Market guide: What are the best cycling apps, mounts and devices?

Mark Sutton
Market guide: What are the best cycling apps, mounts and devices?

The Apps

Bike Hub
This is the app (Android) that’ll benefit bike businesses the most (iPhone version), with the majority of the nation’s retailers listed and if you’re not already present, a listing for your store on the app is free-of-charge. Users of the app will be greeted with a list of stores within a six mile radius when they click the ‘find a shop’ tab. To add your business, email editor@bikehub.co.uk.
Largely this app is focused on finding the quietest or quickest routes through both urban and rural areas. The routing is done via CycleStreets.net, as well as benefiting from localised knowledge, much thanks to crowd sourcing updates from the users themselves. This journey planning website uses mathematical graph theory algorithms to quickly work out great bike routes. Furthermore, it’ll let you know of local attractions, hire bike locations, pubs and cafes that are en route.
Built into the app, users who explore its functions will find information on how to access the cycle to work scheme, the rules of the road according to the Highway Code and plenty of do’s and don’ts.

 
 


Strava
There will be few in the trade not already familiar with Strava, but for the uninitiated, it’s a free-of-charge GPS app that plots your route, elevation climbed and a number of other stats. With the ‘pro’ package these stats are plotted to a very minute level of detail and go as far as to assess heart rate, provide power analysis and compare you to others with a similar weight and age.
Widely recognised as the leading ‘social fitness’ app in the cycling and running circles, the app has linked with the likes of Garmin, with cross compatibility of Strava to certain models – including the Edge and Forerummer – both of which are sold on the apps website as ‘pro packages’.
The pros and cons were, however, recently tossed around in a Dirt article, in which some commented that ‘private tracks’ can easily be unearthed with the creation of ‘segments’ by other users.

Spoke calculation and repair apps
There are many spoke calculation apps on both iTunes and the Android market place and we daren’t recommend one over the other. However, at no more than 70 pence, the majority of reliably rated apps offer real time savings for the mechanic. If you’re an iPhone owner, check out Spokerator, a £1.99 solution to choosing the right spoke lengths, even if the lacing is asymmetric. There are free alternatives, though this one in particular has come recommended to us and trusted by Ben Cooper at folding, electric and recumbent specialist Kinetics in Glasgow.
At £2.99 and already Cycling Plus approved, Bike Doctor 2 provides detailed step-by-step maintenance, cleaning and repair instructions for road, mountain and hybrid bikes. Though more a consumer-facing app, the depth of instructions and detail makes this a good recommendation to any customer wanting to haggle over the price of repair jobs. If they’re claiming to be ‘an engineer’, or have a mate who’s ‘handy with the spanners’, with the assistance of this app, they’ll not write their bike off completely when attempting DIY.
There are also a wealth of gear ratio calculation apps on iTunes and the Android marketplace, should you not have the solution fresh in the memory.

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iQubo

Elite have just released an app exclusively on iTunes for its virtual reality and digital trainers. This allows you to use your iPhone or iPad to control your trainer and view stats. The app is free to download and is called iQubo.

Sustrans: The National Cycle Network
Much like the Bike Hub app, Sustrans’ ride or walk mapping application also pinpoints bike shops on its Ordinance Survey maps. Listing here is done in collaboration with the Association of Cycle Traders and members can request a listing on the app.

Madison B2B
It’s fair to say Madison has led the way with getting a fully functional B2B app onto the iTunes store – and it’s free. Allowing you to place and review orders, as well as scan barcodes (iPhone 1 and 3G aside) to add out of stock items to your basket quickly, the app gives a real time stock update of what’s available.

Minoura Live Training
Developed in conjunction with Tokyo based software company Soneru, Minoura’s LiveTraining now gives riders the big PC based features on all Apple iOS version 4.3 and over devices. This app offers riders course simulation, enabling riders to recreate a ride on their trainer with resistance adjustment prompts. There’s also a ‘free mode’, which allows the user to change the on-screen resistance to match your trainer resistance and your wattage is worked out whilst showing speed, cadence and heart rate.
LiveTraining is only fully compatible with Minoura’s Magteqs Twin, Live Ride 760, Live Ride 540, V270, V150 and V130.



The accessories


Biologic
Some would say gadgets and gizmos are Biologic’s area of expertise, having launched its own BikeBrain app, exclusively on the iPhone, as well as having created numerous mounts for Apple devices and a select few android phones.
One of the creations from Josh Hon’s label is the Reecharge case – a rugged, waterproof unit that encloses the phone, yet allows all functions to remain, all while recharging your device via an onboard lithium polymer battery. This added charge makes this the perfect case for those who use energy intensive functions, such as some GPS applications.
With the optional Case Bracket product, the ReeCharge Case mounts easily to the handlebar of any bicycle, allowing you to turn your iPhone into a powerful cycling computer. With the addition of the ReeCharge dynamo kit, cyclists can even use this case to charge their phone while cycling.
www.thinkbiologic.com/products/bikebrain
Paligap: 01454 313116



RAM Mount
RAM are one of those firms that cater for a bit of everything when it comes to making devices portable. If you really wanted to, RAM could assist in helping a rider attach their iPad or tablet securely to a handlebar, not that we’d recommend it.
Anyone who’s worked in the gadget industry will know that keeping up with the latest devices, shapes and sizes can be a nightmare, especially when it comes to accessorising them. RAM take out the fuss with a series of interchangeable components, meaning that just one handlebar mount is ever needed and the head unit can be switched between the latest phones, GoPro cameras, sat-navs – more or less anything that you’d want mounted to your handlebar can be catered for.
Each mount comes with a lifetime warranty and most devices feature the firm’s own patented non-slip design, which dampens vibrations reaching the device while in the saddle.   
RAM Mount: sales@rammount.com.



The devices

Ciclosport HAC 6
The Ciclosport HAC series has been on the market for some time now, catering mostly for the enthusiast who wants concise data, as well as more performance-led details.
With the release of the HAC 6, Hotlines has stock of a device that does it all and comes with a generous package of brackets and mounts so your customer can tailor how they use their device. The package includes a wristband, handlebar bracket, digital transmitter belt, including elastic strap, digital wireless cycle transmitter, digital wireless cadence transmitter, spoke magnet, cadence magnet, mounting materials, USB cable, CD ROM including user manual and PC software.
As far as functions go, the important primary functions include heart rate, altimeter, power calculations, barometer readings, a calories burned estimate and distance over time functions. Those aside, more detailed functions go as deep as to calculate when your bike is due a service – prompting the rider to visit their local shop with a small icon. The HAC 6 will even remind the rider when to take a drink if the rider desires to be reminded.
Hotlines: 0131 319 1444



Bryton Rider 40
If you’ve read our profile on Taiwanese label Bryton back in the July issue, you’ll know that the team developing these cycle computers are experts in the GPS and gadgets business.
For the dedicated athlete, the Rider 40 perhaps offers the greatest level of feedback, designed to work with Training Peaks nutrition and training software. Multiple training modes enable users to create specific plans, which can be fully analysed through the Bryton Sport website.
Seven pre-loaded workout courses are also provided for training: Easy Ride, Tempo Interval, Cruise Internal, Time Trial Interval, Anaerobic-endurance Interval, Power it up and 100 per cent MAP.
Experienced riders and runners looking for the edge in performance can access every conceivable measurement to improve performance by designing motivational training programmes, viewing data online and sharing with friends. Zyro: 01845 521700

Tags: bike hub , iphone , apps , accessories , iphone5 , strava

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