Best cycling apps for iPhone and Android
Cyclists have never been shy of embracing new technology, and there are now a whole host of useful cycling applications (apps) that have been designed to add an extra dimension to your riding.
Garmin’s Connect software provides a link between your mobile device and Garmin GPS device to share data. The connection can work both ways, with a compatible Garmin GPS able to display weather data and notifications on your handlebars. Data from the Garmin device goes into the mobile device, giving you a range of ways to display the numbers: charts, graphs, maps, etc. LiveTrack lets friends follow your progress online as you are riding, and you can compete in weekly challenges and wirelessly upload activities.
Rather than just tracking and logging your activities, Endomondo is designed to be your personal trainer and as such features ‘audio encouragement’ to motivate you during exercise, including how you are performing against pre-determined goals. As well as cycling and running, the app can also track around 40 other sports.
One of the most popular GPS cycling apps offers an array of handy ride logging functions which are then uploaded to your online Strava profile. The app keeps track of your ride stats as you travel, including speed, time and distance all the while tracking where you’ve been. At the end of your ride, you can view further stats such as calories burned and elevation ridden – plus whether you have set a new record on any of the numerous Strava segments.
This comprehensive fitness app utilises the GPS functions of Apple devices to create a host of statistics to help you log and improve your cycling performance. Records speed, time, distance and has an extensive array of workouts to follow, making it a virtual training partner. The app also includes built-in announcements, so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to know how you’re doing. Recorded data can be uploaded to Strava and other ride sharing websites.
Bike Gear Calculator
The slick-looking bicycle gear calculator from Matixsoft allows you to compare gear ratios on your bike to optimise your set-up. There are numerous variables that can be input, including tyre width, wheel size and crank length as well as the more obvious number of teeth on your chainset and cassette. It’s not an app for everyone – but the technically-minded will love its graphs and calculations.
Kinomap Trainer aims to add a new dimension to your home/turbo trainer workouts. The app connects to a compatible trainer and then you can ‘ride’ along with a video of a given route, with the trainer’s resistance varying according to the terrain. You can even add your own videos to the system if you record a route using a GPS-enable camera. You can ride with up to 10 people, and post your results to Facebook and ride-logging sites such as Strava.
Map My Ride
Map My Ride was one of the original ride-logging services, and despite fierce competition for space on your phone from the likes of Strava, it still offers a lot. The app records a host of data from your ride, including distance, speed, elevation and a detailed route. All of this can be uploaded to the Map My Ride site for detailed analysis and sharing with other users, if you wish. Like Strava, Map My Ride also includes timed sections, called Courses, where you can try and set the fastest time.
Planning your cycle route is made easy with CycleMaps, which uses a host of sources such as OpenCycleMaps and CycleStreets to plot the most direct and safest route for you and your bike. You can plot a simple A to B route, or include multiple stops or ‘via’ points. You can also tailor the routes it uses, so that if you fancy a slow, scenic ride it will find the right path, or a more direct, quicker route for fast commuting or training. Also available as an online mapping tool.
RiderState is a crowd-funded interactive game played by logging rides and seeing whether you have ‘conquered’ territories in your region. The more you ride in an area the more blocks on the map will belong to you. The app tracks your route in real-time on a map, and shows you the position of territories. The idea is to turn your bike riding and town/city into a boardgame, where you play against friends or rivals. It also logs all of your ride stats, such as speed and distance.