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7 of the best drones for mountain biking
Drones have revolutionized a lot of industries. In the beginning, just a few years ago, drones were used mostly only in military actions. However, nowadays, drones found a way to infiltrate themselves in a lot of professional and civil areas. One of those areas is bicycle touring and mountain biking.
It’s difficult to go biking and handle a drone at the same time, but the invention of “follow me” drones resolved this issue and was a huge change in the industry. Today, you don’t need to have an extra person on your bike in order to take beautiful images and record videos.
Are you a professional biker? Or do you just want to go biking once in a while? If the answer is yes to at least one of these questions, bear with us, since in this article we will show the best drones for mountain biking and bicycle touring.
Based on our thorough investigation of the best drones for biking we made a list that includes DJI Mavic 3, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Autel Evo 2, Holy Stone HS720 Black, DJI Mavic Air 2S, Parrot ANAFI, and SkyDio 2.
Note: Keep in mind that these are only our opinions based on my thorough investigation of the best drone bicycle touring and mountain biking In any case, please do your own research before deciding which ones are the most suitable ones for your goals and needs.
At this point, it is good to note that all opinions and suggestions written in this article are not considered financial advice.
DJI Mavic 3
DJI Mavic 3 is the first drone on our list for best drones for bicycle touring and mountain biking. This drone is considered one of the most popular ones in the industry. Mavic 3 is still a new drone since it was launched back in November of 2021 and became popular very quickly. The main reason why Mavic 3’s popularity grew rapidly is the fact that the equipment of the drone is top-notch. One of the main features is a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera
Furthermore, the maximum flight time of Mavic 3 is ~46 minutes while the transmission range is almost 30 kilometers. Also, the battery’s capacity is – 5000 mAh. The weight of the drone is 895 grams so you will have to register with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) if you want to use Mavic 3 since the law says all drones that weigh in at more than 249 grams need to register with FAA.
Besides having high-level equipment, keep in mind that DJI Mavic 3 can fly under low temperatures, so it’s also considered a “wintertime drone”. If you are looking for a top drone for bicycle touring and mountain biking and your budget is decent, then you should definitely consider DJI Mavic 3.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The next drone on our list is mainly used for traveling and backpacking, but can also be used for bicycle touring and mountain biking is DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This drone is widely considered one of the best ones in the industry. The main reason why Mavic 2 Pro is so popular among travelers and bikers is the fact that it’s designed in a way that makes it almost effortless to carry around.
Furthermore, DJI Mavic 2 Pro is suitable for beginners since it’s simple to use. GPS system will help you keep the drone from being destroyed by heavy winds which mean Mavic 2 Pro can be used in mountains and low temperatures. This drone will also avoid obstacles due to a high-level Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing and collision avoidance system. The flight time of the drone is ~30 minutes which is decent. The images and videos Mavic 2 Pro produces are on a high level, you can check the specifics of its camera here.
Autel Evo 2
Autel Evo 2 is the next drone on our list of best drones for bicycle touring and mountain biking. When we talk about Autel Evo 2, the first thing to note about this drone is that it can be used without an additional device. Keep in mind that the majority of drones have to connect to a smartphone device if you want to see through the drone’s camera, take images, and record videos. Autel Evo 2 features a controller that you can use to do this and you can fly, anecdote videos, frame images without even associating the drone to any outside device.
This drone is built so that it can fly under bad weather conditions. There were a lot of tests done with Autel Evo 2 and it was able to fly up to -11°C without any issue which is a thing you want to see when you are picking a drone for mountain biking. Furthermore, you will also like the fact that the battery life was not affected by the weather which means Autel Evo 2’s flight time is around 40 minutes. However, please do keep in mind that tests were done at high temperatures as well (over 35°C) and the battery life did not last so long so it’s safe to say that Autel Evo 2 does not perform well at high temperatures.
Based on everything noted above, Autel Evo 2 is suitable for bicycle touring and mountain biking. It is also used for “winter traveling” such as hiking, camping, or backpacking.
Holy Stone HS720 Black
Yet another exciting drone that can be used for bicycle touring and biking, in general, is Holy Stone HS720 Black. This drone is an astonishing all-in-one drone for any mountain biker seeing to get several aerial screens without smashing the budget. The follow mode enables the hands-free riding you’ll require for mountain bike filming – unless you’re an especially talented rider – and whereas the 16-minute battery life isn’t huge, it is more than sufficient for the every single day rider to get the screens you’d is necessary to put a bit video together.
