12 of the best iPhone and Android apps for cycling

Our top pick of bike apps for your mobile device

There are more cycling apps for Android and Apple phones than ever, ranging from highly analytical training tools to simpler social apps and useful navigational resources.

For some — Google Maps, for instance — you’ll need to have your device on the handlebars to take full advantage. For others, like Strava, you can just press start, put your phone in your jersey pocket, and go.

With Bluetooth accessories such as heart-rate monitors, speed sensors and even powermeters becoming more common, you can get your smartphone’s Bluetooth connection and processor to do the work that used to require a separate computer and, not so long ago, wires.

Here are our picks of the best Android and iPhone apps for cycling. Some are free, some are not, and some are free up front with an option to buy more bells and whistles.

Fair warning: any GPS-based app will tax your phone's battery, so these are generally better suited to shorter rides — or carrying extra batteries!

Updated May 2018

1. Strava

Strava's ace in the hole is its social component. Many riders use a Garmin for recording and uploading rides to Strava — and then use the app for checking out what their friends are up to
Strava's ace in the hole is its social component. Many riders use a Garmin for recording and uploading rides to Strava — and then use the app for checking out what their friends are up to

While you can use Strava like a cycle computer on your phone, most riders use a Garmin to record and upload their rides and then use the app to see what their friends are up to.

All rides uploaded to Strava deliver automatic rankings of your times over popular stretches — known as segments in Strava-speak — of road and trail, with a GPS map of where you rode.

The premium edition facilitates decent post-ride analysis, too, with the ability to map out future rides and get real-time feedback. The real-time feature, which tells you how fast you are tracking on a selected segment, such as the local hard climb, works on smartphones but also newer Garmin Edge computers, too.

Strava’s special sauce is the slick social component. Much like Facebook, you can follow your friends and see where and how hard they’re riding, leave comments and give kudos on their rides, and post photos with your own rides. 

  • Price: Free (premium version also available)

2. The Road Bike Manual

We've teamed up with Haynes to make the ultimate bike repair app
We've teamed up with Haynes to make the ultimate bike repair app

That we would include our own bike repair app, co-authored by Haynes and BikeRadar’s finest tech minds should come as no surprise!

The Road Manual App app features dozens of videos, hundreds of images that clearly illustrate steps and more than 40,000 words detailing every workshop task you can think of. Better still, more tutorials will be added every month.

  • Price: £2.99 / $2.99

3. MyWindsock

MyWindsock will delight TT nerds
MyWindsock will delight TT nerds

While not a downloadable app, MyWindsock is a properly nerdy, mobile-compatible web app that will delight KOM-hunting Strava nerds the world over.

The app pulls weather data from the cloud and overlays a heat map of where you are most likely to encounter head, cross and tailwinds over a Strava segment or ride.

This allows you to focus your efforts on segments that will have the most advantageous wind, or, if you’re a real TT-freak, alter your setup for a race depending on the conditions. Totally nerdy, totally brilliant.

  • Price: Free

4. Beanhunter

Beanhunter is a coffee snob's favourite
Beanhunter is a coffee snob's favourite

A coffee and cake stop is a cycling tradition, but making sure you get a decent cup is key.

Beanhunter is a coffee shop review app that works in much the same way as Yelp and other review apps — with reviews written and moderated by users — but it is tailored for and maintained by coffee nerds, so you can be sure you’ll be getting sage advice on what’s the best local brew.  

Beanhunter was started in Australia but now covers cafes in pretty much every corner of the world.

  • Price: Free

5. Wahoo Fitness

Wahoo Fitness isn't pretty, but there is a ton of data that can be easily directed where you want it to go
Wahoo Fitness isn't pretty, but there is a ton of data that can be easily directed where you want it to go

Perhaps the biggest draw of this app is the fact that it plays nicely with others. It pairs easily with Bluetooth sensors such as heart-rate monitors, speed sensors and progressive power meters, including Stages. (With a Wahoo Key plugin you can pair with ANT+ sensors, too.)

In a world where many companies defensively guard your data in their various ecosystems, Wahoo Fitness uploads to all the good sites — Strava, MapMyFitness, TrainingPeaks, MyFitnessPal — and, if you like, can push your data in your choice of five file formats via email or Dropbox.

If you’re an engineer, or just a data hound, you’ll love the number-heavy presentation of the app, too, with eight customizable pages of data on speed, power, heart rate and more. Plus, there’s a GPS map — though it burns through the battery pretty quickly.

The app can also be used indoors — with the Kickr power trainer, a best-in-class indoor trainer.

