Bike apps for the iPhone

I finally took the plunge and purchased an iPhone. The main reason why? All the great cycling related apps that are available. In this post I will take you through the all the bike applications so that you can compare them and choose the best apps for you. If you really want to get the most out of your iPhone for cycling then I’ve written an eBook called the iPhone Cyclist that covers over 65 applications.

Bike maintenance on the iPhone

Bike Doctor

When you are out cycling the chances are you don’t carry big heavy bike maintenance books with you just in case something goes wrong. Technology or more specifically the iPhone comes to the rescue. The Bike Doctor App has 20 repairs that you can easily follow step-by-step. The repairs are written in such a way that even a complete bike maintenance beginner can understand them. There are big plans for this App with version  2 promising more emergency style repairs and bike safety check functionality.

Bike Doctor App for the iPhoneShowing one of the steps in the repairss5

Bike Doctor Website

London Bike Rides

If on the lookout for great places to cycle in London then the London Bike Rides iPhone app will appeal. It contains 30 routes through the capital and out into the surrounding area. From easy 6 mile routes that help you discover new parts of London to longer 25-30 mile routes that road cyclists look for. It’s a great little app for London cyclists.

   

EveryTrail 3

Bike route tracking on the iPhone

The below comparison table gives an overview of the functionality of the route tracking apps:

iphone comparison table

The limitation you need to be aware of with most of these apps is that they will rapidly run down the battery and are heavily dependent on GPS signal quality.

EveryTrail

IMG_2070 IMG_2071 IMG_2072

The EveryTrail app comes in both free and paid flavours. I paid for the full version which meant I could track an unlimited number of trips. In the free version you are limited to three. The best use of the Everytrail bike app is for following cycling routes as you can import any rides listed on the EveryTrail website. You can also track your route and tag any pictures along the way. One of the most useful functions is the ability to download offline Open Cycle Maps which is great for saving battery or for using the app abroad when you don’t have access to a 3G network.

EveryTrail 3

Trails

trails iphone screenshot from app storeTrails importing a routeTrails iPhone bike app screenshot

Trails allows you to record, import and export your bike routes. Of all the apps I reviewed this is the one that does this best. When importing routes you simply search on popular croute tracking sites or you import a GPX file. When exporting, you can either export to EveryTrail or to an email address. This makes it perfect for sharing with others.

When tracking your cycling the iPhone screen is locked so that no buttons are pressed by mistake. Also, battery life is conserved as the map is not being constantly loaded unless you ask it to. There is also functionality to edit waypoints and listen to music/receive call whenever. Trails is very well designed and is the bike app I use most often. There is also a lite version available with more limited functionality.

Trails - GPS tracker

Cycle Meter

cyclemeter-iphone-bike-app-abviocyclemeter-iphone-bike-mapcyclemeter-iphone-bike

This is my new favourite bike app for tracking my cycling and it’s the same for lots of people out there as it consistently performs highly in the iPhone app store (plenty of 5 star ratings). Cycle Meter for the iPhone by Abvio is a complete solution that works very simply. When you are at the beginning of your bike ride you tap the start button, the timer begins and you get a load of stats such as Ride Time, Distance, Speed and Average. At the end all your rides are stored on your iPhone and can be viewed again.

Cycle Meter - GPS

MotionX

Motion X bike computerMotion X different maps available Motion X ipod control

There are two versions of MotionX available -  I took a look at the lite version. Tracking your bike route is simple. You simply tap the start button and set off then tap the stop button to stop. Thankfully there is a lock button on the bottom left that stops you tapping buttons when the iPhone is in your pocket. Similarly to the Trails app there is a variety of map formats to choose from. In MotionX you can also control your iPod at the same time from within the app.

MotionX GPS

iMapMyRide

imapmy iphoneimap bike app settings screen imapmyride bike app main

iMapMyRide is an okay app, the problem lies with iMapMyRide.com. It is so full of adverts it is impossible to use. The GPS signal quality was also a little variable. It is a useful bike app for anyone that uses iMapMyRide.com frequently.

iMapMyRide

Cychosis

Cychosis iphone bike screenshotcychosis bike app cychosis cycling app settings

Cychosis works in a different way to the rest of the iPhone bike applications.  You manually enter your ride details into the application. Therefore you need a separate bike computer. The app then keeps a history of all your rides. This works well for those that don’t want their route tracked by GPS which can be a heavy burden on battery life.

Cychosis - Cycling Journal

More iPhone bike apps!

Bike GPS

Bike Hub - a bike GPS

Drivers have their Tom Tom and the UK’s cyclists have their Bike Hub. Great bike app for the iPhone where you pick your starting point and destination and follow a bike friendly route. Oh, and it’s completely free!

Bike Hub iPhone

London Bike Shop

London Bike Shop iPhone app

London Bike Shop shows you the nearest bike shop if you are in London. It also includes listings of bike cafe’s and mobile bike repair services.

London Bike Shop Bike apps for iPhone

The Bike Computer

iphone app - the bike computer

Having a bicycle computer is one of the most fun (And geeky!) gadgets you can have on a bike. I’m always spending way too long looking at my bike computer trying to break my speed record.

The problem with porting this great gadget over to the iPhone is that the GPS function can work with varying success which can obviously skew your results heavily. None the less, this is a great little free app to have and I recommend it to all cyclists.

The Bike Computer

Bicycle Gear Calculator

iphone gear calculatorGreat application to have on your iPhone though you can just as easily use Sheldon Brown’s Tool. It allows you to calculate gear ratio and gain ratio. It costs $4.99 (£2.99).

Bicycle Gear Calculator ? Bike Gears

Brake Lights

brake light app screenshot of light

Hook it up to the back of your bag and you get a bicycle brake light for $1 (£0.59). Novel idea but it is probably ten times more useful to buy an actual bike light!

BrakeLights

Using your iPhone for cycling: Taking it to the next level!

The applications listed here are just skimming the surface of all of the capabilities of the iPhone. If you wish to get the most out of it then I recommend taking a look at the iPhone Cyclist eBook.

Related to bike apps for the iPhone:

  1. 3 new cycling iPhone apps
  2. Mount your iPhone to your bike
  3. Review of Bicio GoRide iPhone bike mount
  4. Using GPS coordinates for cycling (including on iPhone)

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