Reviews

Best Bike Tracking Apps: Keep Your Cycling Metrics Organized

Improve your performance and stay safe with one of these top bike tracking apps

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BY Daniel Rika , Dorian Smith-Garcia / LAST UPDATED ON December 19, 2019

Serious cyclists know how important it is to keep track of important metrics like distance, speed, or even road conditions. In this case, you need a bike tracking app that can run seamlessly in the background so you don't miss out on any critical information. We’ve rounded up some of the best bike tracking apps to help you get the most out of your new app.

Best Overall
Strava
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Summary
Summary

A comprehensive bike tracking app that integrates seamlessly into other cycling and health tracking programs.

Pros
Pros
  • An app designed by athletes that focuses on tracking (not just how far you’ve ridden), calories burned, and elevation levels
  • GPS functionality allows you to accurately map your rides and plan new routes
Cons
Cons
  • While the app is free, some enhanced functionality such as connecting with other Strava members is only available with a premium version on a monthly subscription
  • If you don’t update your phone’s OS regularly, you may experience performance issues
Best Overall
Strava
Best Value
MapMyRide
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Summary
Summary

This is a user-friendly tool with basic features that let you easily map and share your route. It also provides a detailed overview of your cycling data

Pros
Pros
  • Users can share their routes and cycling data with other cyclists in the MapMyFitness network. 
  • Data can be transferred and stored on another platform
  • Easy-to-read maps that are provided in real-time
  • Creates a weekly calendar of distance and time spent cycling
Cons
Cons
  • App may be free, but most of the advanced features such as map and cue-sheet printing, fitness reports, and more, are paid services that require one to be a member
  • Ads can block important information on the screen
Best Value
MapMyRide
Honorable Mention
MoveOn Sports Tracker
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Summary
Summary

A solid tracking app that prioritizes your privacy while allowing you to share completed trails seamlessly onto popular social platforms

Pros
Pros
  • Users can switch quickly between metric and imperial measurements
  • Besides biking, you can also track other activities, such as swimming, walking, hiking, and martial arts
  • An offline mode allows you to continue tracking your activity even if you lose a signal
Cons
Cons
  • It can crash during use and in some cases not open
  • Depending on the operating system, this app may cause other core functions like calls and texts to freeze while it runs in the background
  • MoveOn is also a power-hungry app that can quickly drain battery life
Honorable Mention
MoveOn Sports Tracker

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Benefits of Bike Tracking Apps

  • Track your stats. By being able to track your speed, time, and distance, you can improve your performance and see where you might be having difficulty. You can also set goals to further improve your riding.
  • Monitor your health. The best bike tracking apps can help you to improve your health by tracking your body’s stats like calories burned and heart rate. It allows you to find out if you are training too hard or not hard enough, and help you find the limits of your performance.
  • Navigate your way anywhere. Most apps have a long list of maps to use on the trail and the road. You can go on unfamiliar routes and explore new places without worrying about getting lost. You can also mark your routes and save them for later. A good app can sometimes replace dedicated navigation devices like a Garmin, but you’ll need a holder to fix your smartphone on your handlebars.

Types of Bike Tracking Apps

General Fitness

Some of the best bike tracking apps can double as a general fitness app. They can be used to track distance and lap times, and even connect to other devices like a Fitbit to monitor health readings like pulse and calories burned. These general fitness tracker apps often allow the input of a wide variety of information such as the different types of workouts you may be doing, as well as how much you use each pair of shoes. Because they are so versatile, these trackers can be used for a wide range of activities.

Dedicated Bike

Dedicated bike tracker apps focus on riding and all the information and stats that go with it. They allow users to monitor their performance by tracking lap time, performance data, and even pace analysis. Some cycling apps even allow users to time each segment of a course to determine how well they performed and create leader boards with friends. 

Top Brands

Strava

Strava means “strive” is Swedish, but it’s an American company that was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco. The app has more than 32 million users, with more than 200,000 of them paying for premium access. Despite stiff competition from many of the newer rivals, Strava has grown, thanks to its innovative features like the club function and the ability to socially interact with other users. You can find the app here.

MoveOn Sports Tracker

The MoveOn Sports Tracker is made by a Spanish company called Kinendu. Its main focus is on making a great fitness app, but the company also tries to promote general health and nutrition. It helps to organize corporate training events where employees from different companies get to exercise, which leads to increased productivity. Its website also has healthy recipes and meal plans for different groups like vegetarians and people with allergies. Download the app here.

MapMyFitness 

MapMyFitness is a subsidiary company of Under Armour that specializes in designing fitness and tracking apps for cyclists, walkers, hikers, runners, triathletes, and even for regular workouts. It was founded in 2007, and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Its apps let you connect with your friends and a larger community of people engaging in similar activities. You can get its cycling app here

Bike Tracking App Pricing

  • Free: Many of the best cycling apps have a free version that offers limited functionality.
  • $3 to $10 per month. In this price range, you can buy the premium version of the free apps. There are also apps that cost this much as a one-time price.

