Every single person I know who loves to bike to work or for fun uses Strava to track their route. I'm sure there are people who track their runs in Strava too, but I haven't met any of them. I don't know what it is about this app and cyclists specifically, but it seems that Strava has found a way to appeal to them and make the experience of cycling both challenging and social. Part of it are the Clubs, a feature that lets runners and cyclists form groups, compete with each other, share routes, manage events, discuss their progress, and more. There are over 130,000 active Strava Clubs and until today, the only way to access them was through the online site.
Misfit's popular Flash activity tracker was recently released in a special Cyclist edition, which has a similar price to the original at just $50 but adds a key sensor of interest for those who ride bicycles: cadence. The only "catch" when it comes to fitness sensors like this is that you need software to interpret the data for you. Today's release of the Misfit Cycling app for Android provides just that.
Misfit Cycling is designed as a standalone app for use as a workout tracker, providing real-time GPS and cadence data. For general activity tracking, users will go to the main Misfit app that owners of the original Flash are familiar with.
By now I figure that most of you know I'm a cyclist. If not, well, now you do. As such, I love to review every piece of Android-related cycling gear I can get my hands on (which, unfortunately isn't as broad a market as I'd like at this point). Moov, a $99 wearable fitness tracker that does a lot more than the average watch-style unit, has been on my radar since day one...but before we start with the cycling talk, I first want to point out exactly what Moov is.
Basically, Moov is a small, fitness-oriented wearable that essentially extracts data from your workouts, including running/walking, swimming, cardio boxing, and cycling.
Some people may not understand this, but there are things in this world that don't need to be "connected." They just don't. Case in point: these stupid connected bike pedals that have somehow managed to raise 180% (at the time of writing) of the $50,000 goal on Indiegogo. I'm pretty sure the people who are backing this don't actually ride bikes, but rather romanticize the idea of how useful something like this could be if they actually did.
Now, don't get me wrong - on paper, these seem like they might be kind of OK. Here's the gist: they're connected in the sense that they have built-in GPS and some sort of always-on, no-fee cellular connection (which the company doesn't explain at all, so if the pedal doesn't succeed, then I'm sure the tracking functionality will die with it, making this just another platform pedal). They also generate their own power.
Last fall, Microsoft released an activity tracker of its own, creatively named the Microsoft Band, and hit the Play Store with the requisite companion app. Now the company has updated its little piece of Android software to track steps and calories without needing the Band itself. The app does this using your phone's motion sensors instead, as long as it's running KitKat or Lollipop.
But you already bought Microsoft's fitness tracker? There's something here for you too. You can now share your bike data with MapMyRide and Strava. Playing along nicely with these two established apps gives Microsoft a chance to appeal to the cyclists among you who have already stored years of data on someone else's servers.
There's no shortage of ways to track your data while working out, especially when it comes to things like running and cycling. There's Runkeeper, Map My Ride/Run, Endomondo, Strava, and many others. Which one you choose really comes down to personal preference, but each has its own set of benefits and features that may make it a better fit into your life. Personally, I've been using Runtastic since I reviewed the Orbit a couple of months ago, and settled in with the company's dedicated road cycling app after getting the Runtastic-branded Speed & Cadence Sensor and Heart Rate Monitor. Both devices pair with the phone over Bluetooth and sync automatically with the Runtastic Road Biking app, so after the initial setup it's all easy-peasy.
Bicycles have been a fairly major part of society for the last couple hundred years, and a lot of technological advancements have made their way into the cycling world over time. What was once purpose-built for getting from A to B has become so much more – everything from racing on the streets to singletrack in the mud, there's a bike built for it. Of course, all around the globe there are millions of riders who hop on their commuter and head off to...wherever. To some people, the very idea of owning a car instead of a bike is simply alien.
As long as bicycles have existed, those who wish to steal said bicycles have found new and inventive ways to get around whatever locking mechanisms are put in place to keep them safe. As a result, lock manufacturers have to come up with new ways to ensure their products do what they're supposed to: keep the locked bike from being stolen. Among all the different designs, the U-style lock has widely been adopted as the best and overall strongest.
Of course, all bike locks have a common issue: the lock itself. Not only are locks pick-able, but keys can be lost (or stolen), essentially making the lock itself useless.
There's a reason Moves has attracted millions of downloads on iOS. It doesn't require the purchase of a separate device, instead turning the smartphone that's already in your pocket into a pedometer. This isn't unheard of on Android, but Moves is available for free and isn't weighed down by ads. ProtoGeo wants Moves to be an app that mainstream people actually use, and that means keeping it clean, simple, and non-intrusive.
No, seriously, Moves is simple. When you fire up the app for the first time, it informs you that it will track your steps, and that's it.
When it comes to cardio, some people like to run. For those people, Runtastic is a great app. Now, however, Runtastic is expanding its reach with a pair of apps designed for two other specific niches: road and mountain bikers.
Each app is designed specifically with its target audience in mind, offering metrics that each type of rider will find beneficial. Here's a look at what each respective app offers: