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Mountain biking is one of the sports adventures that has gained popularity recently. More and more people consider it an excellent choice for a sporting or fitness activity since it allows you to go on an incredible adventure through the mountain.
This sport is an experience everyone should look forward to at least once in a lifetime. And for such an incredible journey, you need the best biking tools available, such as proper footwear for biking, protective headgear, gloves, and a useful smartwatch.
To make your mountain biking experience safer and more enjoyable, we list features you should look for while choosing a smartwatch — our top recommendations for the best smartwatches for mountain biking.
So, let’s check it out!
Best Smartwatch For Mountain Biking
1. Garmin Fenix 6
The best smartwatch choice for mountain biking is the Garmin Fenix 6. It has much-needed features for every mountain biker’s needs. This smartwatch includes long battery life, lightweight and durable design, an in-built GPS, a cycling map, extra digital features, and cellular connectivity.
It also has a Skyview map that provides detailed information about terrain features and topography changes throughout your journey! With this watch, your mountain biking is much safer and more enjoyable.
- Long battery life
- Accurate GPS tracker
- Advanced health tracking features
- Connectivity with off-watch digital apps
- Quite expensive
- Minor difference from Fenix 5
2. Garmin Forerunner 945
This watch is one of the most efficient fitness watches currently. It has a dedicated cycling mode for cycling or mountain biking, making navigating easier by adding color to your maps and frequent routes.
It also has special features to monitor your blood oxygen level and the number of burned calories. Aerobic performance, the distance covered, speed, and pulse using a barometer and power meters.
Lastly, it is a durable, comfortable, lightweight watch with solid straps. And its bonus feature allows you to subscribe to Strava, a famous cyclist social network.
So you can connect with other cyclists and even engage in cycling competitions from time to time.
- Accurate fitness tracker
- Allows Strava subscription
- Cycling mode
- Battery life
3. Polar’s Grit X
Another recommendation from us is the Grit X smartwatch from Polar. It has the regular smartwatch mode of a fitness watch, such as accurate GPS tracking, Bluetooth, music features, and so on, but it also goes over and beyond.
The watch has weather forecast features to alert you to severe weather changes. It collects and stores your data like other smartwatches. One of the uses of this data is that your watch can predict when your body needs water or when you should get something to eat.
It has a GPS tracker and compass to give step-by-step instructions on finding your way. Moreover, this watch is suitable for strenuous activities with its durable and long-lasting build.
Its 1.2-inch screen means you get a medium-sized screen that boldly tells you the time. And weighing about 64 grams, you never have to worry about it being too bulky. It is a comfortable watch to have on during your fitness activities and slightly more affordable than other products, making it an excellent option.
It has a strong battery that can last up to a week between charges if used judiciously. Lastly, it is water-resistant enabled, perfect for outdoor activities.
- Durable design
- Bold screen
- Strong battery life
- Voice navigation via Komoot
- No access to music
- The social network features need improvement
4. Apple Watch Series 7
Regarding the technological advancement of communication gadgets, you can always trust Apple to be extreme with efficient features. So if you’re a fan of its products, you should check out the Apple watch series 7.
It features a large screen display, up to 18 hours of battery life, and an in-built GPS. The watch can track your distance, altitude gain or loss, pace, etc.
A fantastic feature is that the watch can remind you to turn on cycling mode immediately after you start cycling, just in case you forget. The fall detection feature lets the watch tap you on the wrist, sound an alarm, and display an alert.
Call emergency services if you want to or dismiss by pressing the Digital Crown and tapping “I’m okay.”
In addition, the front crystal which protects the OLED display is now 50% thicker than the Apple Watch Series 6, making it more durable. The screen size also has a 20% increase from the previous model.
With its fast charge feature, this smartwatch can go from 0 to 80% in about 45 minutes, saving you time if you need to be on the move as quickly as possible.
- Improved safety and emergency features
- Accurate GPS tracker
- Cycling mode
- Improved durability
- Bolder Screen and improved display
- Fast Charge
- Battery life needs improvement
- Only a slight improvement from the previous model
- Tethered to the iPhone
5. Amazfit T Rex Pro
This smartwatch is an excellent alternative if operating on a tight budget. It has incredible water-resistant features, a firm glass for the watch screen, a durable and comfortable strap, and an excellent battery life that lasts almost three weeks after a full charge.
It is way more affordable than most fitness watches on the market and gives good value for your money.
- Strong battery life
- Limited features
- No GPS navigation
- Bulky design
- No support for third-party apps
6. Polar Vantage Multiple Sports Watches
Polar’s Vantage watch collection provides solid and versatile smartwatches with multiple functions. So, of course, this made our list. The Polar Vantage M and Polar Vantage V have cutting-edge technology distinct from other sports watches.
