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Anyone else using Cyclemeter app?

Old 08-18-16, 12:35 PM
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Anyone else using Cyclemeter app?

I've been using the Cyclemeter app for a while to track rides, based on great reviews by other cyclists. I also use typical handlebar mount cycling computers on most of my bikes. It's a great app in many respects -- low cost, provides all sorts of riding statistics, maps, elevation gains, etc.

However, the quality of data that Cyclemeter records seems to be very inconsistent and at times inaccurate. The elevation gain/loss data is next to useless. I get widely varying results for elevation gain from day to day, riding the exact same commute route. It has shown daily elevation gains ranging from 200' to 1000'+ on the same route.

More troubling to me, however, are the inconsistencies in mileage and time. Compared to the cycle computers on my handlebars, the distances shown by Cyclemeter are almost always longer and the times shorter. For example, on my commute yesterday, my cycle computer showed 32.0 miles in 2:11 hours. Cyclemeter showed 32.7 miles in 2:08 hours.

Has anyone else noticed similar results using Cyclemeter?
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Old 08-18-16, 09:56 PM
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I've only used the free version of Cyclemeter, which omits some features (auto-pause/resume). Good app for non-critical use, but, yeah, I've noticed some minor discrepancies. But the freebie Wahoo Fitness has the same quirks. It'll record slightly different distances for identical routes that I ride often.

I use them only for a rough gauge to my overall fitness, and to record rides I want to repeat -- or to remind me of routes to avoid!

I have no idea about elevation. I haven't figured out how to calculate grades. I just go by how it feels. There's only one hilly route near me and I can tell just from the gear I need and how much I'm huffing and puffing. Some days I can power up in a high gear, other days asthma slows me down and I granny-gear uphill.
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Old 08-18-16, 11:56 PM
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I use Cyclemeter exclusively, after retiring a garmin edge 800 with its own speed/cadence and hrm sensors. The GPS speed is not the greatest even under best conditions, but my distances are very consistent even against fellow riders' standalone computers. My plan is to buy a bluetooth speed/cadence monitor in the future for a more accurate measurement, but for the past couple of years I've been pretty content with what it does (for free!).

If you are using an iPhone 6 or newer, be sure to check the "use barometric altimeter" in Cyclemeter settings. iPhone 6 and newer all have onboard barometric altimeters that even with cases on seem to be extremely accurate. Even in airplane mode with no cell connectivity it will display very accurate altitude and grade readings. This could be a feature included only to premium users that I've inherited as I did pay for the 'elite' version one year that I've since canceled.

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Old 09-14-16, 09:11 PM
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I just started using it today. Just getting into riding.
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Old 09-15-16, 12:20 PM
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I use Cyclemeter on all my rides and have been doing so for just over three years now. I had the same issues as you are having when I first started using it and comparing it against my Cateye Double Wireless computer. The reason is that one is using the wheel circumference and rotation and the other is using GPS. When the Cateye quit working, I opted to use Cyclemeter exclusively and added my wife's old Garmin HRM and speed/cadence sensor to the mix via a Wahoo RFLKT+. Once I added the speed/cadence sensor, Cyclemeter was tracking as accurate as my friends Garmin 800 (± .2 mile). I've since gone to all Bluetooth sensors. If you use a Bluetooth speed/cadence sensor, you should see that problem go away. As for the altimeter, my iPhone 5c does not have one built in so I use the one from the RFLKT+, which does. It's a bit spotty but I'm in Florida, which is really flat, so altitude isn't really a big issue for us that live here. As mentioned, if you have an iPhone 6, make sure you turn on the "Barometric Altimeter" switch in Settings. It's located just under the Share section.
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Old 09-22-16, 02:55 PM
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I've been using Cyclemeter for a couple of years and love it. I do accept that average speed and distance isn't as accurate as my wireless cycle computer. I've noticed that when there is a significant difference, if I zoom in on the map my route jumps around adding extra distance, especially if I am not on a road.
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Old 09-22-16, 03:12 PM
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Are you using an Android phone, an iphone, or something else? Do you think there might be interference from some other transmitter such as a bluetooth device?

I used cyclemeter on an iphone a few years ago, and it worked well for me. A couple of years ago, I started using a Garmin Edge 200. Now for a little more than a year, I've been using ridewithgps on an iphone. ridewithgps gives me more consistent times and distances, and it has fewer GPS errors than the Garmin did. It can also locate me MUCH faster than the Garmin could.

