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5 Best Multisport Watches for Cyclists and Endurance Athletes [Guest Post]

Best Multisport Watches for Cyclists

By Tyler Tafelsky

Unlike mounted bike computers that are limited to cycling, multisport watches enable athletes to track many of the same bike-specific metrics, like distance, speed, and GPS, but without restricting its use to riding bikes. Today’s multisport watches can be used for swimming, cycling, running, hiking, paddling, or simply tracking one’s fitness throughout the day. They’re a versatile and practical option for many applications.

However, choosing the best multisport watch depends on a number of different features and personal preferences. User interface, design, HR/HRV, GPS, water resistance, and device connectivity are some of the most highly-sought features when deciding upon the right multisport watches. To help you narrow your search, here we profile five of the best multisport watches priced at sub-$199 upwards to $699.

Garmin fenix 6S Pro Multisport Watch

The fenix 6S Pro is the pinnacle of Garmin’s high-performance multisport watches that delivers everything you need for everything outdoors. Offering a highly-resilient yet sophisticated design that’s engineered for mountaineering, climbing, swimming, surfing, mountain biking, road cycling, backcountry skiing, and even golfing, the Garmin fenix 6S Pro is a proven multisport watch that’s construction tested to U.S. military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance.

Offering a complete, map-based navigation system, the fenix 6S Pro accesses multiple GNSS (global navigation satellite systems) to track activity in remote environments than GPS alone might not reach. With an intuitive and easy-to-read map interface available directly from the watch, you can see topographical maps as well as Garmin’s Trendline™ feature, which offers popularity routing to help you find the best local paths.

The Garmin fenix 6S is a robust combination of multisport watch and smartwatch all-in-one device. In addition to lifestyle features like hydration tracking and advanced sleep monitoring, you can also view athletic metrics like Garmin’s PacePro pacing guidance, heat- and altitude-adjusted VO2 max, running dynamics, recovery advisor, and even a women’s health monitoring, such as menstrual cycle tracking.

  • Water rating: 10 ATM / Up to 100 meters
  • Weight: 61 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 9 days (Battery Saver mode 34 days)
  • GPS mode: Up to 36 hours (with music 10 hours)
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

Find the Garmin fenix 6S Pro Multisport Watch on Amazon.

Suunto 9 Baro GPS Multisport Watch

Well-recognized for its GPS-enabled long battery life and atmospheric-driven tracking features, the Suunto 9 Baro is a top-tier multisport watch that’s well-designed for endurance athletes who demand longevity, accuracy, and versatility from their sports watch.

Equipped with race pacing, power cycling, weather, barometer, elevation, navigation/orientation, and GPS-enabled features, the Suunto 9 Baro is well-equipped to support endurance athletes who participate in adventure bike racing, ultrarunning, extreme multisport events, and other multiday affairs.

The Suunto 9 Baro delivers the features you’d expect in a mountaineering-caliber “ABC watch” (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass), but it’s equipped with over 80 different sports profiles. When it comes to performance capabilities, the Suunto 9 Baro is unquestionably one of the best multisport watches for serious endurance athletes who want sports-specific data without the clutter of lifestyle features that other smartwatches deliver.

  • Water rating: 10 ATM / Up to 100 meters
  • Weight: 81 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 14 days (Battery Saver mode 34 days)
  • GPS mode: Up to 120 hours
  • Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels

See the Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch on Amazon.

Garmin Forerunner 745 Multisport Watch

Minimally-designed but maximally-equipped, the Garmin Forerunner 745 Multisport Watch packs a punch for performance tracking and training guidance. Providing metrics like VO2 max, cycling power, Pulse Ox, cadence, stride length, ground contact time, and overall training load, the Garmin Forerunner 745 cater to any data junkies’ demands at a sub-$500 price tag.

HRV (heart rate variability) provides a real-time assessment of an athlete’s ability to train or race. Combined with a Pulse Ox sensor for blood oxygen saturation, athletes can better gauge their training cycle and overall recovery. The Forerunner 745 also delivers aerobic and anaerobic feedback, which is especially useful for long-ultra-distance and long-course athletes.

Ideally-suited for adventure cyclists and endurance athletes, the Forerunner 745 also packs an altimeter and global navigation satellite system (GNSS). It provides accurate guidance to help navigate rigorous and unknown conditions.

  • Water rating: 5 ATM / Up to 50 meters
  • Weight: 47 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 1 week
  • GPS mode: Up to 16 hours (with music up to 6 hours)
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

You can usually find the Forerunner 745 Multisport Watch at an affordable price on Amazon.

Garmin vivoactive 4S GPS Multisport Watch

The Garmin vivoactive 4S is an affordable yet fully-equipped multisport watch that offers a stylish and non-overly-athletic look. It’s slightly smaller and sleeker compared to the vivoactive 4 and it comes in a variety of color configurations.

In addition to having a touchscreen interface, the vivoactive 4S offers an array of features that cyclists and endurance athletes will appreciate. In addition to checking the standard boxes for heart rate and GPS tracking, the Pulse Ox sensor is another highly-desired feature that measures blood oxygen saturation to show how well your body is absorbing oxygen.

The vivoactive 4S also has Hydration Tracking to log fluid consumption as well as Respiration Tracking to see how well you’re breathing throughout the day. More than just a GPS-equipped cycling and multisport watch, the vivoactive 4S is an all-around fitness watch that’s a great aid for recovery monitoring and overall health.

  • Water rating: 5 ATM | Up to 50 meters
  • Weight: 40 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 7 days
  • GPS mode life: Up to 15 hours (with music only 5 hours)
  • Display resolution: 218 x 218 pixels
Garmin vivoactive 4S GPS Multisport Watch is priced for budget-conscious athletes. Check it out on Amazon.

COROS PACE 2 GPS Sport Watch

The COROS PACE 2 is an entry-level multisport watch that was designed with cyclists and endurance athletes in mind. A high-performance option in the sub-$200 range, the PACE 2 is extremely lightweight and long-lasting, enduring up to 20 days before needing a charge.

COROS PACE 2 is an impressively-engineered multisport watch that doesn’t compromise on aesthetics or performance. The 1.2” (30.4 mm) display size is large enough to see metrics at a glance but the watch itself is not as bulky as other popular multisport watches on the market.

Not only does the COROS PACE 2 track performance metrics for swimming, cycling, and running workouts, but the tri mode tracks all three of these disciplines consecutively, which for the price, makes it the best watch for a triathlon.

  • Water rating: 5 ATM / Up to 50 meters
  • Weight: 35 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode: Up to 20 days
  • GPS mode life: Up to 30 hours (UltraMax GPS mode up to 60 hours)
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels
Learn more about the COROS PACE 2 or buy it on Amazon.

Final Comments

While the best multisport watch largely depends on individual preferences, there are certain features that distinguish certain multisport watches from the pack. Of those features are HR/HRV, pulse oximeter, VO2 max, global positioning system (GPS) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS), water-resistance, altitude, barometric pressure, temperature, and weather.

Investing in a multisport watch that caters to these needs will certainly come at a cost. However, there are many low-cost options that still provide high-performance capabilities, which are perfect for cyclists, endurance athletes, or those getting started training for a triathlon.

Featured image source: Unsplash / Omid Armin

Author Bio

Tyler Tafelsky is the lead editor of Better Triathlete, an online triathlon community that provides information and resources surrounding training, coaching, equipment, and gear.