How to chose the perfect cycling app?
The app. subject started a hot debate at Bikeroo!
At first it looked like we were divided in two teams, the pro apps. team and the cons, but soon we realized that we all use specific apps and the debate continued about who’s app is the best. Ok, this happens daily at Bikeroo, we had coffee vs. cappuccino, art films vs. blockbusters and even…about cycling and small feet… This happens usually when you work with friends.
Maybe you are curious about who’s the winner, but this was the term in our agreement, to let you choose the winning app and do not influence the audience by the one who writes the article. Though…if I think twice I can slip few tips more for my favorite. No way! They will read it too!
Because there are so many available, the one you choose depends on what you want to use it for — you may even want to use a few separate apps to accomplish different purposes. To help make the decision process easier, here are the best cycling apps for each type of function.
1. Zwift, for ultimate tips for indoor performers!
If you prefer the controlled climate and flexible hours of training indoors or simply live in a rainy climate - Zwift is a fantastic way to push hard, maximize your training, and force yourself to go the extra mile. Better yet, it presents everything in a fun way, gamifying training sessions by allowing you to replicate world class, real-life routes and compete against others. Athletes from around the globe can ride with each other in rich, 3D-generated worlds simply by connecting their existing devices (e.g. trainers, power meters, heart rate monitors, etc) wirelessly via the open industry standards ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. You can decide at the beginning whether you prefer to race against others or compete against yourself. Although the mobile app works as its own game, the full experience is enhanced by connecting to a desktop version and using the mobile app as a remote control.
2. Strava, the best metrics tracker ever!
We’re starting with the most obvious app, the one that needs no introduction. It’s hard to beat Strava when it comes to tracking fitness data. The long-running app is quick, comprehensive, and extremely accurate. Since it launched in 2009, Strava has gone on to become hugely popular and for many, it's the go-to app for all cycle rides. Compared to many of its competitors — like RunKeeper or Runtastic — it offers a deeper suite of features while also performing them faster. You can use the app to track or calculate your time, distance, average pace, speed, and estimated power output — you’re even able to record your routes live.
‘Segments’ show your times on leaderboards so you can see how you compare to others who have cycled the same road, and the social functionality that allows you to follow the weekly progress of cycling friends, join clubs and take part in challenges that really is the reason for Strava's unrelenting popularity. Best of all, you can share your stats on leaderboards and connect with friends via its deep social offering — something it does better than any other app on the market.
Strava is Swedish for “strive,” which epitomizes their attitude and ambition.
3. Endomondo, the perfect personal coach!
Endomondo is designed to be your personal trainer and as such features ‘audio encouragement’ to motivate you during exercise, including how you are performing against pre-determined goals. The app can also track around 40 other sports beside running and cycling. Part of its appeal is in its simplicity compared to other similar apps like Strava. It tracks duration, speed, calories and can be used with a heart rate monitor, and will keep a full training log allow you to easily analyze your training. Plus, it even has an amazing feature called “Pep Talks” where you can have a friend send a personalized message while tracking you live, offering fully customized motivation.
4. Garmin Connect, remembers everything about you!
Most people will probably find that the app’s most useful feature is its calendar. If you own a Garmin Edge cycling computer – a 520 or an 820, for example – the calendar allows you to review rides you’ve done in the past, using the app as a detailed training diary.
If you plan to purchase a fitness tracker to monitor your progress, Garmin is the best option. Its app is much more user-friendly than some of its competitors and you can log everything in a comprehensive daily calendar that breaks down your average speeds, elevations, durations, distances, and other cycling metrics. The app makes it simple to compare your performance with friends - as well as other users - via Garmin Segments and it also crunches detailed charts displaying your data logged over time.
5. Relive, the best visualizer!
Record any ride on Strava or Garmin Connect, Endomondo or Polar and see it played out for you on a 3D map, complete with speed, heart rate and power data if you like and any snaps you took along the way if you uploaded them to Strava.
Relive captures your ride data from Strava, Garmin Connect, Endomondo or Polar and transforms it into a stunning moving map. Any ride of 10 km or more for a duration of 12 hours or less can be uploaded. After your ride has been shared to your logging service, Relive sends you an email with a link to your video.
Once you’ve sweated, grunted, and suffered through a long and tough ride, there’s nothing as rewarding as being able to recap your ride through high-resolution moving images.
No app. feature the visual grace and fluidity of Relive, nor its smooth aesthetic. The videos even look similar to the 3D satellite maps commentators often use during TV coverage of big cycling events. Short of wearing a GoPro, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to capture your cycling memories.