Best mountain bike computers 2024 – the top-rated MTB GPS computers ranked by our testers

GPS computers grid layout
(Image credit: Future)

Selecting the best mountain bike computer can be challenging, with so many options choosing one that fits your own riding requirements is important. So whether you're looking for navigation, hunting those Strava segments, training for your next race, or simply wanting to record your rides for prosperity, we've chosen and tested some of the best around, and hopefully it makes the decision slightly easier for you.

Most of the GPS computers below have similar or shared features and these handlebar-mounted powerhouse devices will generally all come with GPS tracking, Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a host of other metrics ranging from speed, distance, and power, to training stress score and Strava Live Segments.

Out of the units we've had a good look over our top MTB computer pick is the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar, and our best value buy is the Garmin Edge 130 Plus, but there are plenty offerings from somewhat lesser-known brands like Hammerhead, Sigma and Lezyne, all worthy of consideration.

If you're less bothered about full mapping or studying live stats as you ride, a GPS smartwatch is another option well worth considering.

See the bottom of this article for our guide on which features to look for when purchasing a mountain bike computer. 

Best mountain bike computers

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We'll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

The quick list

1. Best overall

A GPS bike computer mounted to a pair of handlebars

Garmin says the solar charging extends battery life up to 45 hours between charges or 100 hours with full power saving  (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar

The best GPS device for those looking for advanced features and navigation

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: Garmin Cycle Maps
Claimed battery life: Up to 45 hours
Screen size: 3.5in/89mm diagonal

Reasons to buy

+
Long solar-boosted battery life
+
MTB dynamics and Trail Forks integration
+
Can connect to any sensor and track any metric
+
Shows Shimano STEPS data on-screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Large device takes up a lot of handlebar space
-
Top spec means top price

In the crowded GPS computer market, they don't come any more powerful than the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar which makes it the flagship product in Garmin's GPS cycling computer range, and it takes the crown of 'best overall' in this buyer's guide. Garmin says the Edge 1040 is the ultimate GPS bike computer, and it's hard to argue against that when you delve into the mind-boggling amount of features which were also recently updated to make it even more powerful.

Leading the way on the stacked feature list is the multi-band GNSS that gives spot-on GPS accuracy. The huge 3.5-inch touchscreen, has a pin-sharp resolution (282 x 470 pixels), and the massive screen means you never miss any of the stats during your ride. Powering the display is the all important battery life, which is huge – a whopping 45 hours, that extends up to 100 hours in battery saver mode. The battery goes even with solar charging with the Garmin Power Glass topping up the battery as you ride, which can add up to 42 minutes per hour in battery saver mode.

A lot of the features revolve around improving fitness including cycling abilities and course demand ratings, performance monitoring, and real-time stamina insights all aimed at helping you get faster on the bike. As part of the recent update Garmin added a new workout and training plan feature, that directly prompts and updates you from the device homepage, so you never miss any training days.

This just scrapes the surface of what the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar can do and although its downside is the cost, there's a non-solar 1040 version with all the same features but it's significantly cheaper.

2. Best value

Garmin Edge 130 Plus on bike handlebars

The basic black-and-white screen is high contrast and easy to read (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)
Small, simple, but still very powerful

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: Breadcrumb
Claimed battery life: 12 hours (normal use)
Screen size: 1.8in/45mm diagonal

Reasons to buy

+
Small and slim form factor helps keep it out of harm’s way
+
Clear screen
+
Easy to use buttons
+
Climb Pro works very well for pacing
+
Mountain bike dynamic metrics extend tangible data points

Reasons to avoid

-
Menu isn’t always intuitive
-
Navigators will want more than breadcrumb routing

It might be Garmin's cheapest GPS computer, but its small form hides plenty of features and a good battery life means that if you are looking for a good way to record a day on the trails, the 130 Plus is one of the best and represents terrific value for money.

The 130 Plus is able to connect to any Ant+ or Bluetooth sensor so it can record a whole array of metrics if needed, including Garmin's ClimbPro and the best mountain bike data like Grit, Flow, and Airtime. Our tester found the basic but high-contrast black-and-white screen easy to read and that the button navigation worked really well – even when wearing gloves.

