Best Mountain Bike GPS Watch

What is the best mountain bike GPS watch?

Compared to the wrist-worn GPS watch, a handlebar-mounted GPS offers the advantage of a larger (and often more apparent) screen to display maps and ride data. Other than that, both tools offer their users relatively identical functionality, especially as MTB GPS watches continue to add cycling-specific features to their already growing list of fitness-tracking capabilities.

But there are situations where a GPS watch has the advantage. For multi-sports athletes, a smartwatch with running, swimming, and cycling modes make it easier to track all your activity and data in one place and cut down on the electronic clutter of two devices. Wearing your ‘computer’ on your wrist also means it goes where you go – you don’t have to move it from bike to bike.

Regular watches and GPS are equally helpful if you want to track your pace and distance. However, if you’re going to incorporate your daily metrics into your training, including sleep recovery and all-day activity, a smartwatch is the way to go.

The models below share a few key features you should consider when purchasing. First, a bike mode, like on a dedicated mountain bike GPS, is essential if you want to synchronize your outings with Strava or another training program. Then battery life is key – not just overall battery life, but more importantly, the battery life in GPS mode.

And while wrist-based heart rate isn’t as accurate as a chest strap, it’s still an important data point for calculating relative exertion and calorie expenditure. Then there are the bonus features, like driving directions, compatibility with power meters, and music. Not every Mountain Bike GPS watch featured here can handle these high-level features, but many can. And the selection represents a range of feature levels, so you’re sure to find something to suit your needs. Which GPS watch for mountain biking?

Buying guide: Best Mountain Bike GPS watch

1 – Garmin Fenix ​​5 Plus Silver MTB Mapping GPS Watch

I practice several sports on weekdays, including gym sessions, running, swimming, mountain biking, and paddle boarding.

Garmin Fenix ​​5 Plus Silver GPS Bike Watch Review

Top of the sports watch.

I have used several sports watches (Polar and Suunto, among others), but I must admit that this product has an advantage. In the first month of use, during training, I “flanked” myself a Polar (at the same time as the heart rate monitor) to test the differences and evaluate possible comparisons for the different measurements carried out (distances, heartbeats, calories burned, etc.).

I recognize that it is a fantastic “wrist computer “capable of satisfying all the needs that a sportsman may have for such an instrument (and the fact of being able to do without the heart rate monitor by having the possibility of reading the beats directly on the Fenix, is a great thing especially if the beats are read accurately as in this case).

In addition, the practical aspect and the possibility of being able to make payments with the watch, once the cards have been loaded via the dedicated application, listen to music directly from the watch (without having to take the phone with you) and connect Bluetooth headphones (also connecting them with the watch). Moreover, having a “navigator” on the wrist (it has the maps of Europe loaded) is not suitable for everyone. Very satisfied with the purchase.

Good product, very aesthetic, works well, and is too expensive.

Keeps its promises at too high a price. The size is suitable for small wrists (5x too big). Charges music and connects to the mobile phone (disturbed notifications: do not activate). The severe undesirable episode with the first model sent to me: burns to the three cardio detection sensors.

Nobody could tell me why, but we quickly replaced the parent company. Learning to use it is more intuitive than on a Polar and more complicated than on a Suunto. Battery: with cardio and detectors no more than three/four days; otherwise, 8/9. Many preset sports. Mapping for the screensaver is good. Cardio is not always accurate but provides a valuable indication (e.g., repeated)—good product for non-specialists. The strap is not thick, but the soft rubber makes it more comfortable.

Buy it; you won’t regret it.

Overall I like everything; it is intuitive and complete for any sport: it has fascinating maps and the possibility of integrating other applications.

2 – Garmin GPS MTB watch Fenix ​​5S Plus Silver with cartography

After several months of use, many bugs in this watch have been fixed, and I now wear this watch as a daily watch. Battery life

Garmin Fenix ​​5S Plus GPS Watch Review

Telephone connection

I only need to know that I don’t connect to the phone for calls and messages.

Very useful!

Fantastic watch; it’s the most complete on the market! All imaginable functions are programmed for each sport!

is as advertised. I managed to last a week and a half on a single charge, including 16 km running, but the battery could be better than the 5. The hardware seems much better and more responsive. Bluetooth connectivity is flawless. Charging is a breeze – it can take up to 3 hours to charge, and the Fenix’s screen doesn’t show an accurate view of battery charge.

I have no use for Garmin pay, as banks are extremely limited.

The music app is minimal and does not support my music apps.

