Latest News

If you haven’t got these cycling apps, are you even a cyclist?

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 11:35am
Category: Latest News

Whether you want an app for routing, a cheap alternative to a bike computer, or just something to track your training progress, The Hub has cast its digital eyes over the best cycling apps for your phone.

With hundreds of biking apps on the market, it’s not easy to discern which will provide real world benefits and which are a waste of memory that could be better used for pictures of your dinner.

But in the last few years, app makers have increasingly poured resources into the cycling world. This is probably because the simplicity of the bicycle as a machine is a perfect interface between the messy experience of the real world and the linear inputs required by that of the digital.

And as engineers throw their resources into development, the apps have been getting more expensive, with some costing over £100 for a yearly subscription.

The upside, however, is that increased investment in the tech is making for much better apps.

So, here’s a quick guide to some of the best and most popular cycling apps on the market; and because we know it can be tough out there, we’ve thrown in a few wildcard entries to add some entertainment to your training.


Route finding apps:

Strava
Cost: Free to download. In-app purchases.
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Segments

If you’re a cyclist that hasn’t heard of Strava, then frankly we’re surprised you know enough about the internetz to have clicked on this article. Probably cycling’s most ubiquitous app, it’s free to download and offers a range of features such as activity tracking, the ability to create your own segments or try-out those of other users, join clubs, share photos, and much more. Strava can link in with other pieces of hardware, such as a heart monitor, or be downloaded onto some cycling computers, like Garmin Edge. There’s also a premium service costing around £50 a year. Chain Reaction Cycles’ has its own Strava club, so why not get involved by clicking here!

Download Strava on Android.

Download Strava for iOS

MapMyRide
Cost: Free to download. In-app purchases.
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Route finding, social, fitness
Just like Strava, MapMyRide allows you to connect with other hardware on your journey to put together a range of stats on your performance and your route. It’s affiliated with the Under Armour clothing brand and can be used with their range of wearable tech or be synched with Google Fit, Android Wear, Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, and more.
It also has a range of community and social features, but its premium option comes in at around half the price of Strava’s.

Download MapMyRide on Android.

Download MapMyRide on iOS

Cyclemeter
Cost: Free to download. In app purchases
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Customisation
While it shares many of the features of Strava and MapMyRide, many enjoy Cyclemeter’s customisation features, which allows you to pull all the information you’re interested in onto the home screen. Another big advantage is it’s relatively cheap ‘Elite’ subscription package, which costs around a fiver – significantly less than Strava’s £50 premium option.

Download Cyclemeter for Android

Download Cyclemeter for iOS

Endomondo
Cost: Free to download. In app purchases
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Fitness tracking
Track your ride duration, speed, distance, calories used and consumed, and get a full workout summary to track your progress. Endomondo is loved by many cyclists for its range of features, including audio feedback on distance and pace for every mile or kilometre covered. There’s also a range of social options and synching tech for your wearables and cycling computer.

Download Endomondo for Android

Download Endomondo for iOS

Trail forks
Cost: Free to download. In app purchases
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Trail finding
An essential tool for mountain bikers, Trail Forks is a powerful tool for identifying the latest trails and finding your way around them. Boasting the largest database of mountain bike trails in the world, you can follow your progress by GPS and get live updates on trail conditions and closures.

Download Trail Forks on Android

Download Trail Forks on iOS


Performance Apps:

Performance apps allow you to link up to smart turbo trainers, allowing you to simulate onscreen riding conditions with the resistance of the trainer.

Zwift
Cost: Free to download. In app purchases
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Fun and social competition
Use your smartphone to access the popular online cycling simulator of legend. Zwift connects to your turbo trainer allowing you to race in virtual environments. With the app you can ride against real world opponents, making riding fun and social, and taking the torture out of indoor training.

Download Zwift for Android

Download Zwift on iOS

Trainer Road
Cost: Free to download. In app purchases
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Structured indoor training

For more serious riders, Trainer Road is a powerful tool that can provide real-world results for many cyclists. The app contains a huge library of structured workouts, with training plans outlining exactly how to achieve unique fitness and race goals. It’s perfect for the cyclist at 90% fitness who wants structured training to get them over the edge. To get the most out of it though, you might need a speed and cadence sensor.

Download Trainer Road on Android

Download Trainer Road on iOS

Kinomap
Cost: Free to download. In app purchases
Platform: IOS and Android
Best for: Real-world simulation
While TrainerRoad and Zwift are ideal interactive training tools, Kinomap approaches indoor training in another way. The app features a huge selection of geolocated videos, giving you real environments to ride through, to let you see more of the world as you punish the pedals in your garage. Some of the functionality is a bit more limited than Zwift or Trainer Road, but the sights on real-world rides should be enough to keep you occupied.

Download Kinomap on Android

Download Kinomap on iOS

Tacx Cycling App / Wahoo Fitness / Kinetic Fit / Elite
Cost: Free
Platform: IOS and Android (Tacx needs an ANT+ connection or at least Bluetooth 4.0)
Best for: Interacting with your trainer
While third party apps can offer a wide breadth of experience, Tacx, Wahoo, Kinetic and Elite have earned a good reputation for their excellent interactive apps that connect to their respective smart turbo trainers. Each have an emphasis on fitness and training, allowing you to get the most out of your hardware.

Download Tacx cycling app for Android | Download Tacx Cycling app for iOS
Download Wahoo Fitness for Android | Download Wahoo Fitness for iOS
Download Kinetic Fit for Android | Download Kinetic Fit for iOS
Download MyETraining for Android | Download MyETraining for iOS

For more information on hooking up your trainer or bike with third party apps, check out:
Smart Turbo Trainer Buying Guide

Cycling computers buying guide

Shop for heart monitors at Chain Reaction Cycles

Shop for power meters at Chain Reaction Cycles


Wild cards

Home and Dry


Cost: Free
Platform: iOS only
Best for: Weather planning
With detailed radar imagery and hour by hour predictions for the next three days, the Home and Dry will help you find the exact time and place to plan your next ride. The slick and easy to user interface is intuitive, and finding a dry road or trail is easy.

Download Home and Dry for iOS

Lusus

Cost: Free
Platform: Android only
Best for: Maintenance
An interesting little app that helps you keep track of all the things that keep your rides fun. The log book feature allows you to track the finer details about your road or mountain bike, like geometry, suspension and tyre pressures, and even service intervals and component replacements.

Download Lusus for Android

Tapiriik
Not an app, but the Tapiriik website does have a very special skill – it allows you to synchronize your fitness activities across a huge range of fitness and cycling apps to compare the results and find the one that suits you best. Enter the results from your cycling computer, including heart rate, cadence, power, and temperature data, and it syncs to Garmin Connect, Runkeeper, Strava, TrainingPeaks, SportTracks.mobi, Endomondo, RideWithGPS, TrainAsONE, TrainerRoad, Motivato, Velo Hero, Epson RUNSENSE, Dropbox, Smashrun, BeginnerTriathlete, Pulsstory, Singletracker, and SETIO. Handy!

Visit Tapiriik

Google Maps
Sometimes the thing you’re looking for is right under your nose. Google Maps is already used extensively by many cyclists and it’s cycling specific navigation is very underrated – plus, it’s probably already installed on your smartphone.

Download Google Maps for Android

Download Google Maps for iOS

Shop at
Chain Reaction Cycles

CRC Logo

Got a question?
Contact our editor