Which is the Best App for Mountain Bike Trails?

In the past, you had to buy a GPS to locate the best mountain bike trails.

Now, all you need is an app in your Smartphone.

You can conveniently get maps, distance indicators, altitude, and even weather projections. Besides that, you can improve performance using apps that track your biking efforts, heart rate, riding speed, and so much more.

With this comprehensive list, you’re sure to find the best app for mountain bike trails.

Route Navigation/ Trail Planning Apps

A good map app will help you discover new amazing biking trails. It will also help you effectively plan your route so you don’t get lost along the way.

Let’s analyze these top options to find the best GPS app for mountain biking.

GPX Viewer

GPX Viewer is one of the best rated maps apps.

It’s basically a GPS locator, and GPS tracks viewer, recorder, analyzer, and tracker. This makes it a useful navigation tool for cycling.

Using the app, you can conveniently analyze information and statistics for multiple tracks and routes. That includes visual graphs (charts) of elevation profiles, air temperature, and speed profiles for tracks and routes.

The app also tracks heart rate, cadence, and power.

To make your tracks more prominent, you can adjust icons and change the track and route colors.

You’re sure to get up-to-date guides since GPX Viewer uses multiple online maps like Google Maps, Mapbox, Thunderforest, and OpenStreetMap data. It also includes OpenWeatherMap weather layers.

What’s more, you can add your custom online WMS (Web Map Service) or TMS (Tile Map Service) maps.


Strava is a GPS cycling and running app.

Many prominent cyclists rank it at the top of their cycling app lists.

A particularly valuable feature is that you can network with other MTB riders, compare performances, and even join challenges. As you share photos from your rides and follow friends, you’re sure to be motivated in your cycling adventures. Even if you’re going on solo mountain biking rides, you won’t feel like you’re all alone.

Best of all, you can discover the best places to ride with locals.

The app tracks your riding with GPS, apart from analyzing track distance, cycle speed, elevation gained, and calories burned. It will also track swimming and running exercises, which you may incorporate into your outdoor adventures.

Google Maps

If you’re among the many people who already have Google Maps in their phones, you might as well use it for cycling too.

Apart from the extensive data provided, you can conveniently download maps to use offline. That can be a lifesaver in case you ride off into places without any cell phone service.

How extensive is Google Maps?

It maps out an incredible 220+ countries and territories, consisting of hundreds of millions of businesses and places. A great help if riding in foreign countries.

On top of that, you get real-time GPS navigation, as well as traffic, and transit info.

You can explore local neighborhoods to figure out places to eat and drink along the way. The real-time transit info will also help you catch a bus, train, or ride-share if you get tired of cycling and just need to get back home.

Street View and Indoor maps are also useful features so you know exactly how places look like before you get there.


Trailforks claims to offer the largest mountain bike trails database in the world.

It’s probably the best app for finding mountain bike trails.

You can use it both online or offline, by downloading a region to plan your route. Being expressly designed for riders, it offers automatic trail routing, starting from your location to where the track starts.

One good thing about it is the low power consumption, so your Smartphone battery won’t run out during long rides.

Apart from biking, you can use it for hiking, motorcycling, horseback riding and ski trails. Simply switch the map context based on your selected activity.

The 290,000+ trails in the Trailforks database are likely to keep growing since users can contribute additional data. If approved by local trail associations, the data is curated in the app.

During trail navigation, you’ll easily see your GPS location on the map.

It also features trail and route elevation profiles so you can view grades of climbs and descents.

MTB Project

MTB Project offers a comprehensive guide to any trail you want to ride.

You’re sure to get the most up-to-date trails and information since it’s all submitted by local riders. The information goes through a review process first before going live. It’s particularly good for riders within the United States.

With this app, you can explore thousands of trails free of charge.

And you won’t get a watered down map version just because it’s an app. Instead, you get the thoroughness and detail of a printed map. That means full GPS route info, photos, elevation profiles, interactive features, and much more.

