Depending on where you live, you might be experiencing a slight hiccup on the way to spring right now. But a slight delay doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. And when it does, you’ll be ready to get back out on your bike with these five great iOS apps.
If you want to do any of your own bike maintenance at home (it’ll save you buckets of money), Bike Repair and Bike Repair HD are the apps you’ll want to grab. They provide step-by-step instructions for repairs and general maintenance procedures, organized by bike component or part. The instructions provided by the app are written, and include illustrative photos for each step that show you exactly what each part is and what you have to do with them. Great for beginners especially, and available in either an at-home high res version on the iPad, or in more pocketable form on the iPhone.
Ride the City (2.99)
This may have more limited appeal, since the Ride the City app and website only provide biking directions for a few cities currently, but if you happen to live in one of the 26 cities worldwide where it works, it’s a very handy tool. It provides bike-friendly directions from point A to point B, and tells you the location of nearby bike shops where you can get some gear or stop in for repairs. The app provides a choice between safer, safe and most direct routes, so you can make your choice based on your comfort level and how fast you need to get there.
Cyclemeter GPS Bike Computer ($4.99)
If you’re into tracking your rides, including things like your speed, elevation, time and distance, and you want to do it all with just your iPhone, this is the app to get. It keeps a history of your rides locally on your phone, and you can export tracked rides for use in spreadsheet applications or on social fitness sites. You can even share near real-time progress of your ride and location to friends and family members. Strava Cycling is a more recent addition to the App Store that offers similar (albeit fewer) features for free, complete with syncing to the Strava.com social training site.
Bicycle Gear Calculator ($4.99)
This app provides you with a handy, easy-to-use calculator that lets you calculate your gear ratio using your chainring and sprocket size, your chainring length, and your bike’s tire size. Fixed gear enthusiasts especially will appreciate things like the Skid Patch calculator, but it’s a great app for any bike enthusiast with a geeky side.
This app ties into the Singletracks.com website to provide gear reviews and blog content, but most importantly, it offers trail locations and reviews. The app itself could use some work (it basically just provides a wrapper for a mobile website) but it does the job, and it offers a lot more content than many competing apps for a lot less money. I’d love to see this app develop more of a native feel, and provide the opportunity for users to contribute trail reviews and locations from their mobile devices, but it’s still a very useful tool, especially for mountain bikers.
After the long winter here in Toronto, and since I’m not crazy enough to bike through the cold, I’m super eager to get out there and hit the roads and trails. Anyone else looking forward to the beginning of (enjoyable) biking season?