Today in the Urban Cycling Gear series we are going to get focused on adding some tracking to our daily commute. I will be going over my top 5 best cycling apps for iPhone and android, that will give you a bit of an advantage when getting around. They are great for both tracking your commute route and if you want to keep track of some cycling data. If you haven’t already read the last 4 articles in the series check them out here.
Best cycling apps: iPhone and Android for cyclists
New cycling apps are constantly showing up on the market. Whether you want to record your ride, monitor your training, or hassle your local council to improve the roads: there’s an app for that.
Below is a list of the most useful cycling apps I’ve found – but there are new apps appearing every week.
The best cycling app for ride tracking: Strava
Strava’s heat mapping features allow a cyclist to study what routes get used most and perhaps derive the best routes by those most chosen by cyclists. Strava from things I’ve read have been sharing some of this info (aggregated to maintain cyclists privacy) so that governments can make decisions about traffic infrastructure. I think that could be helpful for a cyclist as well …
Offering 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.
A lot of cycling communities/groups use Strava when they have event rides, so that members of the ride can see the route before they join the ride. This is a great because, with all the data that is collected and shared. This gives you an inside look to see if you are up to par for the event. (in the near future I will be setting up meet ups/rides using this app)
Price: Free (paid for upgrade to become a Premium Strava member)
The best cycling app for tracking training: Training Peaks
Training Peaks app
TrainingPeaks is one of, if not the most, popular platforms used for tracking athlete performance. Coaches can input workouts, or if you’re self coached you can use it yourself.
If you want to schedule activities for future, you do have to upgrade to the paid for version ($19.95 USD a month).
The app is a useful add on which means you can always access your training schedule, see coaches comments or add your own.
Price: Free (Premium version needed for extra features)
The best app for time trialists: MyWindsock
Perhaps this is a bit of a cheat, as MyWindsock isn’t available as a phone app yet, but the desktop version works well.
The founder Ben Norbury wanted to check how weather conditions would affect his upcoming time trials, so he created this application.
MyWindsock can tell real-time data on the weather along your planned route, if you upload a GPX file. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the URL for a Strava segment into this clever piece of software to see what sort of conditions you can expect – nearly all UK time trial courses have a segment if not several.
You can also feed MyWindsock a Strava leader board, to see which weather conditions have produced the fastest times.
Available for: currently desktop only
Price: Free (premium version also available)
Other yet still really good cycling app: Bike Computer
Bike Computer app does what it says on the tin. If you’re using your phone as a cycling computer, this app pretty much gives you all the data that you might want.
It’s Strava compatible and has the capability to call a chosen contact in case of emergency and claims to operate 12% more efficiently compared to any other mobile fit tracker app – saving battery life.
Price: Free (premium version also available)
If you’re using an app that isn’t listed, let us know in the comments. The more supported platforms the better: iPhone and iPad (iOS), Android, Windows, or whatever.
I hope this article was helpful, if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for future topics let me know in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from you, and wish you all the best on your daily adventures. See you in the next article where I will be going over some apps and sites that you can use to get involved in a ridding group.
If you haven’t yet, get out there and ride.
Thank you for your support, see you in part 6
Ride fast, Ride hard, Be Confident
Founder: Bicycle Bob’s CyclEssentials