Best Mountain Bike Computer [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on June 11, 2021

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Looking for ways to fine-tune your incredible performance down the trails with the convenience offered by the best mountain bike computers on the market?

Well, if so, you’re at the right place!

Mountain bike computers are an important accessory to have. They remove the worry of carrying a normal cell phone, and you don’t have to fret thinking it will fall off. Bike computers show you your progress, calories burned, speed distance; they’re pretty cool pieces of kit. 

However, with so many on the market to choose from, there’s no wonder people find it confusing. While riding on the rugged terrain, you’ll want a durable bike computer (even more durable than they already are) as well as features like water resistance too. 

But don’t look at that with a worried face.

This is what I’m here for. To make things easier, I have spent time hunting down the very best mountain bike computers that will not only provide motivation and allow you to track your progress but also allow you to discover new routes you’ve never tried with confidence!

Here’s a pro tip: now, for some riders going out exploring down the trail is just the tip of the iceberg; you may even want to opt for a bike computer that can do it all; durable mountain bike computers can also be used for racing events and even casual riding. 

My top three picks are the best on the market, so stay tuned! 

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:

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Products compared
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Best Mountain Bike Computer

1.

Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM

best mountain bike gps computer

Coming in hot at number one is a personal favorite of mine when hittin’ the trails. Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM is more than just your standard ol’ GPS; this GPS not only tracks your performance but works out ways to improve it!

The vibrant, crystal clear 2.7-inch color display makes it easy to see your data and routes on the go. Plus, the Gorilla® Glass screen resists damage from scratches, bumps to accidental drops (perfect for a clumsy rider on the mountains). 

Never have to worry about your battery running out while down the trails again; this USB rechargeable battery will provide you with up to 17 hours of battery life– plenty of time to shred the trails or hit the road. 

Wahoo also has Bluetooth® connections that allow you to pair with your devices, sensors, sync ride data, download maps, and even connect to third-party apps to share with friends. 

But wait, here’s the best bit! 

It features a live track feature that will let your cycling buddies see your live performance while riding. I mean, is there a better way to motivate yourself than have a bunch of your friends watching you? This simple-to-set-up GPS is filled with different maps of nearly every country in the world.

Want to ride your bike in Amsterdam? Paris? France? With Wahoo GPS, you’ll be sure to be covered. However, if you decide to ride in Antarctica, this GPS may not be very good use…

But here’s a pro tip: Don’t ride your bike in Antarctica!  Enjoy your many miles of exploration ahead of you! 

Pros

  • Colored touchscreen
  • Water resistant IPX7
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 20 hours battery life with GPS

Cons

  • Could use a bigger display

Latest deal: Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM

2.

Garmin edge 830

best wireless mountain bike computer

Whether you are an enduro extremist or a mountain bike casual rider, you will absolutely love what Garmin has to offer in the name of bicycle computers.

The Edge 830 is a sleek and elegant-looking, all-black bike computer that gets the job done with minimal effort and in the best possible interactive ways. Touchscreen functionality is on board and in full effect.

This kit includes the Edge 830 touchscreen GPS bike computer, standard mount, mountain bike mount, edge remote, silicone case, speed sensor, tether, USB cable. This bike computer bundle is brilliant for shredding the trails and can be used for road riding too!

The GPS you get is also very easy to operate and gets you where you want to go within minimal time. You get dynamic performance monitoring that monitors stuff like recovery, training load focus, heat and altitude acclimation, nutrition, hydration, and more.

But wait, there’s more…

These are professional features not easily found in many computers. You can also track jump times and difficulty ratings of the terrains you venture on. The routable Garmin map makes navigation super easy and fun. You can even customize the screen with widgets and apps of your choice.

You can delve deep and shred the trails while focusing on performance and endurance in every ride; Garmin 830 will do anything you need when shredding the trail. 

Battery life is where this computer shines the most with a screen-on time of 20 hours with GPS on. The touchscreen Garmin Edge Mountain Bike Bundle has everything you need to tame the trail with speed and confidence. 

Pros

  • Interactive touchscreen
  • Easy-to-use GPS
  • Widgets and app support
  • 20-hour battery life with GPS

Cons

  • Expensive

Latest deal: Garmin edge 830

3.

Garmin Edge 530 GPS Bike Computer

Garmin is back yet again with their edge 530, this time offering a more rugged and durable experience in the name of mountain bike computers. This compact and lightweight design make this computer super easy to mount and ideal for my adrenaline junkies.

Plus, the all-black look is sleek and low-profile, keeping things stealthy.

A nice feature of this bike computer is the built-in pin-protected bike alarm. It will notify your phone if or as soon as your bike is moved while you’re inside, grabbing a quick drink, or stopping at the pub for a pit stop.

