The Best Apps For Navigating Mountain Biking
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The Best Apps For Navigating Mountain Biking Trails And Avoiding Getting Lost
Did you add the correct air pressure to the tires? Is the water bottle filled? Are the snacks packaged? Now, the only question left is: Where do you ride?
You may have just entered the world of mountain biking and can’t wait to get to know the local trails. You may be an experienced cyclist exploring new territory. Or you’ve ridden your local bike park or the same trails long enough that you’re ready to explore new areas.
Mountain biking requires enough knowledge without adding confusing trails. The trails dotting a mountain’s sides look like a spaghetti tangle. Fortunately, technology makes it easier than ever to ensure you find the most suitable routes without too much risk.
Trailforks is one of the most famous mountain biking apps on the market, and you’ve undoubtedly heard of it. The app is full of valuable features. For example, it allows mountain biking leagues to track trail conditions, trail builders to log work, and mountain bikers to discover, plan, and share their rides.
Trailforks boasts a database of nearly 500,000 trails in over 100 countries, which means you’re more likely to find maps of the trails you want to ride.
Using interactive trail maps, Trailforks makes it easy to pick and choose trails—from easy climbs to fast, double-track descents and flow trails to technical sections—each rated by a community riding score, difficulty level, distance, elevation gain, and average time to completion. Many tracks also include photos and videos.
You can use this app to rate available trails and report conditions, including drifts or when trails are closed for maintenance. The free version will allow you to save one mountainous area to your phone and navigate that area during your travels when connected to cellular service. The paid version provides unlimited access to offline route maps worldwide (no cellular service required).
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Trailforks for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
Strava claims to be the best app for runners and cyclists, and the sheer number of downloads the app receives back that claim up. There is no doubt that Strava’s popularity is due to its many unique features. You can turn any iPhone or Android smartphone into a high-end cycling computer by downloading the app.
As a cycling computer, Strava can do a lot. For example, you can follow a map using your smartphone’s GPS, view your speed, and sync data with compatible devices, which includes fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, power meters, head units, and smartwatches, like the feature-packed Garmin MARQ smartwatch. Then, the connected device can track your performance stats and analyze your ride data.
One of Strava’s features that makes riding more fun is the ability to compete in tracks and challenges created by other users. Leaderboards let you see how other riders perform, encouraging you to push yourself further and faster. After setting your best, you can share the rides with your friends and challenge them to beat your time.
The free version allows for activity logging and social sharing, while the paid version offers additional features such as route planning, heart rate, power analysis, and other advanced metrics.
Strava for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
Alltrails’ mission is to help people connect with nature, and Alltrails supports all kinds of outdoor activities, including mountain biking. The app includes an interactive map, the ability to view and sort by trail difficulty and length, and even a description of whether the trails are dog-friendly.
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Unlike other apps, Alltrails focuses on whole trails rather than individual trails. It has a positive and negative effect at the same time.
Taking an entire itinerary is helpful if you like having someone else plan your entire trip. If that’s the case, open the Alltrails app, filter the routes by the length of time you’d like to ride and difficulty level, and Alltrails will provide a GPS-trackable route that meets your criteria. However, the roads are only helpful if you want to chart individual trails or choose your adventure as you go.
The free version of Alltrails allows you to navigate with a network connection, add favorite trails, and create lists of trails you’d like to tackle in the future. Not only does the paid version allow you to download offline maps, but it also lets you receive alerts when you miss a turn on your journey, which can prevent you from having to take your phone out of your pocket or backpack every time you wonder, “Am I on the right track?”. “
Alltrails for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
If you are looking for simplicity and low cost, Google Maps might be for you. It offers one of the most straightforward user experiences of all the apps on this list. Best of all, it’s completely free—even for offline navigation, a key feature for mountain bikers who ride where there’s spotty and patchy cellular service.
However, the downside of such a simple app is that it needs to include most, if not all, other features useful for adequately planning and navigating a mountain bike trip, including where trails and trails are located, difficulty ratings, and even trail names. How do I activate voice typing on Android?
Google Maps doesn’t connect with other fitness devices, but it offers the Google Fit fitness tracking app, which can help you reach your fitness goals. It also supports Fitbit devices, which have a bunch of features you might find helpful.
Google Maps for iOS | Android (free)
How to download Google Maps for offline viewing on iPhone
- On your iPhone, tap your profile icon in the corner of the screen and choose Offline Map.
- Click Define your map.
- Next, place the area you will mount in the middle of the screen and click Download.
- Once you’re done, you can track your whereabouts using your smartphone’s GPS, even without cell phone service.
Find the best tracks with these apps.
Whether you’re taking a leisurely Sunday road trip on some green-rated cross-country trails or looking for the best dual-track trail, with these apps, you can find and ride the best trails on your mountain bike, stay fit, stay safe, and have an experience. Great, whatever your skill level. The best thing about these apps is that each offers a free version, which means you can test them all out and find the one that works best for you. Enjoy the tracks!