In today’s age of technology and social media, it seems like there’s an app for pretty much anything. Whether it’s an app with white noise to help you sleep better or a nutritional app to track your calories; if you want it, you can find it.
Today, however, we are focusing on the best apps for mountain biking and biking in general.
With most of us relying on our phones for almost everything, apps make perfect sense for mountain biking. Several companies now sell phone accessories and attachments that allow you to attach it to your handlebars, so taking your phone with you when you ride has never been easier.
Some of the apps you would’ve heard of, like Strava, Komoot, and Zwift, while others, like Trailforks and My Campy, might be less familiar. Many of these apps have improved significantly in recent years, with most professional mountain bikers and cyclists using them to track their training and race data. Pros can track data such as their power output, cadence, heart rate, average speed, and meters climbed.
But you don’t have to be a professional or hardcore mountain biker to take advantage of these apps. Most of the apps are designed for everyday riders and weekend warriors. Apps like Komoot are intended to help with navigation, and others like Trailforks, allow riders to find and ride some of the best mountain bike trails in the world.
Whether you want to track performance or find new trails, there is undoubtedly an app for you. Maybe you’re preparing for a race and want to track performance; in this case, the Zwift or Wahoo Fitness app would be suited. Perhaps you’re looking to find new trails near you? then an app like Bikemap will be right up your alley.
So without further adieu, let’s look at the top 13 apps on the market for mountain bikers. Some of the apps are free, while others are paid, but one thing is for certain, all 13 apps serve a purpose while out on the bike.
Top Navigation Apps
To help you get the most out of your ride and assure you don’t get lost in the middle of nowhere, here are the top 6 mountain bike and cycling navigation apps you need to start downloading today.
Now, if you’re like most people these days, you probably use Google Maps, especially while driving, but when riding out in the wilderness, Google Maps has been known to be less than reliable. Enter Komoot.
Komoot has solved these problems and is now one of the most reliable navigation apps used by mountain bikers. Komoot has gone about it the smart way and teamed up with the prominent Garmin cycling brand and takes full advantage of the “open-source” database from OpenStreetMap.
By using this tech, Komoot allows riders to plan and or make changes to their ride while on the go. An American friend of mine runs a mountain bike tour company in Japan and relies on Komoot to track his trails and provide information to those mountain bikers riding along with him.
According to my mate, the best feature on Komoot is that if you set start and end points for your journey, the app will automatically calculate how challenging your ride is and even suggests the difficulty levels and fitness required. It’s a well-thought-out feature, especially for newbies, because it helps them select trails suitable for their riding level and to stay safe out on the bike.
Funny and quirky name, right? But there’s nothing strange or weird about Maps.me, as a matter of fact, it is one of the most exciting new navigation apps to hit the mountain biking scene in recent years.
If you’re planning a mountain bike trip to Australia or pondering riding every trail from coast to coast, Maps.me is an absolute must download.
So how does Maps.me differ and separate itself from the other navigation apps on the market? Well, it works in its entirety, even if when you’re offline and have no 4G or 5G network coverage. Now you must ensure that you download the information you need beforehand, but knowing that you have access to maps regardless of cell coverage gives riders real peace of mind.
So if you want to download maps from every country in the world., Maps.me not only lets you do it but also saves you from paying exorbitant roaming fees that most cell providers charge. Just be sure to download the maps you need before heading out.
Ride With GPS is the perfect app for those mountain bikers looking to plan their next adventure. The Ride With GPS app is free, but as with many of the apps today, you can pay a small monthly or annual subscription fee giving you access to other features. Some of the upgraded features include allowing riders to edit your route in advance and even stationary bike support.
One of the best parts about mountain biking is planning your rides with friends. Looking for trails off the beaten track is what makes mountain biking so exhilarating, and the Ride With GPS app makes this task simple and straightforward.
The app lets you plan your ride in great detail, track ride data, and allows you to share your location, making it the ideal app for safety. Some of the app’s best features on Ride With GPS are:
- It enables you to navigate when there’s no cell coverage
- Allows you to zoom in on big climbs for greater detail
- Lets you plan and prepare your journey in advance
Again, my favorite feature is the ability to keep using GPS while you’re offline. Mountain biking is fun, a lot of fun, but it can also be a safety concern, especially if you haven’t prepared adequately; the Ride With GPS keeps riders safe and easy to find if something should go wrong.
Trailforks, you’ll be happy to hear, is another FREE navigation app perfect for mountain bikers. The Trailforks app is “designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.” Although that might sound like a cliche or a “throwaway” marketing gimmick, it’s clear once you open the app that it’s targeted toward us mountain bikers.
