Wireless mountain bike computers are very useful for tracking your performance and getting a good riding experience. We look at some of the best mountain bike computers in this review.
Like many other industries, technology has also revolutionized the way we ride bikes. The modern GPS cycling computers have made a significant improvement for bikers to keep track of things while on the trail. You don’t need wheel magnets or rollouts anymore. With just a press of the power button, you can let satellites keep track of your fitness and form goals. Let’s look at some of the best mountain bike computers available in the market today.
Table of Contents
- View The Best Mountain Bike Computers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do You Need A Bike Computer for Mountain Biking?
- What Are The Things To Consider When Buying A Bike Computer For Mountain Bike?
- Can You Use Your Phone As Bike Computer?
- The Final Word
View The Best Mountain Bike Computers
1. Garmin Edge 810 GPS Unit
Garmin is unarguably at the forefront of technology when it comes to GPS computers for bikes. The Garmin Edge 810 GPS Bike Computer is one of the best devices in the market right now.
It is designed to look similar to a mobile phone. The interface is very simple and can be used with 2 buttons at the bottom that allows access to all its features.
The device comes with the Garmin mobile app pre-installed. It boasts an innovative GPS that will allow live tracking of your location. It can measure and keep track of all important metrics as your speed, acceleration, and distance traveled. It also provides constant updates about live weather changes.
You can also use the touchscreen feature to monitor everything without using the buttons actively.
It might not be the cheapest model on the market today, but it certainly is not the most expensive either. With many new and updated features, this is a reliable computer that will make it possible to measure all of your stats and keep you motivated. We highly recommended it for its rich features and stylish design.
Why We Like It
Overall, the Edge 810 has a fantastically diverse feature-set that mountain bike riders want. It is one of the most comprehensive training and navigating devices available in the market right now.
2. Garmin Edge 1030
The Garmin Edge 1030 is top of the line touch screen GPS unit in the market. Installing this device will feel like having your fitness instructor with you on your mountain rides.
The device offers an impressive list of features. It can display up to 10 fields of data per page, which are fully customizable by holding down any field on your screen and selecting another.
It makes navigation much easier with detailed maps, proper turn-by-turn instructions, and warnings for sharp bends.
After the Wahoo Element surpassed the Edge 1000 on battery life, Garmin focused on improving the battery life. The Garmin Edge 1030 can easily run for 20 hours when fully recharged.
The screen isn’t as bright or responsive as a modern mobile device, but it is far superior compared to other bike computers in the market.
It allows you to reply to incoming text messages or phone calls with a prewritten message, as well as sending messages from one Edge 1030 to another Edge 1030. The device has an integrated incident detection system to automatically share your location with emergency contacts if you have an accident.
If you are looking to use the Edge 1030 for training, Garmin offers the new Training Peaks Connect IQ app that lets you input your daily workouts on the Edge 1030. The app allows you to workout in real-time with intensity targets and intervals.
Why We Like It
The Garmin 1030 isn’t particularly cheap but it’s tremendously capable, user-friendly, and packed with plenty of features. If you want the most feature-packed GPS computer on the market, then this is the device to get.
3. Garmin Edge 520
The Garmin Edge 520 is an excellent choice for bikers who want a budget option. It has an aerodynamic design, which is one of the most striking aspects of the device. Additional features include a color display, superfast connectivity, and advanced analytical tools that make it a dependable and quality buy.
The device can help you record VO2 max and recovery time if you use it with power and heart rate. It can also be paired with any compatible ANT+ indoor trainers.
One of the most striking aspects of this computer is how it can track the Functional Threshold Power on a watts/kg basis. The cycling dynamics are used with Vector or Vector 2 power meters and make it one of the undeniable leaders of the biking computer segment.
Other interesting features of this device include live tracking, automatic uploads, smartphone notifications, and the ability to share information on social media. This model was one of the first bike computers that were compatible with Strava live segments.
Since this is a Garmin model, you might think it is really expensive. However, it is one of the more affordable GPS models from the company.
Why We Like It
The Garmin 520 is a friendly sized bike computer that offers all the data and information you could need. It fulfills all the basic requirements, as well as providing some very clever training tools.
4. CatEye Padrone Cycle Computer
If you want to buy a mountain bike computer that helps you access and glance through all the details in one go, then try the CatEye Padrone. It is a sleek, stylish yet simplified device that offers smooth function in all kinds of terrains.
The feature that makes this computer stand out is its easy access to a variety of stats in one go. As a result, you don’t get distracted by a lot of menus and can easily concentrate on your biking effort.
Padron’e display screen cycles through important factors that most bikers need. It shows you the maximum and average speed that you are riding at, the total distance you have covered, and the overall trip distance. It also shows you the time that has elapsed on the bike and of course the clock.
The device will help you save time and focus on the ride.
Another benefit of this bike computer is that you do not need to waste a lot of time navigating from one screen to another. Just press the base of the computer and go through all the details as you ride.
Why We Like It
The CatEye Padrone is designed for ease of use and pairing options. If you are looking for a no-frills device that offers all the options you could need on a mountain trail, this computer will suit you well.
5. Wahoo Elemnt Bolt
The Wahoo Element Bolt GPS has been aerodynamically designed and sculpted to be superior to other models in the same price range. Its main selling points are its easy and robust functionality, compact size, and long battery life. Add to that its reasonable price and you have a winning bargain on your hands.
The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt offers all the normal metrics that you get with a regular bike computer. It also offers turn-by-turn navigation, Strava Live Segments, and Live Track.
There is an advanced feature called ‘take me anywhere’ that allows you to use your phone and Google’s search power to find a destination on the map and then the Element Bolt guides you there.
The device can be easily configured to work with smartphone apps. It offers a six buttons drive daily use, while LEDs can be configured for navigation or training alerts.
Why We Like It
Wahoo Elemnt takes everything that we loved about previous models and improved it significantly. It is one of the most powerful and intuitive mountain bicycle computers from the brand and remains popular with all many users.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need A Bike Computer for Mountain Biking?
Bike computers offer specialized features, better design, and long battery life. They also have a better interface to use while riding. You don’t get these options with your mobile device. This is why bike computers have gained more popularity with regular mountain trail bikers.
While it is not a must to buy a bike computer, if you regularly go on mountain trail rides, it can help you keep track of things better than your mobile device.
What Are The Things To Consider When Buying A Bike Computer For Mountain Bike?
Key features to consider for your mountain bike include the following.
- Is it wired or wireless?
- What factors are tracked? Speed, altitude, distance traveled, location, etc are some important factors to consider.
- Does it offer an easy user interface?
- Does it include GPS technology?
- Does it integrate with other mobile devices?
- Is it durable and sturdy for a tough mountain ride?
Can You Use Your Phone As Bike Computer?
Depending on the device, you can use your mobile phone as a bike computer. However, it may not offer the same level of user interface and options as a dedicated mountain bike computer. Your mobile phone may also not be as sturdy as a bike computer and get damaged more easily.
The Final Word
People who are looking for a high quality mountain bike computer at an affordable price would find the Garmin Edge 810 perfect for their needs. Those who are looking for the premium bike computer with the best features may go with the high-end 1030 model. Users looking for a budget option can select Garmin’s Edge 520. It is basic in features but very affordable.
Other good models worth considering include Wahoo Elemnt bolt and CatEye Padrone.