Smartwatches are becoming popular in every field of life. The numerous features of smartwatches make them perfect gadgets for outdoor enthusiasts.
The latest smartwatches come with a built-in cycling mode to track outdoor biking and cycling. Plus, these smart watches also help you to improve your cycling performance.
Not all smartwatches are made for mountain biking, and you have to look for a more durable smartwatch that comes with a built-in cycling mode. We have tested over 10 smartwatches that you can choose for your mountain biking. These smartwatches also give you built-in GPS support for better navigation, route tracking, and other health features.
Our Top Picks!
|Forerunner 945||$534||Check On Amazon|
|Garmin Instinct 2||$354||Check On Amazon|
|Apple Watch Series 7||$359||Check On Amazon|
- Guide To Buy Best Smartwatch For Mountain Biking
- Best Smartwatch For Mountain Biking
- Final Words
Guide To Buy Best Smartwatch For Mountain Biking
Over the years, we have tested different smartwatches for different purposes. And we have found that not every smartwatch is made for mountain biking and cycling. You should consider a few things compulsory in the smartwatch for mountain biking.
1- Cycling Modes:
The first thing is cycling mode, and if your smartwatch has a separate cycling mode, it can measure your MTB more effectively. Most smartwatches like Apple and Galaxy watch automatically track cycling and turn on cycling mode. But in most watches, you have to turn it on manually.
For MTB and cycling, a GPS is a foremost thing. An accurate GPS with GNSS support can help you measure your routes even in a more challenging environment. Onboard GPS is essential for cyclists, as it doesn’t need any smartphone connectivity.
Built-in GPS provides navigation and offers live track and safety tracking features that are important for a mountain biker. Garmin watches give more precise GPS tracking, plus TOPO maps for better navigation.
3- Strava Compatibility
Strava is one of the famous apps that help riders and runners to see in-depth insights into their activities and share them with their friends. Also, Strava is one of the big social networks for cyclists. It’sIt’s a must-have app for cyclists, so make sure to choose a smartwatch compatible with Strava.
4- Long battery life
For mountain bikers and cyclists, battery life matters a lot, as they have to spend a lot of their time outdoors where they can’t charge their Watch. Also, their GPS usage is more which drains more battery life. So you should pick a watch that gives at least 7+ days of battery life. Usually, Garmin watches are considered to provide optimal battery backups.
Durability is an important factor when choosing a smartwatch for MTB or cycling. A smartwatch with Sapphire glass and a strong bezel can survive for a long time compared to stylish, slim smartwatches. Having a durable design will protect the Watch from scratches and usually falls.
Secondly, you should look for water-resistant capabilities in your smartwatch. You have to ride a bike on a rainy day most of the time.
Best Smartwatch For Mountain Biking
1- Garmin Forerunner 945
Forerunner 945 is a high-end smartwatch that gives more premium outdoor features and an advanced sports profile.
The built-in MTB and cycling modes are made for pro mountain bikers, helping them track their journey in more detail. Compared to its predecessor Forerunner 945 comes in with blood oxygen levels and more advanced GPS technology.
The Watch also includes NFC payments for those who are always on the move so that you can make contactless payments anytime, anywhere. We have seen that battery life performance has also improved; now, Forerunner 945 gives two weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode and 36 hours in GPS mode.
Mountain biking is like an aerobic activity that burns calories; Forerunner 945 comes with aerobic performance tracking. This Watch tracks your VO2 max, average heart rate, calories, distance, speed, pace, and more insights during outdoor activities.
Thanks to its Multi-GNSS that helps you track more challenging environments with full-colour mapping. For mountain bikers, Forerunner 945 also includes Round trip routing to find the best routes that will bring them back to their starting point.
Lastly, this Watch comes with a barometer and altimeter to measure environmental conditions and weather. Overall, this smartwatch has a durable design making it a perfect watch for outdoor use.
2- Apple Watch Series 7
If you’re a fan of Apple Watches, Watch 7 should be your first choice. This Watch has numerous features for outdoor sports and activities. Compared to the previous Apple Watch 6, this new Watch has a 1.7″ bigger display, making it easy to check your performance at a glance.