One of the most significant advantages of the Trailforks app is that it utilizes “crowd-sourced information” and remarkably has detailed maps for nearly 200,000 trails across the planet. The trails are marked with points of interest and live tracking points along the way to help keep you safe and easy to find out on the trails.
Last but not least, the best feature is the emergency information function, which provides emergency responders with your EXACT location. We hope you never get lost, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and Trailforks know that better than anyone.
The Viewranger app differs from many other navigation apps because it worked out a way to provide detailed information for some of the most off-beaten trails out there. Whereas most conventional navigation apps work best on the road, Viewranger comes into its own when there’s no blacktop to be found.
The Viewranger app is free, but again, the app does offer extra features for those who want to unlock them by paying a small monthly fee.
Remarkably, the Viewranger app comes fully loaded with “open-cycle based maps” of the entire globe. Many apps offer extra features that cost a little extra, but to be honest, most mountain bikers can get away with using the free versions. But when it comes to Viewranger, I highly recommend paying for the extra features.
The Viewranger app stands out by providing mountain bikers with detailed information on topography giving you the name of any peak you’re riding. The Viewranger app also takes advantage of Skyline VR, which takes your GPS location and uses the camera on your phone to pinpoint your location and provide information about the specific trail you’re riding.
Are you sick and tired of riding the same mountain bike trails over and over again? I know I am. The Bikemap app takes care of that problem by uncovering new and exciting tracks, many of which are much closer to you than you think.
The Bikemap is free but also allows mountain bikers to upgrade the app with a monthly subscription fee. Bikemap gives riders access to nearly 5.5 million routes globally that have not only been uploaded but also ridden by other mountain bikers.
The best thing about this app is that wherever you live in the world, there’s bound to be a stack of trails that you’ve never ridden before. Starting the app is simple, too; just select the nearest route to you and begin acquiring detailed navigation right on your phone or bike computer.
On the other hand, you might have a trail and journey you want to ride but aren’t sure of the best way to get there; this is where Bikemap comes into its own. The Bikemap app will give you access to every ride recorded on the app and suggest different ways to get there.
Riders can choose from routes that are targeted towards road bikes and obviously routes and trails for mountain bikers. Simply put, the Bikemap app lets you select the course and path most suited to your riding skill level.
Top Apps For Boosting Your Riding Performance
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a stand-alone bike computer, Cyclemeter might be for you. Many mountain bikers and cyclists, myself included, have turned to using an old iPhone rather than a bike computer. You save money, and to be honest, when the phone is in airplane mode, the battery life is significantly increased.
Cyclemeter basically hijacks your phone (in a good way) and lets you use it as a bike computer to track everything from routes and training data like power output, cadence, speed, and heart rate.
Cyclemete provides users access to fully individualized training plans, intervals, maps, and even graphs. Im a bit of a geek when it comes to training data, and Cyclemeter does an excellent job at providing users with an abundant amount of data to help you analyze your ride.
Another benefit is the fact that there’s no need to sign up on another app or website to access your data because it’s all stored on your phone. That said, you can upload your training data to your favorite third-party apps like Strava or even share your personal best times on social media.
Having spent nearly twenty years coaching and managing some of the best professionals in the world, I’m acutely aware of the important role nutrition plays in things like boosting performance and quickening recovery from those epic rides.
Endur8 is quite simply the best and most accurate app on the market that helps cyclists and mountain bikers track their fueling and nutritional needs. Whether you’re planning a two-day bike packing adventure or a cross-country ride, ensuring you’re fuelled correctly is critical.
Endur8 gives riders tips and strategies on fuelling for peak performance and even offers “alerts” that let you know it’s time to fuel up. Many riders simply jump on their bike without paying too much attention to eating and drinking during their ride. If this sounds like you, then I highly recommend downloading the Endur8 app.
Finally, remember this; eating a healthy and well-balanced diet will not only help your performance on the bike but also in areas like weight loss, boosting your immune system, improving cognitive health, and promoting general health and wellbeing.
Zwift is undoubtedly the most recognized app in cycling; the only other app that comes close is Strava, which we’ll get to shortly. Costing a very affordable $14.99 per month, it’s simply an app that serious cyclists can’t go without.
I’m snowed in where I reside for three months of the year, and without Zwift, I would probably go crazy. The virtual worlds on offer make training indoors not only bearable but enjoyable. Zwift is jam-packed with features like training rides, training programs, group rides, real courses, and even races.
