the screen is pretty vivid to read easily. There is also a transflective MIP screen like other Garmin watches for a more transparent view under the sunlight. It allows the users to read the data at a glance. You can switch the Always-On display to see the watch in mid-cycling time.
The touchscreen has an LCD panel and is very responsive to your touch. You can use the side buttons for quick navigation. Moreover, you can set exciting watch faces from numerous options.
Vivoactive 4 features essential fitness tracking apps that are useful in every way of life. You can access pre-loaded exercises that help to monitor your cycling, running, swimming, hiking, etc. You can activate all the tracking features using the upper side button.
There is on-screen guided animation that shows how you can do yoga, cardio, and pilates. You can see each pose modeled and remember their name. The GPS tracking facility is useful and accurate. You can see your cycling route and plans within 30 seconds. Sometimes, the GPS actives in 10 seconds.
Vivoactive 4 is also the best personal health companion. The all-day health monitoring features can track your health all the time. It can effectively take your heart rate, hydrated levels, sleeping time, and blood oxygen. Using the OX sensor, the watch gives SpO2 reading every morning. It also alerts you when you need to hydrate again.
The watch is perfect for fitness tracking still, other features of the watch make it an all-rounder smartwatch. After connecting the watch with your smartphone, you can easily see the emails, SMS, and phone calls and you can respond quickly.
It is also great for streaming music. The watch allows onboard music storage and hears your favorite time without any hassle. It also includes a Spotify music service where you can download songs and listen to them anywhere. The watch provides 8 days of battery life with standard tracking and up to 6 hours with GPS use.
- Slim, elegant, and light design
- Bright display, easy to read
- Pre-loaded sport tracking features
- Precise GPS tracking
- Best health monitor
- Requires many apps to navigate all the functions
9. Garmin Vivoactive 3 – Best For Affordable Price
Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a full-featured smartwatch at an affordable price range. Its cycling tracking functionality and other features make it the perfect choice for those who have a tight budget. For everyday tracking, the watch provides incredible performance.
- Dimensions: 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.46 inches
- Weight: 1.52 ounces
- Screen Size: 1.2 Inches
- Resolution: 240 x 240 pixels
Design & Display
Vivoactive 3 is a light and slim smartwatch. Weighing only 43g, the watch is not bulky on your wrist. It has a stainless steel casing that gives a more premium feeling. It looks simple yet contains high-tech.
The watch screen is 1.2 inches with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. The display is adequate to fit a wide range of wrists big and small. However, it effectively reflects light and increases visibility making it easier to read, even in direct sunlight.
The display is always on but it looks quite dimmed. Furthermore, the slim bezel is connected with the screen lines and shows where the hours are.
This watch is also waterproof with a rating of up to 50 meters. So this watch is also great for swimmers and makes it safer for showers and wash-up. Moreover, the screen is conserved with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the frame is made of reinforced polymer.
There is no doubt about durable build quality. The watch will withstand most grueling workout sessions.
Vivoactive 3 has more than 15 preloaded sports apps. These apps track your most common activities like swimming, running, cycling, biking, etc. There are also trackers for hitting the golf course, bike rides, yoga class, and stand-up paddleboarding. As it has built-in GPS, the watch requires no connection.
You can monitor your heart rate condition and heart rate variability (HRV) with the watch. HRV measurement is also used to track your stress level. It has Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology that is the key aspect of your fitness. Moreover, you can estimate VO2 max and fitness age.
You can always stay connected with your smartwatch through the watch. You will get all the notifications and update emails on your wrist. You can also respond to text messages and see social media notifications.
- Slim and light smartwatch
- Clear display
- Durable build quality
- Built-in GPS for accurate tracking
- Excellent health monitoring sensors
- No onboard music storage
10. Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – Best For Battery Life
Garmin Fenix 5x Plus is a feature-rich smartwatch. It is the ultimate smartwatch providing more features and accuracy. However, Fenix 5x Plus is the most updated version, so it is the pricier smartwatch compared to other Garmin watches. It includes all the premium features that help you to improve cycling and other sports.
- Size: 2 x 0.7 x 2 inches
- Weight: 3.36 ounces
- Display: 1.2”
- Display type: Transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
- Resolution: 240 x 240 pixels
- Battery life: Up to 20 days and 13 hours with GPS mode
Design & Display
Fenix 5x Plus has a bulky build with big bezels. But the build quality is very rugged with exposed screws. You can take the watch for any adventure. The PVD-coated stainless steel bezel gives a sporty look.
