Cyclists need to be able to leave their phones at home but still have access to critical information on the go. Here are five top apps for cycling that are compatible with smartwatches and fitness trackers that give you the freedom to check what you need with the flick of a wrist – you’ll barely have to take your hands off the handlebars with these specialist cycling watches!
Strava is, without doubt, the king of GPS apps for cycling. There are some really nifty features like ride logging, which can be directly uploaded to your Strava profile online.
The Strava app monitors and tracks your ride statistics as you go along, telling you your time, speed and distance while monitoring where you’ve been. When your session is finished, you can check how many calories you burned and what elevation levels you reached. If you set a new personal best it will show as a new record in any one of the many Strava segments you can use to monitor progress.
TrainingPeaks is another highly popular option for cyclists. Regardless of your actual goal, TrainingPeaks will have a tried and tested training plans for you to choose from. You can go with one of their accredited coaches or go it alone if you’d rather guide yourself.
It offers everything from beginner cyclist plans with structured workouts to far more advanced options. It’s compatible with smartwatches from Garmin, Polar and Suunto and Apple and you’re able to sync your session data to your account which you can look at on your smartphone, tablet or PC.
The basic app is free but if you want more advanced features like activity scheduling, there’s a paid option that allows you to add comments, see comments from coaches, and more.
WearOS users are able to enjoy exploring with ViewRanger. Specially developed for Casio Pro Trek smartwatches, it lets users find new routes and navigate their way using GPS and offline maps for outdoor adventures.
WearOS users get access to a huge outdoor map library for 17 countries, right there on their wrists. It’s possible to save offline maps showing urban streets or offroad terrain to your watch, all with handy satellite images. It’s the perfect app for road or mountain biking enthusiasts.
The app lets you track your bike ride without the need for your phone to be nearby. You can check out your stats on your display, including distance, elevation and altitude and time. It’ll also monitor your heart rate
It’s free, but there’s a charge if you want premium maps.
This app is really comprehensive for Apple-using fitness fanatics. It has a GPS function that helps users to access stats that encourage performance improvement during cycling sessions. Offers maps, splits, laps, graphs, maps and zones. It also tells you training-specific information like time, distance, speed, power, cycling cadence and heart rate. Cyclemeter offers a number of preset workouts which means you’ve got a motivational coach right there on your wrist.
Furthermore, it syncs with your Strava account as well as other third-party apps and is free to download, but there are a few premium features that you might want to pay for.
This app is great for both Apple Watch users and Samsung Gear wearers, with especially user-friendly operation for Samsung Galaxy Watch wearers.
Map My Ride was one of the pioneers of ride-logging apps – Strava came along as a worthy competitor later on. Still, Map My Ride has a lot to offer. You can check out the details of your ride which includes speed, distance, elevation and a map of the route you took, which you’re able to share with friends. Like Strava, there are timed sections – which MMR calls courses – where you can set personal bests to see if you can beat your times.
It’s free to download, but you’ll have to pay for premium features such as live tracking, heart rate zones, route genius, training plans and other in-depth options.
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to cycling apps and the right one for you depends on your personal preferences. A street cyclist will have different needs to an off-road dirt bike enthusiast. Be sure to do some research about the best apps for what you need, and then check out what watches it is compatible with.
Apple users have access to some exclusive and exceptional apps but Samsung is very close behind, and, arguably better in that there are far more choices of watches than just the one from Apple. Read more on the features in cycling smartwatches.
The ‘best’ cycling app that you can access on your smartwatch is only ever going to be the one that most closely meets your needs. Be sure to do your research, but most importantly, enjoy your ride and let the app do all the thinking!