The sports watch has 130 sports profiles, with a sports mode to monitor them simultaneously. You can get all the fitness and health-monitoring features you need for any sport.
Its advanced features measure your training load accurately, and you can pair your smartwatch with power meters to confirm the accuracy of the numbers.
The “Power Flow for Coach” feature allows your trainer to access your data on all your fitness activities. They can create training routines and sync them to your watch so you can keep up on your fitness goals. And it has a recovery mode to include rest and recovery in your fitness plans.
It is water-resistant, has swimming metrics and special sensors for cycling, and has an ultra battery life lasting up to 40 hours in training mode.
- Multiple sports profiles
- Unique trainer feature for your coach
- Ultra battery life with battery-saving mode
- A durable screen made from gorilla glass
- Lightweight and comfortable design
- Simultaneous monitoring of various sporting activities
- Both watches have no music access
- Dull display
- Uncomfortable straps
7. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Another giant tech company that invests in top-notch gadgets is Samsung.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 features impressive GPS watches with fitness and health tracking features. With its optical heart rate sensor, you can keep track of your heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
It has sleep monitoring features and advanced health tracking features that monitor your heartbeat, stress level, and one major new one: your body composition. Like Apple, Samsung continues to develop its smartwatches, with each release outshining the last.
You can always count on Samsung to produce formidable products.
- More affordable than most fitness watches of its level
- Excellent health and fitness features
- OLED lights with high resolution
- Body composition analysis
- Classic build, especially on the stainless steel model
- Battery life can be improved, as it lasts for about two days
- Some features like blood pressure and ECG measurement remain tethered to Samsung phones
What to Look For in a Smartwatch For Mountain Biking?
1. Time Telling Features
Regardless of your watch’s other function, its primary purpose is to tell the time. It must do this promptly and accurately; otherwise, it is a mere accessory and becomes useless regarding time-telling.
When choosing your smartwatch, you should select one that makes it easier to tell the time.
It could have a stopwatch to help you time yourself and keep track of your activities. It could also have an alarm with built-in speakers or just vibrations. This way, you’re reminded to stay on track always.
Lastly, keeping track of time during outdoor fitness activities is vital. If, for instance, your smartwatch could be fundamental to your survival if you have a concussion or suffer some other form of injury.
It helps by telling you what time it is, then the day, month, and year. As small as this may seem, this is the first step you need to gather your thoughts and make your way to safety.
2. Smart Features
It’s called a smartwatch for a reason.
Your smartwatch is expected to go beyond what a mechanical or digital watch can do. Most smartwatches like Apple are linked to your smartphone. It means that you can now do most of the things with your phone with your watch.
This includes making and receiving phone calls, playing music, receiving notifications from your phone’s third-party apps, checking or setting reminders, and even making a contactless payment.
Using your smartwatch’s more discreet navigation tools, you can also navigate the environs better.
These navigation tools include a built-in GPS, making tracking your movement, location, and distance easier. This is a better way to navigate your surroundings than staring at a map on your phone to enjoy the outdoor ambiance.
3. Health Monitoring Features
As we pointed out earlier, a great smartwatch can be a lifesaver and a companion for you. Most smartwatch companies have added advanced life-saving features to ensure you get the ultimate experience using your smartwatch.
You can now monitor your heart rate, check your blood pressure, track your steps, record how long you slept, and track how many calories you burned.
This means that whether you’re asleep or awake, active or inactive, your smartwatch records all the data and accurately shows your lifestyle.
4. Safety and Comfort
As many great features a smartwatch may have, it becomes redundant if the product is harmful or uncomfortable for you. The watch strap should be firm yet comfortable on your wrist. Make sure it is adjustable and durable enough before you make payment.
Secondly, the watch glass should be clear enough to easily see the watch’s face. Luminous hands or figures are an added advantage, incredibly when dark.
Lastly, there is no reason why a fitness watch should be bulky or heavy. If it hinders you from exercising comfortably, then the entire purpose of the smartwatch is defeated. So be sure to check if the watch is bulky or light before purchasing it.
5. Water Resistance
Since you use your smartwatch for outdoor activities, it must be water-resistant. The sweat and heat that comes with exercise would risk damage to your watch. It won’t last very long if it is not well equipped to withstand this.
While it may not have the same water resistance capacity as an actual diver’s watch, it should at least be able to resist getting damaged from your sweat or any occasional liquid splashes that may occur during use.
6. Long Battery Life
This is a common disadvantage that comes with many smartwatches. Since the smartwatch performs many functions at once, you might be tempted to think it’s okay for it to have such a short battery life span.
However, this is not the case. Your smartwatch, when fully charged, should at least last you for up to a week before your next charge. This means that as long as you set your watch at appropriate intervals, there is no reason why it should die out on you in the middle of an activity.
