What software can you use while on the bike? Can software help you train better to improve your cycling? How can I log my rides and compare myself over time or to other riders? All excellent questions! Perhaps some of the software listed here can help you answer them, and help you become a better rider!
Since cycling can be a very numbers-based sport, it’s no surprise that there are a proliferation of software packages available to the athlete. The intent of this page is to provide an ever-evolving list of these software packages that are related to cycling in some way. I don’t claim that this is a complete or fully accurate list, but if you have changes or additions, I’d love to hear them; feel free to contact me!
I’ve attempted to break the list up into useful categories, but of course much of this software crosses categories, so it’s debatable where best to put some items! I’ve put an asterisk (*) beside what I feel are the best of the best, or that I personally use and enjoy.
- *Strava – the most popular ‘social cycling’ website and app. Strava will read your GPS ride files, and rank your performance against all other users who have ridden the same ‘segments.’ This app has become wildly popular, and it is a good way to add a bit of competition to your rides.
- TrainingPeaks – the ‘accepted standard’ in web-based power-based training (WKO+ is the desktop version). It really is great software, and widely used by coaches and professionals. I add it here with the caveat that if you don’t want to spend as much money, and want a product that’s equally as good (or better in some situations,) you should check out Golden Cheetah below.
- *Cycling Analytics – a very slick new website that does power and heart rate analysis, including Critical Power curves. Very slick; this is the nicest looking of all apps listed here in my opinion. I’d excited to see where this will go!
- Athlete Forward – another new option. I haven’t tried it yet, so leave comments below if you have!
- SelfLoops – zone analysis, critical power, team management, live telemetry, weight management
- BikeJournal – a bit oldschool, but still has a tonne of features. I used to use and love this app until the free features diminished and all the good stuff was ‘pay only.’
- SRM2Strava – If you have an SRM, but want to use your power data in Strava, you can use a separate GPS (your phone perhaps) to record the ride, and then use this cool app to join the GPS data file with the SRM file for use in Strava
- *RaceShape - uses the Strava API to give a detailed analysis of segments. See detailed time breakdowns of you vs. others across the segment. Also has a very cool ‘heatmap‘ showing where rides occur – useful when looking for routes in a new area!
- *VeloViewer – uses the Strava API to give extended stats and details. See more detailed leaderboards , change in rank across all your segments, and tonnes of other cool stuff!
Desktop Open Source/Free
- *Golden Cheetah – without a doubt, the coolest piece of cycling software currently available. The best part? It’s 100% free! I recommend you check this out first for all of your analysis and power-based training needs. If it doesn’t work for you, only then would I suggest you check out a commercial option. However, with a bit of time invested (it does have a bit of a learning curve!) Golden Cheetah will likely negate the purchase of any other software packages. Check out the user group to see how responsive and knowledgeable the community is!
- Cycleops Power Agent – the default software that comes with a PowerTap. Free to download and play with. Pretty basic, but does the job for some.
- Garmin Training Center – Garmin’s entry into the field. I find it pretty limited, but perhaps worth a look.
- *AeroLab – Part of Golden Cheetah, but deserves separate mention here. AeroLab lets you test how aerodynamic different bike/position setups are based on real-world power data, and get values for drag. This is great since most of us can’t afford a wind tunnel test!
- Optimal Cycling Project – Optimal Power Pacing – I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this one, and intend to post some more info about it when I’ve used it a bit more. The idea is that the software will calculate the optimal power distribution over a course you give it to ensure you don’t waste effort in a TT-type event. Pretty cool, but a bit complex. Stay tuned for more as I play with the software some more.
- Kubios HRV – Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis software
- hrvtracker – a small app that receives HRV data from a USB ANT+ stick and saves to a file for analysis in other software (e.g. Kubios HRV, above) NOTE: According to a commenter, this software has a bug in it. I haven’t confirmed, but do not recommend you use this software as of 20130808.
- Fit File Repair Tool – fix common problems with Garmin .fit files, convert formats, and fix corrupt Garmin .fit files
- TCX VPower – calculate ‘virtual power’ (similar to how Strava calculates power without a power meter) based on only your Garmin .tcx file. Very cool!