Although its one weakness was the actual navigation, He found the breadcrumb trail mapping pretty basic when compared to some of its rival devices. He noted that for those riding waymarked trail centers or local trails, that the lack of 'proper' mapping wouldn't be an issue, but if you intended to do any gravel bike riding or tackle some of the best bikepacking adventures where navigation is more important, then he recommended looking at the Garmin Edge 530 instead.

Read our Garmin Edge 130 Plus review for more details.

3. Best mapping

Garmin Edge 530 GPS Cycling Computer

The Edge 530 comes with both Garmin Cycle Maps and Trail Forks pre-installed (Image credit: Josh Croxton)
One of Garmin's best bike computers to date

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: Garmin Cycle Maps, Trail Forks Map
Claimed battery life: 20 hours (normal use)
Screen size: 2.6in/66mm diagonal

Reasons to buy

+
Mapping is clear and simple
+
New, faster processor
+
New performance metrics

Reasons to avoid

-
Fiddly to set up
-
Map browsing is a button-pressing marathon

The Garmin Edge 530 is the follow-up to the uber-successful Edge 520, and expanded on the rich training suite and added a faster processor which massively improved on mapping performance. It has both Garmin Cycle Maps and TrailForks pre-installed, so wherever you ride, it'll have you finding your way easily.

In his testing, out tester had a few initial headaches with setup, but found the long list of features made up for that, noting that the Edge 530 was a great device, fast, clear, and would make a great addition to anyone's mountain bike riding.

Battery life is around 20 hours, 40 in battery-saver mode, so another great option if heading out on your best mountain biking adventures. The 530 also features Garmin's MTB Flow and Grit metrics, perfect for tracking all your MTB stats. Flow uses built-in accelerometers to detect how smoothly you flow through a trail, while Grit gives trails a difficulty score based on the data from the accelerometer, GPS, and elevation data. There’s also an Airtime counter and the Edge 530 features ForkSight which automatically swaps to a trail map screen when you stop. 

The Edge 530 also gets access to the excellent Garmin Connect store, meaning you can add apps like Accuweather, Yelp, and Komoot among others, download data fields, and the computer can also talk to the Garmin Varia Radar lights.

Want more detail? Check out our Garmin Edge 530 review.

4. Best interaction

Hammerhead Karoo 2

The touchscreen is backed up by four physical buttons around the edge so you can still scroll in the pouring rain (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Hammerhead's Karoo 2 is smaller, lighter, and more capable than its previous generation

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular
Companion app: No
Navigation: OpenStreet Map
Claimed battery life: 12 hours
Screen size: 3.2in/82mm diagonal

Reasons to buy

+
Touchscreen
+
Usefully detailed mapping
+
Secure mount
+
Intuitive UI

Reasons to avoid

-
Thick 
-
No easy 'beacon' follow setting
-
Short battery life
-
Poor off-road mapping

Hammerhead's Karoo was already one of the best cycling computers around, and the brand has improved on the product with the Karoo 2. Externally, the computer is now slimmer and sleeker than the original model, plus it's now on a par with the weight of rival units at 135g.

Although it’s not without its problems – like being unable to control your smartphone from the device, a broader training app and no SRAM AXS compatibility, when Guy Kesteven tested the Karoo 2, it still scored an impressive 80 percent. He highlighted its responsive touchscreen, screen quality, physical interfacing, comprehensive data, and that it had some really well presented, genuinely useful pop-up features and navigation prompts, which made the Karoo 2 one of the easiest and most enjoyable GPS units he had used.

The Karoo 2 has plenty functions that you'd expect from one of the best MTB GPS computers, and is powered by an Android operating system. To handle the operating system and assure snappy performance speeds Hammerhead has added a powerful quad-core, smartphone-grade processor, so mapping rides is easy, with Guy adding that the OSM-based color mapping and pop-up navigation prompts were really useful.

