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We round up some of the best and most useful cycling apps for your smartphone

Smartphones have revolutionised cycling. With more capability than the humble bicycle computer, the smartphone allows you to easily track and record rides, plan routes, keep on top of your training, and much more besides. 

This is a list of some really useful cycling apps currently available. From navigation to planning routes and fixing your bike, there's something for everyone here. 

Strava - Free, in-app purchases

We’re starting with the most obvious app, the one that needs no introduction. Yes of course, we mean Strava. 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. The smartphone app tracks and records your ride, providing distance, speed and other metrics, but it’s how your rides are presented that sets it apart. ‘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.

Available for iPhone and AndroidYou can also join clubs, road.cc even has a club, you can join us here 

Cyclemeter

Cyclometer is a really useful app that turns your iPhone (not currently available for Android) into a cycle computer, which is really handy if you mount your phone to your handlebars, providing plenty of information at a glance. It integrates maps for navigational duties and can be customised in many ways, including providing audio alerts for a range of metrics.

It’s also available on the new Apple Watch if you have one of those.

iPhone 

Google Maps - Free

There are many mapping apps available but one that you might have on your phone already, and not realise it, is Google Maps. The latest version has offered cycling routes for some time, and works very well. It can provide turn-by-turn navigation instructions if you want it as well.

iPhone | Android 

Endomondo - Free, in-app purchases

Endomondo is an activity tracking app with many fans, and 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 analyse your training.

Android | iPhone

MapMyRide - Free, in-app purchases

MapMyRide has been around for quite a while and is a very popular way of plotting routes or finding other routes in your area, with a large database of routes available, making it a good option for those wanting to explore a part of the country. It’s free but there is a premium version which gives you more advanced tools and mapping.

Available for iPhone and Android.

Fill That Hole - Free

CTC launched the Fill That Hole service for reporting potholes to local authorities a few years ago, making it easier than trying to find the right department at your local council to flag up a dangerous pothole. The app lets you easily report a pothole, so you could do it from the side of the road instead of waiting until you get home and logging onto the website. 

iPhone | Android

St John Ambulance First Aid for Cyclists - Free

What do you do in an accident? It’s not a position anyone really wants to be in, but the First Aid for Cyclists app by the St John Ambulance aims to equip cyclists with essential and basic first aid skills to combat the most common cycling injuries, whether it’s road rash, cuts or head injuries.

iPhone | Android 

BBC Weather - Free

This is without doubt the most popular app on my smartphone. You can’t be a cyclist in the UK and not obsessively track the weather forecast before a ride, looking for any hint of rain on the horizon or a change in wind speed or direction. The app is free and really easy to use, and provides a good level of hourly and daily detail.

Available for Android and iPhone.

Rain Alarm - free

rain alarm.png

rain alarm.png

Unsurprisingly weather apps are popular with cyclists. Who doesn't check the weather before getting dressed for a ride? Rain Alarm uses real-time data to warn of approaching rain, and provides precise detail on a clear map.

Available for Android and iPhone.

YR.No - free

yr.no_.png

yr.no_.png

This is a very popular weather app, with lots of fans. It's a service from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and NRK and provides weather forecasts, textual forecasts,  meteograms and extreme weather warnings.

Available for Android and iPhone.

Santander Cycles - Free

This is the official app for the Cycle Hire London for Santander Cycles bicycle hire scheme and allows you to find your nearest bike and docking station. As well as that, it can plan routes for you, able to offer either the quickest or quieter roads depending on your preference, with handy turn-by-turn instructions. The app usefully has a built-in timer so you can keep on eye on any usage charges that might occur.

iPhone and Android.

CycleStreets - Free

CycleStreets.png

CycleStreets.png

Planning routes is where apps can be really useful. This one lets you plan routes from A to B anywhere in the UK with three routing modes to suit different types of cyclists, from commuters to beginners. 

Available on iPhone and Android.

Ride With GPS

ridewithgps.png

ridewithgps.png

Here's a very powerful route planning app, and very popular with cyclists planning long-distance rides. As well as really good route mapping tools, the app can be used as a cycle computer t provide navigation and live tracking, and even supports Bluetooth accessories for adding heart rate, cadence and speed data.

Available for iPhone and Android.

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal - Free, in-app purchases

MyFitnessPal aims simply to help you lose weight by making it easy to track calories on a daily basis. A database of over 4 million foods makes it easy to track how many calories your meals are providing. It can also has a recipe counter for tracking homemade meals too.

Available for iPhone and Android

Bike Doctor - from £1.79

Maintaining, servicing or fixing your bike can be a little daunting at first, and that’s where this extremely useful app come comes into its own. It provides step-by-step instructions for fixing any sort of mechanical problem on your bike. It’s been designed to be easy to use, with clear instructions that even a complete beginner can follow.