Test yourself against riders worldwide on UCI routes or join a group ride and take a leisurely 100km spin through one of the many virtual worlds. Zwift tracks ride data and places you in the appropriate category, meaning you always get a challenging workout. You can also choose your category, which is perfect for those who like to test themselves and improve their performance.
Obviously, to get the most out of Zwift, you will need a smart trainer, which can be out of the budget for many users. Although that said, compared to a few years ago, smart trainers are now very affordable and well worth the expense if you love to ride.
Top Apps For Analyzing Data
Bike Gear Calculator
If you’re the type of rider who wants to know everything there is to know about your set-up, then Bike Gear Calculator is a must-download for you.
Bike Gear Calculator allows riders to upload and input specifications from their set-up, like tire size, crank length, and gear ratios. The app itself is free, which is always a bonus, especially after spending all your hard-earned money on shiny new components like drivetrains and chainsets.
Ultimately, the app lets you customize your set-up, particularly your gear ratios. It’s ideal if you’re experimenting with new components and allows you to individualize your set-up for specific rides and terrain.
My Camp is a cycling app with a difference. Yes, it tracks all of your valuable ride data and metrics like distance traveled, meters climbed, heart rate, cadence, and power output. But unlike other apps, not only does My Camp track your physical performance, but it tracks your bikes too.
My Campy has been developed by the famed Italian components manufacturer Campagnolo. The app lets riders know when they need to change their brake pads and even lube the chain. It’s not one of the most popular apps in the cycling and mountain biking niche, but I can see it increasing in popularity in the near future.
What mountain bikers and cyclists wouldn’t want to track their physical performance and the performance of their bikes?
Strava is, in my opinion, the best cycling app for cyclists and mountain bikers of any age and level. I’ve been using the Wahoo Fitness app and uploading my ride data to Strava now for a number of years, as I find the data much more reliable. I also love that you can chase achievements like KOMs and compare your ride to previous rides or even those of other cyclists.
Strava offers a free version, which is very, very good, and it was only recently that I upgraded my own Strava account to a subscription-based one. Strava boasts millions of members in the US and worldwide who rely heavily on the app to keep track of their ride data.
Almost every professional mountain biker and road cyclist uses Strava, which is an excellent perk for fans too, as it allows you to “follow” and track all of your favorite pros. The free version of Strava lets you track data and metrics like:
- Elevation Climbed
- Average Speed and
- Heart rate (you do need a heart rate monitor, though)
The subscription version is targeted toward the more serious riders who want to delve deeper into their training data and analytics.
The Wahoo Fitness App is another app I can also speak to from personal experience, as I’ve been using this to track my ride data for the last 5 to 6 years. The app is straightforward to use, and I pair it with an old iPhone 6S Plus and use Quadlock to attach it to my stem.
The screen is very easy to read, especially while riding on the road or hard on downhill trails plus, let’s not forget to mention you can download your ride data to Strava at the tap of a button.
I pair the app with my Wahoo Cadence Sensor and Wahoo Speed Sensor. I’ve found the Wahoo data to be incredibly accurate, which is particularly important if you’re training for an upcoming race. Riders can seamlessly track metrics and then use the analyzing tool after their ride to evaluate their efforts.
Some of the data I track are:
- Speed via Wahoo Speed Sensor
- Cadence via Wahoo Cadence Sensor
- Heart rate via Polar heart rate monitor
- Elevation Climbed and
Out of all of the apps I’ve used, in my opinion, the Wahoo Fitness app stands head and shoulders above the rest. Wahoo has been a company specializing in cycling for years now, and it shows through in its products’ accuracy, durability, and reliability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Mountain Bike App?
A mountain bike app provides riders with relevant information designed to make your ride challenging, fun, and, most importantly, safe. Most apps use state-of-the-art navigation, making riding out in the wilderness a much safer proposition. Pretty much all cycling apps have both free and subscription options.
Are Mountain Biking Apps Useful?
Yes. Mountain bike and cycling apps provide riders with functions and features like tracking all of their ride data, access to GPS navigation, and the option to evaluate and analyze their ride data. Mountain bike apps with GPS give riders peace of mind while out in the mountains.
Where Can I Buy Mountain Biking Apps?
The vast majority of mountain bike apps can be purchased from the app stores like the Apple Android Store. As mentioned, most of these apps are free but offer the option of bonus features for a small monthly subscription fee. For most riders, the free versions are more than adequate, but if you’re a hardcore rider, I suggest taking advantage of the extra features, which are less than $10 a month in most cases.