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Cycling Gadgets – Do They Help Us?

Smartphone apps, GPS trackers and bike computers seem to be taking over the world of cycling.

Getting power output, speed, elevation, cadence and heart rate data all combined used to be the domain of the pros. Not anymore! Strava is being increasingly used as the default app to record and monitor activity linked to GPS compatible devices and most bikes have a Garmin attached

So what does the research say about these devices that are appearing on bikes or the apps that sit in smartphones? Do they work, do they change our cycling behaviour or performance, or are they just an expensive self-monitoring tool that the marketers have convinced us we must have.

It will be no surprise that the main things cyclists want is time, distance and speed of the ride and that these self-monitoring tools are most suitable for performance-oriented riders rather than recreational riders.

The research suggests these devices do not increase the number of people cycling but could if they measured other things that focus on performance.

For more information on the research and results go to


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