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Old 2018-04-09, 02:38 PM   #1
Roland Hope School of Unicycling
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Long Bennington, Lincolnshire, England.
Posts: 6,928
Route/workout apps?

I've been using Map My Run to record my rides. It is possible to edit a "run" to show "cycling" and it recalculates the calories burned. It offers a voice update every 1/4 mile and shows split times and average speeds for each full mile. It's free.

On the other hand, it is not awfully accurate. On a unicycle ride the other day it showed me zig zagging 100 yards each side of the road and averaging over 20 mph for a full mile. This meant that my total distance and average speed for the ride were unreliable. I guess it's because of poor reception in that area.

I do have an issue with the way it works things out. I did two rides on my bicycle today, slightly different routes in opposite directions. A was at the top of a hill and B was at the bottom, and I took a long route from B to A (uphill) than from A to B (downhill) and yet, presumably because I was going faster, it said I'd used more calories on the shorter downhill route!

I know other similar apps are available. Assuming that I don't want to pay a fee, which s the best and why? I will be using for walks, runs, unicycle and bicycle rides (and sometimes sailing!) in the UK.

Hot tip: when you're sailing, you sit still and hold a string in one hand and a stick in the other, and according to Map My Run, you burn no end of calories.
"A unicycle is not a physics problem." (tholub)
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Old 2018-04-09, 06:32 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Greater Manchester Kearsley
Age: 55
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Hi Mike

I use samsung health on my phone. If your not on a samsung phone ignore this
However if you are on samsung give it a go it gives you audio stats every mile ie how many miles done how many remaining average speed pace etc. I really like it and have used it from day one it uploads to Strava however stats are always slightly different ie if 11mph on samsung health by the time it gets to strava it is more likely to be 10.5. You also get a weekly update comparing stats from the previous week stops you slacking. For a free app its great.

Regards Phil
27.5 KH
36" Nimbus Oracle
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Old 2018-04-09, 10:10 PM   #3
Piece Maker
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I upload to Strava but I use a Garmin device to capture the rides. I used to use the app but I had a lot of trouble with battery life on my phone, so I prefer to seperate the duties off to different devices now
“It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history.”
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Old 2018-04-10, 12:34 AM   #4
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Location: NSW, Australia
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If you want accurate calorie measurement then you really need a heart rate monitor and/or a power meter. Power meters are expensive and you'll have a hard time finding one which works on a unicycle off the shelf, so a HRM is the most practical option.

You can get wrist-based optical HRMs or the ones that use a chest straps. The chest strap ones are a bit less convenient to wear but far more reliable than the optical ones.

I have a Wahoo Tickr which is fairly cheap and works well. It transmits on both Bluetooth and Ant+ so it can be connected to pretty much any phone and cycling computer. Garmin, Polar, Lezyne and others make similar models. The main thing to check is that they use the right link for your receiver (Bluetooth if you want to use your phone).

Once you have a HRM paired to your phone then most of the apps will be pretty good. If you don't care about the social aspect then Wahoo Fitness is not a bad choice as it's completely free with no restrictions (they make their money selling hardware, not software). Otherwise take your pick of the online apps (Map My Run/Ride/Fitness, Endomondo, Strava etc).

I should note that I'm usually too lazy to actually wear my HRM .
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Old 2018-04-10, 12:41 AM   #5
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Oh, on the GPS track accuracy, I found that my phone would sometimes zig zag when it was trying to be clever about saving power. I put a dedicated GPS (Lezyne Super GPS) on my 36er and disabled the power save option so that it just records the GPS position once a second without trying to be clever. That seems to be more reliable and still gets decent battery life (~24 hours continuous recording).

I don't think the GPS hardware in phones is necessarily less accurate than a standalone GPS device, it's just that the apps don't have direct access to the hardware. Instead the OS sits in between, playing tricks in the name of extending the battery runtime.
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Old 2018-04-10, 05:13 AM   #6
North Shore ridin'
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I use Strava, now just on my Apple Watch. Before, I had to run it on the phone, and didn't get any feedback from it because I don't mount my phone to the uni or otherwise try to look at it while riding. Now, the Apple Watch 2 can record the whole ride without needing the phone, and uploads it via your phone later on. I bring my phone with me anyway, but having it on the watch means I can glance down and see my speed, heartrate (with the watch; a dedicated heart monitor would give better data), and other stuff like what time it is.

The Apple Watch 3 is cellular on its own, and can record and upload your whole ride.

The cool thing about Strava is that location data is (anonymously) gathered from all users. so if other people ride in the same places you do, your track will be compared with all the other existing data about where your trail or route goes, which makes for a more accurate track. This happens in the background, I think after your data gets uploaded to the site.

I am Strava "friends" with Nathan Hoover, Kris Holm and a small group of other people so we can see each other's rides. This is probably even more interesting if your Strava friends live nearby, and ride in the same places you do.

Before Strava, I had Garmin devices. I still have the data from those rides, dating back to before Ride The Lobster, and someday I will supposedly upload it all to Strava. Not sure if that's going to happen before or after I edit my video footage from early Muni events in 1999 and 2000...
John Foss

"I was younger then, but it felt at the time like it was going like poo off a spade. Great fun." -- Mikefule (he's British)
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apps, route or workout

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