Good elevation data isn't available yet, but I think we will see it improve soon. Basically, the GPS data adds elevation to each point in 2d space, but the data isn't so good, and no app can improve on that. I can't say why elevation on a given route would vary from one time to another. That's pretty strange.
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Old 09-22-16, 03:38 PM
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If you're using GPS for elevation, it can change from one ride to a next because the constellation is always moving, so one day you locked onto more satellites than the next day, because one day it was overcast and anther day it was clear, because the trees leaf out in the spring and die back in the fall, all of which affects GPS reception.
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Old 09-23-16, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Are you using an Android phone, an iphone, or something else?
Cyclemeter is iPhone only.

A better question is: what iPhone? For the elevation issues, iPhone 6 onwards have a barometric altimeter, I think in Cyclemeter you have to turn it on (and it may be "Elite" only), but with it the elevation results are way better than with GPS.
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Old 09-23-16, 09:47 AM
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Aha, I didn't know it's iphone only, and I had heard about the altitude sensor but forgotten. Fun!
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Old 09-23-16, 09:59 AM
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Forgot about this thread that I started!

I do have an iPhone 6, but I can't find anywhere in the Settings to turn on the Barometric Altimeter.

However, more troubling to me than the elevation data, are the discrepancies in riding time and distance between Cyclemeter and my cycling computer. Particularly the riding time. My cycle computer is set to turn off when my bike is not moving. However, my riding time is always higher on my cycle computer than the Cyclemeter app. On a long ride, the discrepancies can by 10 minutes or more.
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Old 09-23-16, 12:19 PM
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I believe it is a premium feature. I once paid for a year a couple of years ago and my stats continue to show elevation in real time using it. Pretty sure its still using barometrics since elevation will change when crossing tall foot bridges.

https://imgur.com/gallery/Kjsa5
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Old 09-23-16, 12:29 PM
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I use cyclemeter elite and with an iiphone 6s have found the elevation to be pretty spot on, course I am using the barometer. I also find the speed/distance to be accurate as well but I am using a wahoo speed/cadence sensor. That said I have outgrown it since I am biking further distances I have to carry an external battery to just barely have enough battery time. So will be picking up a Wahoo Elemnt to replace it.
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Old 09-23-16, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
...... However, more troubling to me than the elevation data, are the discrepancies in riding time and distance between Cyclemeter and my cycling computer. Particularly the riding time. My cycle computer is set to turn off when my bike is not moving. However, my riding time is always higher on my cycle computer than the Cyclemeter app. On a long ride, the discrepancies can by 10 minutes or more.
Since Cyclemeter uses your phones clock for times, I would bet that it's more accurate on times than your bike computer. If you aren't using a speed sensor with Cyclemeter, I would be willing to bet the bike computer is going to be more accurate than the GPS on your phone. When set up correctly, wheel revolutions are more accurate than GPS when determining speed and distance.
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Old 09-23-16, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hagak View Post
I use cyclemeter elite and with an iiphone 6s have found the elevation to be pretty spot on, course I am using the barometer. I also find the speed/distance to be accurate as well but I am using a wahoo speed/cadence sensor. That said I have outgrown it since I am biking further distances I have to carry an external battery to just barely have enough battery time. So will be picking up a Wahoo Elemnt to replace it.
You may also want to look at the Wahoo RFLKT as well. While not as fancy or as expensive ($79 USD) as the Elemnt, it will display almost any data value that Cyclemeter tracks and the screen is so user defined that you can place that data anywhere you want it. I use one, along with HRM and speed/cadence sensors, and can ride well over 4 hours and still have about 50% of my phone's battery life left after the ride. And I'm using an iPhone 5c that's over two years old with the original battery.

Here's a web site with some tips to help extend the battery life of an iPhone. It has some stuff for an iPhone 7 but if it doesn't apply to your iPhone, like a new feature, you can skip over it.
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Old 09-23-16, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
You may also want to look at the Wahoo RFLKT as well. While not as fancy or as expensive ($79 USD) as the Elemnt, it will display almost any data value that Cyclemeter tracks and the screen is so user defined that you can place that data anywhere you want it. I use one, along with HRM and speed/cadence sensors, and can ride well over 4 hours and still have about 50% of my phone's battery life left after the ride. And I'm using an iPhone 5c that's over two years old with the original battery.

Here's a web site with some tips to help extend the battery life of an iPhone. It has some stuff for an iPhone 7 but if it doesn't apply to your iPhone, like a new feature, you can skip over it.
Problem is Wahoo seems to have not been putting much dev time into the RFLKT and as such might be a dead product. Also I like the ability to leave the phone at home.
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Old 09-24-16, 08:20 AM
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I've been trying the Cyclemeter for a few days, but I haven't liked it. For myself, I've chosen Map My Ride GPS. It's available for iPhone and Android, you can take it here. As I see it works better and looks friendlier.
I also tried Strava, but that was not what I wanted.