Just like other models, Apple Watch 7 also includes a cycling mode. So before starting cycling, you have to turn on its mode to track metrics relevant to your MTB. It can track speed, pace, altitudes, distance, and other physical metrics.
From an accuracy point of view, I have never seen a Watch like the Apple Watch 7, and it also can automatically track your cycling and other outdoor sports. Using its iOS app, you can see a detailed analysis of every physical activity or training.
Further, Apple Watch 7 includes an improved GPS that allows you to set your distance before starting MTB, helps in navigation and routing etc. The built-in GPS doesn’t require any smartphone connectivity, so you don’t need to carry your smartphone during cycling.
The advanced SpO2 sensor is the core fitness feature helping you measure your blood oxygen saturation level that reflects your overall wellness. The onboard ECG app allows you to measure atrial fibrillation indication anytime from your wrist.
Apple Watch 7 has a similar battery performance to the previous model, and it gives 18 hours of battery in smartwatch mode. I think Apple should have improved its battery performance. On the contrary, it provides fast charging support that takes 2.5 hours to charge that battery from 0-100% fully.
Don’t choose Apple Watch 7 if you are involved in more strenuous outdoor activities or training, as this Watch is not as durable as Garmin watches are.
3- Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
The Fenix series is known for its toughness and durability. Fenix 6 pro is the top end watch of Fenix 6, giving a long-lasting battery and advanced tracking features.
For mountain biking and cycling, it includes premium features that you can see in any other smartwatch. It consists of a separate mountain biking profile, MTB grit and flows, bike lap, advanced cycling dynamics, speed tracking, cadence sensor, etc.
The latest Fenix 6 pro is compatible with power meters, Varia vision, and Varia Radar helping to monitor your biking in a new way.
The precise GPS will never leave you alone and provides turn-by-turn navigation in challenging conditions. Fenix 6 pro has a stainless steel bezel that makes the watch more durable to survive in any environment.
The advanced Gorilla glass DX has scratch and dust resistant capabilities keeping your Watch safe during mountain biking, not just that the 10 ATM water-resistant body allows you to use your Watch during swimming and other for other water activities.
Fenix series gives watches with long battery backups. Likewise, Fenix 6 pro lasts for 14 days in smartwatch mode and 36 hours with GPS.
Fenix Pro 6 is much better than its predecessor when it comes to health and fitness. It includes Vo2 max, advanced sleep-tracking, real-time heart rate tracker, body battery energy, etc.
4- Garmin Forerunner 245
Here comes another Garmin watch that offers MTB tracking and other sports features at an affordable price. Forerunner 245 looks more sporty, slim and lightweight, which gives a comfortable feel. It has an easy to read display which is much more colorful than the previous model.
It comes with all the basic and advanced features you can expect from Garmin watches.
The efficient GPS tracking is useful for mountain bikers, helping them keep following the right track. It has an accurate heart rate, calories tracker, VO2 max, and Pulse Ox, the core wellness features.
Further, Forerunner 245 tracks your running in more detail; with its running dynamics features, you can look at cadence, stride length, ground contact, balance, pace, speed, etc.
When it comes to outdoor activities like MTB, cycling, or hiking, safety comes first. That’s why Garmin Forerunner 245 includes satay tracking features like Live track, Live event sharing, Incident detection and assistance. The Watch will automatically send an SOS message to your emergency contact when an incident is detected.
Lastly, Forerunner 245 gives seven days of battery life in smartwatch mode, which is enough to track your week trips and adventures. In GPS mode, the battery lasts for 24 hours.
5- Sunnto 9 Peak
Sunnto 9 Peak is a flagship watch with Sapphire Glass and grade 5 Titanium bezels. The 100-meter water-resistant body makes it a perfect watch for water activities.
The Watch has an award-winning Nordic design that fits every wrist. With a thin and lightweight design, Sunnto 9 Peak feels more comfortable.
Sunnto 9 Peaks offers exclusive features for outdoor sports. Cycling or MTB includes Accent acclimation that enables cyclists to confirm the body’s adaptiveness to the weather and the altitude.
Further, it can track the average bike speed, Bike POD, Bike Lap, Interval guidance, Bike power meter support, and more. Suunto 9 Peak offers over 80+ sports modes to measure your performance in any activity.
