Anyone dirtbike with the apple watch?

christarp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 29, 2013
455
500
So I have ATV's and dirtbikes, and I'd really like to be able to take my watch with me on the trails and such when I'm out camping (GPS while riding my ATV on my wrist would be pretty nice)

My question is how well does the apple watch hold up to debris such as dirt and sand? I have a series 2 aluminum watch and I don't want to mess it up with sand or something. Could sand get into the digital crown or anything and mess stuff up? Should I get a case? Should I just get a small screen protector? I've heard people say cases will just trap sand and such inside and scratch it even more. I would definitely wash it off after each trail ride and stuff with some water, just kinda concerned.
 

christarp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 29, 2013
455
500
well it looks like that idea is out the window then, thanks guys.
 

Huliodude

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2010
82
23
So I have ATV's and dirtbikes, and I'd really like to be able to take my watch with me on the trails and such when I'm out camping (GPS while riding my ATV on my wrist would be pretty nice)

My question is how well does the apple watch hold up to debris such as dirt and sand? I have a series 2 aluminum watch and I don't want to mess it up with sand or something. Could sand get into the digital crown or anything and mess stuff up? Should I get a case? Should I just get a small screen protector? I've heard people say cases will just trap sand and such inside and scratch it even more. I would definitely wash it off after each trail ride and stuff with some water, just kinda concerned.
I dual sport with mine off road all the time. It gets pretty dusty but holds up great, and the light weight of the aluminum watch is comfortable when it's vibrating all over your wrist. A regular heavier watch could chaffe my wrist sometimes. I wash it off when I get home and all is good. It's great for checking your location on the trails. I use it with gaia gps to follow routes and mark way points as well. Go for it! You got the watch, get your money's worth out of it. It's going to become obsolete anyhow.
 

christarp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 29, 2013
455
500
Thanks guys! I'll try it next time I'm out on the trails! I might not take it to the sand dunes with me cause I can usually find my way around them fairly well anyway hah. Thanks for the app recommendation too! I've been looking for one that I can download offline maps to my watch with and set waypoints or have track my route when I'm out! Mostly because some of the places I ride I have absolutely 0 cell signal.
 

christarp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 29, 2013
455
500
Hey guys, so I downloaded gaia GPS on my iphone, and it has a nice companion app for the apple watch like huliodude mentioned and it worked fantastic! No scratches on the watch at all, and my phone is a 5s so I stopped caring TOO much about the shape it's in. All I did was pop my iphone in my saddle bags with the gps running offline maps and I was able to view my location on the trails without hassle. I do sort of wish there was a more fully functioned apple watch app where you could transfer offline maps to it and use the gps on the watch to do everything because I didn't want to necessarily carry my phone with me the whole time, but it worked out alright.

Some things Huliodude mentioned I'd like to talk about:
1. The aluminum was very nice, not too heavy at all on the wrist with it vibrating around a ton. I did tighten it one hole on the sport band to get better heart rate readings while riding as well.
2. The sport band never came off, and it worked fantastic the whole time. easy to clean afterwards too. I thought about bringing a third party one but then I worried about it breaking among other things (being really hard to clean and such).
3. No visible scratches on the screen at all. While I was wearing a jacket (because I was in the desert and it was below freezing most of the time), it still got exposed to dust and such.
4. Dust never crudded up the digital crown. Still extremely smooth, and buttons are just as clicky as before.
5. Mic and speaker still work fine.

All in all, a great experience. Just the lack of app functionality without the phone is a bit meh (my iphone died at 71% on the trails, I think it was a combination of old battery, software, and being extremely cold wind chill) Other than that, fantastic!
 
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Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,871
709
Hawaii, USA
4. Dust never crudded up the digital crown. Still extremely smooth, and buttons are just as clicky as before.
I've had the crown become a bit stiff even just with daily wear in an office environment (and a lot of hand-washing... I'm guessing soap residue gunked it up). Apple has a cleaning procedure for the Watch if the crown becomes a bit stuck, and it's pretty simple. Power the Watch down, then under running water, turn the crown and also press it in a few times. Fixed mine without an issue, and it's pretty simple. So if it happens to you, don't fret.
 
