The great thing about wearables is that there’s one for every kind of person. Into managing your emails more than steps? Perfect. Grab the flashy Apple Watch. More an Android guy? Check out the Moto360. Only want to track steps? Wonderful. A Fitbit for you. Despite how recently wearables burst onto the scene, it’s surprising how customized you can get. When it comes to tracking progress accurately and closely monitoring progress, there’s perhaps no type of person more obsessed than the cyclist. There are several startups devoted, exclusively, to helping cyclists connect with each other, compare stats, and monitor their rides. Wearables have taken notice, too, designing their wearables with data-rabid cyclists in mind.
When you’re biking dozens of miles, you’re going to need a wearable that not only looks the part, but also stays out of the way and is as comfortable as possible. The Fitbit Surge is the bulkier of the two options, but has a screen to display important fitness stats to you at a glance. The Moov Now is a much simpler, smaller device that won’t tell you much when you look at it, but you definitely won’t notice it anyways since, unlike the Surge, the Moov Now is worn on your ankle instead of your wrist.
Design pick: The Moov Now is definitely the nicer looking option that doesn’t look like your traditional wearable. The lack of a screen might be a problem for some, but aerodynamically and aesthetically, it’s the obvious choice.
Both the Surge and Moov Now monitor heart rates, elevation, and are GPS-enabled. You won’t find a big discrepancy between the two devices feature wise, but there are some very important differences in regards to the quality of their cycle tracking.
The Moov Now may be the more unassuming of the two wearables, but its simplicity comes at the cost of heart rate accuracy. If you’re trying to keep your heart rate in an optimal zone, the Moov Now may disappoint you – especially at lower heart rates. The Fitbit Surge was much more accurate with the added benefit of being able to check in your heart rate more easily mid-ride (thanks to the screen).
Heart rate pick: Fitbit Surge. Hands down.
As you careen through the countryside, you need a wearable that will accurately tell you how far you’ve gone and where you’ve gone. GPS and location accuracy is especially important to long distance runners and cyclists, especially for those of us who want to compare our rides with others. While both wearables do a good job, the Moov Now did a much better job tracking elevation. The Fitbit Surge often failed to pick up on hills making trips shorter than they actually were.
GPS / Location pick: Moov Now for better elevation tracking.
When it comes to recording speed, your wearable needs accurate location tracking to be successful. Because of the Fitbit Surge’s problems noticing changes in elevation, speed was inexcusably off – especially when descending hills. The Surge consistently reported higher speeds while the Moov Now was pretty spot on!
Speed pick: Moov Now.
The Fitbit Surge, however, did a better job than the Moov Now when it came to tracking calories. The Moov Now was a little overeager when reporting how many calories were burned – which may make you feel great, but will leave you confused when you don’t have the body you think you should.
Calories pick: Fitbit Surge for more realistic tracking.
The Moov Now also has a few tricks up its sleeve that the Fitbit Surge doesn’t. Specifically, the Moov Now can estimate cadence and power. Both metrics were pretty close to actual, though imperfect. It’s a lot to ask for a wearable to track cadence and power, so it’s a welcome surprise that Moov tried at all.
When looking at wearables specifically for cycling, sleep tracking can’t be ignored. Knowing the quality and duration of your sleep can help inform what kind of ride you take that morning and can help explain your performance. Both wearables do a good job tracking sleep, but the Fitbit Surge has much easier to read data than the Moov Now. While the Moov Now may be the less assuming device as you drift off into dreamland, but it can’t beat the Surge’s well-designed graphs.
Sleep tracking pick: Fitbit Surge for easy to understand data, but both are accurate.
And here comes the big deal breaker for many cyclists out there: the Moov Now doesn’t integrate with Strava at all. That may be fine if you’re not a social cyclist, but is unforgivable if you love comparing your rides with your friends. The Fitbit Surge syncs data with Strava seamlessly and is super easy to set up. With how big Strava has become in the cycling community, Fitbit was wise to build this feature into the Surge.
Strava pick: Fitbit Surge.
Without a screen, the Moov Now requires much less charging than the Fitbit Surge. You’ll have to charge your Surge every few days. The Moov Now lasts for six months, but you’ll have to purchase a new battery at that time. The good news is the batteries are cheap and standard, making replacement a breeze.
Battery life pick: Moov Now.
Both of these fitness tracking wearables will be great additions to your cycling gear, but the Moov Now outperforms the Fitbit Surge in too many areas to recommend the Surge over the Moov Now. With stronger location accuracy, a more minimalist design, the ability to track cadence and power, and a battery you don’t have to worry about, the Moov Now is a stronger pick for serious cyclists. Even though the Surge has a screen to help your track your progress in real time and cleaner data visualization, it just couldn’t keep up with location accuracy or aesthetics.
That being said, if Strava integration is a must have for your cycling wearable, you wouldn’t regret choosing the Fitbit Surge – even if you’d have to tolerate a few kinks here and there.
At the end of the day, it’s clear that Moov invested more time in making sure that the Moov Now had the features that cyclists, specifically, found important. The Surge is great for all around fitness tracking, but the Moov Now is the wearable a cyclist would be most happy with.