To Strava, Runtastic or Mapmyride, or just not.
I haven’t been on a long cycle for a while, just too busy with work. But I have gone on lots of smaller rides. I have been trying out various apps to record my rides. I use an iphone and there are a plethora of apps on itunes. So here are the ones I tried over the last two weeks: Mapmyride, Strava, Runtastic, and Wahoo (heart monitor).
I recently switched from mapmyride to strava on the advice of a friend. I find both are great apps and websites. I must admit having the connection to someone on strava made it more interesting for the short time I used it. Unfortunately, none of my other friends will use any kind of app as they don’t live in Japan, cycle that much, or like technology. I mention living in Japan because if you let an app record what you are doing and it automatically shares it live, that could be a problem. It lets everyone know you are not at home, where your home is, and where you store your expensive bike. This is not such an issue in nice, safe Japan, but it has been an issue in other countries. This news report and this one gives a few more details about this.
Anyway both of these apps record the same kind of information, but I like the interface of Strava more than mapmyride. Both systems let you create maps, but only mapmyride lets you upload GPX files which is important to me. Strava on the other hand has many more people using it and there are lots of maps already out there to borrow or share. Mapmyride has routes and courses, which to me seems confusing and unnecessary as I would create one on my computer expecting it to show on my phone and it doesn’t…unless I send it to myself via an email. Annoying.
After this trial I decide to try a few more things. I then reverted back to runtastic which I used to use quite often. It has a number of apps. There is an all in one app for loads of sports, a mountain bike app, and a road cycling app. There are free and paid versions. I have all the paid versions because I am an idiot. The all in one app works well, but I prefer to use that for running and the cycling ones for cycling…because why buy them otherwise. I researched the differences between the mountain bike app and the road cycling app…and there isn’t one. Apart from a minor detail that the maps it finds for you are definitely road based for the road one and the mountain bike one will flag trail routes. So you don’t need to buy both. I like that you can also create maps and upload gpx file. You also don’t have to email maps to yourself as they sync seamlessly with the app. Runtastic is a popular system and there are loads of routes out there. I also like that you can use the all in one app on a treadmill, though you do have to input the distance via the website later. I have found only Nike+ works really well on a treadmill using a step counter.
I also use the app and website myfitnesspal and all of the apps mentioned (not counting Nike+ because they are elitist) syncs with that effortlessly.
Then to top it all off I tried to connect my old heart monitor with the apps to see what kind of feedback I would get. I found out my garmin gps watch and heart monitor does not sync with an iphone because it works on ANT+ and not bluetooth. I decided to get a new heart rate monitor and opted for a wahoo tickr as it has bluetooth and ANT+ and it was much cheaper than a new watch. I used it for running and it connected to runtastic perfectly. I have yet to use it when cycling because I am having a lazy weekend. I do not like the app that you are “supposed” to use as it looks so boring and naff. Good equipment poor apps, but that us just my opinion. Others may really like it.
Anyway, back to my lazy weekend.
UPDATE – 2016/05/01
I decided to add a bit as this page gets more hits than the other pages combined. A year later I still use the Strava app and website, almost exclusively. I sold my Garmin watch and heart rate monitor then bought a TomTom multicardio sports watch. I got it second hand on eBay. It works seemlessly with strava, and doesn’t drain my phone battery. The battery on the watch lasts longer than the Garmin I had so when I go out all day there isn’t an issue. It has a built in heart rate monitor so I don’t have to wear a chest strap. I can also use it for treadmill workouts and hiking (in the freestyle mode). I love it and highly recommend it.
Posted on April 4, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged apps, cycle, cycling, GPS, mapmyride, multi-cardio, runtastic, smartphone, sports, strava, tomtom, wahoo, watch. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.