With some great quality phone mounts on the market now, using your phone as a GPS tracker on a ride has become a popular option. Most mounts offer a wide array of accessories, which help make your phone a versatile addition to your cycling kit.
Our favourite phone mount is the Quad Lock system, which uses a phone specific protective case and a 4-way locking mechanism. The case is slim-line so you can leave it on as your standard phone protection. Quad Lock also offer the Universal Adaptor, which lets you convert most standard phone cases into the Quad Lock system. Accessories include a waterproof cover, arm band kits, out front handlebar mount, car mount, and belt clip.
These mounts open up the option to use the ever-expanding list of cycling apps now available:
Strava is a free GPS tracking app that offers basic mapping and performance data. You get the usual information like distance, moving time, overall time, elevation gain, calories, average speed, max speed, and heart rate.
The main drawcard for Strava is the segment comparison feature. Once segments are added into Strava, it automatically compares the performance of all riders who have ever tracked that same segment. The competitive nature of segment comparisons makes for some interesting post-ride discussion! The fastest rider on any given segment is awarded the prestigious title of KOM or QOM (king or queen of the mountain).
Strava also offers the option to upgrade to Premium, which gives access to advanced performance and heart rate data analysis, as well as personalised coaching and live feedback for some extra motivation.
2. Google Maps
Not specifically a cycling app, but it’s very useful if you get lost or you’re learning a new route.
Trailforks lets you find trails – anywhere! Whether you’re looking for new local trails or you’re on a cycling holiday, Trailforks is the easiest way to find the best trails.
Once you’ve found a new riding destination, you can highlight a specific trail to see its elevation profile, distance, difficulty, riding direction, and photos/videos that users have uploaded.
4. Apple Pay
Perfect backup in case you forget your wallet or don’t like taking it with you on your ride. Apple Pay lets you pay for your post-ride coffee using just your phone. If you don’t use Apple, there are equivalent options from other providers or banks, such as Android Pay or Cardless Cash.
The Emergency+ app is essential for all riders, but particularly mountain bikers. It shows GPS coordinates and address information that you’ll need to give to emergency services if you need urgent help out on ride.
This app is designed for use in Australia only, providing phone numbers for emergency-000 and other useful contacts, such as crime-stoppers, non-urgent police matters and SES.