  • Price: Free

6. Zwift

Zwift has totally transformed the world of indoor riding
Zwift has totally transformed the world of indoor riding

With an internet connection, a trainer and device compatible with the app, riders across the world can ride with and even race each other inside the world of Zwift.

As well as being a highly functional training tool, the game promotes social interaction and is a great way to break up the tedium of indoor riding.

There is currently no Android version of the app, but it is in the works

  • Price: £12.99 / $14.99 per month

7. Cyclemeter

Cyclemeter is impressively easy to use considering its breadth of features
Cyclemeter is impressively easy to use considering its breadth of features

Cyclemeter turns your iPhone into a great cycling computer — if you’re down with putting your iPhone on your handlebars that is.

It is similar to Wahoo Fitness in its wealth of customisable options during the ride, but you also get a smorgasbord of post-ride analysis. Plus, you don’t have to log in to any site; the data stays on your iPhone.

You can start/stop rides with your iPhone earphone remote button, and integrated Google Maps can assist you in unfamiliar areas.

Cyclemeter also plays nice with Strava, Facebook, Twitter and more, and importing and exporting routes is easy.

  • Price: Free (in-app upgrades available)

8. Google Maps

While you wouldn't want to use it for a long ride, Google Maps' combination of Google search plus touchscreen, bike-specific navigation is excellent
While you wouldn't want to use it for a long ride, Google Maps' combination of Google search plus touchscreen, bike-specific navigation is excellent

Apple has done some amazing things, but it can't beat Google at mapping. The latest Google Maps app is the world’s best navigation tool for your phone.

Just like you use your phone on the fly to find places, read a few reviews and then go to the one you select, you can use Google Maps to do so too — and get there on bike paths and bike-friendly routes.

Like any app, it’s not perfect or magic, but in its category, it is the best there is. The audio turn-by-turn instructions are nice when riding, too; for riders who choose to ride with headphones, you can have your phone in your pocket and easily get where you need to be.

  • Price: Free

9. Map My Ride

Map My Ride does exactly what it says — and now in real time
Map My Ride does exactly what it says — and now in real time

MapMyRide is similar to CycleMeter, but it benefits from the parent company’s online history with route mapping software.

The app is better equipped for tracking not only rides but your nutrition, weight and more, but it can also get you where you need to go.

The app works with any Bluetooth Smart sensor (and ANT+ sensors with a plug-in), and it offers a competitive option for popular routes.

The premium version gets you training plans, more advanced routing options and live tracking you can share with family and friends. Also, and perhaps equally important, the premium version ditches the advertisements you’re stuck with on the free app.

  • Price: Free (premium version also available)

10. Viewranger

Viewranger is great for mountain biking
Viewranger is great for mountain biking

While Google Maps is great for roadies or finding your way to the trails, this mapping app is really useful for mountain bikers who enjoy a bit of exploring.

It’s free to download and comes with a very usable and free OpenCycle base map of the entire world, so you’re able to free yourself from ‘navigational uncertainty’ whenever the need arises.

In addition to that, you can buy super detailed large scale topographical mapping for over 20 countries around the world. The maps are stored on your phone and it uses your phone’s GPS, so it doesn’t need a signal or data connection to work. 

You can create and share your own routes in the app and also download other people’s tracks or just explore the riding around you. There’s even a live tracking ‘Buddy Beacon’ function that allows you to share your ride with your adoring public or just selected friends, as well as seeing who’s around you.

  • Price: Free (in-app purchases are available)

11. First Aid by British Red Cross

We hope you never need the Red Cross app, but it's a handy thing to have in unfortunate situations
We hope you never need the Red Cross app, but it's a handy thing to have in unfortunate situations

In a perfect world, you’d get very little use out of this app, but if the worst should happen on a ride it pays to be prepared. While it’s hard to beat going on a proper first aid course, this is probably the next best thing.

Using a range of videos, quizzes and step-by-step advice, it aims to help you learn how to deal with common first aid emergencies as well as being an invaluable reference when things go badly wrong.

All of the information is stored on the phone, so it’ll work just fine when you don’t have a data connection too.

  • Price: Free

12. Bike Gear Calculator 

Bike Gear Calculator sure isn't for everyone
Bike Gear Calculator sure isn't for everyone

Mechanically minded fettlers tend to love this app. Bike Gear Calculator does what it says on the tin, calculating speed and cadence figures from tweakable virtual drivetrains.

Feed the app information on the tyre size, crank length and gear ratios of your bike and revel in the immense data this app will provide.

It's ideal for those who want to optimise their bike's gearing for their strength or riding style.

  • Price: Free (premium version also available)

Got another app you love? Let us know in the comments below.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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