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?
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.