A major selling point is the price, which is significantly cheaper than some rival GPS computers with similar functions and performance attributes like Garmin's 1040. Hammerhead also offers a trade-in program for Karoo owners to upgrade to the newest model at a discount. 

We've got a full Hammerhead Karoo 2 review if you want to read more.

5. Best large screen

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus has a huge 3.5in color touchscreen, making it easy to create routes  (Image credit: Colin Levitch)
Packed full of navigational and training features, the Edge 1030 Plus is supremely easy to use

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: Garmin Cycle Maps
Claimed battery life: 20 hours
Screen size: 3.5in/89mm diagonal

Reasons to buy

+
Massive color touchscreen
+
MTB dynamics and Trail Forks integration
+
Every metric you could ever want to track
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Incident detection too sensitive
-
Large device could be more prone to damage

The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus was the long standing top-dog in the best GPS computer market, setting a gold standard for cycling computers and navigation. It was superseded by our 'best overall' winner – the Edge 1040, but that doesn't mean the Edge 1030 can't still cut it as a great GPS computer option.

For a much more wallet friendly price you get the same large screen as its 1040 sibling at 3.5-inches, and with the same resolution too. So if a nice big touchscreen is top of your list while shopping for a GPS device, then the 1030 Plus is our recommended contender.

It has most of the same features that come in Garmin's flagship 1040 device included like Dynamic Performance Insights, TrainingPeaks Workouts, and all the training metrics you'll probably ever need.

Battery life doesn't quite match up to the 1040 though, but at around 24 hours of impressive battery power, it'll have you covered for most of your rides. Mapping also matches up with the 1040 using the Garmin's preloaded cycle maps and also the TrailForks app too, so whether you’re riding mountain, gravel or road, key map information based on ride type is really easy to use.

Get the full details in our Garmin Edge 1030 Plus review.

6. Best clear design

Wahoo Elemnt Roam V2

The Elemnt Roam V2 has a great feature set, including Summit Segments which helps you pace climbs (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Wahoo Elemnt Roam V2

Wahoo Elemnt Roam puts a premium on user interface and usability

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: OpenStreet Map
Claimed battery life: 17 hours
Screen size: 2.7in/68.58mm diagonal

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use 
+
Rich feature set
+
Detailed maps
+
Easy-to-read screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Evolutionary, not revolutionary

The Elemnt Roam V2 is Wahoo's newest version of its top-of-the-range Elemnt Roam. Visually, there's not much to see much in the way of changes, Wahoo has stuck with its proven screen size, LED, and button layout. In fact, the only real physical change is that the buttons on the front are now much easier to use.

It's the insides that have seen the biggest updates, and the Roam V2 now uses Dual Band GPS for more accuracy in the deepest of forests or when surrounded by big buildings. Storage is upped to a reasonable 32GB, so there is more space for routes, maps, and workouts. There are two new sensors too, a compass and gyroscope, although Wahoo is yet to utilize these. The unit gets a new climbing feature called Summit Segments to help pace climbs, pre-loaded routes, Systm Outdoor Workouts for training, and Public Route Sharing. 

Where Wahoo excels is its usability. The screen is very simple to read on the move and the map design is clear for easy navigation. The app works really well and reliably syncs between device and app.

With a claimed 17 hours of battery life, the Roam carries over Wahoo’s nifty phone integration for easy setup and customization, free worldwide map downloads, and the brand’s signature quick-zoom function which lets you increase or decrease the data fields showing with the push of a button.

7. Best mid-price

Sigma Rox 12.1 Evo GPS unit

The Sigma Rox 12.1 Evo has loads of super-intuitive features (Image credit: Sean Fishpool)
Classy touchscreen GPS with plenty features and great price

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: OpenStreet Map
Claimed battery life: 14 hours
Screen size: 3in touch screen

Reasons to buy

+
Super intuitive to use
+
Great phone companion app
+
Good road routing
+
Decent price
+
Plays nicely with Strava and Komoot and training apps

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor at creating off-road routes
-
No TrailForks
-
Battery life is ok but not amazing

The Rox Evo 12.1 is way more than just a lower priced Garmin competitor. Packed with high quality, a big improvement over step up from Rox 12.0 Sport. For a fairly mid-priced unit it carries plenty of bang for its buck, and is a worthy challenger in the MTB GPS computers market.