It costs £3.99 on iPhone and £1.79 on Android. Cheaper than visiting the bike shop though

Size My Bike - £3.77

Determining the right size road bike, especially if you’re a beginner or buying a bike online, can be a tricky decision. Size My Bike is a bike fitting app that uses six body measurements to help you choose the right size road bike. It also works for mountain bikes too.

It costs £3.77 on Android and $4.99 on iPhone.

Bike Fast Fit - £3.99

Bike Fast Fit.jpeg

Bike Fast Fit.jpeg

Here's another bike fitting app. It lets you capture some riding video, on a static trainer, and measures key riding position angles and distances to provide analysis of your position. 

Available on iPhone only

Bike Hub Cycle Journey planner - Free

Routing is made easy with Bike Hub, an app that can find the quickest or quickest route for you to cycle home or to the office. With a route loaded, the app can provide 2D and 3D satellite navigation and turn-by-turn instructions, just like you’d get in a car satnav, with audio announcements if you want them. Another useful feature is the ability to locate your nearest bike shop.

Available on iPhone and Android.

CycleMaps: Cycling Route Planner & Navigator - free

CycleMaps.png

CycleMaps.png

If planning routes and also using shared routes is of interest to you, then CycleMaps could be worth checking out. It's being constantly updated with a large database of routes. It lets you store favourite routes and import GPX and KML routes, and shows all cycle paths. It's also compatible with the Apple Watch. 

Available for iPhone only.

Are there any smartphone apps you use regularly for cycling? Let's hear about them in the comments below.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

14 comments

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iUpham [169 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Strava for Social
Garmin Connect for reviewing data
Training Peaks for scheduling workouts

I like the look of the Fill that Hole app. Would be very useful between Southampton & Portsmouth.

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vbvb [620 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Used to plot routes on google maps on pc, then recall them on the iphone, but it doesn't work anymore.

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rowes [75 posts] 3 weeks ago
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If there is another person, other than me, out there with a windows phone, try Run The Map. Good when your out, works offline, easy to compare and trend rides, climbs and speed. Also easily integrates with Strava.

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JoshCroxton1 [29 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Weather's never that nice in Birmingham. 

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huntswheelers [54 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Strava for the usual social and recording......  

Rain Alarm for current live rain forecasts....  

Weatherbomb for 10 day weather modelling ....

Osmand+ with the new Topo maps for rides....

CycleStreets for city routing...

Yr for 24/48hr Forecasting

works for me

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handlebarcam [795 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I like the mental challenge of navigating and pacing myself without a screen constantly telling me where I am or what calories I am burning. But I do appreciate being able to use online weather and mapping services beforehand. What I think would be useful would be a comination of the two in one app or web site. Something that would colour-code each section of your route as you plot it, based on the forecast wind direction and strength at each point, given a start time and estimated average speed which you enter. You could then adapt your route to avoid block headwinds, or reverse it if a change is predicted later in the day. Alternatively, you could save a collection of favourite routes, then choose which to take based on a weighted score calculated from the conditions if you start now. Quite possibly Team Sky already have something like this, seeing as they've recently gotten much better at getting into echelons.

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LastBoyScout [39 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

I pulled up at a set of lights next to a middle-aged chap with a smart phone mounted on his handlebars running what looked to be some sort of mapping app, so asked him what it was.

"Pokemon Go", was the answer.

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unconstituted [1854 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Strava and Fill that Hole don't mix angel

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Man of Lard [198 posts] 3 weeks ago
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What about the WindowsPhone users? (No love for either of them? I'm not one but one of them will be along sooner or later to complain that they've been missed out again )

edit: I see he's already been past smiley

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djfleming22 [34 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

 

If i started to use fill that hole in Scotland that 30 miles ride would take 10hrs ..so no thanks

 

Strava -  good

Rain alarm - really like

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randomeur [4 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I've been using komoot for the past 2+ years and I'm really satisfied with the ease of use and the pace of its development.

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jimhead [13 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Remember that Google Maps can download map areas for offline use so you can locate yourself even if you've no signal/data.  

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multimodal [36 posts] 3 weeks ago
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The Santander Cycles app is almost useful for finding docking stations, in all other respects it's useless. The available spaces are never, ever accurate.

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spindi [3 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

ViewRanger

Excellent for plannig routes and navigating...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.augmentra.viewranger.android

Maps.me

Downloadable country mapping to save on data. Cycle specific route planning...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapswithme.maps.pro

It's also good for driving in foreign countries if you have no network coverage.