Biking Applications – Part 4

Well, this weekend I had the opportunity to review two applications.  The first one I wrote about in Part 3 of this set of posting.  The new one is MapMyRide.  It allows — like Runtastic — a good integration with the application's Web site.  Please see below the screen shots from the dashboard on my iPhone and on the Web site after logging in and selecting the same workout:

MapMyRide Application for iPhone iPhone View    Web Dashboard for MapMyRide  Web Dashboard view

The application is good.  I did not find any significant issues after a couple of rides.  By default the screen is set to go into screen saver – I wish the default is the opposite setting – but at the end — this is easy to change in the application settings.

So overall – it is a useful application – although I still think I prefer RUNTASTIC Mountain Bike 

Have to do some more evaluation I suppose to make the final decision.  So please stay tuned!


Biking Applications – Part 3 – Update

Here we are with the next installment of an application review.  The next application to discuss is RUNTASATIC Mountain bike.   The dashboard of the app is seen below

Runtastic mountain bike mountain bike  mountain bike map

As you can see it offers a bunch of functional readouts directly in the summary dashboard – the map of the ride, the time spent riding, the altitude, and most importantly – you can get a reading of the weather and temperature.  I find this rather useful — and runtastic is the only application so far that offers this capability.

Overall this application offers the following features: measurement of distance, duration, speed, pace. calories burned.  It does its measurement leveraging a GPS tracking capability, does offer support for multiple languages — and can be integrated with postings to email and social media sites.

The PRO version (vs the Lite version I tested) is downloadable for $4.99 from the iTunes store.  It allows you to play music while you are riding the bike – I may like that wink

Both the LITE and the PRO version allow you to export the summaries from your rides to the Runtastic web site and run analysis of your achievements.   The site works very well as well.

One small drawback – you cannot turn off the dashboard — a good option if you want to save some battery life.

Here are the links of the previous reviews

Enjoy your rides!



Biking Applications Review – Part 2

Well folks, I am continuing on the quest for the 'perfect' application for my smart phone to implement a bike computer.  This weekend I decided to try out the next one BIKE BRAIN.  Downloaded the application from the iTunes application store.  As usual it is offered as a free version with some baseline features.

Side note:  You can check out Part 1 of the reviews which covers some additional applications – here)

Here is a graphical view of Bike Brain:

Bike Brain Dashboard

Bike Brain Dashboard

Bike Brain Stats

Bike Brain Stats

Bike Brain Mapping


The application has some good features and more importantly allows you to view the dashboard throughout the whole time – i.e. it does not allow the screen saver on iPhone to come on.  It burns more battery but then you want to see the dashboard as you are biking, right…

I give it two thumbs up!


Bike Racks – How to Choose

One of the key decisions a bike rider needs to make sooner or later is how to transport the bicycles to and from the trails or any other biking location.  In some cases you may be fortunate enough to have good trails or bike path that allows you to hop on your bike and head on the trail directly out of your home, but the chances for that are usually very small.

Given that fact, you would need a safe and convenient way to transport your bike(s).  There are a number of questions you would need to answer and decide on in order to get the optimal for you solution.  Some of those questions are:

  • What are the options for a bike carrier given the vehicle I have?  
  • What to consider in evaluating the options?
  • What is the best option I can get?
  • What is the cost of the selected option?

I am currently in the process of deciding on the bike carrier myself, so here is my assessment:

I am going to provision a bike carrier for our recently purchased (within the last year) SUV.  Given the fact that the vehicle is a SUV, we need to consider the pros and cons of both safety and ease / convenience of mounting the bikes and taking them down from the carrier we select.  

Here is a table with the analysis I did:

Style Useful for Pros   Cons  
Roof rack                   Bikes, boats, surf boards, ski, canoe, kayak       

very versatile and flexible for multi-use purposes;     

Allows for relatively easy access to doors, trunk, rear hatch

potentially difficult to access due to height; impeding access to low clearance areas

Increased wind resistence

Hitch Rack


Bikes, skis, snowboards        Easy to load and access bikes          

Fewer usage cases – no option to load bikes and a kayak for example; Not as secure / stable – the bikes may sway when traveling at high speed; 

Requires the installation of a hitch subsystem which adds to the overall cost

Trunk Racks    Bikes are the only item to carry with those 

relatively low cost

can be used on multiple vehicles without complex disassembly and subsequent assembly 

Not permanently attached to your vehicle

interfere with the use of the trunck or vehicle hatch;

Bikes not as stable during transport; 

bikes could rub against each other during transport causing potential damage

Spare Tire Racks   Bikes primarily Relatively low cost; Provide for east access, mounting and dismounting of bikes; allows for access to hatch Not as stable as roof mounted – bikes may sway during travel; limited number of bikes that could be carried

Truck Racks


Bikes, canoe, kayak, ski Easy to use – load and access the bikes; allow for higher weight; allow for more secure transport  Impact the storage space in the truck bed


Biking Applications Review

A week ago I decided to pull together a listing of the applications that are available for free for iPhone to make your phone a biking computer  / tracking device.  Here is the link to that summary posting.  Today, I will provide a summary review of several of the applications.  I have been using each of the ones I have for a week at least in an effort to assess which one(s) I would like best.

Here we start with a couple of reviews:

  • TPCycleLite — available for FREE from the iTunes Applications Store; This is a relatively easy to start application. Clicking on the Go button initiates the tracking software.   Here though also lies the problem — the stop button is very tough to find.  The other bad aspect of this application was that the dashboard (image 1 below) did not want to stay on — the application kept allowing the iPhone to dim the screen — you go and unlock the iPhone screen with a passcode while you are bikiing on a trail …!  Not a fun option!   
    • Overall rating – marginal – I won't keep it

TPCycleLite Map Dashboard     TPCycleLite Statistics   TPCycleLite

  • The second reviewed application is BikeComputer;   Also a FREE application – available from the Apple store for download;  Launching the application was easy and contrary to the TPCycleLite application – this one stayed with its dashboard screen running and not allowing the iPhone to "sleep the screen";   So is there something I did not like about the application?  Well overall it was very simple – not enough statistics and definitiely not one of the best ones;
    • Overall Rating:  Easy to use but not enough functions; I will not keep it.

Bike Computer   Bike Computer Session    Bike Computer Starting Point