So far I've been using my Android smartphone and a combination of Strava and Google Maps for navigating/recording my routes. This works reasonably well, but as I've been going on longer and longer rides I'm getting fed up with having to take my phone out of my pocket to check whether I've missed my turning.

I've tried mounting my phone on my handlebars, but this isn't a great solution for several reasons:

  • It's bulky and vulnerable to getting smashed in a crash
  • The battery quickly runs flat if I leave the display on for navigation
  • It's hard to read the display in bright sunlight

I've looked at various cycling GPS units which seem to mainly fall into two categories:

  • Small, relatively cheap units that record performance stats (distance, speed etc.) but don't offer any navigation functionality. I'm not really interested in these features since I can already record most of the information I want using my phone.
  • Bigger, more expensive units with colour screens that offer route planning and turn-by-turn navigation. My phone already has a nice big color touchscreen as well as a GPS receiver so I find it hard to justify spending ~£200+ on one of these.

All I want is a small, dedicated "turn indicator" that I can mount on my handlebars and pair with my phone (perhaps over Bluetooth).

So far the closest thing I've found is the Schwinn CycleNav. However there are lots of angry reviews on Amazon claiming that the app is no longer supported on current versions of Android/iOS. If so then this rules it out completely for me.

By far the nicest-looking "turn indicator" solution I've seen so far is on the Hammerhead. It's reasonably priced for a cycling GPS unit, although I still feel like buying another GPS receiver would be overkill. I also have some reservations about their Android app, which has some quite poor reviews.

There also seem to be a few relevant products at the crowdfunding stage. In particular Beeline comes close to the idea of a dedicated turn indicator. However it doesn't actually do proper turn-by-turn navigation - all it gives you is the bearing and distance to your destination, which is no good for me.

I'm sure I can't be the only one looking for a solution along these lines. Does anyone have experience with the options I mentioned above, or any other recommendations?

  • I'm afraid this is very specific and answers are likely to go out of date quickly (as you've found with the Schwinn app), so I'm voting to close it because "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly."
    – Móż
    Apr 19, 2016 at 23:13
  • 1
    @Batman I don't think the indicator in this case is meant to signal to motorists and other road users but rather to indicate to the rider when there is a turn approaching in the predefined route.
    – Kibbee
    Apr 20, 2016 at 0:17
  • @Kibbee - Right, thanks. I'm not sure theres that much of a market for these things.
    – Batman
    Apr 20, 2016 at 0:31
  • They're all junk, solutions looking for problems. Cyclists tend to know their routes. If you're riding somewhere unusual, just stop and check your phone/paper map or enjoy the spontaneous scenic tour.
    – Criggie
    Apr 20, 2016 at 2:59
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    @Criggie - I am sorry but a good GPS that lets me follow a track has been invaluable when touring over hundreds of km of trails and back roads. Would have taken me 2x as long with regular maps. Turn-by-turn with pop-ups have been more gimmick than useful as you just need to glance down on to see where you are relative to the track.
    – Rider_X
    Apr 20, 2016 at 4:28

4 Answers 4


I've had a phone in a bumper case come off the handlebars several times without damage. But my handlebar mount kept getting broken in the bike shed at work so I switched to a top tube bag (which also holds a tube and basic tools). The low light readability is still an issue, but you're over the top of it a bit more which helps. Where I put tools you could put an extra battery. The bag is firmly attached to the bike so won't come off, and the location means it's highly unlikely to hit anything. They're cheap so it's worth a try. This way there are no worries about device/phone/app compatibility.


I downloaded ridewithGPS for voice cues on my iPhone 6. It works even while the display is off, which should solve the battery issue. I have only tried it on a 3 hour ride, and had lots of power left. I planned to use it for a 6 hour ride, but rain canceled it. You have to use one of the pay versions to get this.


If you are able to hear it then google maps navigation will read out turn-by-turn directions to you. I found the noise of wind while riding prevented me from hearing these, but if you were riding slower, or used an ear piece this might work. The dedicated cycle GPS unit will provide the best solution, the question is whether you'd use the functionality enough to justify the expense, or can you get by with a phone.

  • Yeah, I've tried using Google Maps voice cues. It kind of works, but I also found that wind noise is a major issue. Headphones are essential to hear the instructions, but I dislike the fact that they block out other sounds, and it's annoying having extra wires dangling around. A visual display would be much better.
    – ali_m
    Apr 20, 2016 at 7:53
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    You could look for some bone conducting headphones. They don't block your hearing, but still allow you to hear the sounds from your phone.
    – Kibbee
    Apr 20, 2016 at 16:47

I found these, but it seems they did not raise enough money.

  • There are a couple of other products along similar lines, e.g. Helios. To be honest I think the whole concept is fundamentally flawed - just because my GPS tells me I should turn does not mean that I want to immediately signal the turning to other road users. In fact, it sounds potentially dangerous.
    – ali_m
    Apr 20, 2016 at 8:47
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