In the world of cycling, serious riders need to monitor their performance on every ride. One might wonder why anyone would use a phone as a bike computer.
Sometimes the situation gets worse when you are left with one option to use your cellular phone as a cycling computer to track down the cadence, speed, distance, and so on.
If you are looking for the answer to ‘how can I use my phone as a bike computer?’, then keep on reading this guide to find in-depth instructions. Plus, I’ll mention the limitations which you might face when trying this technique. Stay With Me till The End!
To Make Phone as A Bike Computer – Follow 4 Steps!
Using the best Garmin watch for biking is common as a bike computer to track down maps, or other road details. However, it gets confusing if done via a smartphone.
If you are thinking in your mind ‘can I use phone as cycling computer’, it’s possible with an android or iOS set. A phone needs to have the qualities like stability and high RAM to be able to perform like a bike computer. To use it properly, follow the given steps:
1. Get A Mounting Accessory
The first thing you have to confirm is the mounting accessory that will hold the phone on the bike frame. You can try the Lamicall Bike Phone Holder Mount as it ensures safety and stability. Otherwise, the waterproof phone holder would work fine too.
Once you find the mounting accessory, start attaching it to your bike frame. Here’s the direction in case you don’t know:
- Lose the big nut and open the clip to attach.
- Then, fit it in the desired location of your bike frame.
- Tighten the nut and pivot the phone holder at the right angle where you can see better.
2. Download Specific Apps on Phone
Next, you need to install a couple of apps on your phone to turn your phone into a bike computer. Just try all apps to meet the best app which suits your application style.
- iOS users can download the Strava, MapMyRide, Wahoo (best overall), Trailforks, and so on apps.
- Android users should install apps like Jepstar, Bike Tracker, Bike Computer, CycleDroid, and Ride With GPS.
The given apps might not give similar tracking traits as the best GPS cycle computer with maps but these will work. So, download one app based on your phone configuration.
3. Run the App
Now, it’s time to open the app which you have downloaded just now. Remember the apps won’t function smoothly if the phone has low processing skills.
After you have launched it, most apps would show a slide saying to start bar or similar section. For example, the Bike Tracker app contains 3 bottom bars (Tracker, Map, & History) and on the top section, it has a start bar.
After pressing the bar, you need to start pedaling to track down your overall Calories, Duration, Distance, Speed, and Altitude while monitoring the map.
4. Test It Out
Lastly, check if the phone is tracking fine or causing issues. I would suggest you get a power bank to avoid low battery life during the ride.
The Pxwaxpy Portable Power Bank is a good option with 30,800mAh power. Fix the mounting accessory and continue your ride.
What Are the Limits of Using a Phone as A Bike Computer?
Even if you can use your smartphone as a cycling computer thanks to the bike computer app for phone, still it will leave you with some disappointments. Such as:
- You might not see or read well especially under direct sunlight when using the phone, unlike the bike computer which contains transflective LCDs.
- It might run a few hours with GPS navigation apps due to the low battery than a bike computer. Meaning the phone won’t go further (until you use a backup power bank).
- Can’t take pictures or record anything good.
- Using the phone under harsh weather can trigger the touch screen and leave the fingerprint even if you are wearing a good pair of gloves. Plus, it causes responsiveness issues on the phone screen in urgent needs.
- Most smartphones don’t have an ANT+ sensor which is one of the precise tracking software for cyclists. Due to this factor, the phone might track distance, calories, and other things not as precisely as a bike computer.
- Making calls gets difficult as the phone is attached to the mounting accessory.
- You may need to face notification interruptions a lot with a phone, quite opposite the bike computer.
- Require a charger port to use the power bank. It basically indicates more expenses than using a bike computer.
Despite the fact that it isn’t the best solution for your ultimate tracking, the above technique will work to provide common monitoring data.
Hope you are not asking how can I use my phone as a bike computer now since I have given comprehensive directions for each step. Stay confident and try the above stages to enjoy riding to the fullest while watching your progress. Good Luck!