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  1. #1
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    Opinions on Giga Bike training software?

    Has anyone used this product? What are your opinions?? Thanks for the help

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    I think it sucks, but my reasons are pretty personal. As the author of a competing product (CycliStats), I don't mind competition, and welcome folks to download my 30-day trial version and compare it against any other products.

    But, I was pretty p*ssed when GigaBike came on the market a few months ago, to see that they had copied verbatim large sections of my program (e.g., the options window, the way of describing terrain profiles, toolbars, menus, etc.). It's not uncommon for software developers to incorporate cool features of their competitors, but wholesale copying is generally considered lazy and unethical.

    I also couldn't help noticing that their very first release was shown as version 5.9, instead of version 1.0. To me, that's an intentional misstatement of the product's maturity, and I suspect they chose that version number because CycliStats is on version 4.11.

    Anyway, I welcome the comparison to GigaBike, so feel free to download both products and see for yourself. If you do try Giga, I urge you to check out many of the tools and features in it...from what I saw in my testing of it, it still has plenty of bugs, and I think the Giga user interface is way too "busy" and difficult to use. But, take them both for a test drive and see for yourself.
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
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    It was a surprise to come across this posting, but it is titled appropriately. However, I think the original poster was asking for opinions from users, not biased opinions from competitors. While the choice of words from Cyclistats could have been more professional, it is also unfortunate that it is littered with misleading statements and non-factual claims.

    Reading the above posting only proves one thing, that Cyclistats is feeling the pressure of having competition. Clearly Cyclistats does not welcome competition, but rather tries to defame them in a public arena such as this message board. If Cyclistats welcomed competition they would attempt to offer better software that at least met the same level of features and services to the end user, which is you, the cyclist.

    When I first spoke with Cyclistats prior to Giga-Bike being launched he had told me he had 1000 users in his first year of business. Giga-Bike has over 5000 users in less than 3 months of business. Clearly Cyclistats is not meeting the demand and needs of cyclists and they are using Giga-Bike over Cyclistats. This is clearly the underlying factor that has irritated Cyclistats.

    Giga-Bike simply offers a more comprehensive, user friendly and more affordable solution for cyclists than its competitor Cyclistats. Consider the following features when you are serious about getting the best software. http://www.giga-bike.com/pdf/cyclistats.pdf

    ·Giga-Bike is $10.00 cheaper than Cyclistats
    ·Giga-Bike offers 30 more features that will help you with your training than Cyclistats.
    ·Giga-Bike offers a limited edition CD-Tin with Custom Die-Cut CD-Rom that works in any CD-Rom Player.
    ·Giga-Bike offers a more user friendly interface that makes it fun to use.
    ·Giga-Bike offers training plans and a training planner from a former National Team Coach.

    We wish to remain more humble and stick to the facts of our software. For Cyclistats to say we copied “verbatim”, large sections of their program is wishful thinking. The word verbatim means ‘to copy something word-for-word’. The reality is we are dealing with training-log software, which incorporates the language and terms of cycling and training. The whole purpose is to log information from your ride. It would be like saying Chris Carmichael copied Joe Friel’s training-log book, because they both use a calendar system and refer to tracking mileage. To imply that the use of features such as the option of changing your preferred date from Sunday to Saturday or any other day, is ‘copying’ is incorrect, the feature is simply logical since this is what the purpose of the program is, to log and schedule training. It would be like Word Perfect saying “how dare MS Office use the term ‘spell-check’ when we use the term Spell Check”. To imply that the way a user can pick ‘paved road’ as a terrain profile is evidence of copying Cyclistats, is again wishful. I think Cyclistats wishes we would have used the term ‘black-top’, instead of ‘paved-road’. These words are all common-place and are not under the copyright and ownership of Cyclistats. These same features are found in all other competitor’s software and Giga-Bike offers you the solution of adding your own custom terms, or deleting the terms that we provide by default. If Cyclistats had legal rights to the names then we would be in violation. But these are what cyclists can identify with, for example; You road your bicycle on a paved road. Most training-log software offers the exact same options and they are common-place between all of them. It is clear when you view both software their appearance and features are miles apart. There is nothing lazy or unethical about our software; as a matter of fact, with 30-more features, our software was a bigger challenge to develop than Cyclistats and the only thing unethical is how Cyclistats has chosen to air his personal, biased opinion against a competitor. Again, it’s like saying “how dare Ford build a car with four wheels, miles-per-hour on the speedo and seat-belts on the inside”, when that is how Chrysler does it. It is a bit naïve and trivial to think Cyclistats has ownership over these common place features in all training-log software.