Our tester, Sean Fishpool, was keen to point out its many standout features including a new zoom buttons function, alongside the touchscreen. It also had excellent smartphone integration with a great app that was easy to set up and transferred routes quickly to the device.

The battery life is a claimed 14 hours which puts it well in to play with similar big named rivals from Garmin and Wahoo. Sean felt the device struggled in creating routes with no TrailForks compatibility but the draw function that allows you to draw a line across that then matched to roads and tracks, more than made up for this.

The Rox 12.1 Evo has got plenty going for it in terms of usability, compatibility and price, and worth consideration if you fancy something outside the normal GPS brands.

For more info, see our Sigma Rox 12.1 Evo review and our Garmin Explore 2 vs Sigma Rox 12.1 Evo head-to-head. 

8. Best compact

Wahoo Bolt V2

The Bolt V2 has a 2.2in color screen and an ambient light sensor for riding in low light (Image credit: Wahoo)

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2

Full-featured head unit with great battery life that doesn’t cost a limb

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: OpenStreet Map
Claimed battery life: 15 hours
Screen size: 2.2in/56mm diagonal

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and aero 
+
15-hour battery life
+
Ambient light sensor
+
USB-C charge port

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen is a bit small for lots of navigation

Wahoo's Elemnt Bolt is basically a more compact version of the brand's first Elemnt computer. It has all the same features, minus one set of LEDs along the side of the screen, half the memory at 16GB, and a shorter battery life – claimed to be at 15 hours.

Like the Roam, the Bolt uses Wahoo's companion app for setup, but it’s a streamlined and intuitive process and the ease of use is second to none. It's excellent for data fields, but when it comes to navigation the small screen makes it a little more challenging to figure out where you’re supposed to go.

Navigation wise, the device comes with pre-loaded global maps optimized for bike-friendly routes and turn-by-turn navigation. Like its larger cousin, the Bolt also features tons of training metrics, support for both ANT+ and Bluetooth, as well as Wi-Fi for speedy uploads to Strava, Training Peaks, or wherever else you’d like your rides to be stored.

9. Best battery life

Lezyne Super Pro

With a non-touch, black-and-white screen, the Super Pro has an excellent battery life (Image credit: Lezyne)

Lezyne Super Pro

Impressive features at an affordable price

Specifications

Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth
Companion App: Yes
Navigation: Breadcrumb, Basemap through the app
Claimed battery life: 28 hours
Screen size: 32.6mm (W) x 39.8mm (L)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life
+
Affordable
+
Portrait or landscape orientation

Reasons to avoid

-
Phone needed to start routes and upload rides
-
Not as intuitive to use

Best known for flashy pumps and drool-worthy tools, Lezyne delved into the GPS cycling computer market in 2016, and its line of Super GPS computers has found a good balance between functionality and price point.

Using a non-touch, black-and-white screen, the Super Pro boasts an impressive claimed battery life of 28 hours. So for cost v's battery life make this GPS unit a great choice if battery life on a budget is your preference.

It has plenty of other performance features worthy of a look, and the computer supports ANT+ sensors including power meters and can store up to 800 hours of ride data. The companion app facilitates quick uploads and automatically pushes ride data to Strava, Training Peaks, or Today’s Plan.

The head unit can also help you chase Strava KOMs/QOMs with Live Segments, it has smartphone compatibility and will let you know if it's your kids or work calling during your ride, with on-screen notifications, and offers electronic drivetrain integration through ANT+.

The Super Pro does offer turn-by-turn navigation, though you’ll need to kick off the route using your mobile phone. In lieu of a pre-installed base map, you’ll also need to sync offline maps from something like Ride With GPS or Komoot.

How to choose the best MTB GPS computer

What is the best GPS for mountain biking?

Mountain biking as a sport is a very broad spectrum, so riders' feature requirements when looking for the best GPS are going to vary a lot. Gravity-based riders are probably looking for an easy and reliable way to record their rides, while cross-country riders might put more value on training features. Ultra-endurance riders will need high-quality mapping and long battery life while racers will want effort and pacing strategies.

Once you have decided on the features and hardware you need, then you can better decide on the best GPS for mountain biking for you. Prices for worthy, older GPS computer models start at around $150 / £150, while the latest models are nearer $500 / £500.  

How much should I spend on a MTB GPS computer?

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, so spending more will get you more, whereas if you only need basic functions, you can get away with spending less.

Depending on how much money you have to spend, your computer may have base maps, interval timers, in-depth power metrics, a color touchscreen, and more connectivity than you can shake a stick at, or it might be a simple, compact unit with a black-and-white display and basic training metrics. 

Every computer on the market will give you data fields such as speed, distance, and time. Generally, the more money you spend, the more features and functions you will get. 

Which GPS computers are best for connectivity?

Don't worry, even at the bottom end of the spectrum, most GPS computers will support an ANT+ or Bluetooth connection to a heart-rate monitor, plus speed and cadence sensors. However, some less-expensive units may not support power meters.

More computers are beginning to work with both ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors now. There are still a few hold-outs sticking to one or the other, but the majority will facilitate a Bluetooth connection to your phone for on-screen notifications, firmware updates, and the like. Further still, some computers also connect to your home Wi-Fi network to allow for your ride to be on Strava before you’ve taken your helmet and sunglasses off.

Which computer is best for GPS and mapping?

Most cycle computers feature a GPS chip, as well as access to other satellite networks like GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo, and offer some definition of navigation. 

Many also have a base map pre-installed which allows for turn-by-turn directions, on-the-fly redirection and some allow you to create routes and courses directly on the device. 

More budget-friendly head units won’t have a base map, but may still offer what’s called ‘breadcrumb’ navigation, where the computer will display your route as a line that you’re meant to follow. The most sophisticated units use multi-band GNSS that gives the most accurate GPS tracking available, enabling the bike computer to give reliable positioning.

What size screen do I need?

As you go up in price, you get features such as touchscreen and color screens, but these aren't always something you’ll necessarily need. 

While touchscreens are great for swiping through pages of metrics or maneuvering maps, if you're wearing full-finger gloves or if it's raining, the screen may not function as advertised. 

The same goes for color displays, which only really become a necessity if you’re using maps. Think about how you'll be using your computer, and then decide which type of screen will best serve your purposes.

Can I connect my GPS to third-party apps?

Of course. Extras such as Strava Live Segments, on-screen workouts populated by Today’s Plan, Training Peaks and TrainerRoad, uploadable training metrics and data fields, drivetrain and light integration, the companion app, and more, all make up the wonderful world of cycling computers. 

Where these features are available will depend on the computer you choose, but they are not reserved for the premium units, and you’ll see features like Strava Live Segments and drivetrain integration trickling into mid- and lower-range units.

How we test MTB GPS computers

Our expert reviewers have put our recommended best MTB GPS computers through their paces on a wide range of riding situations, over many hours of hard riding to test out all of the many features these powerful units have. Everything from GPS accuracy, mapping, fitness features, battery performance and everything in-between to make our buying advice the best around, and ensure you get the best cycling computer to suit your needs.

Meet the testers

Bike Perfect's Richard Owen
Rich Owen

Rich has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. He's an avid recorder of all his rides and likes to navigate wilder trips by GPS computer.

Guy Kesteven
Guy Kesteven

Guy’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. Guy's traveled remote routes by bike so knows his way around GPS units too.

Sean Fishpool
Sean Fishpool

Sean has old school cycle touring in his blood, with a coast to coast USA ride and a number of month-long European tours in his very relaxed palmares. Sean is no stranger to bikepacking and a GPS is essential.

Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich is the editor of the Bikeperfect.com team. He has worked as a print and internet journalist for over 24 years and has been riding mountain bikes for over 30. Rich mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races. A resident of North Devon, Rich can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 68kg

With contributions from