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GermanSuplex

macrumors 65816
Aug 26, 2009
1,030
16,802
I don't dirtbike, but I can say I bought the series 2 watch and hoped for the best. After one week, with a rugged case, I saw numerous scratches on my face. But I did enjoy the features it gave me. But force-touch did not work for some reason.

Come to find out, my custom case was compressing the watch head too hard for force-touch to work properly, and the scratches either buffed themselves out, or weren't scratches at all. With no skin on the watch-face and no case, my watch performs like day one of purchasing.

To be disappointed after a week and then pleased after a couple months? User error. I was really upset with this purchase at first, but now grow on it every day.
 
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SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,281
4,245
Highlands Ranch, CO
Hey guys, so I downloaded gaia GPS on my iphone, and it has a nice companion app for the apple watch like huliodude mentioned and it worked fantastic! No scratches on the watch at all, and my phone is a 5s so I stopped caring TOO much about the shape it's in. All I did was pop my iphone in my saddle bags with the gps running offline maps and I was able to view my location on the trails without hassle. I do sort of wish there was a more fully functioned apple watch app where you could transfer offline maps to it and use the gps on the watch to do everything because I didn't want to necessarily carry my phone with me the whole time, but it worked out alright.

Some things Huliodude mentioned I'd like to talk about:
1. The aluminum was very nice, not too heavy at all on the wrist with it vibrating around a ton. I did tighten it one hole on the sport band to get better heart rate readings while riding as well.
2. The sport band never came off, and it worked fantastic the whole time. easy to clean afterwards too. I thought about bringing a third party one but then I worried about it breaking among other things (being really hard to clean and such).
3. No visible scratches on the screen at all. While I was wearing a jacket (because I was in the desert and it was below freezing most of the time), it still got exposed to dust and such.
4. Dust never crudded up the digital crown. Still extremely smooth, and buttons are just as clicky as before.
5. Mic and speaker still work fine.

All in all, a great experience. Just the lack of app functionality without the phone is a bit meh (my iPhone died at 71% on the trails, I think it was a combination of old battery, software, and being extremely cold wind chill) Other than that, fantastic!
I have taken my Gen 1 (series 0) motorcycling and dirt biking. I just bought the dirtbike last year, so not a hardcore dirt biker by any stretch, but I ride both my KTM 1190 and KTM 450 EXC-F both on and off-road in various weather conditions. I have gotten absolutely drenched, riding in all day rain, and even the Gen 1 seems to be holding up to the abuse of vibration, dust, dirt and water. Granted, it is protected to some degree by the jacket and hasn't been submerged, but so far so good in about 2 years of 14K miles a year use this way on the motorcyle. I do have some light scratches on the display now, but I don't think any of those are related to using on the bikes. More likely from banging it into stuff in everyday wear and forgetting to remove it when working on the bikes.

I am going to upgrade to a Series 2 because I found a good price on a used one, still in the box. Guy decided after his return date that he didn't want one after all. But the Gen 1 has been working great and getting much-improved battery life since OS 3.2. I think about just holding on to the Gen 1, but I do like the GPS for tracking without the phone and it being more waterproof and a fair bit quicker to load. I do find the watching the ring circling the icon for extended periods a bit tiresome with the Gen 1 at times.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,416
34,500
I dual sport with mine off road all the time. It gets pretty dusty but holds up great, and the light weight of the aluminum watch is comfortable when it's vibrating all over your wrist. A regular heavier watch could chaffe my wrist sometimes. I wash it off when I get home and all is good. It's great for checking your location on the trails. I use it with gaia gps to follow routes and mark way points as well. Go for it! You got the watch, get your money's worth out of it. It's going to become obsolete anyhow.
Washing off the Apple Watch would be the first thing I would do if you were in a dusty environment. Fortunately Apple recommends you can rinse off the watch and or around the digital crown.

Singh, do you wash your Stainless Watch off when you dirt bike in India? I haven't tried Dirt Biking yet, but overall, I think I would wear a different Watch for this occasion. I think the Sport watch would be the best model to use over the stainless. I think the differential in weight with the aluminum being lighter, would be a bigger advantage then having the stainless model over bumpy environments.
 
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