It includes other cycling safety features like group chat, tracking, and incident detection. Includes Garmin’s trusty routable maps for proper navigation only to be made better with GPS support. It even includes Varie rearview radar and lights when paired with a phone.

You may be wondering, how’s the battery life on this thing?

Well, pretty good; it provides 20 hours of battery life with the GPS on, so you’ll never have to worry about your battery dying mid-trail shred and getting lost. The display can also be customized with various widgets and apps to make it unique.

The Garmin Edge 530 cycling computer is super aerodynamic and IPX7 water-resistant, making it easy for you to put it through the roughest terrains without a problem. Plus, the MTB dynamics track jump count, jump distance, and even hang time as well.

The Garmin Edge 530 is the ideal trail ripper that’s ready for anything!

Pros

  • Durable and strong
  • IPX7 water resistant
  • 20-hour battery life
  • Turn by turn navigation

Cons

  • Could use a better build quality

Latest deal: Garmin Edge 530 GPS Bike Computer

4.

XOSS G+ bike computer

best mountain bike computer under 100

XOSS takes a more old-school approach to bike computers, offering a black and white screen that is a definite hit of nostalgia. Their G+ bike computer has a 1.8” LCD displau that provides you with the most minimal and needed information on the go.

The all-black design looks low-profile, and the minimalists will absolutely love it. With a screen that draws less power, you get a great battery life of up to 25 hours which is a huge plus for this one.

I don’t know what I’d do for 25 hours!

You can record 15 different data types relevant to your adventure, and you also get party platform sharing. ANT+ transmission is also included, enabling you to use sensors like speed, heart rate, and cadence.

The GPS is also very easy to use and provides a great sense of navigation on the road. The computer is IPX7 water-resistant, which means it can take a beating and works well through rain and can take a fair amount of abuse down the rugged trails.

XOSS is easy-to-install, and fit bike computers are plenty durable and useful to top it all off. For under 50 bucks, you can’t argue with the quality you get; this bike computer is pretty cool! 

Pros

  • Durable and strong
  • IPX7 water resistant
  • 25-hour battery life
  • ANT+ support

Cons

  • Could use a better build quality

Latest deal: XOSS G+ bike computer

5.

POLAR V650 Cycle Computer

best mountain bike sensor computer

Polar brings you a sleek and modern design when it comes to your everyday bike computers. The Polar V650 is no exception to that rule. The black front for the screen makes it easy to view it, and the white accents on the sides complement the unit even further.

Polar V650 is ready to gear up and go! It is among one of the smartest GPS computers yet. It is built with devoted cyclists in mind, allowing you to analyze all aspects of your ride to improve performance and work towards your goals down the trails. 

The 2.8” colored touchscreen is a great blessing to have since many computers do not support capacitive touch input. It makes for a very interactive experience. No more squinting your eyes trying to read the route on your phone; it can be stashed away in your bag, safely. 

And if you thought that was enough, here’s more!

You also get GPS support as expected, and you can import your routes from other devices into your computer as well. The built-in barometric pressure sensor also provides you with the most accurate altitude reading and gives you insight into the training load and recovery time needed.

Strava live segments are also supported for you to set goals and achieve them with ease. In addition, the smart heart rate sensor is also available to keep your heartbeat in check. The computer itself is super lightweight and rugged.

It holds up well through time and is a great option for you.

Pros

  • Highly sensitive GPS
  • Comprehensive riding data
  • Automatic start/stop
  • Easy to mount and supports ANT+

Cons

  • Could use better location sync

Latest deal: POLAR V650 Cycle Computer

6.

Lezyne Mega Xl GPS Cycle Computer

LEZYNE takes modernity to a whole new level with the Mega XL. Lenzyne has harnessed the ultimate in GPS technology, boasting a large customizable display screen as well as a GPS and Glonass technology for the ultimate navigating experience.

The computer looks sleek and beautiful. The all-black reflective sides scream quality and class. The 2.7-inch display has 240×400 high resolution and provides a 50% larger display than any previous model. It can also be completely turned for either vertical or horizontal viewing modes.

Wanna hear something pretty cool?

Lenzyne stores up to 800 hours of ride data, you heard me, 800 hours! You can also easily download all your ride files via plug-and-play flash drive technology which can be uploaded directly to the GPS website for ride analysis or even sync directly to your smartphone!

Lenzyne comes with advanced connectivity options, and this connectivity allows you to receive texts, emails, and phone calls directly to your computer’s display. Texting with the beaming sun on you is no easy task, but Lenzye takes the hassle out of it easily.

But wait, I’m not finished yet: The Mega XL will also auto-sync to Strava, Training Peaks, and Today’s Plan using Bluetooth or ANT+, you will have all the connectivity you need. Plus, with a battery life that will last you all day long, Mega XL is unbeatable.

