Smartphone vs Cycling Computer - which to choose?

Smartphone vs Cycling Computer - which to choose?

As cycling continues to grow in popularity, more people may be wondering whether they should invest in a cycling computer or use their smartphone...
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Around the world, cycling has been on a growth trajectory for several years. Now, it seems that this growth is seeing a surge as a result of the pandemic. This can probably be attributed to a few things, including people having more time on their hands due to the stay-at-home orders, and for others, finding cycling as a more favorable alternative to public transportation. Bike stores have been even busier than usual in spite of the pandemic as more people flock to biking. 

As cycling continues to grow in popularity, more people may be thinking about the question anyone who considers themselves a cyclist has pondered at one point or another – should I invest in a cycling computer or will my smartphone suffice?

We’re breaking down the key things to consider below.


Start by evaluating your needs

Sometimes the prospect of having a new tool causes us to forget why we need or want the tool in the first place. So, start by thinking about what you are hoping to get out of the tool. 

What cycling data do you want to measure?

When you consider what you want to get out of the tool, start with data. What is it that you want to measure and see? Is it just the basics, like your route and navigation? Does it include heart rate, speed, and altitude, which may mean connecting some apps? Or are you training and trying to get into the details, like cadence and gears? 


Next, think about the type of riding you do, and the conditions you will be in. Water resistance, dirt resistance, heat resistance – these are some things to take into consideration. 

Frequency and duration

How often are you cycling? In addition to how often, don’t forget to consider how long your average ride is. This is important for a few reasons, but the main reason has to do with battery life. If you’re using up lots of data on your smartphone, it will inevitably drain the battery. Not to mention that looking up directions, making phone calls, snapping photos, and listening to music will also drain your phone’s battery. So, if you know your ride will be hours long and will likely tack other phone functionality into your day, it might make sense to look at a cycling computer. Alternatively, you might consider bringing things like a power bank or a portable speaker in your bag.


Price will be a big factor in your decision. High-quality cycling computers cost hundreds of dollars. Meanwhile, you can find cheap bike phone mounts that also run the risk of not being secure. This is easily remedied by choosing the right bike mount. We’ll get into that in the next section.

Mounting your phone to your bike 

After you’ve taken all of those considerations and decide that a bike mount is the best option for you, Rokform has options to suit every type of cyclist and factor.

Bike Handlebar Mount

For the cyclist that’s cruising around recreationally, we recommend the Bike Handlebar Mount. Not only is it super easy to install, but it’s also incredibly versatile. Don’t think it’s limited to just bicycles – it can be used on any bar sized between ⅞” and 1 ¼”, including shopping carts, strollers, and more. At $29.99, the Bike Handlebar Mount is the best value for money.

Shop Bike Handlebar Mount

V4 Pro Series Bike Mount

For the serious cyclist, we recommend the V4 Pro Series Bike Mount. It offers the ultimate flexibility, so you can adjust to suit your cycling position and still get the best viewing angle. The fact that this bike mount is made with aircraft-grade aluminum means a few things; namely, it’s super lightweight and is durable enough to last even the most intense conditions. You can mount your phone in portrait or landscape mode. The V4 Bike Mount includes a safety lanyard and sells for $59.99, which is still cheaper than lots of cycling computers on the market.

Shop V4 Pro Series Bike Mount

Share your story

Are you a cyclist that’s been through this exact dilemma and found a solution? Share it with us in the comments below!


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