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I have a Windows Lumia 532 phone.

I currently use the Cycle Tracks GPS app to track and record trips and then upload to Ride With GPS and/or Strava. There is not a native Strava app.

I've recently upgraded to Windows 10 making available the Gramin Connect Mobile app which will upload to the Connect powered by Garmin ecosystem. I've not yet fully investigated its capabilities/limitations. I've looked at buying the Garmin Edge 25 to act as a standalone bike computer, link to Garmin Connect Mobile and then upload to Connect powered by Garmin.

Apart from this, How else can I collect Cadence and Heart Rate data? Specifically,

  • Are there other dedicated bike computers which interface with Windows Phone apps like Garmin Connect Mobile?
  • Which apps allow direct communication with which Cadence and Heart Rate sensors via bluetooth?
  • Can I get a ANT+ adapter to communicate with sensors via ANT+?

More generally, What are my best options regarding using my Windows Phone as a Bike Computer? Considerations are:

  • Capabilities
  • Limitations
  • Costs
  • "Open-ness" ie Are you "locked-in" to one manufacturer?
  • 1
    Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles - good first question with lots of relevant data. Sadly I have no answers, my phone is a cheap $60 one that is used only for strava. If your budget allows, consider separating the bike functions from the phone, and look at dedicated biking hardware that supports sensors. We don't do specific product recommendations, but phones are trying to be everything to everyone. A bike computer needs to do some pretty specific things like run sensors. – Criggie Jan 13 '16 at 0:03
  • I think it's on topic because it is a specific problem and while it's specific to right now, the solution can be more general "look for stuff like this". And we are seeing what I think are reasonable answers – Móż Jan 14 '16 at 0:26
  • I'm voting to leave this question open - its definitely on-topic, and while specific product recommendations are discouraged, this question is general enough to be okay. OP is not asking for a specifically-winphone app. – Criggie Jan 14 '16 at 1:28
3

Having considered between unsing my android phone as a bike computer and buying dedicated computer, I noticed some points that could serve you.

Using cell phone:

  • You need a bike mount to be able to look at the data while you ride, moreso for navigation, and they are somehow bulky, just like a cell phone compared to the dedicated bike gps you mention.

Typical cell phone bike mount

  • Cell phone battery will drain quicker, specially with sensors attached.
  • Usually, phone GPS is usually not as good, and for instance, I don't think I can connect to GLONASS satellites from my phone (Russian satellites for extra gps accuracy).
  • Bluetooth only allows for one sensor connected, so if you want to link a heart rate band, you could not link a cadence sensor.
  • If you want to connect sensors via Ant+ your phone need to be able to receive the signal, which is not the common thing, or buy an ant+ receiver

ant+ receiver

  • Usually phone apps give their best stuff on payed premium plans.
  • Phone apps usually take a good while deciding you stopped, which means a big time increase when measuring city commutes with all red lights etc. This can be avoided with speed sensor

Using dedicated bike computer

  • There are less expensive units that can connect to a phone to use it as their gps sensor, while the unit serves as smaller cockpit display with ability to plug in more sensors (basically HR, cadence and (more accurate) speedometer), but they won't show navigation maps.
  • Deciding between bike computers is already very complicated. The main difference is if you need navigating maps your options are less, and the better you need your navigation (i e you plan on using the gps unit on touring bike expeditions) the more clear it is that you need a big screen unit with plenty of battery time and good maps.
  • If you really like strava you may consider some devices that show strava segments live, but keep in mind this needs strava premium membership.
  • I found out something about gps recording: some units will record more data points of your traject than other. This could affect shorter strava segment times :P, but looks like it's not a big deal otherwise.
  • Some units have barometric meters on them, offering more accurate elevation gain
  • Some units can display a great amount of data on the same screen
  • Some units have several training features that could be useful

I don't like and it seems it's not welcomed to give product recommendation, but since you mentioned it, I bought the gps unit you looked at. Still haven't used its follow track feature, but I bought it because of that. If you are not interested in maps, probably the competitor polar m450 is a better choice. For some reason I don't like the scheme that goes "no gps bike computer with connection to phone for gps" but it doesn't look like a really bad idea and it is way cheaper. Since I wanted a christmas gift i didnt check the cell phone bike mount, but I would have given it a try.

Also, keep in mind that for the price of a gps bike unit you probably can get a new cell phone with bluetooth and ant+, look that it has a good gps and battery life over camera quality or memory for instance, look that it is not very big and use it as a dedicated unit, but that would require research effort, and just getting a bike gps is more convenient.

  • A lot of the facts stated here are wrong. I developer an Android bike computer app so do have some knowledge of the market. Most modern 2014+ high end Android phones support GLONASS. Bluetooth smart will allow multiple sensors at once although the Android OS has got more bugs in it with multiple sensors concurrently so it is not as good as ANT. Modern Higher end Samsung (S4) and Sony phones have ANT and pressure sensors. I can get 10+ hours runtime with my current Sony Z3 compact with pressure sensor GPS and speed and HR sensors. – Ifor Jan 15 '16 at 11:25
  • How are "modern high-end phones" the norm in phones ? that's why I am saying "usually" a lot. Maybe in two years? Dou you get 10 + hours with the phone screen working showing you the sensor input on real time? (not to mention showing you a map as well) Also, the fancier the phone the less you want it to be rained on, or exposed to falls etc. Do you connect 3 devices to a bluetooth straightforwardly or are you using expert knowledge?. What app do you use to show the information provided by the 3 bluetooth sensors? – gaurwraith Jan 15 '16 at 11:59
  • I actually wrote that bluetooth only allows 1 device because my strava app won't let me pair more than one device, and it notes "you should not pair multiple devices to your bluetooth sensor because bluetooth only allow you to pair one device" as of december 2, 2015 strava.zendesk.com/entries/… – gaurwraith Jan 15 '16 at 12:10
  • Interesting the Strava comment. Not true but understandable as the Android framework shows more bugs with multiple devices. I only classify my BLE support as beta because of the framework issues but it's normally good. 10 plus hour estimate was based off 4hout 50 minute ride screen 50% brightness on all the time, offline map, ANT+ S&C, HR and Temperature sensors battery still 74% at the end. BLE I typically S&C and Power I have had HR as well as temperature (TI SensorTag). App is IpBike. – Ifor Jan 16 '16 at 13:26
2

