May is National Bike Month, and we’ve rounded up the best biking apps to help you get the most out of your time on two wheels. Read on to see how you can compare your best time to those around you, keep track of your speed, or perhaps most important, stay prepared in case something goes wrong.
Map My Ride+ – $2.99
Map My Ride does just what it sounds like: measuring your average and top speeds, distance, elevation, and mapping your route with GPS. It can sync with third-party hardware (e.g. Wahoo, Polar, Garmin) to measure statistics like heart rate and cadence. Map My Ride is great, primarily because it has a wide list of routes to explore so you can find the easiest or fastest way to go. It even has leaderboards if you want to test your time against others. For $2.50 a month, you get additional features online like personal training plans and route recommendations.
Strava – Free ($5.99 a month for premium)
Strava does the usual metric gathering—speed, distance, and elevation—but where it shines is in local competition. You get uploaded to leaderboards after finishing a route so you can see where you stand in your area, and you can try to officially be the best in town. It records and compares personal routes as well so you can try to beat yourself. Your data is uploaded as public by default, but you can make certain areas of the map private if you’re worried about people sneaking to your house or work and stealing your bike. The premium features include custom heart rate zones—to determine how much you’re “suffering”—and lets you set personal goals. If you need a break from cycling, Strava works with running as well.
Cyclemeter – Free ($4.99 a year for premium)
If you’re looking for one of the most comprehensive data gathering apps out there, Cyclemeter may be it. It records the usual metrics and displays them live onscreen, plots the data onto graphs, and stores them in a calendar to see what days you missed cycling—if you’re looking to train or gain greater consistency. For $4.99 a year, you get a wealth of additional features like column charts with lots of filtering and rearranging power, viewing and sharing workouts online, and backing up data to iCloud. You can compare personal ride times, and even log different bikes and shoes. It works with third party hardware. It calculates calorie burn. It connects to your music in-app, so you don’t have to go back and forth to choose songs. Cyclemeter also works in German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Mandarin. There’s a lot more; it’s a very in-depth app. A welcome feature is that most of the app is available without having to sign up for something or upload to a website. It just works on your phone. It’s only for the iPhone, though; Android users should try the similar Runtastic Road Bike Pro.
Runtastic Mountain Bike Pro – $4.99
This app measures the usual metrics but has a few extras to cater to the mountain bikers: compass, weather, wind, and grade. The most helpful feature is the offline GPS map, if you’re far into nature and have no cell service. You can search for trails, split your run into intervals, take pictures and save them to specific runs, and there’s a power song button when you need extra energy. It’s compatible with third party hardware. It’s not as thorough as Cyclemeter, but the specifics to mountain biking and offline maps make it worthwhile.
Bike Repair – $3.99
This is a digital maintenance guide with picture-filled walkthroughs to help you if anything on your bike breaks. It even provides you with things like a list of tools and items needed to perform the fix. It has helped a lot of reviewers save money by fixing problems themselves, and it helps to have a guide if you’re on the road or trail and something happens. Of course, the best part about digital guides: a search function.
EveryTrail – $3.99
EveryTrail is a good app for finding trails in general, but works well with bikes too. Search over 400,000 trails worldwide, track your trip using GPS, plot pictures and videos in a map, listen to audio guides, download maps to use offline, view the usual metrics, and you can sync your trips to everytrail.com.
For more information about travel apps, check out:
- Apps That Could Save Your Life in an Emergency
- Make Travel Planning Easier With These Apps
- New Apps To Make the Most of Your Road Trip
By Cody Brooks for PeterGreenberg.com