The camera movies in 1080HD, and that’s where the disagreement in price range really shows, however, if you’re an everyday rider uploading only to your social media channels then you don’t necessarily require a 4K camera. Moreover, Holy Stone HS720 Black has a GPS system that increases the safety of the drone. Finally, the drone is so small that you can put it on an A4 paper which makes it pretty easy to carry around.
DJI Mavic Air 2S
Published in the spring of 2021, the DJI Air 2S is a more than significantly thick and lightweight drone accessible with a one-inch sensor with a marvelous 21oz / 595g. It’s an entertaining proposition in itself, but there’s more. This drone is additionally able to shoot video at up to 5.4K alongside 4K video up to 60fps, which pitches the Air 2S going beyond the Mavic 2 Pro in terms of video.
One place where the Air 2S is lacking, however, is the camera options a fixed f/2.8 aperture so there’s no aptitude to control exposure whereas the drone is inside the air farther changing shutter sprint and ISO, so a set of ND filters are critical for video shooters.
But in general, the Air 2S drone represents an improvement when compared to its predecessors, offering enhanced security features, new camera functionality, and a handful of new flight features, too. Image and video quality is solid overall, supplying everything drone pilots require in case they are beginners or full-time professionals. For that reason, we estimate Air 2S as one of the best drones for biking and bicycle touring.
There’s one company that decided to challenge DJI and try to follow its successful footsteps in producing top-notch quality compact drones. The name of the company is Parrot and one of the newest drones the company launched is called ANAFI based on our investigation, this drone is suitable for bicycle touring and mountain biking. Parrot ANAFI offers a lot of exciting features.
One of those features is the Sony CMOS sensors that help the drone capture images of up to 21 MP. Furthermore, ANAFI is able to produce 4K footage with 4096 x 2160 resolution, 100 Mbps, a vertical 180°. Keep in mind that this kind of specifics can be rarely found in the industry. What is also worth noting about ANAFI is that it’s extremely easy to use which makes it beginner-friendly.
The flight time is ~25 minutes while the transmission range is 4 km. Finally, keep in mind that ANAFI falls into the category of small drones so you can easily put it in your backpack and carry it around pretty easily while you go bicycle touring or biking.
Then ext drone on our list of the best drones for bicycle touring and mountain biking is SkyDio 2. The main feature of this drone is AI-powered autonomous tracking system that enables SkyDio 2 to follow you everywhere you go. These kinds of features can be extremely handy when you are on a dangerous traveling tour like caves, biking, high mountains, skiing, and hiking. The main purpose of SkyDio 2 is to record beautiful videos and take images while you are on dangerous tours.
Moreover, SkyDIO 2 offers a 12 MP camera sensor with 4K 60 FPS shooting options. The maximum flight time is ~23 minutes which is not ideal, but please keep in mind that SkyDio2 offers a very unique AI-tracking system that separates it from other similar drones. Transmission is around 3.5 km (or close to 2.2 miles).
If you plan to go to a bit more extreme bicycle touring or mountain biking and you estimate you won’t have a lot of time to manage your drone manually, then SkyDio 2 is a type of drone you should take into consideration when deciding which one to purchase.
What to consider when buying a mountain biking drone?
Besides showing you an exact list of the best drones for mountain biking, I decided to make a list of features you should consider when deciding which drone to buy. Based on my thorough investigation, my list of things to consider includes auto-follow mode, high-quality camera, battery life, obstacle avoidance, and good gimbal.
Without further ado, let me jump into details and explain each one of these features.
It is logical – when you go mountain biking, most of the time your hands will be busy with actually driving the bike. This means the time you will have to manually manage your drone will be extremely limited. With that being said, you should look for drones that have auto-follow mode features which means that they have a system that you can enable, and then the drone will follow you everywhere you go. Of course, you can set that the drone not only follows you but take images and record videos at the same time.
As mentioned above, SkyDio 2 has a great AI-powered autonomous tracking system. But other drones shown in this article, like Holy Stone, for example, have “follow me” features as well.
Yet another feature that you should definitely consider when deciding to buy a drone for mountain biking is definitely the quality of the drone’s camera. Why do you want to take a drone with you in the first place? The answer is quite simple – you want to record beautiful images and videos that you will later save as a memory.
When it comes to drones’ cameras, I think you can’t make a mistake there since most of today’s drones (especially the ones shown in this article) have a high-quality camera. For example, DJI Mavic 3 offers a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera while ANAFI can produce 4K footage with 4096 x 2160 resolution, 100 Mbps, a vertical 180°.