    Regarding Cyclistat’s comments on the number system Giga-Bike uses when it launched its software; this is again Cyclistatss opinion and is very egotistical in thinking we wanted to have a number directly higher than Cyclistats to show a more mature product. If there existed a governing body that regulated software version numbers, then he might have a valid point, but it is at the company’s discretion to decide. Ie. We could chose to not have a number, or we may chose to call it Giga-Bike 2005, such as other companies do with their software. There is no law that says you need to start at Version 1.0. We chose 5.9 as an easy way to identify when the software was released. In this case, 5 represents the year 2005 and 9 represents the 9th month, September. Currently, users are working with Version 5.10, which indicates October of 2005. Soon, users will have a new version called Version 6.2, representing a release date of February 2006 and which will introduce 10 new features. This makes it simple for us to know what version and time period the user got the software.

    In final it’s only natural that Cyclistats says our software is full of bugs, since he is grasping for anything to make his software out to be better. Giga-Bike has an excellent support system in place and fixes any known bugs right-away, while offering updates/fixes for free via the “Check for Software Updates” choice in the help menu.

    Clearly, 5000 users and 150 stores carrying our product and a slew of professional cyclists using our software within 90-days is hurting Cyclistats business and I urge you to consider the above facts when entertaining Cyclistats’s posting. In all honesty, Cyclistats falls short of meeting a competitive cyclist’s needs; it does not work with power meters, isn’t able to import directly from heart rate monitors such as Polar, and is not even on our ‘radar’ as a serious competitor.

    I recommend you read the latest review in the Bicycle Paper to get an unbiased opinion of our software. http://www.giga-bike.com/media/seattlebicyclepaper.pdf

  4. #4
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    Hmmmm...in the words of William Shakespeare, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much" .

    Clearly, there's much terminology that's common to cycling-oriented training - "distance", "average speed", etc. But, there are so many similarities between GiguBike and CycliStats that I've actually been asked by strangers if I was the author of GigaBike. This indicates a level of similarity that's hard to ignore.

    One of the more egregious and obvious examples of their copying involves the terrain descriptions feature. CycliStats was the first training log to allow riders to estimate their climbing for each ride, even if they don't use an altimeter, via the use of a "slider" control. As the slider is manipulated, it displays a description of the terrain and a numeric indication of the number of feet climbed per mile (or, meters per kilometer). This is then used with the ride's distance, to estimate the total amount of climbing done on a ride.

    This was a pretty cool feature when it was first incorporated into CycliStats several years ago, and I'm not surprised that other software authors have picked up on it. But, GigaBike went beyond simply copying the look and feel of it - they copied "verbatim" each of the cutoff points, and each of the descriptions, that I had developed for describing different terrain profiles. These cutoff points are not "common usage"...they were developed by me, after much thought and experimentation, based on my own rides through many mountains with an altimeter.

    For instance, CycliStats assumes that rides with 0 to 10 feet of climbing per miles are "Very Flat":
    .

    So does GigaBike:


    CycliStats assumes that rides with 11-20 feet of climbing per mile are "Mostly Flat":


    Surprisingly, so does GigaBike:


    In fact, GigaBike uses the exact same cutoff points for all terrain descriptions, and the exact same words to describe them (see below). Thus, it's fair to say that they copied this feature of CycliStats "verbatim".






























    Last edited by SSP; 01-22-06 at 04:56 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Another feature that GigaBike copied pretty much "verbatim" was the Tools menu. CycliStats has long featured a collection of handy cycling-oriented tools. I'm not surprised that other software has this type of feature, but GigaBike's sure looks similar...it uses the exact same terms for each menu choice, and they're in the same order.

    Here's the CycliStats tools menu:



    And here's the GigaBike version:



    As for the tools themselves, they too seem to have been copied directly from their CycliStats counterparts. For instance, here's the CycliStats Gearing Calculator:



    And here's the GigaBike tool, with the exact same layout, and the exact same menu choices.

