When you’re trying to build on your fitness, a cycling heart rate monitor is one of the best ways to do it. It gives you essential information in real-time and can help you record results to monitor and improve on.
Nowadays, you can pick up a cycling heart rate monitor that connects to your phone or cycling computer pretty cheaply – which is fantastic for cyclists without a limitless budget.
Of course, you can also buy more advanced cycling heart rate monitors with additional features, such as waterproofing, built-in memory, and GPS.
So, we thought we’d highlight our favorite cycling heart rate monitors for all budgets. If you’re serious about improving your cycling fitness, one of these will surely suit your needs.
Ready for the lowdown on the best cycling heart rate monitors?
Let’s dive in!
The 10 Best Cycling Heart Rate Monitors
#1: Garmin HRM Pro
- Big-Name Brand
- App Connectivity
Garmin products are among the most popular ways to monitor activities, including the best cycling heart rate monitors. The HRM Pro sits at the top of Garmin’s range, making it an excellent cycling heart rate monitor.
It cleverly combines all of Garmin’s sport-specific models into one package. It links with the Garmin Connect IQ, so it is compatible with many fitness-tracking apps.
As a cycling heart rate monitor, it gives you all the data you need while providing a high level of functionality. It can also count and analyze your steps if you use it for running.
The device stores data when your phone isn’t connected to it and automatically updates it when you connect. This makes it suitable for swimming and running, making it popular with triathletes.
The Garmin HRM Pro uses ANT+ and Bluetooth, so you can use it indoors and outdoors.
#2: Polar H10
- Pinpoint Accurate
- Built-In Memory
Similar to the Garmin HRM-Pro, the Polar H10 can be used indoors or outdoors, thanks to ANT+ and Bluetooth. Polar claims that the H10 is the most accurate heart rate monitor available, so you can get precise data as long as you wear the strap correctly.
Even though the Polar H10 is an excellent cycling heart rate monitor, it supports many other sports too. It features built-in memory and auto download for when it connects to your phone or bike computer after your workout.
Polar is very good at providing firmware updates, so you can expect improvements from time to time. The high level of waterproofing means you can use it for swimming too.
#3: Wahoo TICKR
- Great Fit
- Effortless App Connectivity
Wahoo has two heart rate monitor chest straps, the Tickr and TickrX. The TickrX is the more advanced version with extra functionality for cycling. For example, it has additional metrics such as indoor cycling cadence and running analytics on treadmills. It can also store your workout data, ready to update your device later when it connects.
However, the standard Tickr is more than enough for most cyclists. You will like that you can connect it to a phone app rather than a cycling computer to record your workouts.
Another great feature of this cycling heart rate monitor is that it estimates your calorie burn. And you know it’s connected to your phone, thanks to the indicator light on the front.
Like all good heart rate monitors, the Wahoo Tickr is Bluetooth Smart and Ant+ compatible, so you can use it with third-party apps.
#4: 4iiii Viiiiva
- Built-in Storage
- ANT+ to Bluetooth Bridge
You may be familiar with 4iiii’s power meters, but the company also produces the Viiiiva heart rate monitor. This cycling heart rate monitor offers similar features that most others do, but with a handy addition.
Most devices only connect via Bluetooth, preventing you from receiving ANT+ signals from older turbo trainers and power meters. You can use a separate ANT+ dongle to connect to your computer, but this isn’t possible for your phone or tablet.
However, the Viiiiva can bridge between an ANT+ device to one that only supports Bluetooth. Therefore, you can pair it to all of your cycling equipment via ANT+. The Viiiiva sends the necessary data via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet.
The 4iiii also has built-in storage, making it excellent value for money when you compare it with competitors with fewer functions.
#5: Wahoo TICKR Fit
- Excellend Device Compatibility
The Wahoo Tikr Fit is an alternative to the chest strap cycling heart rate monitors we’ve covered so far. Instead, you wear this cycling heart rate monitor on your arm.