In case you need more of a guide, you’ll enjoy the suggested best featured rides. The suggested rides can be near your current location or in areas you search for.

What’s more, local experts provide insights like highlights and challenging features.


Komoot is available in multiple European languages, including Spanish, English, and French.

This app has become quite popular in a short time. It’s likely the most used app in Europe for route planning.

The main use of the app is to trace and discover new routes.

Once you plan a route, you can conveniently use the voice-guided navigation. That frees you up to concentrate on maximum performance during your ride. And you won’t need an internet connection either.

It works well for MTB adventures, road biking, and hiking.

What makes it stand out is the fact that you can plan your route down to the smallest detail. You can check for different routes that suit your activity, including: trails for MTBs, asphalt for bikes, cycle paths for touring, and quiet paths for hiking. You’ll know beforehand exactly what awaits you regarding road type, surface, elevation, difficulty, and distance.


Sharing Experiences/ Shooting MTB Trails

Your riding exploits will be a thousand times more fulfilling when you share the experiences with family and friends.

That’s why a photo sharing app like Go Pro is a must have.

Go Pro

Go Pro isn’t just great for sharing amazing video of your trail. You too will enjoy reliving those memorable moments over and over again.

What makes it great is that you can wirelessly connect your Smartphone to the camera.

You can then put the camera in the most creative places to get absolutely breathtaking shots. While taking shots, you have full remote control of multiple camera functions so you get the perfect shot every time.

The app also lets you frame the perfect shot with live previews.

An automatic edit feature is the icing on the cake.

You can choose an awesome theme and get amazing effects, transitions, or music. This will help you produce a truly awesome shareable video.

An interesting feature well-suited to MTB trails is the game-changing horizon leveling.

Here, you can adjust the horizon in videos to keep it level even as you perform stunts, run, or do backflips.

Fitness Apps

Mountain biking is an excellent exercise to keep fit. And you can make sure that you get maximum benefit by using fitness tracking apps.

These two apps are among the best to try out.


MyFitnessPal can help you lose weight faster through mountain biking.

This app works in a fairly simple way: 

  1. Start by entering your weight and answering a few questions. 
  2. Set your weight-loss goal per week, ranging from 0-2 lbs. 
  3. The app shows you how many daily calories you should eat. 
  4. You log your daily exercise as the app monitors your daily performance.

MyFitnessPal has probably the biggest food database of 11+ million foods, including global items and cuisines.

Therefore, it will help you keep an excellent food diary.

What’s more, you can scan barcodes to log your daily food intake, since it recognizes 4+ million barcodes.

That’s not all…

You can even import nutrition information for your recipes.

It also features connectivity with Strava, the GPS cycling and running app, so you can automatically import data on rides and calories burned from your MTB adventures.

Garmin Connect

Garmin Connect provides a one-stop source for your health and fitness data.

It could also be the best app for tracking
mountain bike rides.

Although other MTB trail apps like Strava do
measure fitness related stats like heart rate and power output, only a truly
dedicated fitness app like Garmin Connect can provide enough training
statistics to maximize your performance.

What makes Garmin Connect stand out is the capability
to pair with other Garmin devices, including:

  •         A Garmin Fenix watch: Measures VO2 Max, water intake,
    menstrual cycle for the ladies, and so much more.
  •          The Garmin Edge® 130: A display device attached to your
    bike so you can keep your phone in the pocket.

You can also link such Garmin devices to Strava
or upload ride reports to Trailforks.

Garmin Connect isn’t just limited to mountain
biking, but also records many other activities including paddleboarding, yoga,
and golf.

Weather Apps

If you’ve never paid attention to weather reports, you’ll probably discover their importance when caught in a massive downpour on a long ride.

These apps will help you avoid such disastrous circumstances.


AccuWeather will give you today’s weather forecast, weather radar maps, live alerts, and detailed reports.

