Nowadays, there seems to be an app for everything and anything! Cycling is certainly no exception. There are a huge number of apps for both experienced and budding cyclists available for all smartphones. Let’s run through a few of our favourites!
Plan and track your route
One of the most popular categories of cycling apps is those that plan, track, and map your routes. While many of these apps perform the same basic function, they each have their own unique benefits.
Strava is one of the most popular mapping apps. It’s used by walkers, runners, and cyclists alike. At its core, Strava logs your cycling routes, time-taken, speed, and many other variables. The app stores your previous cycling stats, meaning that you can compete against yourself in an attempt to score a personal best!
Strava’s more unique feature is that it doubles as a social media platform for cyclists! The app enables you to view the routes taken by other cyclists which can be a great inspiration for finding new places to cycle in your area. You’re also able to compete against fellow cyclists on these routes and maybe even reach the top of the leaderboard in your area!
Another great feature of Strava is photo sharing. View images of other cyclist’s bike rides and share your own. It makes for a great way to find new routes and get to know other cyclists in your area.
Strava is free to download on iOS and Android. For more information, search Strava on your app store or visit https://www.strava.com/.
If you live in or cycle through a city, Citymapper could be a great addition to your smartphone. Its fundamental features are similar to Strava, but it’s USP is that it specifically benefits city-goers.
The app is a huge time-saver for cyclists in busy cities as it helps them navigate quieter and faster cycling routes between locations. If you’re keen to get cycling but don’t own a bike of your own, Citymapper also highlights bikes for hire so that you can find one quickly and easily.
Citymapper is free to download for both iPhone and Android. To find out more, visit their website https://citymapper.com/london.
Ride With GPS
If you have an existing bike computer, Ride With GPS could come in handy! As well as the basic mapping features discussed with the previous two apps, Ride With GPS enables support for Bluetooth cadence, heart rate, and power accessories. It can even work in unison with your existing bike computer!
If you, or perhaps a friend or family member, enjoy cycling alone, the app has another aspect that could help put your mind at ease. The “track your friends” feature enables live logging, which means that your friends or family members can keep track of where you are. This is particularly useful in case of an emergency.
The Ride With GPS app is available on both iOS and Android. It is free to download but includes some paid subscription upgrades.
This mapping app is perfect if you’re planning to cycle abroad or in locations with limited mobile data. Maps.me enables you to download maps for entire countries meaning you can say goodbye to fears of getting lost without a connection. If you’re experiencing poor connection or have no mobile data, this app has got you covered!
What’s better is that Maps.me is entirely free to download with both iOS and Android versions available. Visit https://maps.me to find out more and download.
Although not built with cyclists in mind, Google Maps could be incredibly useful for your next bike ride. The app is extremely user-friendly and useful for walking, driving, and public transport directions. If you prefer to cycle with earphones, the app has easy-to-follow turn by turn instructions to get you where you need to be without fuss.
As well as this, Google Maps offers you tonnes of additional information such as reviews and locations for local businesses and landmarks. After all, how else are you going to find the best café for coffee and cake after your bike ride? With Google Maps, you can put in your destination and be directed straight there!
Improve road quality where you ride
Fill That Hole
Every cyclist hates potholes! They can be extremely dangerous and detrimental to your bike. In fact, we wrote a blog post on this last year if you’re interested in learning more. Thankfully, CyclingUK have created a genius app, Fill That Hole, where you can report a pothole on your cycling route. Simply put in the details, upload a picture and the app delivers the information to your local authority.
The app is free to download for both iOS and Android, visit www.fillthathole.org.uk to find out more.
Be home before it gets dark!
It’s no breaking news that in these colder months, we’re starting to see darker evenings earlier and earlier. Cycling in the dark isn’t always ideal so, often, you’ll want to ensure you’re home before the sun goes down.
Daylight is a really useful tool to help you know when the sun is coming up and going down. The app uses your current location to compute sunrise and sunset times, as well as a twilight period. Simply search “Daylight” on your iPhone or Android device to download.
Check the weather forecast
Although your phone’s weather app might sit there alongside stocks, stopwatch and other apps you rarely use, it could come in handy for your next bike ride! If you’d prefer to avoid cycling in the rain, snow or extreme heats in the summer, the weather app is the best way to monitor weather conditions on-the-go.
If bad weather is unavoidable, knowing in advance is the best way to prepare. When cycling in the rain it’s important to ensure you wear hi-vis or reflective clothing and that your bike is installed with appropriate reflectors and lights. In the summer, the heat means it’s easier to get dehydrated so don’t forget to pack your water bottle and always wear high-SPF sunscreen!
Keep track of your fitness
My Fitness Pal
If you’re using cycling as part of a keep-fit regime, then you may benefit from My Fitness Pal. This app is the perfect pocket calorie counter and exercise tracker. You’re able to track the food and calories you consume which enables you to keep # track of your diet and try to live a healthier lifestyle.
The app is free for both iOS and Android and can be downloaded from https://myfitnesspal.com.
Your personal pocket bike mechanic!
Finally, we understand how difficult and time-consuming fixing a broken bike can be. Bike Doctor is your personal pocket bike mechanic, full of easy-to-follow instructions for fixing all the common bike repairs. Whether you need a gear cable replacing, or wheels truing, bike doctor includes step-by-step guides, complete with pictures, for all.
There are also additional guides that help cyclists avoid the most common maintenance errors, punctures and more!
The app is £4.99 and available for both iOS and Android, just search “Bike Doctor” or visit http://bikedoctorapp.com/.