iPhone apps for cycling?
May 11, 2012 1:46 PM   Subscribe

iPhone apps for cycling?

Over the last year or so, I've really gotten into cycling. Up till now, though, I've been doing it on kind of an ad hoc basis, without really keeping track of what I've done, distances, and so on.

I'd love to find an iPhone app that can help me keep track of my rides (one that does GPS tracking and automatically tracks speed etc. would be ideal) and that also has a collection of new bike paths I can try out (I live in Chicago, in case that's relevant). I've searched for cycling iPhone apps in the iTunes store, and there are almost too many different options - so I'd really love some recommendations from folks with first-hand experience. Thanks in advance!
posted by Pontius Pilate to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I like Runkeeper. I use it to log runs and rides, and I think you can search for new routes on their Web interface (I haven't used that feature much).
posted by brentajones at 2:00 PM on May 11, 2012

I use MapMyRide. It has a mappinf deature that uses your phone's GPS to show your exact route, and has neat stats like elevation etc. It also allows you to post your ride to Facebook and Twitter to show people you're exercising. And it also allows you to map runs, walks etc. It's pretty good!
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:02 PM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like Endomondo a lot.
posted by Rad_Boy at 2:27 PM on May 11, 2012

In case it matters to you, Endomondo has by far the best Facebook integration out of the apps I've tried. I really enjoy using it.

As for accuracy, its distance and speed have looked quite good on the few times I've compared it to my friend's bike computer while we were riding together. It does drain my Android battery pretty quickly, though maybe it's less aggressive on the iPhone.
posted by tantivy at 2:52 PM on May 11, 2012

This isn't really an answer to your question, but I'm really pleased with MapQuest's app because it offers audible turn-by-turn directions for when I'm cycling and can't look at the screen to see where the hell I should be turning.
posted by HotPatatta at 3:05 PM on May 11, 2012

I used Cyclemeter for about half a year, but ultimately got tired of the battery drain on long rides (50 mi. +). I love my iPhone, but have come to the conclusion that its GPS system works best for finding yourself on occasion, not constant tracking.

I've since moved on to the newly-released Garmin Edge 200, which at $150 is quite affordable in comparison to the rest of the Edge line, plus it fits nicely on the handlebar and provides lots of information on-screen. It stores all of the data for each ride, then you can upload it to the web for viewing and analysis. I find the Garmin online service to be easier to use and contain much more ride information than the Cyclemeter site.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:09 PM on May 11, 2012

Join Strava and get the app. The basic membership is free & is plenty. You can search for rides on the site, compare your rides with others online (think virtual races!), it gives great maps & profiles, etc. Mapmy ride sucks in comparison. Get Strava- its what the pros use.
posted by TDIpod at 6:41 PM on May 11, 2012

Seconding MapMyRide.
posted by brilliantine at 7:49 PM on May 11, 2012

I found Strava far superior to MapMyRide.
posted by dame at 8:36 PM on May 11, 2012

Seconding (thirding?) Strava.

Be warned, though: plan on becoming addicted to obsessively attempting to "win" all the segments in your area, and be prepared to spend obscene amounts of money in order to buy gear that will help you achieve this pipe dream. ;)
For example, I know that if I could only find the perfect bike shorts, I'd totes be beating all Taylor Phinney's posted times. Totes.
posted by Dorinda at 7:18 AM on May 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses, everyone! I went with Strava and so far, it looks like it's got everything I need.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 7:06 PM on May 13, 2012

I tried Strava and found it drained my battery too quickly (iphone 4S). Does no one else have that issue? I feel it wouldn't even be able to track a 30 mile ride. Runkeeper is much less of a battery-drainer for me.
posted by mikepop at 6:24 AM on May 14, 2012

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