The Apple Iphone is a fantastic gadget . It has applications for just about everything . It can determine what gear you should use to ride up aple d’huez at 70 rpm in under 1 hour (shiftit ) , the distance , profile and location of almost every famous climb in Europe ( icols ) , and what length spoke you need for a 32 hole shallow rim ( spokecalculator ) .
It also has a number of gps enabled applications which give very similar information to many bike computers . One that I am using at present is runkeeper . A few years ago , before garmins entry into the bike computer market , this would have been revolutionary . No wires down to a speed sensor on the front fork and the ability to see your actual training spin on a google earth map would have set the cycling world on fire . But Garmin are in the cycling market and their edge 705 offers these features and so much more .
The edge is a full function complete bike computer with gps mapping and is very easy to download . You can have up to 8 display units on the homescreen or a live map with up to 3 display units or an altitude profile graph with 2 units .
The display units cover everything from all measurements of speed , heart rate , distance and cadence to altitude and percentage gradient .
The Iphone runkeeper application just gives speed , distance and pace , ie mins. per mile or kilometre ( living up to its RUN keeper name ) . However it also allows you to listen to your music library , take photos and geo tag them to the location where they were taken . It downloads to your Twitter , Facebook , bebo or whatever account you choose as soon as you get home and press send . The Garmin has to be hooked up to a laptop to do this .
So they are both useful cycling gadgets , but which should you bring with you . Personally I’ll be bringing both . I love the Garmin and wouldn’t get on the bike without it . But I like the interactive nature of the Iphone application and will use this too .
Suggested improvements for the Garmin are none . It’s never going to be a phone , a camera or a music player . However I would love to see a bluetooth heart rate strap for the iphone , a waterproof bike mount and a bigger battery life . I was down to 10 % after a 3 hour spin yesterday . Also an application with the functions of the Garmin including gradient should be possible .
Watch this space !
Here are the downloads of yesterdays 3 hour spin on both ;
Runkeeper on Iphone ;