Cyclemeter GPS Bicycling App for IPhone

Powerful App Packs All the Tracking and Data You Need

Cyclemeter GPS
Cyclemeter GPS - Cycling, Running, Mountain Biking. Abvio, Inc. Image from iTunes.

The Cyclemeter GPS bicycling app for iPhone takes a different approach to mapping, trainingĀ and data-logging. Rather than depending on a separate online service to do most of the data storage and analysis, as most apps do, Cyclemeter gives you everything you need right on your smartphone.

Cyclemeter: Well Thought Out and Designed

You most likely already carry your smartphone on bike rides, so why not put the phone's GPS functionality to work with a full-featured cyclecomputer, mapping, and training log app?

The only downside of using an app like Cyclemeter instead of a dedicated, handlebar-mount cyclecomputer is the lack of real-time feedback. I don't recommend mounting a smartphone on the handlebar due to concerns about water, vibration, and dirt damage.

I've reviewed a number of other fitness apps and bike apps, but I can safely say that the Cyclemeter is the most comprehensive and full-featured for cycling that I've encountered. I also appreciate Cyclemeter maker Abvio's approach: Why require the user to connect to and to use a web-browser-based mapping and training log utility when you can just put everything on the phone?

The app also works with a Bluetooth-linked wireless heart rate monitor (more on that later).

Features and On-the-road Testing

Cyclemeter provides you with many ways to capture and manage your data, but let's start at the beginning. Before using the app, you may enter setup data including items such as your age, weight, and gender, which help the app determine accurate calorie burn stats.

You may also specify different bikes, and specify how you want the app to present its maps, set voice prompts, determine what appears on your data graphs, and more.

To begin tracking a ride, simply touch the app's "Stopwatch" icon and you'll see a customizable screen with route name, activity, and fields for ride time, speed, distance, average speed, remaining miles (according to a selected route), and fastest speed.

This display would be useful as a source of real-time data if the phone was mounted on the handlebar.

A "Map" icon shows your route in progress and displays your completed route when you are finished with a ride or race. You may select street, hybrid, or satellite views. The "History" icon gives you easy access to all of the stats for past rides.

Under the history tab, you may also directly access accumulated training log data by days, weeks, months, and years. History also gives you quick access to route data summaries.

Cyclemeter Voice Prompts, Sensors, Accessories

One feature setting Cyclemeter apart is a commitment to voice prompts as a key rider feedback tool. "Monitor your progress with up to 25 configurable announcements including distance, time, speed, elevation, and more," states Abvio. "Announcements may be heard automatically at time or distance intervals, or on-demand with your earphone remote."

Another nice touch, Cyclemeter lets you sync real-time ride updates to your Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail accounts. You may even set the app to read you replies while you ride or race.

Cyclemeter also freely allows you to import and export GPS files in the GPX or KML formats. You may also download training logs into an Excel spreadsheet.

Many cyclists like to train or race while keeping tabs on heart rate, and the Cyclemeter accommodates this with a real-time heart rate display, heart rate logging, and the ability to set heart rate zones with sound prompts. Cyclemeter works with the Blue HR wireless heart rate monitor by Wahoo fitness and links via Bluetooth. Wahoo Fitness also offers a Blue SC Speed and Cadence sensor for tracking and logging pedaling cadence.

Overall, I found the Cyclemeter app to be a pleasure to use, well-designed, and well-thought-out.

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