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!

 

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

Bike Computer iPhone Applications

Earlier in the month  I was writing about the items you need to start in mountain biking.  One of those items – which brings you a feel of accomplishment — is a bike computer.  You could purchase a purpose built bike computer (for several hundred dollars) or you could opt for an application that is running on your iPhone and allows you to leverage it as a large screen computer.

To start on the path of getting your iphone in the role of a bike computer you need to take the following steps:

  1. Figure out how to get your iPhone on the bike in a most secure fashion.  One option for that is leverage my personal experience described here (in earlier blog articles);   There is always the danger that the iPhone can suffer some damage on your bike, but I personally have taken a good tumble with my mountain bike which resulted in bending the rear wheel of the bike but NOT damaging the phone which stayed securely in the braket.
    • NOTE:  you need to replace the cord that came as original on the caddy with a stronger elastic cord – I bought mine from REI
  2. Review options for iPhone applications to install on your phone; 

In this write up I will provide the list of iPhone applications I have tried;   Here is first the list: 

Application Assessment Cost
iBiker Easy to use; dashboard stays on; Review Free
TPCycleLite

Easy to use; some quirks; Review

Free
BikeComputer Limited capabilities; Review Free
BikeBrain Good capabilities; Easy to use; Review Free

Runtastic Mountain Bike Lite

Excellent application; Feature rich; Review

Free 

MapMyRide Very good application; Still need to decide; Review  
Argus Another interesting application aggregating several aspects of your daily routine; Review Free
BikeFree   Free
Cycle Watch Lite   Free
Cyclemeter   Free
Cycle Log   Free
iBike   Free
LiveRider   Free
MountainBike   Free
Strava   Free

Stay tuned – I will provide an overview of these applications – starting with iBiker first and continuing with the rest of the list over the next few days

How to Get Started in Mountain Biking

Last week I had a summary of the new mountain bikes coming up for 2014.  There are a number of interesting machines available for you to use.   But, for some folks new to the experience, there is also the mental block of how do I start…?  What is the kit I need to have in order to get started with mountain biking.  So, with that in mind, I decided to post a brief list of the basic and extended necessities for a beginner in the sport.  

  • A good mountain bike – there are multiple options
    • On the higher end for a beginner: Marin Rocky Ridge 
    • In the mid-range: Specialized Rockhopper
    • In the entry level: Trek X-Caliber 6 (will write about this bike in my next posting)
  • Biking helment – lots of controversy and opinions on what makes a good helmet and how important they are, but at the end of the day, yes, you need one…For many reasons…
  • Water bottle 
    • If your bike was not outfitted with a water bottle cage – you need to get it done – either get one from your bike store or any of the camping stores may carry it; They are fairly universal 
  • spare tube for your tires
  • pump – you can look into both portable and/or full size ones
  • Combo tool kit – those come in a form factor that fits like a pack under your seat
  • Next we go into the nice to have things:
    • bike computer

                 — OR —

This kit should get you going on your first mountain bike ride – if it is just in your local park as a start!

What a Litigeous Society….Yes, I meant this one…

Well folks — this is a new high point in a litigeous society !!!   Look at the article below — I actually pulled it in from Bicycle Retailer magazine / web site — because it looks so improbable… But do I believe it?  Yes, absolutely —  I can see how the grief stricken parents are looking at all possible reasons to explain the tragic death of their child….But all in all I do not see the reason in their action.

from the article named: Strava countersues in death of California cyclist

From Bicycle Retailer

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (BRAIN) — Strava has filed a response in San Francisco’s Superior Court denying responsibility for all 26 charges set forth in a negligence lawsuit stemming from the 2010 death of a cyclist who was killed while using the popular personal fitness mobile application.  

Strava also countersued William K. Flint I, the father of Kim Flint Jr. and administrator of his estate, saying that when Flint Jr. joined Strava on Oct. 7, 2009, he electronically signed and agreed to Strava’s terms and conditions, a part of which excludes Strava from responsibility of legal claims or demands arising from a user’s connection to the site.

Flint Jr., 41, died on June 19, 2010, when he collided with an automobile while attempting to defend his “King of the Mountain” on a ride in Orinda, California’s Tilden Park. King of the Mountain is the term Strava uses to identify the fastest rider on a particular segment, clocked by GPS. The Strava app allows users to record ride times and ranks riders on individual segments. Flint was apparently trying to regain the King of the Mountain title he had recently lost at the time of his death. (Related: King of the (Down) Hill)

His parents filed a negligence lawsuit against Strava in June, saying the company encouraged dangerous behavior by failing to warn cyclists that the road conditions were not suited for racing, and not taking adequate measures to ensure KOM challenges took place on safe courses.  

In the countersuit, Strava contends that it is not liable for damages in Flint Jr.’s death because it was the result of his negligence, not the company’s. Strava claims that Flint Jr. was riding recklessly over the posted speed limit on the wrong side of the road when he crashed. 

A case management conference is scheduled in the case on Nov. 21.

I find this event rather disturbing — I myself use a number of iPhone applications that allow me to track my statistics for the rides I do.  I have added several write-ups on this blog about these software applications.   Check them out!

A Google Smart Phone Application

iPhone Application

And Another Application Set

The first iPhone application I tested and the first testing of it

But I have not thought for one second that I may bring legal action against anyone associated with the development of these applications….What is the point?  Even without the legal disclaimers, it is obvious "DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE ROAD"!!!  For any reason!!!

What do you think?   And enjoy your biking experiences!

 

My Next Set of Applications for Bicycle Navigation to Review

I have been writing several summaries on the Cycle Tracker PRO iPhone application for bicycle navigation.  Now is time to expand my horizon 🙂  and try some new ones in order to check out new features and functions.

So here is my list of possible ones — based on searching through the offering from several developers:

  • BioLogic BikeBrain  — available for a Free download
  • Cycle Watch — available for $1.99
  • cyctastic — available for $5.99
  • iMapMyRIDE+  — available for $1.99
  • BikeMateGPS  — available for $2.99
  • Cyclemeter  — available for $4.99
  • Ride the City  — available for $2.99
  • B.iCycle — available for $9.99
  • Bike Maps  — available for $0.99  — this one appears to be for offline maps

So over the next few weeks I will test several of those — need to decide where to start…and of course I will keep on look out for other possible applications