Well it’s been over a year since we listed our top 5 iPhone apps for cyclists and it seems that that one app year is the equivalent to seven dog years in the tech world with as quickly as things happen and change in the app-o-sphere… So it is already long overdue and time to make a new list with apps that we have come to love, apps that weren't around last time around, just good complementary apps for cyclists, and highlight some companies that are doing new and interesting things for you so you can get even more use our of your iPhone OR Android phone that you have with you on your bike ride. Plus almost all these apps aren't going to cost you a dime because they are all FREE...
1. Strava (FREE) – Our first app that makes the list has got to be Strava, which we hadn’t discovered yet when we made our first list. What makes Strava so cool is that it is just very smart AND social. What do I mean by that? It is so smart that it even breaks down and identifies all the different sections of your ride so you can see how you just for that section, including distance, elev. Gain, avg. grade, and elapsed time. Not only that but it has a very robust community and shows how you ranked just on that section on a leaderboard... Very cool. So you can compare your ride or just a segment against your past rides as well as all the other riders who have ridden the same ride. They also have pretty cool challenges that allow you to compete with and against your fellow riders in specified challenges. An example being, in the middle of July, they have a ‘Circle of Death’ challenge where you rack up 22,575 feet of climbing between July 15-22, which is the equivalent of amount of climbing the pros will be doing just the actual Circle of Death in the Tour de France. All this is just the free version too, in the premium version you have access to more data analytics, a filtered leaderboard, heart rate monitoring abilities, etc. They also have a version specifically for running, but this has stolen my heart for bike rides. (iPhone – Android)
2. SBS Tour de France Skoda Tour Tracker 2012 (FREE) - You can’t make a list like this at this time of year and not include this app. With the Tour de France only 3 days away and the buildup leading to the most exciting cycling race, this will keep you up to date with all the action. Now that all the teams have basically finalized their team rosters and Andy Schleck not racing, the stage is set for Cadel Evans to defend his title. This is the official app of the Tour that will give you live video(some countries only), GPS tracking, video recaps, and all the good stuff you would expect to follow the Tour if you can’t watch it yourself on the TV. Or just get you even more into the minutiae of the event for you Tour fanatics. (iPhone - Android)
3. Dermandar(FREE) – I know you are saying, how can this possibly be related to a cycling app? But one of the great things about the sport of cycling is that it takes you to some VERY beautiful and picturesque places. When you finally reach the top of that climb you have been huffing and puffing up for the past hour, you may just be rewarded with an awesome panoramic view from the summit… This is a very cool app to capture that view instead of just a small frame of it and allow you to simply make panoramic pictures (an example of one of ours is here).
It is very simple, easy to use, and makes a seamless panoramic shot by putting together several pics you take as your start the shot and turn yourself around. It gives you the two little halves of the yin and yang symbol and you simply turn your camera to connect the two of them until you are done… (iPhone - Android)
4. Endomondo (FREE) – What is Endomondo? It is another app that is designed to track and capture your activity and has been around for a several years now. How come it made our list? Well, they have created a National Bike Challenge that is running from May 1-August 31 with its goal of uniting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles, which is pretty cool. It is encouraging people to get out there and ride their bikes BUT also are encouraging folks with prizes as well. They are sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and Bikes Belong and have a good amount of prizes that they are giving away. The more you ride, the more points your will accumulate and increase your chances of winning some free stuff. Basically, you can win some free stuff just for riding your bike like you already are this summer. (iPhone - Android)
5. Spinlister - While this isn’t necessarily an
app per se, more a web service, and not necessarily available everywhere(only New York and San Francisco per se), we did want to include it as a new and interesting service. The service is called
Spinlister and is basically a company that is a bicycle rental marketplace for individuals. It allows you to rent out your own bike OR
rent a bike from an individual kind of like a bicycle version of Zipcar. It’s a pretty neat idea that you can actually earn some money from renting out your unused bike and let someone else take
your sweet ride on an actual ride for a little beer money… They say that the average rental price is $20 a day and they insure your
bike up to $5000 too so don’t need to worry too much about someone taking your bike for a ride and never coming back. With more cities implementing bike-share programs of their own, this is a
pretty cool alternative to give renters another option to get around town…on a bike. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if they come out with an app in the future.
BONUS: Bike Maps($0.99) – I know this one isn't exactly free(99 pennies), but thought it is worth including. If you are someone that travels quite a bit, not too familiar with the city layout that you’re in, and want to navigate the city on two wheels rather than four, this is a pretty useful app. It is a collection of over 400 maps of cities around the US that shows the bike trails or bike friendly routes through the city. (iPhone)