The True Best Mountain Bike Computers – 2017 Edition
Mountain bikes have really come a long way since they were first produced and sought after. With the advancements mountain bikes have today, compared to even just twenty years ago, you can see a huge change in the product design and features.
When scoping out the best mountain bike computer on the market today, there are many products for you to choose between, but we’ll show you our reviews on the products and help you decide!
Mountain Bikes Have Computers?!
In our modern society, everything is always being upgraded, changed, wired and wireless, and yes, you can even find a computer for your mountain bike! I do think it’s different than what you’re imagining!
We’ll help you figure out what the computer is, what it’s used for, and help you to determine what the best option for you when deciding between Bluetooth bike computer options that are available.
Is This Really a Computer?
When we’re talking about the best mountain bike computer, we’re talking about computer devices that really help you out when mountain biking. Even with the high-tech smartphone apps and GPS units available, some prefer the old cycling computer.
After you purchase your mountain bike computer, you must install the program onto it following the instructions. Make sure to read the instructions carefully to ensure your product works correctly.
These are simpler computers to use rather than bringing out your cell phone or programming your GPS. Mountain bike computers add to a more straightforward type of riding before phones and GPS units were made to take over.
What Does the Computer Do?
Mountain bike computers use a device that attaches to the wheel and can tell how fast the front wheel spins, allowing the computer to calculate your speed.
They also tell time, can use a timer, the temperature, and some can even tell you the angles you’re riding at, the number of calories burned, and how far you’ve ridden.
Overall, it does depend on the type of mountain bike computer you get, but research the features you like and make sure to get what you want on a computer.
The advantage of using a mountain bike computer is that you will get accurate readings on speed and distance with a mountain bike computer rather than with a smartphone app or GPS.
You will also be risking a lot less expensive device, while a basic mountain bike computer can cost you about $10, and a smartphone and GPS could cost you in the multi-hundreds.
The basic mountain bike computer comes with everything you need; the hookup cables, the holder, and the computer, while for the smartphone app you need to buy an additional device to accurately sync with your bike.
Overall, we are looking at the advantages of:
- Easier to use
- Simple design
- Compatible with all bikes
- All parts included
- Easy to read
As with any product, there are some disadvantages to using a mountain bike computer. They’re limited as to what they can do. They are small devices, easy to lose and misplace. They are cheap, which could mean they don’t always work the best.
The computers aren’t as detailed as the apps can be and usually can’t program a route to ride. The computers cannot give you directions, make an emergency call, or listen to music. The computer is just for statistical data, rather than for fun and entertainment along with your ride.
The overall disadvantages of the computers are:
- Questionable reliability
- Basic statistics
- No music
- No phone calls
- No emergency calling
- Basic product
- No route planning
Why Should I Use the Best Mountain Bike Computer?
When you are deciding between a mountain bike computer, a smartphone app, and a GPS, the wireless bike computer reviews really speak for themselves.
If you want a device that can listen to music and plan a bike route, as well as hook into you bike computer; then you should consider a smartphone with an ANT+ and Bluetooth capability.
If you are looking just to make sure you stay on course and don’t get off the beaten path all while enjoying the beautiful sounds of nature, then you would be great with a GPS.
While these devices are handy and all serve their purpose, the mountain bike computer gives accurate bike readings along with your distance traveled. These are reliable with their data and are 99% accurate.
Carrying a smartphone, or any phone, is great for emergencies, but the computer will give you the data you need to improve your performance and your distance covered.
Best Mountain Bike Computer Review
It is a large-screened computer that is easy to navigate and use. You can easily reset your trip data to start again, check your data such as calories, carbon offset, and your averages.
This computer is reliable, calculates accurate data, and is simple to use. It is lightweight, mounts in place securely, and runs on battery. The bike powers the unit to turn on, and when not in use, goes into a power saver mode.
The computer is stuck in place by double-sided tape to a plastic frame that is zip-tied on. The wire cannot fully reach the desired design mechanism; however, this is a great computer if you are looking for a basic computer that is easy to use.
- Easy to use
- Mount is cheap
- Runs on batteries
- Wire is too short
- Rolls on handlebars
It has a large and easy to read screen, is wireless and waterproof, durable, and is suitable for all bike types.
This computer allows the user to be at ease without the troublesome wires that some devices have.
This computer is wireless and comes with a sensor and a magnet to check the wheel rotation to calculate speed. The spacing must be .3in from the sensor to the magnet, or the device will not work.
This computer is lightweight, backlit at night, helps with bicycle safety, and can withstand water.
It can track your speed, trip distance, averages, tell you the time, and has a compare option for trip differences.
- Lots of features
- Data collection
- Bicycle safety
- Water- and weather-proof
- Sensor and Magnet within .3in
- Wireless signal can be unreliable
- Not good for small bikes
- Readings can be inaccurate
- Not user-friendly
It is a wireless computer that is easy to use, small in size, lightweight, and waterproof. This computer can measure speed, distance, trips, reminds you about maintenance, and much more.
There is a slight rattling noise due to the wireless function. However, it mounts securely and works well.
It is durable and removable which allows for easy storage or changing to another bike. However, if moving to another bike, it will need a new mount.
The range of the transmitter is about 2 feet before it won’t read the signal, so the computer must be mounted over the transmitter.
- Good Mount
- Needs to be above the transmitter
- Mount is one use
- Short Wireless Transmitting
It is a computer that gives advanced data such as, heart rate and pulse. It is ANT+ compatible to allow for easy transition to reading your data on your smartphone.
This computer allows you to set a workout plan, goals, and log activities in an online community.
The computer reads inclines and descents, as well as supports your heart and power zones while riding. The battery is rechargeable and can hold a charge for about 18 hours. The screen has a backlight option and is large and easy to use.
It has a simple mount that allows for easy installation and security. It comes with all the necessary attachments including heart rate sensors to accurately measure your heart rate.
- Large screen
- Secure Mount
- ANT+ compatible
- Can use program on computer
- Not easy to read in a quick glance
- Hard to push buttons
- Low screen quality
- Has been known to be unreliable
It is a computer that is made sustainably with high-quality materials. It is durable and long-lasting and has a four-line display.
It is multi-functional including the temperature, time, distance, ride time, and speed.
It is waterproof and comes with a lifetime guarantee. This computer is small, lightweight, and is easy to use.
It can be used with any bike, and it is wireless. The computer is easy to install, works well, and has a good mount.
- Lifetime Guarantee
- Use with any bike
- The switch isn’t a real switch
- The temperature can be off
- The mount for the transmitter can break
- Can get interference
- Will not work in below freezing weather
The Best of The Best
Going through the mountain bike computers and looking at them in detail, we can see that the Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer with 4-Line Display and Temperature is the best option to buy.
The pros outweigh the cons, and we can see that this product is the best value. It is multifunctional and can provide a lot of data for its rider. Gaging the temperature, providing a riding time and how far you’ve traveled is a great feature for riders to know when to stop or take a break.
Overall, this computer is the best mountain bike computer that you can find from the ones we’ve listed above. The Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer with 4-Line Display and Temperature will do what you want it to do and more.