8 of the Best Mountain Biking Trail Apps

When you are an avid mountain bike trail rider, you are always looking for new ways to improve your ride. It is important to know where you are going before you get there. Check out this article to find all the answers about the best mountain bike trail ride apps.

A mountain biker stops at a desert road to check his watch.

As a mountain biker, you know the thrill you get when you are flying down a trail. I remember my first trail ride and how it was thrilling and scary at the same time. I did not know the trail, so that caused some interesting moments. Fortunately, I did not wipe out, but now I always use a mountain bike trail app. Continue reading to get all the details about the best mountain biking trail apps.

Strava

Strava has a simple to use interface that does not take much time to learn. It allows you to track your progress for miles or time. You are able to see how you rank compared to others. You can even follow your friends and engage in competition with them. Strava is also a social media platform for athletes. It can be your own personal trainer if you want it to.

Strava has one of the largest trail map resources available for any app. You can use one of the routes already provided in Strava, or create one of your own. You can upload the route you chose to your phone or another device to make it easier for you to follow. It provides heat maps so you can see the most popular trails in an area. Even if you are new to an area, Strava helps you feel right at home.

Strava offers security to mountain bikers while on a trail with its Beacon technology. You are able in real-time to share your location with anyone you choose. This allows them to know exactly where you are. They can even watch you move on your route if they want. Strava offers a free version of the app and you can upgrade to premium for a small monthly fee.

Strava is constantly working to improve its app and make it better for all riders. You will see constant updates from them.

Pros

App can be used for multiple sports, not just mountain biking

Can be used with iPhone or Android and smartwatches

Offers Beacon capability

Cons

Have to pay to unlock premium features, like Beacon

Focuses on the competition with others, instead of individual goals

MTB Project

Site homepage of the MTB Project app.

The MTB Project has an easy-to-use interface with color-coding that makes it easy to follow. It contains information about 86,000 miles of worldwide mountain bike trails, but it is really useful in the US. Riders that are local to an area submit information about the route, so the information is current.

The app has a review process, so they do not just let any information into the app. The MTB Project can work online and offline so you can still see the maps, pictures, comments, and ratings that other riders post even if you have no cell service. You are highlighted as a blue dot and are able to see your position on the map all the time.

The MTB Project not only gives directions while on the route but also gives directions to the route. If you get lost, the app will give you directions on how to get back home. When considering a route, you see a lot of information about the train, such as the conditions and what it looks like.

It even provides information and location about upcoming races. This app is completely free with no upsell. It doesn’t even have ads in it.

Pros

For mountain biking only

Can work both online and offline

Completely free

Cons

Does not connect to Strava

Not as many trails as other apps

Tracks a lot of information about the trail, not much about the rider

Trailforks

Site homepage of the Trail Forks app.

Trailforks (read my Trailforks app review here) is a free app that is available on both Apple and Android devices. This app has the widest range of trails because it has the largest database available covering over 380,000 miles in 123 countries.

Trail Forks has over 280,000 trails available in its database. It is simple to use and easy to learn. You download regions and then you can use the app online and offline. You can even plan your route while you are offline. This is especially helpful if you are on a route that does not have great cell coverage.

Trail Forks supports many different activities on a trail, such as horseback riding, snowmobiling, and dirt bike riding. It provides you with automatic routing to the beginning of your trail and gives you turn by turn directions to navigate the trails, so you do not have to worry about getting lost.

This app relies on feedback from riders to update the conditions, photos, and popularity of the trails. Trail Forks shows you topographic layer, heat maps, trail difficulty, and elevation. You can connect Trail Forks to Strava.

Pros

Can be used both online and offline

Uses less battery power

Has the largest database of trails available

Cons

Relies on riders to contribute information to expand

ViewRanger

Site homepage of the ViewRanger app.

ViewRanger has some of the most detailed maps available to mountain bikers. It gives you access to more than 1,000 routes and trails that have been already created within the app. It also provides trail information and GPS capability.

You are able to use this app online and offline for those rides that are in a no cell phone area. ViewRanger is capable of making your phone or tablet a fully functional GPS. You are able to save some of your battery life by turning off your Wi-Fi. This app allows you to see your location, the altitude, and the grid for your ride.

ViewRanger allows you to track your rides and save points. It has the capability to share your location with others that you choose. It provides basic functionality, but you can buy additional maps if the free version does not have what you want or need.

Pros

There is a free version available

BuddyBeacon capability

Cons

Have to pay for extra options

Will not work with Windows

Avenza PDF Maps

Site homepage of the Avenza PDF Maps app.

This is a free app that provides you the ability to download PDF files of geospatial spaces. These are called GeoPDFs. You can navigate the PDFs while you are out on the trail. Not all of the maps are available for free, so you will have to pay if you want to download them.

You can view these maps offline so you do not have to use extra battery power, and can still view them in a no cell zone. You are still able to locate yourself on the map because it uses the built-in GPS for your own device.

