What is it?
Smartcycle is an app 'from cyclists, addressing cyclists' everyday issues', and aims to solve some of the problems faced by commuters and cyclists in a town or city. It basically pulls together GPS and crowdsourced information about bike parks and bike shops, giving you a decent companion app for helping you out if you've suffered a mechanical or if you need to find somewhere to lock your bike.
The former works by telling you where the closest bike shop is, with opening hours and some info about the shop, and the latter by showing all the nearest bike parking locations, including what type of security it offers: covered docking station, Sheffield rack and so on. There will also soon be the option to pair the app with a navigational tracker so you can be notified if your bike has been moved, according to the developers.
How can it help me?
In quite a few ways. The bike shop directions are good and present the info you need more clearly than a google search would, with opening hours clearly displayed. Having an app that can tell you where to lock your bike is without a doubt handy. Although you can usually find a spot with a quick scan of the streets in most towns or cities, this could help you park your bike as close as possible if you're stopping off somewhere unfamiliar.
The optional anti-theft tracking feature used in conjunction with a tracking device might not help in the immediate sense (unless you happen to be around the corner and catch the thief in the act before they leg it), but the option to report thefts to the Smartcycle community is useful so others in the area can keep an eye out for it.
What makes it unique?
After a brief search online and in both the iOS and Android app stores we've found forums about where and how to lock your bike safely, but none with actual recommended docking stations and navigation for how to get there, so this in itself is unique. There are other tracking tools, but the introduction of a community so those who may have fallen victim to crime can inform others about potential dodgy spots to leave a bike is an interesting feature.
Where can I get it?
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.