- SportTracks 3
- RaceDay Apollo
- IQO2 – New, untested, unproven, but looks promising. Should be available soon (as of 20130131)
- CycliStats – Oldschool database-style ride tracker. I’d suggest the free Golden Cheetah for a vastly better experience.
- *Tour de Giro – fantastic real time racing product. Free for now, but intends to go to a subscription type of service as of fall 2013. I use and really enjoy this software; it makes indoor training much more tolerable and (dare I say?) fun!
- rollerracing.ca – race others online with a minimal interface and no real courses. I much prefer Tour de Giro, above.
- iMobileIntervals – a database of interval workouts
Desktop Open Source/Free
- *OpenTrainer/GoldenCheetah (currently part of Golden Cheetah—the “Train” tab—but will soon be split out into it’s own software called OpenTrainer)
- jmX Cycling Trainer – Not currently released. From discussions with the author, it may never be, which is a shame as it looks light years ahead of the competition in the graphics department!
- Wattbike Power Cycling – the software that works with a Wattbike. Appears to be free, but I’m unsure if it will work with other trainers, etc.
- *The Sufferfest - Simply the best/worst training videos available
- ErgVideo – local Ottawa-based company that integrates with your Computrainer
- ctANT+ – enable your CompuTrainer to speak to an ANT+ USB Key
- Spivi – similar to Tour de Giro, but designed for studio use. There’s also a free (currently) home edition.
- Tour de Rue – XBOX Kinect/Google StreetView mashup. This project may never become a reality as the Kickstarter campaign didn’t get fully funded.
- CadenceVR - videos of popular European cycling routes for your trainer. Talks to ANT+ devices for on-screen display and so video playback speed matches actual riding speed.
- VeloReality – training with video footage to match. Apparently only works on a 64 bit machine.
- Turbo Crank – pre-defined workouts, but no communication with sensors
- Ride With GPS
- Garmin Connect
- *Bike Route Toaster – the best/simplest app for creating courses to send to your Garmin. You have the ability to set custom turn warnings and notifications. Very cool, and does only what it needs to do.
- Garmin Connect .tcx downloader – a tool to download all of your .tcx files from Garmin Connect in one swoop
- GarminSync – keep your Strava and RunKeeper accounts synced automatically with Garmin Connect
- Strava Cycling
- MapMyRide GPS Cycling
- Fitness Rewards by Plus 3 – donate to charity while you exercise
- Bike Repair
- Wahoo Fitness
- Garmin Fit
- Garmin Connect
- Smartbeat – monitor Heart Rate Variability (HRV) on your iOS device
- ithlete – another HRV option
- MyoCycle – an app to solve bike related body-pain problems. Select what hurts, and the app will give you possible solutions.
- *CrossMgr – a race (not just for ‘cross races) timing/results tracking system. This looks like an amazing way to run a race and have instant results with smart recording and checking. I would certainly try this solution first before anyone else; it’s free (donations are appreciated if you use it for a commercial event, or find it super helpful!)
- Race Day – a race management software package to handle registration, start sheets and results.
- *BikeCAD – Free online bicycle design software.
- *Kinovea – A very cool video analysis software package that includes a bike fit tool. If you’ve had a professional bike fit, they likely used something like DartFish. Kinovea is the open source equivalent. I’m in need of a better camera to test it out (my webcam doesn’t have nearly high enough frame rate to work!) but it looks very promising.
- Dartfish – Like Kinovea, only not free. More features from what I can tell, but try the free option first!
- Bike Telemetry – generate ‘dashboard’ views of speed/gradient/map/etc. based on a your GPS file, and download as a video overlay. Cool way to spruce up your post-ride GoPro footage!
- Dashware - a slicker, more powerful (but not free) application that does the same thing as BikeTelemetry
- SUFFERvision – yet another telemetry option. Overlay Strava activity on a YouTube video all on a website.
- Tapiriik - synchronizes your fitness activities between Garmin Connect, RunKeeper, Strava, Endomondo, SportTracks.mobi and Dropbox