Sunnto 9 Peak comes with all the essential features you require like training recovery, training load, real-time HR, Interval training, calories burn and much more. The Watch includes onboard GPS for better navigation, so you don’t need to install any additional GPS display.
Sunnto 9 Peak gives seven days of battery backup with 24/7 tracking for battery life. Whereas in GPS mode, it can last up to 25 hours. Further, it includes ABS sensors to measure weather conditions, direction and altitudes.
6- Garmin Instinct 2
Garmin Instinct 2 is the latest flagship watch recently launched in Feb 2022. This Watch is made for extremely harsh conditions; therefore, it’s durable. Instinct 2 has a chemically strengthened glass with a fiber-reinforced polymer that easily survives in any environment.
Compared to its predecessor Garmin Instinct 2 comes with big changes and new features. First of all, you will see an improvement in screen resolution and nits.
Secondly, it includes more health and training features, including; VO2 max, heart rate alerts, training load, training effect, advanced running features, golfing features, swimming features and cycling features.
It offers different cycling profiles, courses, MTB grit and flow, bike lap, race and activity, FTP, and more for mountain biking and cycling. All these features enable you to track your cycling and MTB in the next way. Garmin Instinct 2 is compatible with Vector and Rally (power meters).
It has trackback features, incident detection, and assistance helping you inform your emergency contacts about any incident for your safety.
The GPS is also improved this time, giving better navigation with coordinates—the Multi-GNSS measures your routes in more challenging environments than GPS alone.
Garmin Instinct 2 is specifically made for outdoor adventures; it has a much more powerful battery than any other Garmin watch. This Watch can last for 28 days in smartwatch mode and 30 hours in GPS.
Instinct 2 has a stronger grip over the battery, so it also adds battery saver mode that gives 65 days of battery backup.
7- Polar Vantage V2
Polar smartwatches are the best alternative to the Garmin watch. The new Polar Vantage V2 gives comprehensive insights into your outdoor activities. It has over 130 sports modes that enable you to track any training and outdoor activity.
It seems slimmer and lightweight but durable. The aerospace aluminium alloy bezel and fiber reinforced polymer glass make it a more durable sports watch. Vantage V2 is 100 meters water-resistant, so you can wear this watch while swimming or taking a bath.
It offers GPS and has GLONASS, GALILEO, and QZSS, giving more accurate and quick routing. You can also sync your routes to Polar Vantage V2 for real-time and turn by turn guidance. The new elevation feature allows bikers to measure slope angles and elevations of their routes.
It includes Training Load Pro, which measures physical strength, strain, tolerance, and the ability to do more workouts for pro trainers. Further, you will get Recovery Pro, Energy Source, real-time heart rate, and advanced sleep tracking.
Polar Vantage V2 also allows you to set goals to improve your performance day by day. The new performant tests will enable you to track your cycling, running or any activity and personalize your heart rate, speed, and power zones.
Polar Vantage V2 offers a 346mAh battery that lasts for 7 days in smartwatch mode and 40 hours in GPS mode to track your activities for longer. It also has an ABC sensor to measure weather conditions 24/7.
8- Galaxy Watch 4
Galaxy watches are becoming popular day by day because of their smart functionality. The new Galaxy Watch 4 is packed with all the latest health tracking and sports features that help you achieve your goals.
Because its efficient algorithms automatically detect your cycling mode, you can see comprehensive metrics of your cycling and MTB.
It includes accurate GPS tracking that allows you to geotag your trail, runs or hikes via Samsung’s mobile apps.
Galaxy Watch 4 comes in two variants; the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 classic. The second one is a better option for outdoor activities like mountain biking. The Galaxy Watch 4 is more durable than the simple one and easily survives in harsh outdoor environments.
Moreover, Galaxy also adds an improved blood pressure monitor and ECG app so you can measure your wellness from your wrist within minutes. The SpO2 sensor measures your blood oxygen saturation during different activities and at night.
Measuring your daily fitness goals includes basic fitness features like real-time heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, calories counter, stress tracking, etc.
