Archive for category apps
The 100th running of the Tour de France is coming soon, SizeMyBike for iPhone will be free Saturday, June 29th!
SizeMyBike is the first mobile bike fitting app. Essential to choose the right frame size or improve your position!
To learn more about SizeMyBike:
SizeMyBike is available on the App Store:
Race takes place in Pittsburgh and attacks thirteen of their steepest climbs. This is Canton Ave at an average grade of 21.5%. Check out the details of the segment on Strava here.
Over the weekend I came across an iPad/iPhone app, MadPad. You grab short video sound bites of whatever you want and it becomes a sample board. So of course I went and recorded a bunch of sounds from my bike. However, as I found out, I’m not talented enough to make it all sound good. Luckily, someone had the same idea.
Photo from here.
If you like to tackle most of your bike repairs and save the complex ones for your LBS, Bike Repair App from Atomic Software might be just what you need. Available for iPhone, iPad as an HD version for $2.99 and also available for Android phones for $2.10. The app is fair priced as to what you receive and what is comparable for twice as much. This review focus’s on the iPhone version which is comparable to iPad.
With a simple interface, the app will walk you through your repair even if you’re unsure what needs to be fixed but know the part or if you know what needs to be fixed, just unsure how. If you know roughly what part is giving you greif, you can select Problems, select what part and then the app presents some simple troubleshooting questions. Then it walks you through how to remedy the problem. This is a great and simple way to troubleshoot. I would have liked to see a search function or if the troubleshooting questions were all in one place as would make another option for the user to find a similar troubleshooting question they are experiencing. Some bike problems aren’t easy to tell the location, so you will need to do your best to isolate it down to what part or at least area of the bike and peruse the parts on the app for your fix.
If you know what part is out of alignment, needs some TLC or just want to know what it does. Selecting Parts from the menu, then the part, like Rear Derailleur, it will then point out what adjustments, cleaning or fixes are related. I find this a great way to learn more about your bike if you don’t know already.
Regardless of which repair option you have selected, Problems or Parts, you are walked step by step through detailed pictures and instructions. I found the pictures to be great and instructions well written. If the issue or repair is to complex or requires special tools, the app suggests a visit to your LBS. You’ll note Messages and Information as a menu option. Messages are quick tips or announcements from the company and Information houses the app rating, social media, which you can share your feelings of the app and finally some friends of the company worth a visit. Great app, perfect for the toolbox of the up and coming self bike mechanic.
I wanted to share a few more views of the Strava iPhone app that is now available on iTunes for free! You can see your summary stats such as where your ride took place, date, mileage, speed, elevation gain, elapsed and total time.
Next is a simple map overview with a ride outline. Green and red pins denote ride start and stop locations respectively. The purple pins you see highlight segments, if you tap them, they will pull up the specific segments detail.
Finally, as mentioned on the Map screen, by tapping the purple pins or on the Climbs screen tapping a climb or segment, you can bring up the detail. You can see the category the climb was, the elevation, distance, how you ranked currently and your previous best. I moved up one rank but it looks like I need to improve a little on this climb!
I was recently selected for doing some beta testing for Strava’s upcoming iPhone app, aptly named, Strava. So naturally, I wanted to share right away what it looks like and some of its initial features, with Strava’s permission of course…
The app is super simple to use, you can see you can lock the screen via the button in the upper right and starting the app is the large blue play button. Once your ride is complete you press the blue pause button(overlayed on the blue play button while riding) and it will ask if you want to resume, discard or cancel. If you select discard, it will ask you one more time, I like this, as I have accidentally deleted rides. When you complete your ride, the app automatically syncs to Strava.com, very nice feature. On the bottom you can select Rides or Settings. When selecting Rides you are presented with your all of your rides nicely summarized, see below, showing ride name, date, distance and time of ride.
Selecting a specific ride gives you a well layed out summary. As you can see below. From there you can access the tracking and map of your ride, which is simply a map overlay. As well, selecting Climbs, presents you your data on any prexisting climbs, similar to what is on your strava.com account.
By selecting Settings from the main screen, you have some basic settings for version one. You can select your unit of measurement (Standard or Metric) and About just provides the version number of the app. It would be great to build this out to include weight of rider and a few social options.
I’m looking forward to fully testing out strava’s app and will do a complete review once the app is released to the public. So check back for it and in the meantime, if you don’t already, sign-up of for a strava account. They offer a limited (five uploads a month) free account and of course a priced unlimited account.
Wahoo Fitness is about to release their new product, the Fisica Sensor Case for the iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G, this coming January. The case is a clean design and has been made to be as compact as possible while retaining its Ant+ technology: allows you to wirelessly connect to any Ant+ heart rate, speed, cadence and/or power sensors.
Made from ABS, the case is durable and weatherproof. Overall control of your iPhone is possible through the clear lexan screen cover, that works very well to the touch and I found that I could navigate with gloves on. The phone is usable while you are on the road whether you are using a headphone jacked or Bluetooth ear piece. There is an attached cap to access your headphone jack and a rubber button to allow use of the top lock button of the iPhone. On the bottom of the case you will find a micro USB outlet which can be used for charging your iPhone and data connection. Wahoo Fitness is currently working on an external battery pack that will attach in between the case and the bike mount, connect to the micro USB and charge your iPhone while you ride. The case allows you to utilize your iPhone’s camera while stowed in the case, however for the iPhone 4, the flash will not work due to the lack of port size in the case.
