The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less
Whether you are looking for a way to get off the couch and get outside or you are training for the next Ironman, there are dozens of cycling and running apps out there. For the serious cyclist, you may know exactly what you are looking for, but it's still difficult to choose which app will meet your needs. As a road biking enthusiast, I want something simple to track my time and help me map my routes, but others may need something with more detail, especially if you are training for a race. (See also: 8 of our Favorite Fitness and Diet Smartphone Apps)
The 10 apps collected here have varying degrees of features and prices to help you find what you are looking for depending on your needs and preferences. The best part is that they are all under five dollars.
One caveat — most of these recommendations are based on features that I would find helpful as a cyclist. I didn't include any apps from Map My Ride because personally, I find the route tracker and other features a little difficult to use; however, many cyclists love Map My Ride.
1. Runtastic Road Bike Pro
Runtastic Road Bike Pro has received top ratings from Mashable and the New York Times, and it has over 50 features that every serious cyclist would want. One feature that stands out in the current version is the improved design making it easier to read than the previous version. The GPS and tracking history feature a live performance tracker that allows you to see or share with friends all of your stats. It tracks time, distance, calories burned, and speed in different views, including a pie graph that breaks down the distances traveled on each grade — uphill, downhill, or flat.
The international maps and weather updates make it easy to determine which route you want, and you can create music playlists for different types of workouts. For the price, this app seems to have the most features, and the newest version allows you to direct data to your wristwatch for easier and safer viewing of live tracking.
2. Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro
This all-around fitness app can be used for cycling, running, walking, or other distance-based activities. Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro acts as a fitness coach and a fitness partner. It allows you to track your distance, speed, and calories burned in easy-to-read graphs. You can also track average speed and distance, and heart rate if you have a heart rate monitor. The workout summary also includes a map of your route and the weather conditions during your ride.
During each ride, you get customized audio feedback, and you can set calorie-burning and distance goals before you begin your workout. It also allows you to share your workouts with friends in a newsfeed, and you can send encouragement notes to friends in real time. What makes this app a little different than the Runtastic Pro is the versatility for cyclists who want an app that can be used for other sports.
3. Strava Cycling
For a free app, Strava Cycling - GPS Riding is an excellent app for the competitor. It is similar to Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, but you can also compare your stats in leaderboards and earn achievements. It has a private community and newsfeed, along with a lot of other competitive features, such as setting and tracking your goals to beat your own previous workout stats. This competitive edge helps you push yourself and compete with friends so that you have a variety of motivators.
4. Map My Tracks OutFront
If you are looking for something simple and free, Map My Tracks by OutFront is for you. It tracks rides, runs, and walks in charts and 3D maps. It doesn't have all the features of the more advanced apps, but according to reviewers, it is incredibly accurate. Also, many people just want something simple to easily view their distance and to save routes on the Map My Tracks website, which allows you to view other recommended routes.
5. iBiker Indoor and Outdoor Cycling Trainer
This app has all the basic tracking features, along with the ability to sync data with multiple devices and online. What distinguishes iBiker Indoor and Outdoor from the similar ones is that you can also track your weight, blood pressure, and sleep scores if you are looking to improve overall health. Another benefit is the ability to track all the data using an indoor bike, so it's great for winter training.
6. Bicycle Blue Book
The Bicycle Blue Book is an excellent and handy source of information for someone who is shopping for a used bike. It pulls from thousands of bicycle transactions to provide an accurate estimate of cost based on make, model, age, condition, and other variables. This is a convenient tool if you want one of the most accurate assessments of a used bike's value. The accuracy and expert estimations make this app ideal for bike enthusiasts and beginners. (See also: Bike On! Great Deals on All Things Bicycle)
This app is for the triathlete or marathon runner in training. It is a simple and easy-to-use time and distance planner. You can help reach your goals by planning your pace for an estimated finish time. Rubis Personal Best can be used for training for an Ironman or a Half Ironman.
8. Runtastic Mountain Bike Pro
Like the Road Bike Pro, Runtastic Mountain Biking Pro is highly regarded by users and tech magazines. It has all the same features of the road version, and it includes offline maps, colored traces of your route, and interval splits so that you can view each part of your mountain trail route. It is one of the top rated apps by mountain biking enthusiasts.
9. Cycling Buddy
For a dollar, Cycling Buddy is a surprisingly useful app if all you are looking for is a GPS tracker. It has multi-tasking abilities and allows you to track running routes as well. It can be used for training or even mapping rides to work. A few reviewers had trouble with this app, but for a buck, it is a simple app with a few extra features to give you more opportunity to view your routes and track your time. (See also: A Guide to Becoming a Part-Time Bicycle Commuter)
10. Couch to Bike
If you are just getting into biking, training for a fundraiser, or need to get off the couch and onto a bike, this free app is worth the time it takes to download. The goal of the Couch to Bike app is to get the user to bike 25 miles within just a few weeks. You're given non-aggressive goals and training tips with an easy-to-follow schedule. The best part is that this app was designed by cyclists. Every cyclist had to start somewhere, and cyclists know that when you are just beginning, the training must be fun and gradual. This is a great tool for beginners at any fitness level. It includes a GPS and other basic tracking features. (See also: Train Now for a Summertime Family Cycling Trip)
What are your favorite cycling or training apps? Feel free to comment below or find us on Facebook!