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    And then there's the Climbing Calculator. As far as I know, CycliStats was the first logging software to include a climbing calculator (very useful when planning for events like the Death Ride). Again, I'm not surprised that other software vendors saw the usefulness of this feature, but GigaBike appears to have simply copied it without so much as a single change.

    Here's the CycliStats Climbing Calculator:


    And here's the GigaBike clone of it:

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  7. #7
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    I hope these examples have illustrated why I'm displeased with GigaBike's copying of my work (there are more examples available).

    That said, I would like to reiterate that I don't fear competition...I just don't appreciate lazy programmers copying my hard work. FWIW, I'm just a one-man software vendor, who's been working on CycliStats for the last 3 years more as a labor of love than a way of getting rich.

    Anyway, for whoever's reading this thread, please feel free to download both Giga and CycliStats, and try out the trial versions of both. For anyone who posts their feedback in this thread, I'll offer a $10 discount from the regular price of CycliStats (just PM me and I'll send you a special link for the discount).
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
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  8. #8
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    Well I applaud both of your companies taking an active role in the cycling forum community. It seems like you've both expressed your sides of your disagreement, and while I confese to having a morbid interest in following your argument further, it really doesn't seem to benifit either of your users to further your debate in this public forum.

    Since your both here, and you both obviously care about improving your products, lets talk about some of the features you both seem to lack which would make your tools more usefull.

    It's great to see you both offer free trials. I download both and leave you some more feedback after I try your products.

    At the moment I use Polar's PP3 software since I mainly train with a 625SX (candence, speed, and HR, no power yet). I find it to be a decent tool, I like it's graphing feature for data, but I don't really like it's multiple work-out summary abilities (it have very limited ability to compare multiple workouts, summerize a time period, etc...), and it has some annoying user interface issues.

    I also briefly tried PC Coach since it's also listed as supporting the Polar products directly. I found it to be worse than PP3 and don't use it.

    Do either of your products let me download data directly from my Polar 625SX, or do I have to download it into PP3 and then input the .HRM into your software? Do either of you have a batch import for multiple .HRM files? Do either of you import the PP3 diary data? Will either of your support the new Garmin Edge 305/205 devices? These have quite a lot of buzz and many geeky cyclists (like me, and presumably like a large part of your target audience) are moving to these new toys. Again can I read my data straight from the garmin or do I have to do go through the Garmin software first?

    Do either of you support non-standard windows resolutions? I run a tablet PC (thinkpad 41T), and so it runs in traditional landscape mode (1024x768 and in portrait mode 768 x 1024). Are your programs going to give me an error when I run in 768 x 1024?

    Giga, I noticed you have a nutrition and fitness module. I'm currently using FitDay's software for nutrition and health log (since PP3 is so limited). FitDay has a very nice user interface, makes it easy to enter new foods from the nutrition label, is your nutrition module competitive? Do you track all body size measurements like fitday?

    When it comes to Power, none of the avid users seem to mention either of your produts. It seems Cycling Peaks is the gold standard. I'm hoping to buy the new PowerTap wireless when it becomes available later this year. Do either of you intend to support downloading data directly from the PowerTap? Are either of you working on a competitive feature-set to CyclingPeaks to evaluate power in workouts?

    Again, thanks for supporting the cycling community. I'd love to find better tools (for my workflow) than I'm using now, and I'd happily pay your asking price if you can provide them!

    Jason

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vbclown
    Do either of your products let me download data directly from my Polar 625SX, or do I have to download it into PP3 and then input the .HRM into your software? Do either of you have a batch import for multiple .HRM files? Do either of you import the PP3 diary data? Will either of your support the new Garmin Edge 305/205 devices? These have quite a lot of buzz and many geeky cyclists (like me, and presumably like a large part of your target audience) are moving to these new toys. Again can I read my data straight from the garmin or do I have to do go through the Garmin software first?
    CycliStats can import your HRM files...the easiest way is to drag and drop them onto the Calendar or the Rides tab. You can drag and drop multiple files, but each one will require confirmation (because the Polar HRM files have a bug that causes them to sometimes switch from miles to km and vice versa).

    I may add direct hardware support in future, but Polar treats their hardware interfaces as proprietary. The only way to get access is to join their "Developer Program", but it's pretty expensive to join.