My only bone to pick with this product is that the GPS is just a little too basic, it’s ideal for recreational mountain bikers, but I would recommend the Garmin Edge for my real trail shredders.

Pros

  • Can store 800 hours of ride data
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Real time features through the app
  • Fine GPS functionality

Cons

  • GPS is a little basic

Latest deal: Lezyne Mega Xl GPS Cycle Computer

Best Mountain Bike Computers Buyers Guide:

Getting yourself a bike computer for your mountain bike adventures is a real game-changer; it allows you to track your progress, set goals, discover new routes, and try out new rugged trails that you wouldn’t wish to try before purchasing a bike computer. 

Mountain bike computers are the smartest, most durable, and coolest bike computers you can find on the market. They have major safety features such as sending your location to friends in the case of an accident, as well as tracking cool things like altitude, speed, and even difficulty rating of the trail. 

You can even connect your phone, and messages can come straight to your cycle computer rather than scrambling to find you in the abyss of your backpack, as well as trying to read a word you’re typing under the scorching sun. 

But let’s get serious now, the top thing you need to consider when purchasing a bike computer for mountain biking is the use. Are you a casual rider? Are you a trail shredder looking to discover more rugged routes? Are you looking for a bike computer to use for your road and mountain bike adventures?

If so, you need to look for features that cater to that, such as a difficulty rating route feature or a bike computer that allows you to create separate accounts for mountain and road rides. This will make looking for a bike computer a hell of a lot easier. 

But don’t look at that and panic; I’m here to break down everything you need to look for to ensure you’re getting the very best bike computer for you; your buying journey will be a breeze once I’m finished, trust me. 

First Things First, What Is A Bike Computer? 

A bike computer is a small, aerodynamically manufactured electric device that is designed for cycling. It is mounted onto the cyclist’s handlebars and designed to record data such as tracking their speed, distance calories burned, altitude, route tracking, and cadence.

The majority of mountain bike computers are packed with the highest technology and GPS features. They track hundreds of different trail routes, and if you’re lucky, some (such as the Garmin Edge) even show you difficulty ratings if you’re ready to take on a challenge or tackle an undiscovered route to show to all your friends. 

Mountain bike computers are also among the safest kit to have; they’re ideal for emergencies. Some send live locations to family and friends in an emergency, and some will even call emergency services. This is essential, especially if you’re in the middle of nowhere on a random hill, miles away from the local town. 

Cycling computers take the hassle out of having to bring your phone or constantly having to get out and fiddle around with your phone while cycling– this can be a right pain, especially with the sun glaring over you. It also keeps your phone safe while tackling rugged terrain. 

Mountain bike computers are also much more weather-resistant, lightweight, and durable. They sit on your bike frame nicely and don’t weigh down your frame like your phone would with a big bulky case on it. In addition, they can tackle a fair amount of abuse that comes with mountain biking.

What To Look For When Buying Bike Computers:

Before you go ahead and buy any old mountain bike computer, take a minute to think about what you should look for and whether these features are what you need on the hunt for a mountain bike computer.

Display:

This is the most important part of a bike computer as it is the thing you look at all the time. It is what you interact with and draws information from. If the screen is a touchscreen, so many things are made easy. It needs to be of high quality and be seen even if the sun is beaming down on your shoulders.

Other features like a backlit screen or touch sensitivity should also be something you’re looking for as it makes using the computer that much more convenient. As the price range goes up, you will notice more features with color and touchscreens.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need these features, but it makes life a lot easier when swiping through metrics or looking at maps. However, for mountain biking, this is not necessary as this may be altered when it’s chucking it down with rain or if you’re wearing thick gloves.

Even without the touchscreen display, some pretty cool options are well and truly durable enough for the trails.

Navigation: 

This is one of the utmost important features for mountain bike computers, especially when delving into undiscovered terrain; the last thing you want is to get lost and struggle to find your way back. Most GPS bike computers provide turn-by-turn navigation which is super helpful down the trails.

My favorite thing about mountain bike computers are features like difficulty rating for certain routes and terrain; this helps to know when to avoid (if you’re a beginner) or tackle head-on if you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for a challenge.

Many cycling computers have a map pre-installed on the computer, some devices even allow you to create routes and courses directly on the device. But others connect to third-party apps and satellite networks like Glonass, Beidou, Galileo, and many more.

Battery Life:

Having a bike computer is brilliant because they tend to come with a long battery life that will last you well over a day of trail riding while using the GPS features. We’re used to our phones dying on us but having a bike computer as unreliable as our phone is something we can’t afford.

If you’re stuck or lost and your bike computer dies on you, you’re screwed! Luckily bike computers are designed to be used for hours on end, and some even offer 20+ hours of battery life before giving in, even while the GPS is running.

