Product Reviews March 26, 2011

Cyclemeter iPhone App

Roger Bailey (another happy cyclemeter user), riding End to End. Image from

Previously I had used 'Bones In Motion' (BIM), an App designed with the Blackberry in mind. Compared to some of the Apps available on the Blackberry, it wasn't too bad. That said, the major issue with BIM was that it used alot of battery juice in order for it to work. This was a major disadvantage because the so-called Blackberry 'SmartPhone' could barely last 24 hours without a charge. Should you go out on a ride for anymore than 3 hours, you were in serious danger of running out of battery before getting home. As a consequence it didn't really encourage me to use it, because you were forever plugging the wretched phone into the mains. So much for it being 'mobile'. This, amongst many other irritations caused me to give up completely with the phone - and therefore BIM. In short, back to square one, making use of my Cateye Computer already on the bike. Thought about buying a Garmin but never got round to it. In the category of non-essential. 

I'll spare you the story, but let's just say the Blackberry and I finally fell out over Christmas. Possibly not a very trendy thing to say, but Vodafone were fantastic, I ditched my Blackberry (and contract) thus allowing me to start from scratch again. 

Enter the iPhone. 

As I mentioned, it's brilliant. 

So which bike app then? I had sussed out a few the freebie Apps, Swazy had already told me IMapMyRide didn't track very well and the speed data was not very reliable, so I decided to give that one a miss. It didn't take me long to find Cyclemeter. I was slightly skeptical, but only because it was £3 and I had had lttle experience of buying Apps. Would it be worth it? It looked quite good. Less than the cost of a pint. Let's give it a go. 

So what's it like? 

How about, I never go for a ride without taking it with me. How about, one of the best £3 I've ever spent. How about, exceptional functionality? That's not a bad series of recommendations to start with, is it? Hyperbole? Maybe, but I mean it, if you want an App that's going to track you when you on when you are cycling, look no further than Cyclemeter. Again, as simple as that. So other than the cost, what's so good about it? 

It's very easy to use. The main panel is a stopwatch that displays all the key information of your ride - elapsed time, average speed, distance, stopped time and so on. You can pause the stopwatch, ideal if you're stopping for lunch and don't want the 'stopped time' to interfere with your overall stats. This information, including calories expended and meters ascended/descended (which was what I explicitly wanted) is all available in a ride summary at the end. This data can be extracted into various file types should you wish to analyse the telemetry of your ride afterwards. I've not done that (yet). If there's a ride you tend to repeat - mine's a 'round the block', you can also name that route and then compare those rides together. Cyclemeter also allows you to view summaries of your rides, either by week/month/year. It's very interesting to see what the accumulated distance/ascended meters, ride time and calories are. Cyclemeter is 'Social Media' friendly, meaning that once you've 'polled' your ride, you can automatically update Twitter and Facebook feeds with details of your ride (it's possible to define what information is shared here. (I keep my start/finish location and mapping data private). Each ride can be tracked using a variety of maps and your ride data is available in graphic format showing speed and elevation data. Again this is interesting to see, especially the longer you ride for. Of course your legs will remember the hills, but your head might not! One last point to mention. No concern regarding battery drain either. It is very frugal with it's use of power; I've been on a 4 hour ride and not only did it keep a signal fix it for the duration, it barely used 10% of the iPhone's battery. Another plus point. If you Blackberry/BIM you should probably just give up now. 

In summary, a functionally superior App, that once purchased comes with free updates. I've been thinking how else you could improve Cyclemeter. I don't think you can. So go and buy it and see for yourselves - and say bikebritain sent you. 

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