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The Best Apple Watch cycling apps

Do you need help deciding which cycling app for the Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch is a great fitness watch with incredible smartwatch features. Whilst Apples focus for the Apple Watch is doing things smart, it does have some powerful fitness features from its accurate optical Heart rate sensor and its pretty accurate GPS sensor. So deciding which is the best Apple Watch cycling app to use can be a little confusing.

Whilst some might pass at using the Apple Watch for sports activities like cycling due to the inability to connect sensors like power and cadence sensors within its native cycling workout app, I do personally think its a good option given you can download third party cycling apps to the Apple Watch that enhance the overall experience and data you can extract from the workout when some of the apps allow external sensors to be connected.

So read on for my top Apple Watch cycling apps and let me know in the comments below if you think I have missed one of your favourites cycle apps for the Apple Watch

Apples own cycling workout app

Apple Watch Native cycling app

Starting with the workout App on the Apple Watch which has a cycling sports profile. If I am being totally honest it’s not going to blow away the more advanced cyclist, but if you are wanting to go out for a ride on your bike and don’t want complications then Apples own Cycling workout app is a great option.

You will find you are not overloaded with data during and after the ride. I have already said the GPS is pretty much spot on, but you should get that with most of the other options. The Apple Watch workout app allows you to swipe between screens and change any music whilst riding, however, I would not recommend listening to music when cycling or attempting to change things whilst moving as it could lead to an accident.

Using it for indoor riding is not great as it won’t capture distance covered, but it will give you heart rate and calories burnt, but Apple may improve this over time

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As I have said in previous articles the Apple Watch is not great for giving you post workout information and the Apple Watch Cycling app is no exception. You will get things like distance travelled (if using GPS) average heart rate, calories burnt. 

Why use the Apple Watch native cycling app

Essentially the cycling app on the Apple Watch is a great app to get started with cycling and for those of you that is interested in going out cycling and just wants to track the basic workout information such as distance travelled and heart rate data. However, if you are looking for more advanced data then check out one of the other options

  • Price: Free
  • Works without iPhone: Yes
  • Export data to third party: No
  • Download: It comes with the Apple Watch
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Strava Cycling for the Apple Watch

Strava apple watch app

The Strava app for Apple Watch took a fair bit of time to be come available for use without the iPhone being in range, however, you can now use Apple Watch Strava app without an iPhone.

During and after your workout, you’ll have the choice to view all the basics – distance, time, speed, heart rate, elevation and calories. If you are a premium user then you can access advanced heart rate analysis including Strava’s own suffer score. Strava’s suffer score is essentially a score of how much of an impact that ride had on you and how hard you worked out.

The biggest advantage of using Strava for Apple Watch is the community aspect. Strava’s community along with its route planning and the ability to compete with friends on segments along routes is a great draw for those that want to interact with fellow cyclists and add that competitive edge.

Strava also allows you to export the GPX and TIFF files like you could with a dedicated cycling computer like a Garmin or Wahoo. The advantages of exporting data are you can carry out further analysis of the data in third-party apps like Golden Cheetah or import them to other fitness platforms.

Why use the Strava Apple Watch app for cycling

Strava is a well-established app and is used not only on Apple Watch but across a number of fitness products. The community aspect is really good and the ability to plan routes in my view is 2nd to none. The Strava app is for someone that is wanting to use an App for cycling and wants to interact with a wider community with devices other than the Apple Watch.

  • Price: Free – Although you need to pay for some premium features
  • Works without iPhone: Yes
  • Export data to third party: Yes
  • Download: Download the Strava app here
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Endomondo Apple Watch app

 

Endomondo Apple Watch appThe Under Armour-owned Endomondo is a great fitness all-rounder as it supports multiple activities including cycling.

Endomondo app for Apple Watch is essentially the same as Strava in terms of data screens, however, one difference is you can view heart rate zones during exercise which you cant with the Strava app. The Endomondo app is one point that you need to be aware of, it cannot be used without an iPhone has the company have not enabled it to use the built-in GPS on the Apple Watch yet.

You can use your Bluetooth Low Energy HRM with the Endomondo Apple Watch app. Just pair your HRM with the Endomondo iPhone app, which is pretty useful. Like with Strava, you can also download the workout data post workout and use this to import into third-party software

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Why use the Endomondo Apple Watch app for cycling

Essentially the Endmondo app for Apple Watch is a halfway between Apple’s own native cycling app and Strava. The big downside for some is you need to take your iPhone with you to get GPS data and this may be a deal breaker for some

  • Price: Free – Although you need to pay for some premium features
  • Works without iPhone: No
  • Export data to third party: Yes
  • Download: Download the Endomondo app here

Cyclemeter for Apple Watch

 

Cyclemeter apple watch appOverall most of the cycling apps for Apple Watch featured in this guide don’t vary in terms of data and data screens, but this is not the case with the Cyclemeter for Apple Watch. When I looked at the Cyclemeter app I was impressed with the level of data and would say it’s competing with the likes of Garmin’s own dedicated cycling computers.

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In total, you can configure your pages to track more than 200 metrics, which include everything involving your power, speed, heart rate, cycling cadence and more. You can also connect a variety of sensors to capture this data which is an interesting point to note.

The iPhone companion app is very useful and certainly complements the Apple Watch app. You can analyse the data post workout and you will get lost in the amount of data you can look at. You can also export the data to third-party services such as Strava for instance and import the data into applications like Golden Cheetah or Training Peaks.

Why use the Cyclemeter Apple Watch app for cycling

Cyclemeter for Apple Watch is an advanced cycle app and in my view it’s an app that you should get if you don’t want to go out and purchase a dedicated cycling computer. The amount of data you get and the ability to analyse post workout information is great along with the ability to add sensors.

  • Price: Free – Although you need to pay for some premium features
  • Works without iPhone: yes
  • Export data to third party: Yes
  • Download: Download the Cyclemeter app here
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Which cycling app should I use with Apple Watch

Best apple watch cycling apps

The bottom line here is, you need to decide what level of information you need during a ride and post workout. If you happy to turn the app on and just go, the Native cycle App on the Apple Watch is a great option. However, if you want more advanced data then look at one of the apps like Strava, Endomondo or Cyclemeter and decide which one works for you. All of the apps are free to download, so you use nothing by trying them all

If you have a question about cycling apps for Apple Watch or have a suggestion then leave it in the comments section below.

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Jon R
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology and I like combining this with fitness. My reviews will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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