Simply named Bike Computer, courtesy of parent company Bike Computer Co. the free app is available on both iOS and Android app stores and tracks basic metrics including pace, distance, route and elevation.
It’s compatible with Bluetooth-ready heart rate monitors, and all your rides can be shared straight to Strava or Facebook on completion. There’s a dark screen mode which reduces battery use and makes it viewable on night rides; plus Bike Computer Co. claim their app is also 12% more battery-efficient than any other mobile fit tracker on the market, reducing the chance of running out of charge on a ride.
Where this app may even be better than a GPS for safety-conscious cyclists is Bike Computer’s ‘Keep Me Safe’ feature. This detects, based on force and trajectory, when the rider may have had an accident, and after an allotted amount of time sends an SMS message to a selected list of emergency contacts to tell them you’re in danger. It distinguished between falls and bumpy roads to prevent false alarms, and to test it out, I rode right into a particularly rough section of tarmac on the rugged Bristol-to-Bath cycle path, and then purposely knocked my old bike over with the phone attached; as promised, Keep Me Safe didn’t activate on the rough tarmac and it detected an accident when I reluctantly sent my bike tumbling – to which I simply told it there had been a false alarm via a big red button on the screen. The time Bike Computer gives you before it sends out the emergency SMS can be customised between 10 and 60 seconds. The only catch? Keep Me Safe is an additional in-app purchase that will cost you 99p a month.
If you have nothing to mount your phone to your bike, Bike Computer Co. sell both silicon and aluminium mounts for $8 and $29 respectively on their online shop.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.