Key Features

Maps

When going on a riding adventure, it’s critical to have accurate and up-to-date maps. Having good maps means you can do your route planning before you leave based on the terrain and never get lost. Being able to download the maps and use them offline is also important because there is a chance of no signal in some areas. While many smartphones already come with Google Maps pre-installed, some of the best cycling apps show trails and other features that Google Maps doesn’t.

Statistics Tracking

It’s great to have one app that can track as many stats as possible. This includes riding information like distance, speed, and times. Many training apps offer more advanced features like heart rate monitors and calories burned. Different users have different requirements, but it’s generally best to have as many tracking functions as possible, even if you don’t use all of them.

Versatility

Many bike tracking apps can also be used for other outdoor activities like mountain climbing and other sports. A good app can even take the place of a GPS device and offer navigation capabilities. Downloading an all-in-one mobile app that can fulfill all your needs can make life easier and save you money. 

Other Considerations

  • Social Connectivity. Some cycling apps are strictly for tracking statistics and progress, while others are able to connect users and share information. Many people like to share their progress or compete with their friends. Some apps even allow you to share your location on the trail for safety reasons. It’s best to get the type that best meets your requirements.
  • Resource Usage. Some apps can be heavy on the battery life of your device and may take up lots of space. Ideally, it’s best to download an app that doesn’t chew up too much of your battery. The last thing you need is to run out of battery life somewhere remote and not be able to find your way back. There are also some apps that are known to slow down the device’s performance and cause it to freeze. Obviously, these should be avoided if possible.
  • Compatible Devices. These days, there are many fitness trackers available on the market, including smartwatches and other devices. Many of these offer connectivity to your phone and connect to the app to track stats. It’s worth checking if the app you want to use is compatible with the devices you already own or are planning to buy such as Android phones, Fitbits, or iPhones.

Best Bike Tracking Apps Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Strava

Strava is one of the most widely-used cycling apps, and for good reason. It is available in a basic free version that has functions like navigation and monitors for speed, distance, and time. 


For riders wanting more in-depth information, there are three paid add-on packs available. The Safety Pack allows you to plot your own map as you move and share your live location with friends or family members. The Analysis Pack connects to other devices to give more thorough statistics about your riding and training data. These include a heart rate monitor and power analysis. The Training Pack gives performance data, like race and pace analysis, as well as being able to set goals and training plans.


Some users have complained that it requires Google Play services in order to run, and that can be difficult to figure out. Also, some enhanced functions, such as connecting with other members, require a paid subscription.

Easiest To Use
MapMyRide

The MapMyRide app by MapMyFitness provides an easy way to track your cycling distance, speed, and time in real-time. You will get dated information relating to miles covered, training hours, and calories burned per week. Plus, it uses Google Maps to provide a pannable and zoomable overview of your current location. What’s more, a route creation tool lets you map a route and it will accurately track the road while accepting error corrections as you go. 


You can sync the app with the MapMyFitness account to create a log of training data so you can review your history, create goals, or interact with other cyclists and compete against each other. This way, the app can track your current goals and suggest new ones. 


However, a few users have complained about the ads taking a large part of the screen. To avoid the ads, you have to sign up and pay a monthly subscription to become a member. This will also give you access to advanced features such as map printing. 
Best Features
MoveOn Sports Tracker

MoveOn has lots of fantastic features to help track your fitness and activities. Some of the live tracking includes a heart rate monitor, altitude, steps, distance, and time. It also allows the data to be exported to other apps and devices.


Some of the other features include the ability to switch between a vertical and horizontal screen and between the metric and imperial systems. It even allows you to record the use of each pair of your shoes. As with many of the best cycling apps, it allows offline maps for places with no connection.


Users have complained that it is heavy on resources and drains the battery life fast. Also, the app has a tendency to crash during use. In some cases, it won’t open and can cause other apps to freeze as well.

Most Versatile
BikeComputer Pro

For a streamlined, simple app that has all the information you need to track your cycling, look no further than the BikeComputer Pro. Not just for cycling, it is cross-compatible with other outdoor activities as well. It measures heart rate, cadence, speed, temperature, altitude, and your climbing speed. You don’t have to set up an account or log in before each use. All of the data remains on the device until you choose to upload it to your phone. It can also synchronize across devices, allowing you to view your information through multiple formats.


On this app, you can touch a point you wish to go to and it will create a map for you. You can set waypoints during your ride and view your map while traveling. You can also load turn-by-turn instructions for imported GPX. This app also allows you to track a friend’s route if they also have the app, enabling you to repeat a recommended ride.