The app’s daily forecast snapshots are excellent for severe weather warnings, rain alerts, live radar, and even UV indexes (strength of sunburn-producing ultraviolet radiation). All these features ensure that you get early warning of potential weather challenges like extremely hot days, cold winter storms, or heavy rain.

With such advance warning you can take appropriate measures like carrying an extra jacket and jersey or wearing water resistant trousers. If conditions are projected to be severe, you might just postpone the ride. No need to go out just to get severe sunburn or end up freezing.

Despite having so many features, AccuWeather isn’t hard to use. 

It has a UI (user interface) that’s enjoyable to use with a beautiful, streamlined layout and stunning background features. You can quickly visualize all the relevant info you need.

Weather Underground

Weather Underground provides weather data at a microclimate level (relatively small areas within a few meters or less).

Using the app, you’ll get hyper-local weather forecasts with precise current conditions. The hyper-local updates come from your closest weather station.

That’s made possible by weather data coming from more than 250,000 personal weather stations, as well as a proprietary forecast model. You’ll also get weather data from Weather Underground’s Nexrad network, customizable weather alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and much more.

It features a hurricane and storm tracker, plus Doppler radar technology.

All that means you’ll always be prepared for microclimate conditions, including extreme rain or surprise drought. Apart from tracking current conditions, you’ll also get hourly and daily forecasts up to 10 days beforehand.

A whole range of weather data is available, including wind speed, wind direction, rain accumulation, pressure, and humidity.

Safety Apps

Safety should always be a key consideration when mountain biking. You need to ensure that you have the right equipment and skills to handle emergencies.

Having these apps will serve you well.

First Aid by British Red Cross

The British Red Cross First Aid app can help during your naturally risky off-road rides.

Even if you’ve already attended a first aid course, having the app may come in handy in case something goes terribly wrong. The app will guide you if you forget important first aid processes.

It can help when dealing with multiple incidences like bleeding or broken bones.

You can easily follow the well-written instructions, videos, and animations. Even prepare for emergency situations by testing yourself on your first aid knowledge using the app.

You’ll certainly be amazed by the extensive guides. The built in checklists can help you prepare for major scenarios like heat waves and terrorist attacks.

Hopefully, you won’t have to use it, but you certainly should have it just in case you need it.


what3words is a geo-locating app. 

It uses three-word codes to find any place on earth. This makes it valuable for multiple uses, including:

  •          making sure parcels get delivered to your house
  •          planning exact meet-up locations
  •          navigating to any destination easily
  •          use by police
  •          ambulance service
  •          mountain rescue teams

Essentially, it provides a simple way for you to get help when you need it.

If you’re stranded in a remote location and you have no idea exactly where you are, the three-code location from the app will tell rescuers exactly where you are.

But how is the code created?

what3words simply splits the planet’s entire surface into three-meter by three-meter squares. Each square is given a unique three-word code. For emergency service teams, that provides a rapid, simple and relatively foolproof method of sharing any location.

Coaching App

If you need to improve your cycling performance, one-on-one coaching is vital. However, an app can be the second best thing. Actually, it might provide more personalized performance guidance in specific areas.

Here’s a useful app to try out.


Coach.me is basically a “habit tracker.”

What makes it different from the numerous trail trackers is that it also has the option to access personal coaches who help you plan your workouts. Having such interactions with personal coaches will also add a level of accountability that leverages on the personal interaction.

One more beneficial feature is the community support which can help you achieve your goals.

The app tracks and shows you your progress, highlights your milestones, and provides answers to your questions.

Most importantly, it’s not just a fancy motivational app.

Instead, every aspect of Coach.me is designed based on current research on psychology and behavior design. This means developing a growth mindset, using powerful positive reinforcement, leveraging on external accountability for motivation, and harnessing your improvement efforts efficiently through deliberate practice.


As you may notice, there doesn’t seem to be one app that does everything.

Therefore, you’ll certainly need a handful of apps on your phone during your ride. To avoid the clutter, simply identify the best app for mountain bike trails that you use. Depending on your particular situation, some apps may be more necessary than others.

Leave a Comment