Despite being a pricey watch, it doesn’t have a touchscreen which may be a drawback for someone. The watch has five physical buttons for input, and we found it very straightforward for navigation.
The watch comes with a 1.2-inch high-end domed sapphire lens with transflective technology. It reflects the light resulting in the display becoming more brighter and visible outdoors. With 240 x 240 resolution, the display is quite clear and quickly readable.
You can customize the faces of the watch by connecting it with the IQ store. Moreover, you can see every detail of the information at a glance from here.
The watch has several sensors that enhance its performance. For example, you will find optical heart rate, GPS, GLONASS, barometric altimeter, compass, thermometer, and a Pulse Oximeter which is the new edition of the watch. All of them provide a precise tracking system of your movement.
Moreover, the latest Galileo system with GPS offers more accuracy and better location tracking.
In the category of gym and fitness tracking, you can monitor a wide number of workout training. You can effectively monitor your cycling performance and improve it to achieve your goal. Moreover, fitness tracking includes advanced workouts including, rep counting, stair-stepping, yoga, and much more.
You can analyze them in your activity profile and customize them. Using the watch, you can monitor your sleeping time, calories burned, fitness age, and all-stress.
The heart rate monitoring is incredible in this watch. It gives you several pieces of information about your heart condition like HR zones, HR calories, HR alerts, HR max %, and HR broadcast data. The oximeter also tracks your oxygen level and alerts you.
The fall detection feature is helpful when you are cycling on an unknown route. If the watch detects you are unconscious, it automatically sends your location to an emergency contact.
This is the best Garmin watch for cycling because the map detail is amazing on this little screen. It features the Worldwide DEM base map to show numerous details of roads and cities. Using the OpenStreetMap layer, you can get a recommended route when cycling.
The battery life is very impressive in this watch. It gives up to 20 days of battery life in standby mode with some tracking features. With the GPS mode, the watch will provide 13 hours of battery life which is much better than other watches on the market.
- Solid build quality
- Ultimate GPS tracker
- Heart rate measurement is accurate
- Excellent for gym training
- Very long battery
- No touchscreen
You should maintain these key factors while buying a Garmin cycling watch:
Cycling can be outdoor or indoor. The build quality matters when you choose the smartwatch for outdoor cycling. Because the outdoor environment is extreme and you need a rugged and tough watch that can survive the conditions. So choose a tough and durable watch in this regard.
You need a reliable GPS tracker for cycling. Garmin also uses GLONASS and Galileo support satellite networks. They are incredibly useful while cycling outdoors. You can find out routes and you can quickly cycle on adventurous pathways.
Choose a smartwatch that is helpful in every way. The watch also should have accurate health monitoring sensors. Other health monitoring features are also useful to lead a healthy life.
It is unbearable to wear an uncomfortable accessory. So you need to choose the right size for your wrist condition. Narrow wrist people should choose relatively small-sized and light watches. Because a bulky watch may increase stress on your wrist.
The battery juice of the watch should be enough to support it all day. Otherwise, it would be problematic for you. Most Garmin watches give a really good battery life that is adequate for long usage.
Read Next: Why is My Garmin Watch Not Charging
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I set cycling mode on Garmin Watch?
To run the cycling mode, you need to open the setting tab and reach activity profiles. Here you can see the cycling option, and you can start the mode. If you set the mode in a quick setting, then you can easily turn on the mode.
What is the most precise Garmin watch?
There are many Garmin series, and Garmin Forerunner 945 is the best watch providing precise data. Its GPS accuracy and innovative performance all are seamless. Moreover, it gives reliable health monitoring data.
Is the Garmin good for cycling?
Garmin watch features built-in GPS and advanced features that are incredible for tracking cycling. Other sports trackers are also reliable for fitness monitoring.
Garmin watches are really great for all types of cyclists. Whether your level of cycling, you can surely make improvements using the smartwatches. Most smartwatches have top-notch features and they are accurate and precise. You may confuse that most Garmin sports watches have buttons rather than a touchscreen. But do you know buttons are easier to navigate when your hands are sweaty?
After scanning these 10 best Garmin smartwatches for cycling, you have to know the exciting and advanced features of the watches. These watches are perfect whether you are cycling inside or outside. They will provide you with optimal performance and stay with you longer, thanks to their long battery life.
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