Integrating technology and cycling is commonplace these days, with most of us using our phones to track our progress and achievements. As the size of technology has shrunk, we are able to find more and more uses for it, including GPS and terrain mapping. But different apps have different uses, and because of this we’ve done some research for you and have compiled a list of the best cycling apps. All the apps mentioned are free, however some of them offer premium features or upgrades to improve your app experience.
By Strava, Inc.
Chances are, you’ve likely heard of Strava. Millions of people use it regularly and swear by it, even some professionals. Strava is an app that adds competition to everything you do. Competing against friends on routes and challenges, you can compare yourself against your friends, local area and even professionals. However the social aspect isn’t necessarily the best bit. The ability to track each session is an integral part of the app, but further yet is the detail in which it tracks. The app measures key stats such as distance, pace, speed, elevation gained and even calories burned. Even if you’re going cycling somewhere you are unfamiliar with, you can see suggested courses and challenges as recommended by users of the app.
Although the app itself is free to download, there are premium subscription options available for monthly or annual payment basis. The app is also available on Android.
By AccuWeather, Inc.
The Achilles heel to any good bike ride is bad weather, and they say knowledge is power. So knowing what the weather is going to be like is serious fun power. The AccuWeather app is a seriously sophisticated piece of kit. With accurate weather location through the GPS access on your phone, the AccuWeather app allows you to see minute by minute weather forecasts for the next 2 hours! It’s also riddled with funky animations, just in case you forgot what the sunshine looked like.
So it’s one of the best if not the best weather apps in terms of technology, but visually it’s unrivalled. The app itself is stunning and incredibly modern which just makes it an absolute delight to use. This app is heavily recommended for everyone, not just cyclists.
Endomondo is the closest rival to Strava with relation to technology. It can be used to track almost any distance-base sport as it tracks duration, speed, distance and even audio feedback whilst you’re working out. The app also has a full training diary so you keep track of any other notes to add to the data you’ve collected. Although it also boasts all the integrated social aspects including racing against friend’s performances, it just doesn’t look visually as professional as Strava.
By Ride with GPS
Sadly, this app is confined to Android users only and iOS users are made to wait. But the wait should definitely be worth it, providing it’s like the android app. Similar to Strava and Endomondo, Ride with GPS tracks key performance indicators such as distance and speed, however the app has a far greater focus on the maps aspect of things. Having an account allows you to login to their website were your ride information is also stored.
There is something this app can do that others can’t. It can track indoor training (providing it’s not on static bikes). That’s the power and accuracy of the GPS technology used in this app. Like the GPS in your car, it can also give you turn-by-turn directions on pre-planned routes.
By Road ID Inc.
As much as we don’t want it to, accidents happen every day. Road ID isn’t like the previously mentioned apps, but it could save your life. Once activated, the app allows you to drop eCrumbs (electronic breadcrumbs) which allow your family and friends to track you whilst you cycle, run, hike, ski or even walking the dog. I know this might sound alarming and an invasion to privacy, but have no fear. You can only be tracked whilst you choose to drop the eCrumbs.
You can also setup the app to send out notifications to people if you have stopped moving for a long duration of time, a feature they call Stationary Alert Notification. This app can even be used to keep an eye on your children as they walk home from school, giving many parents peace of mind knowing their child is safe and sound.
Now for the lifesaving information. The unthinkable happens, and you are in a serious crash or accident. When activated, the app sets a unique lock screen on your phone. This screen includes 3 ICE’s (In Case of Emergency) details. These details include important health information like allergies, medical conditions, blood type and even key emergency contact information. It might not sound like much, but this could prove to be an app that can really save your life.
So there we have it, 5 apps that can make your cycling, running, hiking or even skiing more fun, and save your life. However there is a major downside to all of these apps that we’ve mentioned. As some of you may be aware through first-hand experience, consistent use of the GPS feature on your phone can cause dramatic losses of battery life! So make sure you are fully charged when you leave your house. We also suggest simple things like setting your screen brightness to the minimum to conserve battery life.