If you use your phone instead of a bike computer, you’ll know when I say you may only get a couple of hours before it dies, especially if it’s hitting the 2-year mark and you have Google Maps open. Even if you carry a portable charger, it adds weight and is just annoying.

I would recommend going for a rechargeable battery model to reduce waste and prevent having to bring spare batteries on your long days down the mountains with friends.

Ease of set-up: 

No one wants a cycling computer that is difficult and confusing to use; there’s nothing worse than getting lost somewhere and having no idea how to set up the bike computer GPS to get you back.

The setup not only includes setting up the device with apps, your smartphone, and much more but also the ease of mounting it onto your bike frame. You want a cycling computer to mount and dismount with ease and not have to spend 20 minutes fiddling with the mount.

The Wahoo Elemnt Roam comes with a standard mount and out-front mount; it is fairly easy to set up and super versatile. The setup is extremely user-friendly for the setup; they also have companion apps for your smartphone, making setup even easier.

Connectivity to your phone: 

Despite phones becoming gradually bigger and bigger and more resistant to water as well as becoming more durable, I still wouldn’t recommend taking your $1000 phone down the trails. Even with a protective case, it can get smashed, and it just brings excess weight we don’t need.

But if you want the features of your phone, I would recommend going for a bike computer that can connect to your phone. The majority of bike computers nowadays come with essential features such as calling emergency services or sending real-life tracking to friends or family in the case of an accident.

Using a smartphone holder is brilliant and old, but it’s almost impossible to see your screen when the sun is glaring down on you, and without the right phone case, if you get in an accident, your phone could break too– then you have nothing to call emergency services!

Luckily, bike computers, especially mountain bike computers, are designed for rough conditions, such as rugged trails and lightweight. They’re still much more affordable than your latest iPhone or Android. They provide a high level of aerodynamics and do more than your phone would.

All these features and going for a bike computer that can connect to your phone and then you’re sorted, you can share all your cool rides with friends as well as sharing new routes. 

Durability: 

This brings me to my last feature to consider, and that’s durability. You don’t want to go for any old cheap model as this may break as soon as you hit a rocky route or technical terrain.

Build quality also needs to be top-notch on your bike computer. Everyone loves to go through the roughest and trickiest terrains, and your bike computer should at least be water-resistant to see you through a peaceful and adventurous time.

Most Garmin computers are waterproof ratings of up to the IPX7 so that you can splash in and out of the nooks and creaks with confidence; as well as riding back to your car in an unexpected rainy storm, you can guarantee that your bike computer will be able to show the way. 

I tend to check out the review section before buying a product, majority of reviewers are experienced mountain bikers, and they’ll tell you if the product is not ideal for trail shredding. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are the top frequently asked questions people have when buying mountain bike computers:

What is the best wireless bike computer? 

My top recommendation for the best wireless mountain bike computers would have to be Garmin Edge or Wahoo fitness. These are much tidier than wired ones and don’t take up space on your bike frame.

They’re fairly new to the industry, but they tend to have the most updated technology. These wireless computers are also ideal for shredding the trail as they’re very durable, and you won’t have to worry about a wire getting stuck under your wheel.

How do you install a bike computer on a mountain bike?

First, you should attach the computer’s mount to the handlebars; you should have instructions for the bike computer. This process varies from brand to brand, so following the right instructions should make installing a breeze.

The mount will either be zip-tied or screwed shut around the handlebar, depending on the brand. Then you should slide the computer onto the mount after installing the battery or charging the battery. It is fairly straightforward, and many manufacturers provide instructions on the box.

How much money should you spend on a bike computer? 

Well, this really depends on the features you’re looking for. Basic bike computers without all the added features like GPS unit, heart rate monitoring, progress tracking, and improvements or phone connectivity, you’ll be looking at around 25 bucks.

Essentially the more you pay, the more features you tend to get, but if you’re looking for the basics, then under 50 bucks will do you fine. Some GPS bike computers can put you out a few hundred bucks, but they’re definitely worth it, especially if you’re looking to check out new routes.

More expensive models also have connectivity to your phone and emergency and safety features like a bike alarm or sending real-life tracking in the case of emergency, or even calling the emergency services.

If you’re looking for all these added features, I recommend going for a renowned brand and spending between $100-300 to get the right product for you.

Summary

Today we looked at some of the best offerings you can find in the name of bike computers. Some had great displays, while others offered water resistance IP certifications. Some had great battery life, while others also introduced touchscreen functionality.

All of them were super interactive and fun to use, providing the best features and experience. The GPS was on point, and the build quality was amazing for the price. I assure you, no matter what computer you choose from this list, you will absolutely love the experience.

Enjoy discovering new terrain, my friends! 

Alex Bristol

Content Manager at Pedallers

ABOUT

Alex is a cycling expert at Pedallers and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.