    As for Garmin - that's on my list of interfaces to add. It looks like a simple, open file format (unlike Polar's cryptic, proprietary format).


    Quote Originally Posted by vbclown
    Do either of you support non-standard windows resolutions? I run a tablet PC (thinkpad 41T), and so it runs in traditional landscape mode (1024x768 and in portrait mode 768 x 1024). Are your programs going to give me an error when I run in 768 x 1024?
    I don't think this would be a problem with CycliStats, though I've not personally tested at that resolution. If you notice any issues with it, please let me know.


    Quote Originally Posted by vbclown
    When it comes to Power, none of the avid users seem to mention either of your produts. It seems Cycling Peaks is the gold standard. I'm hoping to buy the new PowerTap wireless when it becomes available later this year. Do either of you intend to support downloading data directly from the PowerTap? Are either of you working on a competitive feature-set to CyclingPeaks to evaluate power in workouts?
    I've heard good things about Cycling Peaks too. As for trying to compete with them, I doubt I'll make the effort in the near future. CycliStats is aimed more at the "avid recreational" cyclist, than the "competitive" cyclist, and given the cost of power measuring devices, I think the market is currently pretty small (nobody I ride with has a power meter).

    That said, CycliStats will automatically estimate your average wattage for each ride, based on ride distance, speed, elevation gained, body position, etc. The estimates are (IMO) "in the ballpark", though clearly not as accurate as a power meter...but, they are consistent, and a whole lot cheaper than current power meters.

    Hope this answers your questions, and feel free to post or PM me with any others you may have.
    Last edited by SSP; 01-23-06 at 11:47 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Neither of these products imports files from Garmin Forerunner or Edge computers - correct?

    Also re GigaBike - I downloaded it and could not get it to run. Turns out there was some weird dll file on my computer that was down level that GigaBike required be at a certain level. Unfortunately, I sent a request for support with specific text from the error msgs, etc., got a ticket number and the only response was "reinstall gigabike" - kind of clueless support 101.

    I did a little looking on the internet and found similar error msgs and followed the bulletin board suggestions and loaded the right version and the problem went away.

    The next day (with no response from me), I received a note from their tech support saying the were closing the problem. Kind of odd.

    I tried importing some PowerTap files which did import (although it took a very long time) but the stats were ALL wrong. It had me going like 1800MPH with a max heart rate of 87 and average power 1300 watts, etc. . .and after my lovely experience with their tech support team, I decided not to open another ticket (and have them close it without resolving anything or providing any support).

    Net/net, IMO, the program looks good but without ForeRunner support or accurate PowerTap imports, not much use to me . . .not to mention their tech support. . .

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    I have registered Cyclistats, but I will admit I DL'd a trial version of Giga-Bike. This was a few months ago when it was supposed to be a trial version, but it pops up an error then goes ahead & starts, & is completely (?) useable. What prompted me to try it was the training planner portion. I found it way too buggy, & can't possibly see someone the likes of David Zabriskie using the program.

    I can't possibly see 5000 users purchasing a "work in progress"(beta?). I even emailed Giga & just got an auto reply a few days later, & never an answer to my question.

    I emailed Cyclistats, & had an answer within the hour. Even a head's that allowed me to take advantage before the price increase.
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    First one with software that runs on MacOS gets my money.

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    To the original poster....
    Don't waste your money like I did, it's not worth it, most of the reasons why have been pointed out already.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtw
    First one with software that runs on MacOS gets my money.
    My sentiments exactly - in fact if I knew more about cycling I'd probably write something myself and make it cross platform.

    cheers

    /k

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    Quote Originally Posted by curtw
    First one with software that runs on MacOS gets my money.
    I would love to provide software for the Mac. However, I've looked into what it would take, and the effort required is simply too much given the limited market. It would take me at least 1000 hours of work to port the software into a form that's Mac compatible, and since there's only one of me, and many other priorities and features to work on, I simply can't cost-justify the effort .

    However, now that Macs are being built with Intel chips, perhaps someday Apple will decide to open up their OS and allow Windows apps to run natively on it. Until then, your alternatives are to buy a cheap PC, or look for a Mac-specific product (one I've heard of is www.ismarttrain.com).
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    try iSMARTtrain - http://www.ismarttrain.com

    Quick disclaimer - I'm the developer of it.

