Tech Review: Cyclemeter – Basic review
Aug 2011 31

As some of you may know, The Renaissance Man is a technology junkie!  I love all things technical.  So when I started riding a bike about a year ago, I searched out how tech could help me achieve my goals.  It did not take me long to find an app for my iPhone called Cyclemeter from Abvio.

I have been using Cyclemeter for over a year and it accompanies me on all of my rides. There are so many good ideas built into this app, it would be impossible for me to detail them all.  So I will focus on my top 2 things that make Cyclemeter the best cycling app out there.

#1 – Tracking My Ride Statistics – Like most road cyclist, I have a small cycling computer attached to my handle bars that I use to monitor my speed and mileage.  I use this just for reference during the ride.  For tracking and collecting data, Cyclemeter stores all of my relevant data for all of my rides.  This data includes many items but the ones I find most important are:

  • Map of the Ride (interfacing with Google Maps) showing mile split times and speeds.
  • Average Speed
  • Distance Traveled
  • Calories Burned
  • Fastest Speed
  • Elevation Changes and Profiles

The really cool aspect of tracking these stats is that I can integrate these into my calendar on my iPhone.  This gives me a complete record of ALL of my rides.  Since I sync my calendar back to an Exchange Calendar, I have a permanent record of every ride I have ever taken.

#2 – Peace of Mind – Outside of my Road ID, the second most important safety gear I own is the combination of my iPhone and the Cyclemeter app.  As road cyclist, we have all had are fair share of close calls while on the road.  But with the built in notification system in Cyclemeter, your loved ones, friends or family can know exactly where you are at all times.  So if there is an accident or a flat or any other incident that leaves you stranded on the side of the road, your friends and family will be able to locate you.   How is this done?  There are multiple ways to notify people and you can control how much or little information to give them.

The most secure method of giving out your track is through email.  You can configure Cyclemeter to give an update at start, stop or any time/mileage interval.  Other methods of communication include Twitter, Facebook and Daily Mile.  I use most of these methods on every ride, giving out specific stats depending on who I am communicating with.

So there you have it, why I believe Cyclemeter is the best cycling app available.  There is much more to this app and I will detail the advanced items in a future post.

If you have questions or comments, please let me know.  I would be more than happy to assist you in getting the most out of Cyclemeter.

- Renaissance Man

 

Renaissance: Cycling Driven by Numbers
Aug 2013 06

One of my favorite sayings of all time is: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

I am a numbers guy.  Why?  I think it is encoded in my DNA.  I am an engineer by education and an operations/financial guy in real life.  Numbers drive me.  So when I took up cycling three years ago, I started to track all of my stats.  From the beginning, I have always used a great app on my iPhone called Cyclemeter.  My initial review is here: http://ramcycling.com/?p=239.  I am still using Cyclemeter and I love it.

This season I made a significant upgrade to my tracking and analysis.  I added Wahoo Fitness Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor and Bluetooth Speed and Cadence Sensor (http://www.wahoofitness.com/Products/Wahoo-Fitness-Wahoo-Blue-SC-Speed-and-Cadence-Sensor.asp).  Both have allowed me to track more data and analyze my efforts. (I also recently added Wahoo’s RFLKT display device.  More details here: http://www.wahoofitness.com/Products/Wahoo-Fitness-Wahoo-RFLKT-iPhone-Powered-Bike-Computer.asp.  This allowed me to eliminate the old Sigma computer and keep my phone in my pocket.)  With this change, Cyclemeter no longer uses GPS for speed and cadence.  By using the SC Sensor, GPS does the pathing and elevation and the bike generates speed and cadence.  Adding the Bluetooth HR monitor now gives me an idea of how hard I am working.

Then KP the Masher introduced me to Strava (www.strava.com) .  Strava tracks all of our rides and segments. (See our Strava data on our homepage.)  Segments are parts of rides like a tough hill or a fast downhill.  Now I have a real life app that will do the analysis for me and compare to all other people who have ridden where I ride.  It is a form of virtual racing, even against myself.  I get instant feedback on numerous stats:

  • How does my ride stack up against my previous rides?
  • How do I compare with people I am riding with today?
  • How do I compare to other’s who have ridden these areas?
  • Where should I ride?  You can use Strava to search for segments or rides in an area you are visiting.
  • If you use a Heart Rate monitor, Strava will give you a “Suffer Score” to show you how much effort you gave.
  • You can use a Power Meter (I do not have one) to get more information.

In July 2013, I rode 12 times for a total of 353.56 miles.  One of my best months of cycling.  I attribute this to many things including riding with some awesome people in the Bluegrass Cycling Club.  But I also know that I feel and see a difference in my body that is also supported by a lot of data and statistics.

The bottom line: Numbers drive me. Let them drive you too.

 

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