8/08/2013

App Review: Runtastic Road Bike Pro


I have spent a lot of time testing out all of the features of many cycling apps available for the Android platform and none of them have the functionality and ease of use that the Runtastic Road Bike Pro has.  This app is jam-packed with everything a cyclist needs to track his or her performance and aid in navigation.  It has an easy to read display and all ride data is synced up with the user's online Runtastic account.  What more could you ask for?  This is why it has become my go-to app for all of my rides.

There is a free version of Runtastic Road Bike Pro, but it has limited functionality compared to the Pro version.  I highly recommend shelling out the $4.99 to unlock all of its useful features to get the best experience.  The Pro features that I use most often include Offline Maps, photo Geo-Tagging, Auto Pause and Voice Feedback.  For those with compatible smartphones, hardware integration is also available in the Pro version.  There is a Bluetooth speed & cadence sensor and heart rate monitor available for purchase on Amazon.

Features

Session

Starting and recording a session is easy, choose an activity and the type of workout that you will be doing and select "Start Workout".  The dashboard is configurable to display the values (duration, elevation, speed, etc.) you choose to view.  Note:  Make sure gps is enabled before using the app.


Ride Statistics

Once you have completed your ride and pressed stop on the dashboard, a session summary will display allowing input of how you were feeling, the ride surface, weather and any notes you would like to add.  In "Note", I usually add the precise actual statistics from my bike computer such as duration, distance, max speed and average speed for comparison.  Select "Done" to save your workout which can then be uploaded to your Runtastic account or shared via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or email.


Now you can view all of the ride statistics from the session.  


  • The Main summary includes the details of your ride and the additional info input at the end of your session.
  • The Split Table displays the Fastest Section & Slowest Section, duration, speed and elevation for the distance (0.5, 1, 2, 5 and 10 miles) selected.
  • Graphs displays the elevation, speed, pace and heart rate (w/ compatible hardware) of the session.
  • Grade shows the time and distance spent uphill, flat and downhill in pie charts and also includes the average and max grades for uphill and downhill.  
  • Map will show your track with mileage markers, distance, duration and average speed of the session.  Colored traces can be chosen by default, pace, speed, elevation and grade to display on the map.

  •  Replay your session in 3D with Google Earth.

Maps

There are five map layers to choose from.  They include Google's Satellite & default maps, Terrain, Open Cycle Map and Open Street Map.  I prefer using the Open Cycle Map layer because it is designed for cyclists showing cycle routes and infrastructure.  I will sometimes switch to the Satellite map to locate structures or buildings along the way.

Default
Satellite
Terrain




Open Street
Open Cycle










 

Maps can be downloaded for offline use which is one of my favorite features.  I can select the size of the map location I am going to ride, download it and turn off my data to significantly save on battery.  Simply pinch and zoom to get the map area you want, select Download and your map will be ready for offline use.  This feature comes in handy when riding in remote areas with limited data coverage.




Routes

Routes can be created, searched or flagged on the Runtastic website after logging into your account.  Created and flagged routes will sync to your smartphone for later use.  I have created numerous routes to stay on course when using this app and I haven't missed a turn yet.  It's a great tool for navigation.


Once you have created, flagged or found a route using the search feature and would like to navigate using that route, select "Use This Route" and you are ready to begin your ride.  The course is laid out on the map with a bold red line to follow and a blue arrow and line to show your location and track.


When searching for routes within the app, you can display the results by Sport Type, Distance and Elevation Gain in a Results List or Map View.  Select the route for more details.

Voice Feedback

Voice feedback can be enabled in the settings for spoken in-ride statistics.  This feature can be set to be triggered by time and/or distance.  Interval statistics can include Sound at Kilometer/Mile, Distance, Duration, Pace, Speed, Calories and Heart Rate (w/ compatible hardware).  For the end of a session, Summary, Heart Rate Zones (w/ compatible hardware) and System Events can be selected for voice feedback.   


Photo Geo-Tagging

The ability to geo-tag* my photos on a map during a ride is a feature I really like.  It is very easy to do and can be done within the app.  In the settings menu there are options to pause your ride and enter notes to the photo during geo-tagging.  To take a picture during a session, tap the menu in the upper right corner and select "Take a picture".  This will open your default camera for the photo.  Once the photo has been taken, select the check mark if you are satisfied or select the back arrow if you are not and would like to take another.  *GPS must be enable on your phone.


At the end of your session when it is uploaded to the Runtastic website, all of your photos will be uploaded also.  Log into your Runtasitic account to view them on a map by scrolling your cursor over them or clicking them for a larger view. 


Conclusion

I have had quite a while to test Runtastic Road Bike Pro and play around with all of the features.  This is the best cycling app I have used in terms of functionality, accuracy, performance and ease of use.  Time and time again it has met or exceeded my expectations.  I can see why it is so highly rated in both Google Play and the iTunes app stores.  The $4.99 price tag is small in comparison to those expensive gps units that can do a lot of the same things.  I would recommend Runtastic Road Bike Pro for any cyclist that would like to use technology to aid in navigation and keep track of their ride performance.   


Runtastic Road Bike Pro is available for the Android and iPhone platforms.  For instructional videos on how to use all of the features for both iPhone and Android smartphones, click here.

Disclosure:  Runtastic provided the Runtastic Road Bike Pro app for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

*Note:  All app screenshots in this post are from the Android app.

5 comments:

  1. This was a very nice review. I currently use Runtastic Pro for my cycling and am trying to figure out what I get with Road Bike Pro that I don't get with Runtastic Pro.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,
    Is there a monthly or annual subscription fee with Runtastic Pro?
    (like in MapMyRide+)

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. I want to use the app for loongish rides... assured the mobile always have charge, the problem is the size of offload map I can save - a 200 km route itself needs 165 MB of data, forget the 1200+km rides.. The app not allowing more than 80 MB... How can I get this addressed?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, did you find a solution or work-around? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. It would be great if there was a bike in the house, I enjoyed it.
    find more

    ReplyDelete

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