    Regards

    Stuart
    OTAG Technologies Ltd

  17. #17
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    FWIW, I also have tried both. Well, the Gigabike sw wouldn't install for me, but I am very pleased with Cyclistats. I actually requested a product enhancement regarding graphing, was responded to in less than 24 hours, and had my enhancement in the next release.

    My money is on Cyclistats!

    Having just received delivery of my Garmin Edge 305 bundle, I am interested to see how Cyclistats is going to play with that!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtw
    First one with software that runs on MacOS gets my money.
    +1

    Ah, off to check out iSmarttrain.

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    I've had Giga-Bike since sept. 05. It's basically a beta program that doesn't work yet. It also annoys me that i have to find info on a cycling forum about when an update is going to come out instead of on Giga-Bike's website. I've posted to their support line asking when the update is coming and all i get is very soon or no answer at all.

    My suggestion is to not buy it until the program actually works.

  20. #20
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    Based on this thread, I downloaded and installed Cyclistats. System is WinXP AMD 3800 CPU, 1GB ram. I can compare it with the Polar software that came with my 720i. Quick-look observations based on about 30 minutes of use:

    - Basic setup of data is straightforward.
    - Importing HRM data files was tedious (I'd hate to try loading my 2005 data one file at a time!). Fortunately, catch-up is a one-time event. I liked the detection of trainer rides, and was able to edit out the bogus altitude data (caused by all my hot air lowering the air pressure in the basement!).
    - Display of stats and summary data is straightforward. I still have the Polar software for detailed ride analysis (e.g. killing time when I should be riding!).
    - I like the calculators for BMI, BF%, gearing, and power. Roll-out will also be useful. Is the power calculation based on the data and formulas used by Analytic Cycling or published in Bicycling Science? I've found calculators on line for all these uses, but it is nice to have them in one location.

    While this software is cycling-oriented, the ability to record and display cross-training, such as weight sessions would be helpful. I noticed I can make a note entry under "health", but the Polar software lets me track it in the calendar. I guess I could create another "bike" called "gym" to capture this data.

    I plan to download and install gigabike over the weekend and will report my observations on it as well (so as to not completely hijack this thread).

  21. #21
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    well, i just want to say that i have just stumbled across this thread -- i have been using CyclinStats since January '06 and i really like it. i have just purchased a Garmin Edge 305 and hopefully, in the future there will be updates, etc which will allow me to upload some or all of the info.

    either way, i am very pleased with the product!

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    CycliStats all good

    Have been storing my cycling stats on an Excel spreadsheet for a few years now, clunky and so searched for and have trialed many others, trialed especially free cycle training software, but found nothing that had everything I wanted and was easy to use, bikejournal.com and the like were good, but I have a fear they may start to charge in time or even close down and so lose my stats... Have downloaded the trial version of Cyclistats and it has everything I want and more, easy to use, well thought out, fantastic. For the record, gigabike wouldn't work for me, don't want to waste my time with it, still on the trial of cyclistats, but i'm gonna buy, can't go past it for my money... Only cocnern is whether I put the effort in to transfer several years of data from excel...

  23. #23
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    I've been using CycliStats since 2004, and have been very satisfied with the product. It's stable (never had a crash in the program) and has the most useful features. But perhaps the best "feature" with CycliStats is the user support, as others in this thread also has pointed out. Outstanding!

    I have also ordered Edge 305, so perhaps it's best to send in a message to CycliStat support, and perhaps the Edge will be supported in a few days time ;-)

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    Senior Member Zonker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillipka
    I've been using CycliStats since 2004, and have been very satisfied with the product. It's stable (never had a crash in the program) and has the most useful features. But perhaps the best "feature" with CycliStats is the user support, as others in this thread also has pointed out. Outstanding!

    I have also ordered Edge 305, so perhaps it's best to send in a message to CycliStat support, and perhaps the Edge will be supported in a few days time ;-)

    I have a new in the box Edge 305 as well, looks like this thing is catching on! I just DL'd both trials, and I got a syntax error popup from Giga-Bike while trying to enter my very first ride. First impression is not good, performance-wise, although it looks nice. Cyclistats is more workman-like, but appears to get the job done.
    waiting for a (Bike) Friday!

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