VeloComputer is a piece of software that turns your mobile phone into a cycle computer – and we think it's a great idea.
It makes use of a phone you may be carrying on your ride anyway, and is a good alternative to paying out for a standalone bike computer which may not have comparable features at the same price.
The software only works on certain modern phones with built-in accelerometers (see full list at the end of the review), but if yours is compatible, you simply add the program to your phone's memory, wait a few minutes to get a GPS lock and then off you go.
The VeloComputer is capable of outputting cadence, average speed, current speed and top speed plus much more – as well as the ability to upload your routes to Google Earth/Maps.
If you want the cadence function of the software to work, you need to strap the phone to your leg using a sports holster (plenty of which are available). This notion sounded strange at first but once it was on our leg we weren’t bothered by it – although it's a good idea to stow it away in a pocket or rucksack if it starts raining.
Another of VeloComputer’s features is its ability to play sounds at preconfigured points in your ride – for example, a human voice says “cadence low” when it detects your cadence has dropped.
Additional sounds are also available – for example, a horse ‘clippity-clop’ and motorbike revving. The idea is that you don’t have to continually look at your phone for updates, thus increasing your safety on the road/trail.
Aside benefit is that the sounds warn pedestrians of your presence. However, we found the novelty wore off pretty quickly, and tended to ride with them turned off.
Once you’ve finished your ride you can upload your routes to your own member area on the VeloComputer website, which converts your routes to KML format so you can view them in Google Earth. You can also export to MS Excel for full analysis of your trip
Although the files aren’t ready to upload to route sharing sites like Bikely.com, we hope this is something SoundofMotion will incorporate in further releases of the software.
For $9.95 (approx £5.95) a ‘light’ version of the software is available which gives you everything the main version does except for the cadence function.
If you’ve got one of the mobile phones that this software will work on – We used it on an LG KC910 Renoir – we reckon it's a great little application to use during and after your rides.
VeloComputer works with the following phones: BlackBerry Storm; Sony Ericsson C905, W760, 715 and most of the latest models; LG KC910 Renoir; Nokia N97. A compatible bluetooth sensor is available.
As we were writing this review, Velocomputer let us know that the Android version 7 edition of VeloComputer is ready to roll for use on mobiles with Google's new operating system.
VeloComputer 6 Light works with GPS-equipped phones from BlackBerry, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson and other Java-based devices.