When it comes to battery life, the situation is also simple – you need a drone with a decent battery life time since you don’t want to spend a lot of time charging your drone. If you want to know the exact numbers, I would say you should not consider a drone that has a flight time shorter than 15 minutes. With that being said, all the drones we have described in this article have a flight time longer than that. Of course, taking an extra pack of batteries with you can also help.
If you are looking for a drone that can fly for more than 40 minutes, then DJI Mavic 3 is the drone you should take into consideration.
Bicycle touring or mountain biking can be a very dangerous sport. There are high chances that your drone will run into some obstacles and this is why one of the things you should consider when deciding which drone to buy is the obstacle avoidance system.
An obstacle avoidance system will, as the name suggests, help your drone avoid obstacles and eventually crash into them. Newly designed DJI-based drones took a step forward when it comes to this kind of system. For instance, DJI Mavic 2 Pro has an advanced Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing and collision avoidance system
Drone’s gimbal is a detail, a small device, that is produced to help your drone’s camera to record videos without vibration or shake. Keep in mind that drone gimbals can be handheld or mounted on a drone.
As mentioned above, bicycle touring or mountain biking can be a very dangerous sport, so there is a chance that your drone will be hit by heavy winds, rains, or bad weather in general. Gimbal will help your drone record videos even if your drone is being shaken by these conditions.
To be clear, the gimbal is definitely not a must, especially if the places where you will ride your bike will have nice, sunny (and not windy) weather.
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions when it comes to the best drones for mountain biking.
If you asked this question a few years ago, the answer would be no. But today’s technology has improved so much, that most modern drones have this feature.
The “follow me” mode enables your drone to, as the name suggests, follow you everywhere you go. This will effectively save you time to manually manage your drone. Of course, drones can still take images and record videos while the “follow me” mode is on. If you ask me to suggest some of the best “follow me” drones, my vote would probably go to SkyDio 2 due to its great AI-powered autonomous tracking system.
Obstacle avoidance is a security option found in most advanced drones, adding numerous DJI drones. The option enables drones to scan the environment and detect any obstacle along their route in real-time. When your DJI aircraft detects the obstacle, it reacts instantly by bypassing it.
Some of the DJI drones with obstacle avoidance systems are DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Inspire 2, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Air, DJI Air 2S, and DJI Mavic 3.
The DJI Mini 2 is built around the success of the preceding Mavic Mini, supplying a much more video shoot quality, while maintaining the straight out of the pocket flying capability. Published in Nov 2020, the DJI Mini 2 sees remarkably lookalike to its predecessor, the Mavic Mini – but it offers much more.
One of the features DJI Mini 2 offers is the “follow me” mode. In general, the drone offers autonomous flights and highly advanced flight modes such as tracking, follow me, and panorama.
As mentioned above, one of the most exciting modes was established in the drone industry recently – a “follow me” mode. I said “one of the most exciting modes” on purpose since this feature indeed made life easier for a lot of drone users. You must have asked yourself – but why would I need a drone to follow me?
As you know, there is a lot of employment for drones today, pilots of racing drones or those seeing to acquire incredible video from the sky perhaps do not worry so much about follow-me modes, but action sports enthusiasts rely on the option to acquire their epic moves.
The baseline is that a follow-me mode represents an automated flight, assisting you to get several epic screens without having to manually control your aircraft.
There are quite a few exciting drones that have the “follow me” mode built-in. SkyDio 2, DJI Air 2S, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, DJI Mini 2, Swellpro Spry+, DJI Mavic Air 2, or Holy Stone HS720 Black are just some of the drones that can follow you everywhere you go.
From the air, your biking adventures tackle a completely new feel and highlight the place you’re biking through. Moreover, a flying camera drone deivers you a perspective of your environment that you simply can not accomplish when shooting on the ground.
Before you go mountain biking, just make sure your drone has all the needed features (described above in detail – the “follow me” mode is the most important one). Charge your battery, secure the camera/gimbal, protect the motors with rubber caps, place the drone into the waterproof pannier, and make sure to take battery charger with you.
Be mindful given the fact that you’re bringing a drone with you on your bicycle. Also, if necessary, adjust your riding style aimed at protecting the precious cargo you’re carrying. This may intend getting off the bicycle and walking at times, or it may intend simply tackling an obstacle in the road in a slower manner. Regardless, be careful with your drone since it’s parto f your biking kit now.