I'm also a Windows Phone user but I'm still on Windows 8.1 until my phone gets the update. The app I use for recording my rides is Straza Mate, which is another unofficial Strava connected app. As far as I know, it doesn't support heart rate or cadence/speed sensors. I mostly using it for logging miles on commutes as I'm not really concerned about performance for those rides and it's more convenient to upload rides from my phone than to upload rides from my GPS which requires hooking it up to the computer.

Personally I recommend not using a phone as a GPS unless you want to use it for basically logging miles like I do. However, at the price range you are looking at with the Edge 25, I'd recommend looking at the non-cycling specific GPS as many of them have support for ANT+ cadence and heart rate sensors. Look at the eTrex, Dakota, and Oregon models from Garmin. You should be able to find one in your price range. It's hard to tell exactly which models support heart rate and cadence, and Garmin doesn't advertise these features heavily. They will be a little more bulky than a biking specific GPS, but more than make up for it in their functionality. Mapping and routing is basically non-existent on the edge 25. You'll be able to use it on and off the bike for things like hiking if you are interested in any other outdoor sports.

One final note is that the outdoor line of GPS units will always use the GPS for calculating speed and will ignore the speed sensor on your wheel. This isn't as accurate as using the wheel sensor, but has been plenty sufficient for my needs. You'll have to do some research on compatibility as some people have reported problems with certain speed/cadence sensors. I'm using the Oregon 450 I picked up a generic Ant+ speed/cadence sensor and the older Garmin heart rate monitor with the hard strap and they both work great.

  • Don't underestimate the garmin edge 25 map ability. I've seen youtube videos for 70 miles ride tracks, and it does give turn indications, even out of track screen, which means that you can be looking at a 3 data field screen, and when a turn comes, you will be prompted to turn by an arrow in the lower side of screen. Now, creating garmin valid tracks out of gpx files might need some involvement, but it is possible. – gaurwraith Jan 13 '16 at 14:53
  • I guess turn indicators do help a bit, but are a long way off from showing actual maps with all the roads and trails. You can make up a route as you go instead of having to preload your route. – Kibbee Jan 13 '16 at 16:27
1

I also have a windows phone but not on the latest version 10 OS - so cannot install or comment on the Garmin Connect app. The closest app to Strava is something called Striver. It saves GPX to the phone and for seamless integration and upload to Strava - you have to pay a small fee for the app.

If I am out for a quick ride of 1hr to 1.5hrs my phone is fine to record the ride but I tuck the phone in my jersey pocket with the screen locked - so the power drain is not too bad.

The problems I have seen with other riders who have tried using their phone as a GPS device has been battery power. Longer rides completely drain their phones - which is not ideal in case of emergency. Battery drainage will also be exasperated with bluetooth usage for cadence & heart-rate measurement too.

Other considerations

  1. viewing the screen in bright sunlight can be an issue
  2. most phones are not waterproof/water resistant
  3. robustness
  4. aesthetically - not the most pleasing when mounted on a bar or stem

A cyclist I know who went down the bluetooth route experienced connectivity issues. He eventually gave up and went with ANT+ and a dedicated GPS device.

1

Best thing is to just get a Garmin that has bluetooth or wifi (1000,820,etc...) It is the best way to get the sensors that the phone apps lack. The new edge 520 is $300 and does all that the phone apps can do + has cadence and heartrate and speed (won't do turn by turn nav, but it does have maps).

Plus there are problems with beating your phone on the handlebars everyday and in all weather (high temps kill cell phones)... I've killed several HTCs/samsungs like that before I swapped to the MIL-Spec ones.

Still carry your cell if you want to do live tracking, but I generally don't with the edge 1000 as it syncs automatically when I'm putting up the bike. I still carry my phone for obvious reasons, but I leave it off until I'm ready to use it.

  • 2
    I'm not sure how this answers the question. The user is asking how to do something, but you're saying not to do it. – Móż Jan 13 '16 at 22:57
  • – Mσᶎ yesterday <<<< exactly! – david1024 Jan 15 '16 at 0:52
0

I am a windows phone user myself. The only real work around is to use the microsoft band. You get GPS and heart rate from the band and it uploads automatically to your Strava account. It means my cadence sensor is useless but I am ok with that.

-1

RideJournal runs on windows phones.

http://ridejournal.rosher.co.uk/

  • Supports bluetooth sensors - displays the readings for free
  • Interfaces to OneDrive in the free version
  • Interfaces with Google Drive/Dropbox/Strava/MapMyRide/SportTracks in the payware version

Downsides

  • You have to have a windows phone
  • Supports bluetooth sensors - Recording the output of the sensors costs.
  • The costs are only displayed in the windows store
  • Hello, and welcome to bicycles.stackexchange.com. Please consider taking the tour. Cheers! – rclocher3 Aug 12 '16 at 19:09

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