Opening the case you will unlock six waterproof nylon latches; they keep your iPhone nice and dry in the most unforgiving weather conditions. The case comes with two liners, one for the iPhone 4 and one for the iPhone 3GS/3G. I found it easy to install the liner and would advise to take extra care on the top of the liner in between the headphone jack and top lock button, that the seal lip seats and the liner button is pushed through the case as far as possible. Once you are ready to lay your iPhone in the case, you will see a clear plastic tab, this is so you can easy remove your iPhone. Closing the case is fairly simple and you will find your iPhone safely stowed.
The case comes with a bike mount, which allows quick disconnect of your case via a slide latch. It can be attached to your stem or handlebar to display your iPhone in either landscape or portrait position, this is changed easily via the center Phillips head screw. On install, ensure the center screw is nice and snug prior to heading out. I found the landscape position to best on a road bike.
The case can work with many different manufactures Ant+ sensor, my review was tested with Wahoo Fitness’s Soft Heart Rate Belt sensor and their Speed and Cadence Bike sensor. The heart rate belt fits well with button snaps and is adjustable. The speed and cadence sensors attach easily to the bike with zip ties and has rubber feet to keep the sensors from moving. When installing the cadence magnet on the crankarm, I suggest to tighten the zip tie prior to the aligning mark of the sensors and use your fingers to push the zip tie and magnet up the arm of the crank for a super tight fit. I would recommend that once you finish the installation of the sensors and the case, is to download Wahoo Fitness’s free Fisica Sensor Utility app. The app is helpful to ensure each sensor is connecting and installed correctly.
Overall this is a great case and sensor package and I would recommend it. It leverages that iPhone you are carrying with you on your ride and pushes your rides to be training exercises. On Wahoo Fitness’s website you can review app and choose which works best for your training. I tested their free Fisica Fitness app and Biky Coach app, which fit me well for my training regimen. I would like to see some minor improvement made to the size of the camera port. The pictures taken for test had a slight vignette from the case. Possible future productions of the case Would be to size the port slightly larger. There was a slight rattle of the case on the mount on some rough road conditions; however a little electrical tape on the mount easily cures this. Both concerns are not a deal breaker. Currently being offered for pre-order on a January 2011 release, the Wahoo Fitness Bike Pack 2 is priced at $206.99, which includes the case, bike mount, heart rate belt and the speed/cadence sensor. If you already own an Ant+ sensor you can purchase just the Fisica Sensor Case, currently for $119.99, check their compatibility chart prior to purchase.
Photography by Mariea Rummel Photography
There are several well developed iPhone GPS apps available today for cycling, but what sets one apart from the others? Recently, I was asked to give Cyclemeter by Abvio a try, to see for myself what made them different.
At first glance, the price is a dollar or two higher than the others at $4.99, but after using the app only after a few times I realized it is worth every dollar and the old adage of “You get what you pay for.” applies here. Upon launching the app you instantly have in front of you your ride time, distance, speed, remaining distance, average speed and calories burned. These data points are all controlled by two buttons, start and done, with the ability to pause the ride if needed. You can name your route and as well notate what type of activity you are doing, cycling, mountain biking, et cetera, and finally at the bottom of the screen you can see your GPS signal quality.
One of the features that sets Cyclemeter apart, is that you can have it announce your stats via the iPhone speaker or headphones. This really is helpful if you are one, such as myself, that doesn’t want to look down at a computer while navigating through traffic or barreling down a technical trail. While on the subject of announcing, if you email, tweet or post your status on facebook, the app will post your stats every five minutes and even read to you what your family and friends are saying about your ride. These options are fully configurable and as well you maintain full control of whether or not it posts to email, twitter or facebook. The announcements can mute your iTunes and allows full control of your music while you ride. Cyclemeter, as most GPS apps do, utilizes Google map with the choice of Street, Satellite or Hybrid view.
Another feature is the calendar. The calendar keeps track of your rides, all your stats of that ride and as well you can add notes, pretty helpful if you ride in different areas and want to keep track of trail conditions, trail markers or an awesome burrito place you want to go back to. The calendar will also help you keep track of your mileage by week, month or even year and can sync to Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange, AOL, Yahoo, MobileMe, and iCal.
Do you organize your rides? Ever wonder which ride was the one that had that super fast downhill or an awesome climb? Keep track of all your routes and be able to select them and it will guide you through. You can race yourself from your previous route rides and see your “old” self on the map and hopefully outperform and show improvement! Regardless of how you do, it will rank your ride as best, better, median, worse and worst than your previous route ride. Have you ever left your iPhone at home on a ride? You can manually enter your data so at the very least you can maintain the route and your mileage of the ride.
Finally, are you a data head? Well, I am, I love the graphs showing my speed and elevation gain/decent from my rides that the other cycling app have on their websites, Cyclemeter has it built in. I like being able to talk to friends or cycling acquaintances and while trying to explain the ride, I can pull out my iPhone and show them where to go, where to turn and what they can expect from the ride, is it flat or is it a crazy long climb? Now you might ask about exporting GPS raw data file, yes! Cyclemeter will also export to CSV files for your spreadsheet data compiling. Cyclemeter provides you all that you need to navigate, orgainize and train. The app is very easy to use and configure, and I found that everything I want and need from a cycling GPS tool, you will not be let down! Go out and download it on iTunes.
After seeing our post on Strava, Lori at Abvio contacted us and provided a few promotional codes for their Cyclemeter app for the iPhone. I’ve not used Cyclemeter yet, but it looks like a nice little GPS application that would be perfect for creating .gpx files for uploading to sites like Strava.