The best gadgets are usually quite pricey. You need to make sure you get value for every penny you pay.
Apple and Samsung always stand out during conversations surrounding such gadgets. This is because they take time to install user-friendly and safer features on their products.
While working on a tight budget, you still need to exercise caution in picking a watch for your mountain biking. Be sure not just to get a cheap smartwatch that can’t help you if the need arises.
We recommend you get one pocket-friendly with what you need, as it is worth it in the long run. Some affordable options include watches from Xiaomi and RealMe.
In this category, Apple and Samsung are one of the first brands that come to mind.
This is because of their OLED display. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) devices emit light and consume less power. This is an excellent feature for you if you intend to go hiking and can’t recharge your watch in good time.
More affordable choices like Xiaomi, Oppo, and RealMe use LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). While this is a good alternative, it offers poor battery life than OLED devices.
OLED screens are also easier to see indoors as well as outdoors. We recommend getting a watch with an OLED screen, such as the Apple watch series.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Garmin is best for mountain biking?
If any brand has solidified its presence in smartwatches, it’s Garmin. Garmin has everything from really affordable fitness watches to expensive models; Garmin has it all.
Garmin watches come with the best features; from an in-built GPS tracker, durable production materials, long-lasting battery life, a medium-sized watch screen, and health monitor features, Garmin is very deliberate about putting out the best fitness watches on the market.
Even though this brand has many great options, the Garmin Fenix 6 was top of our list.
It has every feature an excellent fitness watch should have, including GPS and cycling modes, made especially for cyclists.
It also has features that track when you ascend a mountain or hill and descend. So in case, you can’t seem to keep score, this watch has you completely covered.
Furthermore, this Garmin smartwatch has a feature to predict changing weather conditions, so you don’t get caught unawares.
Is Garmin Instinct Good for mountain biking?
If there’s any smartwatch collection that understands the assignment of a fitness watch, it’s the Garmin Instinct collection.
This brand completely hacked the essence of what a fitness watch should be with this product.
First, it tackled the issue of battery life by introducing a solar smartwatch.
The Garmin Instinct 2s can charge using direct sunlight for three hours, which is suitable for cyclists, hikers, mountain bikers, and everyone who loves outdoor adventures that last days. This means an uncharged smartwatch can no longer limit your training.
Even if you decide not to get the solar version, you could still go for the Garmin Instinct 2 and enjoy total value for your money.
This non-solar-powered batter model lasts up to 50 days after a full charge, so the battery life is still quite strong.
Both watches have a comfortable feel, with Instinct 2 measuring 45mm and Instinct 2s measuring 40mm. No need for bulky designs on your mountain biking journey.
And, of course, the watch has all the fitness and health monitoring features we mentioned earlier, so yeah, it is a good option for mountain biking.
Can you use a smartwatch for cycling?
You definitely can. Y even better off using a smartwatch than a regular watch for fitness activities.
It helps travel light since it incorporates most of your smartphone and fitness tracker functions. And since cycling requires your complete attention and focus, you can’t afford to get distracted by constantly checking your watch while on the move.
Notification features like alarms and vibrations at certain intervals reduce the need for you to check your watch from time to time.
Plus, your smartwatch can keep you company while on the move by supplying you with some good music.
You can also join a community of cyclists by subscribing to your smartwatch if it has that feature.
You don’t have to worry about it getting dating as you’re using a solid watch with durable straps, sturdy glass, and water-resistant features.
You’re completely safe using your smartwatch for cycling. And if it has all the other features of a good fitness watch, then all the better!
What is the best GPS watch for running and cycling?
Fitness watches have gone way beyond basic time-telling or tracking skills. Every day more brands like Apple and Garmin continue to raise the bar for smartwatches and other gadgets.
Depending on your budget, you can get incredible fitness watches from Garmin, Samsung, Apple, or Polar.
These watches are great for cycling, running, and other fitness activities. Check out our recommended list for other great options.
Picking a watch for your mountain biking trip is solely your choice. However, we’ve made it our business to guide you in choosing the best possible option for your mountain biking journey.
If you choose right, you can reduce it and avoid dangerous complications. We have also gone one step ahead of you to address some of the questions you may have in mind.
Above all, we recommend the Garmin Fenix 6 as the best smartwatch for mountain biking. It has a comfortable design, strong battery life, and all the advanced health and fitness features you need to make your mountain biking journey most enjoyable.
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My name is Eve Acosta and I’m the only person behind this site. Watches are what get me ticking ;).
No, but seriously, I just love watches, I have over 30 myself. It’s an obsession of mine, which is why my husband recommended me to put my hobby into some good use and build this site – so I did.