The Best GPS for Mountain Biking

GPS for Mountain Biking

A good GPS is an essential tool for all mountain bikers. It lets you know what’s coming around the next corner, helps you track your routes, and gives you the ability to map every adventure. Though many people think their smartphone GPS is good enough, such devices pale in comparison to the ones in this article.

Mountain bike GPS’s are better than smartphone options because they are easier to operate and are much more accurate in remote or off-road environments. The ones in this guide keep you on track no matter where you go.

Quick Summary

  • The Garmin Edge 530 is a great mountain bike GPS due to its wealth of features. This little machine has a stunning display, offering a 1.9-inch color screen. That makes it easy to see in all environments. In addition, the device works with Strava to give you in-ride challenges and offers many technological functions, including automatic uploads, live tracking, social media sharing, and weather updates.
  • Not many mountain bike GPS’s have the functionality of the Polar M450. This device has a 16-hour battery life on top of the 1.9-inch display. In addition, it is also able to track your distance, speed, and route. The integrated GPS comes with a precision barometer, and there is also a Smart visibility front LED light to increase safety. The different color options even let you match the shell to your bike.
  • Every mountain GPS has its pros, and the Bryton Rider 310’s is its battery life. The device lasts an incredible 36-hours on one charge, making it the best choice for riders who find themselves off the beaten path. It also has a GPS cycling computer and a high-sensitivity receiver that allows for fast positioning. Though it is not color, the 1.8-inch display is easy to see and use.

Who Should Get This?

Every mountain biker, regardless if they stick to their regular trails or adventure into the unknown, can make use of a good GPS. The small devices have many features that come in handy while riding, and they prevent you from getting lost.

The devices are also great for bikers who like to log their trails. Many GPS’s give you the option to keep track of your rides. That functionality helps you know where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you might end up next. A perfect way to stay on top of your progress.

Best GPS for Mountain Biking: What to Consider?

Screen Size

When picking out a mountain bike GPS, many people assume that bigger means better. However, it’s not that cut and dry. While a large display allows you to better see your screen, such devices typically cost more and drain their battery faster. Big touch screens may also not work as well with gloves, which can be a problem for those who ride in cold weather. A large space can look great and increase functionality, but be aware of what you’re giving up in the process. Always pick the screen that best suits your riding style.

Battery Life

Many mountain bikers rely on their GPS while out on the trail. As such, you never want it to die at the wrong time. Mose systems last for about 10 hours, but some models can go much, much longer. Always try to find devices that stay on for extended periods of time. That will prevent you from getting lost when you take a wrong turn or explore a new area. Also understand how quickly a GPS loses battery power, and note that some batteries get weaker with time.

Routing

Being able to fully map your routes is one of the best reasons to get a dedicated mountain bike GPS. Though some phone models give you this option, they usually don’t work as well. Always search for models that have complex mapping and routing systems, regardless of where your travels take you. It is also helpful to get GPS options that integrate such systems with your smartphone.

Best GPS for Mountain Biking: Our Picks

1. Garmin Edge 530


The Garmin Edge 530 is a complete machine. The 20-hour battery life is perfect for long trips (especially when you forget to charge it) while the color 1.9-inch screen looks great and is easy to use. It even comes with in-ride challenges through Strava, and is fully smartphone compatible.

What we Like:

  • Large display with color screen
  • Fitness tools
  • In-ride challenges through Strava
  • 20-hour battery life
  • iPhone compatible

What We Don’t Like:

  • No WiFi capabilities
  • Expensive

>> Check Price <<

2. Polar M450 GPS Bike Computer


The Polar M450 GPS is a great device for people who want more technology with their bike. It tracks cycling speed, route, and distance with ease. It also has a Smart visibility front LED light, a 16-hour battery, and a 1.9-inch display.

What we Like:

  • Lightweight, easy to transport
  • Built-in heart rate monitor
  • Integrated precision barometer
  • Changeable color cover
  • Smart visibility front LED light for safety
  • Personalized feedback helps optimize training

What We Don’t Like:

  • Display could be better
  • Interface confusing at times

>> Check Price <<

3. Bryton Rider 310


The Bryton Rider 310 is one of the longest-lasting mountain bike GPS’s out there. The incredible 36-hour battery life means you’ll always be able to use it no matter how far you go. It is lightweight, the large display is easy to read, the screens are customizable, and it has a handy heart rate monitor as well.

What we Like:

  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Heart rate monitor
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • Easy-to-read display
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not a lot of support
  • Settings can be hard to navigate

>> Check Price <<

Useful Tips and Resources

A mountain bike GPS is a great accessory to own, but it is not always easy to use. The tips outlined here will help you understand your device.

In addition, if you’re looking for other ways to enhance your mountain biking experience, you can check out the handy items listed in this video.

Final Words

No matter where you bike, a GPS is essential. It is easy to get lost while traveling off the beaten path, especially if you’re in brand new territory. A functional mapping system with solid battery life ensures you’ll always be able to return home.

The devices in this guide each have their own pros and cons, but they will all get you back to the start at the end of the day. Understand that, and do your best to find the one that fits your individual style.

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