This device is designed for people who find chest straps uncomfortable. You get two straps in different sizes, so you can choose the right one to fit you.
Another way this device differs from others is that it has a great rechargeable battery. The battery is good for about 30 hours, so you don’t need to plug it in after every workout or ride.
It has status lights built into it to indicate when it is connected to a device, and it uses Bluetooth and ANT+. This means you can connect it to Wahoo’s app, an Apple Watch, or several other devices and apps.
#6 Polar Vantage M2
- Highly Accurate
- Easy-To-Use App
- Sleek Appearance
The Polar Vantage M2 is exceptionally accurate, thanks to the company’s Precision Prime technology. This feature uses skin-contact readings on the back of the watch with optical sensors to provide reliable heart rate readings and fewer inaccuracies when working out.
This watch has many other valuable features, including continuous heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, and sleep monitoring. You can also use it to tell you what to do during workouts.
After each workout, the data is automatically synced to the app on your phone, which gives you a detailed analysis. But you can go into even more detail online with Polar Flow.
#7: Coros Pace 2
- Excellent Battery Life
- Great Navigation Features
The Coros Pace 2 is an excellent option if you like to explore and combine fitness tracking with navigation. Like the Polar Vantage, this watch monitors your heart rate with optical sensors next to your skin.
It can also connect to a chest strap via Bluetooth or Ant+ if you want even more accuracy.
Even with the excellent location services such as GLONASS, GPS, and BDS satellites switched on, the battery life is pretty impressive. Additional features include a compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and barometric altimeter.
This all sounds pretty complicated, but the Coros app will analyze all the data and provide feedback for each ride or workout.
#8: Garmin Forerunner 45
- Great Training Tool
- Very Comfortable
As the name suggests, the Garmin Forerunner 45 is primarily for runners, but it’s versatile enough for cyclists too.
This watch can track your rides with GPS, provide coaching plans, track your daily activity, and continuously monitor your heart rate. It even has some safety features that can help you get out of trouble in an accident.
In addition to this, the Forerunner alerts you if your heart rate drops too low or goes too high while resting. Garmin Forerunner 45 owners love how comfortable it feels on their wrists, especially during long rides or workout sessions.
We like how this watch connects to your phone, as it allows you to control your workout music and read notifications without needing to look at your phone.
The Garmin Forerunner 45 is also a good choice if you like to mix up your workouts. It is waterproof up to 164ft, so you can use it to track your swims.
Garmin says the Forerunner 45’s battery lasts up to 7 days – but this significantly reduces when you use GPS.
#9: Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar
- Solar Charging
- High-End Sports Watch
The Garmin Fenix 7 is an incredible GPS multisport smartwatch. It is incredibly feature-rich, to the point that you probably won’t use most of what it can do.
This watch steps up the game from the Fenix 6, as it has a touchscreen and extended battery life. The touchscreen gives the Fenix 7 functionality similar to Gamin’s bike computers and other devices you may have.
The touchscreen makes navigating the menus and scrolling through the built-in maps super easy. But we’re impressed with the battery life, which is extended by solar power.
It has a built-in heart rate monitor, but if you want more accurate data, you should use a chest strap. As a cyclist, you’ll get the most out of the Garmin Fenix 7 if you pair it with a power meter.
#10: Wahoo Elemnt Rival
- Easy To Use
- Wahoo Kickr-Compatible
The Wahoo Elemnt Rival is optimized for ease of use by not filling it with features that are deemed unnecessary. However, this simplicity comes at a cost, as it doesn’t analyze your performance as deeply as other watches.
Also, it doesn’t feature navigation, so if you want to use your watch for exploring, you’d be better off with a Garmin Fenix 7 if your budget stretches to it.
However, if you have a Wahoo Kickr, you can use the Elemnt Rival to control it. It also features touchless transition tracking, which registers when you transition in a triathlon, so you can keep an eye on your splits for each stage.