Top 5 Cycling Apps
Cycling apps are a great asset to have when cycling, enhancing the overall experience.
If you’ve ever had the feeling of wanting to know how far you’ve cycled, your cycling speed and hill climbs, there are many cycling apps available which can provide this information.
As the market for cycling apps increases rapidly, identifying the Top 5 Cycling Apps becomes ever more challenging. That said, this article presents our top 5 and includes the key features, pricing and general information, to leave you with a strong understanding of the best cycling apps and which one could be best suited to your needs.
No matter whether you’re a part-time cyclist, road, mountain or commuter cyclist, the apps mentioned in the article will be of relevance to you. Our top 5 picks are:
- Map My Ride GPS Cycling & Route Tracker
- Cycle Meter GPS
- Google Maps
Available for Devices: iOS, Android, Google Pixel
Cost: Free or upgrade to Premium for $9.99*/month
The Strava cycling has grown in popularity in recent years, making it our number one pick for the top cycling apps currently in the market.
Strava is not only a cycling app but a social network that connects athletes across the world as well as locally. The core functions of the Strava app include performance tracking, recording your cycle ride and visualizing your ride statistics including elevation, speed and power through different segments of your cycle.
The social network element of the Strava app allows you to share your performance and stats with friends or followers within the app interface, as well as sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Through the app, you can also give each other ‘kudos’ and give comments on other people’s activities as if it were a Facebook post.
Sometimes working out exactly where you want to cycle can be a real pain. The Strava app also can support you in this via the ‘routes’ section. The routes section will generate a route in your local area for you to follow and if you enjoyed it, it can be shared with others on the platform.
For those with a competitive streak, the Strava Clubs feature allows you to join with a group of people and work on new achievements individually and as a group. For example, you may want your staff to cover 100km as part of a new fitness incentive, the Strava app can include all staff members and provides daily updates on staff exercise activities to meet that 100km goal.
- Upload rides without a WIFI connection
- Connect and share with peers or neighbors
- Use audio cues, or connect with external sensors (HRM monitors)
- Search, save and share recommended routes
- Receive fitness plans and advice daily
- Engage in competitions and challenges
- Add pictures and ride descriptions
- Share on social media
Map My Ride GPS
Available for Devices: iOS, Android, Windows
Cost: Free or upgrade for more added benefits
MapMyRide is another highly recommended cycling app, renowned for its GPS capability which allows you to find the perfect cycling route to avoid traffic and have a smooth ride.
The MapMyRide app is perfectly suited to commuter cyclists who want to get around on their bikes with minimal disruption or fuss. MapMyRide has in-built memory which can save any cycle route which is handy for future use.
Although the app is perfectly suited to commuter cyclists, more serious cyclists won’t be disappointed by the capability of the app. In addition to being a great training tool, the app can analyze your cycling performance using the in-built GPS in your smartphone, to give you high-level insights into your workouts and fitness progress. The statistics that MapMyRide can visually present on the user interface include distance, speed, elevation, pace and calories burned.
Should you desire to be part of a community, the MapMyRide community component has a variety of challenges to participate in, with prizes available to win.
However, the core function of MapMyRide is the ability to record routes and share with others in real-time, which allows for an inclusive cycling experience. The app connects with all smartphones and is free to use.
- Share information on your fitness activities, challenges and goals via social media and email
- Create your cycling maps and share with others during the cycle
- Track total kilometers and calories burned by syncing workouts into a calendar
- Search other user-generated routes that have been shared
- Print routes for physical copies
- Use the training log feature to put together a training and nutrition plan
- Connect the app to wearable technology such as a Fitbit or Garmin and track your activities
Available for Devices: iOS, Android.
Zwift is renowned for being the market-leading indoor cycling training app, which has transformed the world of indoor cycling. Compatible iOS and Android, this virtual online platform allows you to cycle on real cycling routes recreated digitally to make you feel like you’re there.
The app can serve multiple uses, whether it be a training or gaming tool or as a social network. The Zwift app allows cyclists around the world to connect in a virtual environment from the comfort of your own home or gym. To participate in the app, you will need to purchase an indoor cycling machine – perfect should there ever be restrictions on outdoor activities during a pandemic lockdown!
Whichever cycling machine or trainer you purchase, it should have ANT+ or BLE power, a cadence and meter/speed sensor to fully maximize the app’s capability. If you’re completely new to Zwift and want some detailed advice on setting up the app, check out this blog.
- Tracking crucial stats such as speed, cadence, heart rate and distance
- Connect with fellow cyclists and comment on each other’s performance
- Zwift is connected to Strava, meaning any activity can be uploaded to the Strava platform
- Livestream your indoor ride for others to watch
- Create your own group rides with cyclists from around the world
- Change rider camera viewpoints
- Multi-player engagement
- Achievement awards similar to a videogame
- Choose from over 80 routes, from London or New York
- View Zwift’s detailed ride report to understand your fitness stats
Available for Devices: iOS, Pixel
Cost: Free – for Elite version $15.99*/month
Cyclemeter GPS is another popular cycling app that has been designed with the cycling enthusiast in mind. The app uses a very powerful computer system that enables it to be packed full of exciting features for users to utilize.
Whether it features such as mas, splits, interval training, graphs, training records or announcements, Cyclemeter can service the majority of riders’ needs.
One of the best benefits to the Cyclemeter app is that to use, all the user has to do is turn the app when you begin cycling, and the app does the rest – identifying the preferred route and generating statistics on-the-go. Another unique feature that Cyclemeter has compared to other leading cycling apps is the ability to create voice prompts during your cycle, allowing you to hear your rider stats and comments on social media.
Unfortunately at this stage, the Cyclemeter app is only accessible on iOS and Google Pixel which is a big blow for Android users. This does not, however, take away from the fantastic features that the app contains, which are user-friendly and helpful in guiding your cycling. The app is free to use but also contains a paid-for elite version with enhanced capability and functioning.
- Core functions built-in include distance, time, speed, heart rate allowing you to constantly monitor progress and keep informed
- Plan training and workouts
- Sync with Apple calendar to monitor your weekly / monthly progress
- Get route traffic maps through syncing with google maps
- Earphone remote can be used to start and stop your ride
- Share your workouts via social media and other cycling apps such as Strava
Available for Devices: iOS, Android
You may not think of Google Maps as specifically a cycling app, but frankly, the technology is so advanced that it simply had to make it into our top 5 cycling apps.
The greatest benefit of Google Maps is the reliable mapping technology incorporated into the app, which gives you accurate, up to date information on traffic, obstacles in your route. When searching a route, the app provides a cycling route option, which will focus specifically on tailored cycling routes to make the journey best suited to cyclists. Should the journey encounter difficulties, Google Maps will provide live suggestions on alternative routes, estimating the time difference.
While the app should be considered more as directions app, it’s user-friendliness and reliable mapping service is something to not be underestimated. If you’re simply wanting to get from A to B and don’t want to pay for a cycling app, Google Maps is the best choice.
For those who want rider statistics and cycling social network, Google Maps is not built for those needs and will therefore not satisfy.
- Free and user-friendly
- Live cycling routes with route recommendations and options
- Turning directions and ETA
- Option for audio instructions
- Different map types including Default, Satellite or Terrain Maps
- Find nearest services such as restaurants, pubs or ATMs
- Real-time traffic updates
Hopefully, this article has given you all the essential information you need to know when selecting a cycling app. The good news is all of our top 5 cycling apps have free versions, so you don’t need to spend a penny