3 – Garmin Fenix ​​6 Pro MTB GPS-connected watch

Garmin Fenix ​​6 Pro GPS Watch Review

Compared to model 5, its improved screen quality and expanded existing functions. Better battery life and also improved, for the rest we do not find significant change

Everything for the sport

I wore a fitness tracker for the first time when the first Xiaomi fit band came out, which only had three tags; then, for completeness and to have more accurate data, I tried and used it until the death of other devices (Garmin forerunner, apple watch, Xiaomi various).

Those who need a lightweight multisport device with built-in GPS that still gives you minimal, intelligent features can only choose Garmin. With this watch, the company has outdone itself in data accuracy (more accurate heart rate than ever, although not yet comparable to the heart rate monitor) and functionality. This watch is for you if you are a runner, mountain biker, or triathlete.

Great device!

A pure spectacle of concentration of technology. Born for sport, practically everything, but also to have a smartwatch that you don’t have to recharge every 2/3 days. For the moment, with about 7/8 hours of training under GPS and a few external sensors connected… I can reach eight days with a reserve battery, ranging from 11% to 14%. I add that I receive a lot of notifications daily and keep active with all the different sensors that the device has. In short, the price is not the “first price,” but the device gives a lot of satisfaction. For me, great!

Battery Display Application Implementation

Compared to model 5, its improved screen quality and expanded existing functions. Better battery life and also improved, for the rest we do not find significant changes

Test and opinion on MTB GPS watches

4 – Suunto MTB, Hiking and Trekking GPS Watch

Suunto GPS Watch Reviews

Compared to model 5, its improved screen quality and expanded existing functions. Better battery life and also improved, for the rest we do not find significant change

Great watch for trekking

I bought this watch for trekking, mountain biking, and everyday use. For the moment, the battery holds more than a week with the essential functions without using the GPS. I’ve used it in the mountains, and it’s a very accurate and reliable product; the battery life depends on what type of GPS update you want (unless you’re on unmapped trails, it’s best to use GPS with an update every 10 seconds). I recommend it to all outdoor sports enthusiasts for its many functions. It has better value for money than the others when it comes to battery life, which for me, is fundamental.

The ability to receive mobile phone notifications on your watch

A nice watch for sports activities is to keep on the wrist; the only flaw is that the bracelet came off after two days, and I had to go to the watchmaker to have it back in place. Fortunately, it only cost me a coffee.

Indispensable watch for sports and mountain biking

What must be said, Suunto is a guarantee of quality and performance. It’s not a SmartWatch, although it connects to your Smartphone and shows notifications. Relatively accurate GPS on maximum performance (as I understand, no Smartwatch can compete with a Smartphone). Battery consumption is as stated.

An excellent product for mountain bike outings and excursions.

The only drawback some limitations on the connection with the Suunto APP. Hopefully, Suunto maintains compatibility with these old products, which are still very valid.

5 – Suunto 3 MTB GPS Cardio Watch Sport Watch with Wrist Heart Rate Measurement

Suunto Watch Reviews

Compared to model 5, its improved screen quality and expanded existing functions. Better battery life and also improved, for the rest we do not find significant change

Perfect watch with everything in the box.

The brand says it all!

The only flaw is that the pedometer could be more reliable.

good, but not for me

Suunto is a perfect brand of high-performance sensors and software suitable for athletes and good quality materials. But this smartwatch is not for me: too small (I’m 185 and strong), no touch screen. Regarding the price, there are better.

For running, cycling, and sleep monitoring, it is good.

I have a Suunto M5, an ambit three, and now a Suunto3. I like the Suunto 3, which does not fail to put the heart rate belt. The screen and size of the Suunto 3 seem small for men. But for women, no problem.

Suunto’s screen is not as beautiful as a regular smartwatch, but the battery and functions are good. Since I don’t use many parts, only for running, cycling, and sleep tracking, it’s perfect at this price.

FAQs

What is a GPS watch used for?

These specifically connected watches can precisely monitor your sports activity with various sensors recording different data on your body condition while providing a GPS function allowing you to find your way around. The best models are even capable of displaying maps. So it’s a great way to track your athletic progress and improve your performance. 

GPS watch or connected watch?

It depends on your needs. The GPS watch offers all the advantages of the connected watch, with the addition of the GPS function. If this functionality is not helpful, it is better to turn to a simpler model. 

How much does a GPS watch cost?

Once again, the price varies enormously from one model to another. For entry-level, you will find models around 100 euros. Regarding the best products, the costs can easily reach or even exceed 500 euros. 

Where can you buy a GPS watch?

Mobile phone and sports stores should have a few models for sale. However, it would help if you went online to take advantage of the best offer at the best price. 

Marcelline
Marcelline

Marcelline is a writer and covers several categories thanks to her multidisciplinary expertise.

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