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Old 09-24-16, 09:12 AM
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This is year two for Cyclemeter and me. I now only use an additional (traditional) bicycle computer on my daily rider. So... I can only compare the accuracy with my one el-cheapo $12 bike computer. And... they seem about the same. As in when a friend and I compare odometer readings... they have also been...about the same.

I track the miles.... I even think about the hours/minutes. But I am not a racer and I don't care about yards and/or seconds. I love the technology and the app. But it is what it is. This is great entertainment... with possible additional health benefits. But it is not a medical device or an Olympic training device.

I don't monitor my phone. I keep the phone in a zip-loc in my jersey pocket. I have the data emailed to me. Then I move the emailed data (link) to a saved folder. Occasionally I grab the data and compile it in word/PDF and save to the icloud. It can be nice to print a paper copy too. But's its just data. The data isn't what I enjoy. It's the riding the bicycle that I am into.

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Old 09-24-16, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by hagak View Post
Problem is Wahoo seems to have not been putting much dev time into the RFLKT and as such might be a dead product. Also I like the ability to leave the phone at home.
Well, that pretty much eliminates the RFLKT.
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Old 09-25-16, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by hagak View Post
I use cyclemeter elite and with an iiphone 6s... That said I have outgrown it since I am biking further distances I have to carry an external battery to just barely have enough battery time.
I keep my iPhone 6 in a plastic Baggie in my pocket but have it announce every five miles. Interesting on the external battery as I have had no battery drain issues at all with Cyclemeter. A couple of weeks ago I did 100 miles with three 20 minute stops and a lunch. I had over 50% battery remaining.
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Old 09-25-16, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KristinaW View Post
I've been trying the Cyclemeter for a few days, but I haven't liked it. For myself, I've chosen Map My Ride GPS. It's available for iPhone and Android, you can take it here. As I see it works better and looks friendlier.
I also tried Strava, but that was not what I wanted.
Cyclemeter definitely has a higher learning curve, but now that I'm used to it, the $5 per year subscription seems like an amazing deal. I do now like all the extra features and options.
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Old 09-25-16, 07:00 PM
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@tarwheel, are you saying cyclemeter counts stopped time and that doing so creates the difference in overall time? There ought to be a setting for you to enable and disable the counting of the stopped time.

Why don't you try ridewithgps or strava, the free version? Compare it with cyclemeter and see if one has the same inaccuracies.
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Old 09-26-16, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@tarwheel, are you saying cyclemeter counts stopped time and that doing so creates the difference in overall time? There ought to be a setting for you to enable and disable the counting of the stopped time.

Why don't you try ridewithgps or strava, the free version? Compare it with cyclemeter and see if one has the same inaccuracies.
Not sure what you mean here, but Cyclemeter counts both stopped and riding times and reports them separately but combines them for overall time. Both stopped and riding times are used in reporting data for each zone that you set up for speed, cadence, heart rate and power zones. Sorry but the image isn't all that clear.
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Cyclemeter Stats.jpg (19.8 KB, 137 views)
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Old 09-26-16, 07:21 AM
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Both Cyclometer and my bike computers are set to count time while actually cycling, rather than stopped time. As John V stated, Cyclemeter reports riding time (while you are actually moving) and stopped time. My bike computers are set to only record time while my bikes are moving -- so the timer quits when you are at red lights, coffee shops breaks, etc.

Obviously, the two systems are using a different means to record moving time. However, I suspect that the bike computers are more accurate than Cyclometer. I watch the timer function on bike computers while I am riding and see them stop recording at red lights, although sometimes a few seconds might tick off before stopping. I can't actually watch Cyclometer while riding, but when I compare times after rides, Cyclometer records less time -- ranging from a few minutes on shorter rides to 5-10-20 minutes on longer rides. I presume that Cyclometer is set to stop recording time when you speed drops below a certain mph, but not sure if that's the case.

I have tried other cycling apps such as Strava and MapMyRide, but prefer the functionality of Cyclemeter. However, perhaps I should try some of these other apps to see if I get the discrepancies in time compared by my bike computers.
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Old 09-26-16, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by IamNed View Post
I keep my iPhone 6 in a plastic Baggie in my pocket but have it announce every five miles. Interesting on the external battery as I have had no battery drain issues at all with Cyclemeter. A couple of weeks ago I did 100 miles with three 20 minute stops and a lunch. I had over 50% battery remaining.
I suspect having the display on is the bigger drain, but that is also my preferred way to use it. I can not hear its announcements sitting on my handlebars when at any speed over 15mph, I doubt I could hear it ever in a ziplock on my back.
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