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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Smartphone Cyclecomputer Apps?

    I am a geek, and a cyclist, and am contemplating getting an android smartphone. I was also looking at the new Garmin 500 cyclecomputer, and I realized that almost all of the functionality in the cyclecomputer could be implemented in a smartphone app - does anybody know of one that exists?

  2. #2
    Senior Member dorkypants's Avatar
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    Most current smartphones will run out of juice much faster than a dedicated GPS device when you're continuously using their GPS function. I hear the Droid and forthcoming Android phones will manage power use much better.

  3. #3
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    Here's a windows mobile one that I downloaded. I need to get a sturdy bracket to hold my HTC Touch Diamond on the handlebars before I try it out on the bike.

    http://www.freewarepocketpc.net/ppc-download-gps-cycle-computer.html

  4. #4
    No Sidewalks. capolover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kh6idf View Post
    Here's a windows mobile one that I downloaded. I need to get a sturdy bracket to hold my HTC Touch Diamond on the handlebars before I try it out on the bike.

    http://www.freewarepocketpc.net/ppc-download-gps-cycle-computer.html
    cool.

  5. #5
    Senior Member thesmoothdome's Avatar
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    I have Mapmyride+ on my Iphone and it's horrible. Considering I get lost in a paper bag, I'll probably break down and get a GPS unit soon.

  6. #6
    Seņor Member ericy's Avatar
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    Look for "My Tracks" in the marketplace from google.

    Yeah, the GPS sucks down the battery a bit - I just got the phone, and have yet to take it cycling, so I don't know what kind of runtime is feasible.

  7. #7
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    runkeeper for the iphone is a great little app. Allows you to upload and track your rides on their website too!

  8. #8
    Senior Member RochMNTandem's Avatar
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    I have MotionX Sport on an iPhone - its' designed for sports, hiking, biking, walking, boating... love the app and use it a lot. This will be the first season for high milage or longer distance bike rides. Am anxious to see what the battery life ends up looking like. That is prob going to be the biggest drawback. I absolutely love the app thou.... It would be worth carrying an booster battery at $40... still researching options and ready to hit the road in Minnesota when the snow melts.

  9. #9
    Seņor Member ericy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RochMNTandem View Post
    Am anxious to see what the battery life ends up looking like..
    For what it is worth, I went on a 2-hour ride on Sunday with my Android phone and "My Tracks" running. I started with a fully charged battery - at the end of the ride I still had 82% battery left. But I also stopped to set a number of waypoints and take a picture with the phone along the way, so if you just had it in your pocket and didn't fool with it you might do even better.

    The GPS did a decent job with the latitude and longitude, but the elevation data seemed kind of suspect. I took one of those *out-and-back" rides - return by the same route, and the elevation on the return trip varied from the outbound trip by a bit. I need to dig into the raw data and see how much the difference is.

    The GPS claimed that I did a total of 1440 ft of climbing which seems like a lot more than I would have expected. I think there is just a lot of uncertainty in the elevation data, and it was just adding it all up..

  10. #10
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    I have an android (an HTC Hero.. so it hasn't yet received the updates to the newer versions of android)

    I LOVE it and I LOVE using it as a cyclocomputer.

    I kept breaking cyclocomputers and live in NYC and so when I didn't break them they'd eventually get forgotten on my bike and disappear. My options seemed to buy a wireless cyclocomputer or use my phone.

    I tried a bunch of apps and found two I particularly liked: Velox is simple just telling you speed, distance and elevation but I ended up using the absolutely excellent and rocking CardioTrainer (look it up on androlib.com where you'll find the reviews and a QR)

    CardioTrainer was a free app but I ended up buying one of the two add-ons available for it. Cardiotrainer maps my ride, times me, tracks speed, distance, estimated calorie burn, total climb. It also autopauses if you stand still long enough (you can set that too) so I don't time much of the time I spend waiting at lights.It uses google maps so I can pretty easily see directions but I can also use it simultaneously as google maps if I wanted. (since androids can run multiple apps simultaneously). Cardiotrainer can also be set to make announcements every so often about speed and distance (depending on what you set) and uploads this to a page on their site that you get a code to see. Tracks your overall distance and can compare you to the mileage of other people

    and here was the kicker for me: I bought their add-on that allows me to race myself. I use the same route most days to commute. The race myself feature allows me to pick a previously recorded trip and 'race' it. Today I averaged 1.6 mph faster than yesterday, I was nearly a mile ahead of myself when I finished my commute and could really see that I was picking up distance on myself when I headed over the bridge today which is, for me, the hardest part of my 8mi commute, a climb I really want to be able to take quickly.

    Since it uses GPS it does suck batt... especially since I use bluetooth simultaneously for headphones. But I've easily used it on 3-4 hour trips and I used the money I saved on a cyclocomputer to buy an external battery pack which I can use to recharge my phone (and headphones and anything else) for multiple days while traveling so better, more versatile deal for me IMO. I am also a big fan of carrying less/multitasking.

    The downside, isn't the battery, IMO, its that I sometimes forget to open the app and set it to go. All the cyclocomputers I ever had just automatically started as soon as I started moving. But I can add in a ride after the fact if I know the mileage and I think it'll become more and more of a habit.

    For rides where I want to see what I'm doing instead of just tracking which it can do from my pocket or bag I used a $5 universal armband for cellphones and rigged it up so I can attach the phone to my stem. I just tighten it around the stem and then wrap it around the headset, it doesn't interfere with my steering nor allow the phone to wiggle at all.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I have the iPhone and a few cycling apps. Here is why I do not use them.

    1. The iPhone is not exactly waterproof, even in the otter box case I have.

    2. The otter box case will not fit onto any bike mount I know of.

    3. The bike mounts I do know of look flimsy

    4. If I fall, the phone will likely get messed up.

    5. Battery life will be short, I would rather save battery power for emergency calls.

    I opted to just get a bike computer / GPS. It solves a lot of "could be" problems

  12. #12
    Senior Member rbrian's Avatar
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    This looks like it should answer your first 3 objections, and this should answer the fifth. I haven't tried it yet myself, but I intend to.
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Ghandi

    Live as if the world were the way it should be, to show them what it could be - Angel

  13. #13
    Seņor Member ericy's Avatar
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    It also depends on what your needs are. I don't have the need to have the GPS up on the handlebar, so the phone can go in a pocket or pannier. If I were off in an area I wasn't familiar with, I would probably keep it in the back pocket of my jersey so I could pull it out and see where I was. The apps that I have used which measure your workout just run in the background with no need for me to see the screen. And on the Android, the screen blanks after about 10 seconds, so if you did want to see the screen you would need to keep hitting buttons to unblank the screen.

    Now I suppose if you were using CardioTrainer which lets you race against yourself, then having the thing up on the bars could have some value..

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