The Avenza PDF Maps app allows you to mark places on the map that you find interesting. You are able to upload pictures and add anything you want to places you mark on the map. You are able to see where you have been after your ride because you can record your route.

You are able to see your speed and elevation during your ride. You are also able to measure the distance between any two points that you select, as well as find your coordinates.

Pros

Available for activities other than biking

Can mark places of interest on the map

Cons

Some maps cost you money to download

MoveOn Fitness Tracker

MoveOn Sports Tracker
Click image for more info

This mountain biking trail app makes sure that they maintain your privacy which allows you to share the trails you have completed over social media platforms. You can use this app without logging on to accounts. MoveOn Fitness Tracker allows you to switch easily and smoothly between various measurements. This app is simple to use and learn.

You can shift the view on your screen between a horizontal or vertical view. The home screen is completely customizable so that it will look exactly how you want and need it to. You can even create a setting that pauses your activity when the app does not detect motion for a set period of time.

It has an offline mode that allows you to track all of your activity even when you do not have a signal. You are able to save your routes and see possible routes with photos that have been geolocated. You are able to view all of your statistics and share all your workouts across social media platforms. MoveOn Fitness Tracker also captures a full history of your activity, including distance, speed, calories, and altitude.

You are able to calculate elevation. You can see your routes on the map. You have instant access to voice commands and can hear distance, time, and other information. You are able to manage your heart rate and can set many different heart zones and then check out your results. You can even create interval training. MoveOn Fitness Tracker allows you to back up and restore your system with all your information inappropriate settings.

Pros

Allows you to track more activities than just mountain biking

You can track up to 48 activities

You can manually enter additional acclivities that are not included

Cons

The app has been known to crash often

The app requires a lot of battery and drains power quickly

MyFitnessPal

Site homepage of the MyFitnessPal app.

This app is intended to help an average mountain biker become a more advanced mountain biker. This app can help improve speed and endurance. This app has always been intended to help many lose weight and stay on target with their fitness goals. That is still the case for this app for use with mountain biking.

The app does ask you for your weight when you set up the app. It asks you many questions during the setup, including how much weight you would like to lose per week. It then tells you how many calories you should eat. This app allows you to track your exercise and understand how many calories you are burning. This app also provides you motivation and support to keep you going.

Pros

Allows you to connect to Strava

Cons

Not really intended for an advanced rider

Requires you to enter your weight

Road ID

Site homepage of the Road ID app.

This app is not exactly for mountain biking trails, but it does give your friends and family peace of mind while you are on the trail. It has GPS tracking which means they are able to track you while you are on the trail. They are able to track you in real-time while you are actually moving with eCrumb tracking. This app is compatible with Apple and Android.

This app allows you to customize your lock screen with important personal information, such as your name, medical information, and emergency contacts. This information displays in case of an emergency.

This way if you are in an accident, the important information is available on your phone screen for anyone helping you. If you have not moved for a certain period of time, the app will automatically send a text to those whom you have predetermined.

Pros

eCrumb GPS for real-time tracking

Emergency notification

Cons

Not truly a mountain biking trail app

FAQ section

What is a mountain bike trail app?

A mountain bike trail app is an app that first and foremost provides you with the best mountain bike trails in whatever area you are located. They give you turn by turn navigation so that you never get lost on the trail. They also provide you with instructions on how to get to the trail so you are truly never lost.

Some of the mounting bike trail apps have social features that allow you to share your ride information with friends and even engage in friendly competition. They provide training tools and the ability to log your rides.

The best app provides you with an easy to use interface that gives you access with a simple swipe of the finger. They also allow you to send real-time alerts to your friends so they can track your ride. These apps can track your heart rate, power, and speed and track them.

How are they useful?

A mountain bike trail app provides the rider the ability to see the trail and terrain before they ever hit the trail. In addition, it provides turn by turn navigation while on the trail, so you are never lost. You can also send alerts and texts about your activity. It gives the rider a sense of security while out on the trail.

Where to buy it?

You can get most of these apps from the various app stores, whether it is the Apple store or the Android store. Many of these apps can be downloaded from either of these stores. In most cases, you do not need anything more than a smartphone or other device.

Some apps do work with smartwatches or other types of devices. Some apps are even able to be downloaded on Amazon. A quick search enables you to find the app you want and determine where you can download them.

What is the average cost?

Most of these apps have a free version, but oftentimes they have limited features or functionality. There are some apps that are solely available for free. The apps that have a fee associated with them range in price from $0.99 per month to $59 per year. Some of the free apps do not have a fee schedule but will charge you to download additional maps that you may want. Each app offers different functionality with the free version of their app.

Do you have to be an experienced rider to use these apps?

There are various types of mountain bike trail apps available to you. Many of them are easy to use and have simple interfaces. Any skill level of rider can use these apps, but there may be some features that you do not use until you are a more advanced rider.

These apps may be even more helpful to those who are new to mountain bike trails because they are not as familiar with trails. These apps can provide the rider with pictures and images of the trail, as well as turn by turn navigation. These apps can even redirect riders if they get lost.

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