7 free cycling apps

Cycling is a fantastic way to keep fit. Hannah Fox picks 7 free cycling apps that can track your ride to give you extra motivation, help with route planning or other useful features.

1. Best app for tracking your activity - Strava

Cycling and using the Strava app

Regardless of your ability, Strava is an excellent cycling tracker. Using this free app, you can easily keep track of your performance by comparing key statistics such as your distance and pace, which makes it a great tool to follow your progress and set goals.

You can also unleash your competitive side and connect with friends, participate in Strava’s monthly challenges and track your position on their leader board. In order to discover new routes, you can also access the world’s largest road and trail network. Have a favourite route to work? Then you can upload your route to your phone or GPS device to ensure you never go off track again. 

2. Best app for route planning - CycleStreets

Cycling and using a map

CycleStreets enables you to request different routes depending on what suits you best. For instance, if you fancy a quieter trip to work, then CycleStreets will find less popular, but equally safe routes for you to cycle on. 

This app provides you with a wide variety of useful information, including your speed and distance covered. Using a live map, you can track your journey and receive directions to view exactly where you are at all times.

3. Best app for sharing your route with friends - Map My Ride

Cycling with a group

If you find yourself getting bored of the same daily route, Map My Ride is a great way to discover new ones. When you come across a really great route, you can save and share it with your friends so that they can access it too. 

You can also see what your friends are doing on your activity feed; join challenges to compete with others; climb the leader board; and win prizes.

Another really useful feature is the audio feedback, which gives you your statistics, such as the amount of calories burnt and the pace that you’ve been travelling at.   

4. Best app for scheduling your rides - Cyclemeter

Cycling planning calendar

Cyclemeter Cycling Running GPS includes a calendar where you can track your rides, and learn when you need to schedule a workout in. It can be a really motivating tool to view how regularly you’ve been cycling, and what time and distance you got.

Cyclemeter has encouraging announcements to motivate you during your ride, so you can maintain your focus and feel like you have your very own supporter.

It also includes a lot of free useful data such as maps, split intervals, and bar and pie charts to summarize your cycling workouts to ensure that you are monitoring your progress.

5. Best app for accurate weather forecasts - Rain Alarm

Cycling in the sunshine

Rain Alarm is an app that provides you with accurate weather forecasts, making it easier for you to plan your cycle route depending on the weather. 

If you’re a seasonal cyclist you can use the satellite view, which could help you avoid bad weather. You can alter your route to avoid rain patches and other bad weather, with live notifications to keep you up to date as soon as there’s a weather change.

6. Best app for first aid - First Aid for Cyclists

Cycling first aid

First Aid For Cyclists, created by St John Ambulance, could help make it easier to carry out first aid activity on yourself or others in the result of an emergency. Statistically, 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in road accidents per year; a number that could be reduced by having more first aid knowledge. Being able to tackle smaller incidents could prevent them becoming a more serious problem. 

Taking advice from medical experts, you are able to identify the type of injury that you have, and find out the ways in which it can be treated. The app simplifies the instructions for the majority of common cycling injuries, providing a step-by-step guide on how to give first aid support. For those with no previous experience of first aid, this app makes it accessible.

7. Best app for reporting road nuisances - FillThatHole

Cycling pothole

Operated by the UK’s leading cycling charity – Cycling UK – Fill That Hole is great for those who find their route is often disturbed by potholes and other surface problems on the road.  

These can be dangerous, as often potholes cause cyclists to lose control and swerve into the road. Using this app, you can report these problems to your local council - simply fill in a form and Fill That Hole will do the rest.

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