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Friday Review: BikeBrain App

January 13, 2012

BikeBrain load screen

I needed a way to track my not-a-resolution biking distance goal.  I could either get a bike computer (price ranges anywhere between $20 and $250) or a “free” app for my iPhone.  If you’re not the smart phone type and have no desire to buy one then the rest of this post is going to be pretty useless to you.  Sorry, thanks for visiting.  Come back soon, please.  However, if you’re still hanging around I’ll assume you may be at least slightly interested in what I have to say, so here it goes.

The iPhone app store has tons of GPS tracking apps.  I used to use one for running before getting a dedicated Garmin watch.  After a quick search, I downloaded the highly rated BikeBrain app developed by BioLogic.  The free version lets you store data for 10 trips.  The 1.99 BikeBrain plus version lets you store am infinite number of trips and allows you to publish ride data in google maps.

Console (takes skill to go 0 mph)

Right away, I was impressed with the crisp, clear display of the app.  The console shows your current speed, trip time, and total distance.  Unfortunately, since I keep my phone in my pocket, this up-to-the-second info is quite useless.  BioLogic does make a phone mount for your bike (as do other manufactures).  However, the cost of these makes me wonder why I didn’t just buy a simple trip computer to begin with.

So if the speed tracker doesn’t make it worth it for me then what does?  Unlike most moderately priced trip computers, this app tracks my distance using GPS.  As I mentioned early, I can then export my data and share through google maps (“Look how far I went mom!”).  Also, in the unlikely event I get lost, I can whip out my phone and check my already-synced GPS location and route making it easy to backtrack and return on course.
 

For the record, I was not "resting" for 7:12, I was following traffic laws.

Finally, and most importantly, the app stores my entire trip history and presents a easy read out of cumulative data.  Although, it gives you the option to reset the odometer there is no way to reset  total trip times (not even by deleting individual trips).  Once I forgot to end the trip and left the app running for 5 hours (battery life stayed surprisingly strong).  Now my trip time is going to be forever flawed (womp womp).

Overall, BikeBrain could be a powerful replacement for your bike computer if used correctly.  For me, all I wanted was a way to track trip distances.  Therefore, this app may be overkill for my purposes.  Plus, I still haven’t figured out a way to remind myself to press start before leaving.  But I guess, that would render most GPS apps useless.
 
 

 

 
More Screen Shots:

Did NOT take a trip through these people's backyards

Graphs for serious athletes (and data geeks)

App lets you choose between two bike

Alternate Display Mode

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