Runners have dozens upon dozens of excellent apps for tracking their activity, but cycling enthusiasts have far fewer apps of such high quality. Luckily, you don’t need dozens and dozens of options because Cyclemeter exists. The iPhone-only Cyclemeter app is the most comprehensive bicycling app for the iPhone. It’s highly customizable, letting you get as in-depth with your stats as you want—and if there is something you want to record, you will find it listed in this incredible app.
Two other apps also rate very highly, but neither are as thorough as Cyclemeter. That said, “thorough” may not necessarily be the thing you’re after. Runtastic Road Bike PRO ($4.99), for example, is extremely good, and while it doesn’t have every bonus feature you’ll find in Cyclemeter (which also costs $4.99), it does have a more simple and intuitive interface. The other is MapMyRide+ ($1.99), of the well-known MapMyFitness brand.
All three have a lot in common, but differ from one another in unique ways, too. Cyclemeter has a more sophisticated interface, recently freshened up for iOS 7, and deeper features for serious riders, which is why it’s our Editors’ Choice in this category. It’s only available on iPhone, though. Runtastic’s bike app (for iPhone and Android) offers excellent balance between usability and depth. Finally, Map My Ride+ (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry) offers a strong community aspect, although it is weakest in terms of accuracy, particularly with GPS mapping. Which app you should choose largely depends on what you want to get out of it.
What Can You Do With Cyclemeter?
Cyclemeter tracks, maps, and records your bicycle rides, then compiles all your data into excellent graphs and tables. Despite its name, Cyclemeter doesn’t just record cycling. Other activities, from cross-country skiing to running, come preloaded, so at the touch of a button, you can leverage the app for more than one sport—an enormous benefit. A very cool feature is the ability to specify what kind of cycling you’re about to track (race cycling, for example, or cycling for distance), and there’s even a hidden option to use the app to record stationary cycling, for when you’re training indoors.
What sets Cyclemeter apart from other bicycle tracking and mapping apps is that you can use it without creating an online account or paying a subscription fee. Everything you need for Cyclemeter to work is right in your iPhone, all for the one-time payment of $4.99. Map My Ride+, on the other hand, sends you to its website for certain data access and tries to upsell you to a Pro account for additional stats.
Turn on Cyclemeter when you start a bike ride, and it will track your speed, distance, elevation, total ride time, and stop times, as well as plot your route on a map. If you ride with your iPhone mounted on your handle bars, you’ll see speed, distance, and ride time appear live on screen while you pedal, as well as in detailed graphs when your ride is complete. You can also see remaining time and distance if you are cycling for speed or time.
My Test Rides
When I tested the app, its distance calculations and GPS map of my routes were spot on. If you bike a particular route often, such as a home-to-office commute, you can save it to the app and use it to compare future ride times. You can also add more detail about whether the route is difficult or easy, for example. Deeper in the settings are a number of ways you can customize pretty much all the data the app collects and where you see it. There are so many options that it may be overwhelming for all but the most serious riders. You can, for example, save different bikes in the app to log which one you had for any particular ride. You can also keep different shoes saved, letting you remember whether you were locked in or were riding clipless at the time. Peripherals, like cadence meters and heart rate monitors, work with the app as well. There’s a lot.
I love the calendar feature, which shows at a glance which days you rode and which ones you didn’t. That’s an excellent way to simply keep track of how many days a frequent rider is off the road due to injury or bad weather.
One feature I nearly missed in Cyclemeter is the ability to calculate calorie burn. The app doesn’t prompt you to enter these details when you first fire it up, and it’s a little buried in the settings.
Not an English speaker? Cyclemeter has audio feedback not only in English, but also German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Mandarin.
If you refuse to pedal without music, Cyclemeter built a special feature just for you: a pane that you can swipe to from the main window that lets you access your iPhone’s music. No need to jump from app to app. You can pause, skip ahead, rewind, and toggle to a different playlist with just a few screen taps.
Cyclemeter: The Most for Your Money
Serious bicycling enthusiasts and racers should look no further than Cyclemeter by Abvio. Cyclemeter collects a wealth of data—the most of any bicycling app on the market. Add in the fact that it’s extremely accurate, contains several well thought out features, and appeals to fitness enthusiasts who participate in more than one sport, it’s a five-star app. Cyclemeter is PCMag’s Editors’ Choice for bicycling apps for iPhone. Android users should try Runtastic Road Bike PRO, which is just as good at what it does, though not as deep.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc