APP OF THE DAY: Strava cycling review (iPhone)
Sometimes free apps can be better than their paid-for equivalents. The world of fitness on the iPhone is undated with all sorts of accelerometer and GPS-integrated applications designed to help you lose the pounds. Problem is, the majority of them cost.
Strava cycling is different, it offers a comprehensive smartphone based aid for the hardcore cyclist, be they road, off-road or indoors.
First up you are going to want to sign up with Strava. We opted for the direct Facebook linkage approach, which sped up the process no end. Either way it costs nothing. From there you are sent straight to the app's home screen, which works like most iOS apps in that it has a menu selection laid across the bottom.
You can opt for a new ride, which will record just your timing, speed and distance. It can be paused at any time and, once finished, will build up a big set of details on your ride. A large map view of the exact route you took is recorded, as well as things such as average speed and elevation. A full-screen map of the exact route is also obtainable and integrates itself with Google Maps on iOS.
A particularly nice touch is a sort of Xbox-style achievements list. Things like best times for individual segments will show you when you do your quickest section. You can even compare your times with others who have done the same route.
Adding even more value are the built-in routes. The explore option will show you different cycle routes based on your location, even listing things such as elevation and distance. On top of all this, a global stats page with all your running and cycling efforts overall is kept constantly updated.
A lot to get stuck into with Strava and especially given it's free. Serious cyclists in particular will find it hugely useful as it is a very comprehensive training aid.
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