The Galaxy Watch 4 comes with 16 GB of internal storage to pile up your music playlist and install more apps on your Watch. You can also stream music from sportily, Deezer or other famous music apps.
We have not seen many improvements in the battery life department. Galaxy Watch 4 gives 40 hours of battery life which is pretty similar to its predecessor.
9- Corex Apex Pro
If you are looking for a more premium smartwatch for mountain biking, then look at Corex Apex Pro. This Watch is specifically designed to track the performance of your outdoor activities deeply.
With a Titanium frame and Sapphire glass, it has a more durable design and 100-meter water-resistant capabilities to track water sports.
The onboard GPS gives comprehensive navigation with checkpoints and colorful maps. You will also get offline mapping, including Landscape, Topo, and Hybrid modes.
Coros Apex Pro allows users to create custom workouts and profiles for running, cycling, or strength training. Moreover, it has over 200+ preloaded workouts and sports modes for athletes to track their performance more deeply.
You can also share your workout data with your friends and training partners. The Coros app has a wide community of different professional athletes and coaches. You can follow any hand-pick workout course and improve your day-to-day performance.
Like other smartwatches, Corex Apex Pro has all the basic features you demand like heart rate tracker, altitudes tracking, Pulse OX sensor, sleep tracking, calories monitoring, etc.
This smartwatch has a 14% improved battery life compared to its predecessor. The APEX pro lasts 40 hours in GPS mode and 30 days in smartwatch mode.
10- Polar M430
Polar M430 is more than a smartwatch. It has a bigger display, so you can easily read the stats while performing activities. The 128 x 128 px high-resolution display looks bright, so you can easily read it under direct sunlight.
Polar M430 contains essential heart rate tracking, smart calories, and training load. Sleep tracking etc. It offers some premium features like a running index, different running programs, an activity guide, and more for running and cycling.
This fitness tracker is compatible with famous third-party apps like Strava, Training Peaks, MyFitnessPal, etc. You can track your cycling and mountain biking comprehensively.
With the new Polar flow, you can plan your training from single workouts to full-season plans. Further, Polar M430 gives feedback on your daily, weekly, and only activities, helping you to improve your performance quickly. And after every training session, you will get feedback that keeps you motivated.
Polar M430 comes with onboard GPS that plans your routes. On a big screen, you can easily view maps. Also, it has a powerful battery life that can track your performance for 20 days and 8 hours in GPS mode.
Which Smartwatch Is Best For Mountain Biking?
Garmin watches are considered best for Mountain biking. Garmin watches like Forerunner 945, Fenix 6 pro, Forerunner 245, and others include built-in cycling modes that effectively track your cycling and MTB. Also, Garmin watches come with onboard GPS with GNSS support that gives precise and quick navigation. Unlike other watches, Garmin watches have long-lasting battery backup so that you can measure your activities for longer.
Which Watch For MTB is compatible with Strava?
Strava is one of the popular apps that gives comprehensive data on your rides and other activities. Garmin, Apple, Galaxy, and Polar watches are compatible with Strava.
Which GPS watch is best for mountain biking?
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and Garmin Instinct 2 are considered the best GPS watches for mountain biking and cycling. These watches have durable and water-resistant designs to survive in harsh environments. Their GPS with GLONASS and GNSS support gives more accurate routing and navigation for cycling.
Which One Is The Most Affordable Smartwatch For Mountain Bike?
Galaxy Watch 4 and Forerunner 245 are the most affordable smartwatches for mountain biking. These watches track your cycling or MTB and give a comprehensive look at your fitness and health data.
Having a smartwatch for mountain biking can help you look into different performance metrics. You can measure speed, pace, distances, navigation, altitudes, time-lapse, etc. Above mentioned watches are best for mountain biking and cycling.
Among all these, Garmin watches are the best wearables for cycling and MTB, as they give long-lasting batteries and have accurate GPS tracking.
We hope that this article has helped you in picking the best smartwatch. Still, you can ask in the comment box if you have any questions.
Hi! I am Saad Dastagir, an enthusiast of smartwatches and fitness trackers. This blog is created to bring my personal experience with smartwatches in front of you. Our team tests different types of smartwatches and fitness gadgets constantly and shares hands-on experiences with you.