However, you must pay for this app. It also uses batteries quickly due to the active and high-frequency GPS.

Honorable Mention
B.iCycle

A versatile app, B.iCycle can keep track of multiple data on your ride while also offering you the ability to view other cyclists’ previously loaded paths. This can track your current speed, average speed, and maximum speed. It also tracks distance, altitude, burned calories, and your trip time. You can receive data about your trips via email and share with other bikers on the app or to social media.


Some perks of this app is that when you stop your movement, it will automatically pause the timer. It also offers options for pause, suspend, and resume your ride in case you get interrupted. It is another app that provides the Open Cycle Map with bike paths, contour lines, and biker POIs.


However, this is a paid app, so if you want all the features such as heart rate, you will need to pay extra. And while it provides bike routes from other riders, it does not provide street names, so you also have to rely on your own GPS.

Honorable Mention
Ohad Zadok Cycle Maps

This is a simple, straightforward, free app for your basic cycling needs. It displays all bike routes within the area you are viewing, including data from bike maps, bike lanes, and bike trails. It also has a built-in compass and provides GPS tracking, adding to your safety so you don’t get lost on the trail. 


It is another app that is part of Open Cycle Maps, which allows it to be regularly updated by other cycling enthusiasts. It also allows you to share your cycle tracks on Open Cycle Maps.


However, this app does not track data such as altitude and speed. It is not highly detailed and will not distinguish between bike paths and bike lanes. It also does not show state parks if you are seeking a more wild getaway. 

Honorable Mention
30 South Bike Ride Tracker

This free cycling app is best for road or mountain biking. It tracks speed, distance, altitude, and time. It saves your path, and you can return to view it and analyze your progress. It will color-code your path by your speed, so you can know how fast you went through certain parts of your ride. It allows you to pause your ride if you get interrupted or need to catch your breath. It’s also applicable across standard and metric units.


The biggest benefit of this app is that it has a voice summary feature. It is perfect for those who don’t have mounts on their bikes. During your ride, it will give you updates on your ride either every mile or every five minutes.


However, some of these features are only available with in-app purchases. As with all bike tracker apps, it does consume a great deal of phone battery while tied to the GPS. Also, there are some reported functionality issues with it relating to the install or viewing ride data afterward.

Honorable Mention
Cycling Companion

The Cycling Companion lets Android users improve their training for an intense race or biking tour. The app uses the GPS feature on your smartphone to track the distance ridden, the time elapsed, and average speed. It also includes a start-and-stop feature for when you need to time your training. Besides that, the app maintains a numerical record of your last 10 rides, and calculates the total distance and time covered for the period. You can get information in either miles or kilometers. 


You will appreciate that the app is easy to use with large, colored fonts that are easy to read even when your phone is mounted on the handlebar. Alternatively, you can opt to use the audible prompts for the times when you need to focus on the road.


What this app misses out on is a route planning or mapping feature as with the other cycling apps on our list. It’s also not free, but it won’t break your bank. 

Tips

  • Any bike tracking app that relies on GPS to function will drain your battery fairly quickly. One way to combat this is to close unnecessary apps that are running in the background. 
  • Some bike tracking apps are compatible with other well-known trackers, such as Strava. Always look to see if your potential app will integrate well with platforms such as Apple Health or Fitbit for enhanced and comprehensive functionality. 
  • For trail cyclists, it’s smart to focus on apps that also include crowdsourced data about trails. This can range from terrain conditions to pinpointing difficult-to-follow trails so that you don’t get lost while you’re riding. 

FAQs

Q: How do I know if a bike tracking app is the right one for me?

A: This is a personal decision. Beyond seeing whether an app is highly rated, you need to determine if the functionality fits your needs. Some apps might be extremely specialized—such as those geared towards mountain biking or indoor cycling. So, thoroughly read the description and confirm that the app’s capabilities match your needs. 

Q: I’m thinking of using an app for training. What should I keep in mind?

A: If you’re using an app to train for a bike race or for competitive reasons, then you need to focus on a bike tracking app that is specifically designed for training support. These types of apps usually feature an option for sharing data between you and your coach (if you have one). But they might also have options like health information to track critical data like heart rate, nutrition, weight, and other vitals. 

Q: I’m looking for a bike tracker app that is communal. What should I do?

A: If you believe that time spent exercising should be a shared activity, then you need to focus on apps that allow you to easily share data. This means that you can invite users to a team that you create within the app, or you can share daily ride stats with others through a few swipes. 

Final Thoughts

Serious cyclists or outdoor activity mavens should focus on our best overall selection, Strava. Its seamless functionality and the ability to share activities with others makes it a smart choice. 

If you are looking for a free fitness app with basic services such as route mapping, fitness tracking, and data sharing, then the MapMyRide is a great choice.