The Best Mountain Bike Apps on Earth

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In Canada, the Northern US, and parts of Europe avid riders and adventure seekers are starting to put away their mountain bikes and are waxing up their skis. But in other areas of the world, mountain biking is just kicking into gear. Take Florida for example, where mountain bikers are breathing a sigh of relief that the humid weather is gone and hitting the trails in Alafia River State Park and Balm Boyette. Or New Zealand, Australia and Peru where summer is just getting started and where the constructed mountain bike trails rival the best in the world. Or the country of Morocco in North Africa where mountain biking guides such as Abdu of Trekking Morocco Mountains say their season is now in full swing and they’re “doing tours of Toubkal National Park, Mgoun High Atlas Central, Jebel Saghro- and Tafraout Mountain.” There are even mountain bike tours in the Sahara desert, he says!

For this article GuideAdvisor contacted ten mountain bike guides around the world to ask them their opinion about what the best mobile apps are for the sport. Our panel of experts included guides in Italy, Canada, USA, Morocco, and Spain and many chose similar apps, which are listed below. What each of them stressed, though, is that mapping apps are not a good substitute for hiring a guide who will be able to take you to secret trails that only the locals know about. They’ll also regale you with stories of the local culture and scene and take care of any organizational factors, which is especially handy in places where a different language is spoken. And so here are the eight best apps according to mountain biking guides around the globe.

Bike Doctor 2.0

All the mountain bike guides we interviewed for this piece said they have skills when it comes to fixing bikes because they need to get you going again should you break down on the trail. However, chances are you don’t have the same skills. That’s where Bike Doctor 2.0 comes in. The app’s literature states: “Whenever you have a problem with your bike, load up the app, tap the part of your bike with an issue and follow the detailed instructions.” And it works! Its easy-to-follow guidelines take the guesswork out of bike maintenance and, unlike a large how-to manual, it fits in your pocket so you can use it to help with maintenance mid-ride. (iOS, Android $4.99)

Coach’s Eye

This is probably the best app I use,” says Shaun Fry, a coach and guide in the mountain biking mecca of Whistler who works alongside Matt Delaney at Arbutus Routes.  ”A freestyle ski coach put me onto it and I use this in the bike park for skills coaching. Typically I’ll take my tablet to use, as its a much bigger screen for analysis. It’s a video recording app that lets you scroll frame by frame and draw on the screen. It’s great to give direct video feedback to clients – I get them to film me while I demo a corner or jump; then I film them doing the same move. We can do a side-by-side comparison to clearly see what they can improve on; we can then compare their own attempts and show how they change. Over the lesson or the season we can go back over the footage and show them how their technique has improved.” (iOS, Android, Windows $4.99)

Spoke Tension Gauge

This is a cool app that helps you true the wheels of your bike by sound. All you have to do is pluck on your spokes like a guitar string and its tension is shown on the screen. A few of the guides interviewed can do this by ear but for those of us who can’t, this makes the job that much easier. (iOS $4.99)

Superburst Camera

Most of the mountain bike guides said that part of their job is taking photographs of their clients. Generally, they’ll be handed a smartphone and requested to take an action shot of the person biking. The tough part about that is most cameras on mobile devices have limited shutter speed. But Camera Burst fixes that: it takes 25 max-resolution photos every second! Perfect for capturing every moment of a client’s sweet job. (iOS $1.99)

TailMapps

Chris Ford, the owner of Whistler Bike Guides, says the personally doesn’t use a map app as he’s familiar with all the trails around the area but that one of his business partners uses Trailmapps, which is a “good app for our area.” Indeed, Tailmapps is currently available for different places around British Columbia and Alberta but it is one of the most popular mapping apps on the market and it’s already starting to go global: Trailmapps Rotorua just launched for this popular mountain biking area in New Zealand and more are sure to follow. Of course, these maps only show you the registered trails around the area. Our advice is to hire a mountain bike guide to show you the sweet secret spots first and then turn to a map app. (iOS, Android $9.99-$14.99)

Strava

This is the most popular mountain bike app out there. Says Matt Delaney‘s co-worker Shaun Fry, “The number one question I get after a guided tour is “How far/long do you think we rode?”. I can be on a different bike for tours but the phone is always with me so I tend to rely on the phone more than a dedicated bike computer.” Strava tracks your distance, suggests routes and allows you to compare your time to other users. (iOS, Android Free)

Gravatron

You could use the popular Strava app listed above and it will tell you how fast you went compared to your friends, or you can use Gravatron, which records how much air time you got! (iOS Free)

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