Cyclescheme is the UK's most popular cycle to work benefit, creating more cyclists than any other provider.

Your smartphone is an excellent cycling accessory. Here are ten of the most useful apps for the day-to-day commuter.

For some of these bike apps, you'll need to mount your phone to your bike's handlebar or stem where it's visible and audible. Quad Lock is easy to use and secure, while the SKS Compit+ has an auxiliary battery to stop your phone running out of power, which is very useful for longer rides.  

There are loads of bike riding apps out there but which is the best cycling app? And which is the best free cycling app? The list below includes cycling fitness trackers and bike route apps, as well as weather, transit and road maintenance apps. 

1. Citymapper

Free (in-app purchases). iOS, Android.


An excellent app for finding your way in urban areas, Citymapper is a journey planner that generates routes and travel times for cycling, walking, and public transport so you can compare options. That’s handy for the traveller who might choose between a Santander hire bike and the Tube in London (hire bike locations are shown), but it’s well worth using even if you’ll always use your own bike. You can choose between quiet, regular, and fast cycling routes, and even the free version provides on-the-bike navigation with a map. For turn-by-turn audio instructions, you now need the Club upgrade (£2.99 per month or £19.99 per year). While only ten UK cities are listed under the app’s coverage, these areas are very loosely defined – ‘Newcastle’ works 100 miles away in Scarborough!

2. Komoot 

Free (in-app purchases). iOS, Android.


Komoot is primarily an app for recreational riding and exploring, offering an intuitive way to plot and follow routes on your road bike, gravel bike, or mountain bike. Bike choice influences the routes Komoot recommends: it won’t send you down a mountain bike trail on your road bike. Komoot can also handle the daily commute. Just plot your route – either manually or automatically with the app – and then follow the line on the map to get to work. It’s worth spending £3.99 (one-off payment) to upgrade the free version to a Single Region, which gives turn-by-turn audio instructions and offline mapping. The Premium version of Komoot (£4.99/month) offers other extra features, such as live tracking, which enables you to share your location with family or friends.

3. Google Maps

Free. iOS, Android.

Google Maps

When you’re in a different city or a part of town you don’t know well, Google Maps will quickly and reliably tell you where you are, what’s around you, and how to get somewhere. The cycling element of its journey planner is hit and miss: sometimes it’ll put you on a busy road when there’s a much better backstreets alternative. But it does provide on-the-fly, satnav-style mapping, turn-by-turn audio instructions, and fairly realistic journey times. It’s worth keeping on your phone for those occasions when you need to be somewhere at a specific time and don’t know the way. Google Maps won’t necessarily pick the best route but it will always get you there.

4. RainToday

Free. iOS, Android.


There are many weather apps for checking the forecast. What’s good about RainToday is that it’s simple and answers the question that cycle commuters really want to know: is it going to rain in the next hour while I’m cycling to work or riding home? It tells you roughly how long the rain will last, when it’s likely to fall, and whether it will be light, moderate, or severe. So you can delay or hasten your journey, or else make sure you’ve packed your waterproofs. If you want to look further ahead than the next hour, the app includes a rain radar that tracks rain clouds that day

5. Bicycle Maintenance Guide

£4.49. iOS, Android.

 Bicycle Maintenance Guide

While it’s not free, this app should pay for itself in short order. Using over seven hours of video footage (60 videos), 180-plus images, and 50,000 words of explanation, you should be able to fix most or all the of mechanical problems that  might have previously sent you to the bike shop. There are sections on roadside repairs, diagnosing problems, bike servicing, fitting components, and more. The instructions are decent and you’re told what tools you’ll need. You need mobile data (or wifi) to watch the videos but not for the photos or words, so it’s usable anywhere. Just be sure to pack some nitrile gloves so you don’t get oil on your touchscreen!

6. Railboard – National Rail

Free. iOS only

  Railboard – National Rail

Bike-rail commuters mostly need up-to-the-minute information on departures and delays, and they need to know what platform to turn up at. Along with the journey duration, calling points (and times), train operator, number of coaches, and station floorplans, that’s what Railboard provides. There are some things that the National Rail Enquiries app does that Railboard doesn’t but National Rail Enquiries is a clunkier app that’s slower to use. In any case, regular bike-rail commuters won’t miss the facility to buy a ticket with the Railboard app: they’ll have bought them in advance – possibly in the form of a season ticket.

7. Bike Computer - Cyclemeter

Free (in-app purchases). iOS, Android.


Cyclemeter is probably the best way to turn your smartphone into a bike computer. You can view speed, distance ridden, riding time, calories expended, a map showing you (and your friends, if you invite them to track you) where you are, average speed, height gained, and more. It keeps the riding data on your phone so doesn't require an online log-in to start up or view afterwards. The Elite version (£8.99 annual subscription) is a full-blown fitness/training tool, including cadence and heart rate, weather data, different bikes, automatic uploading to Strava/social media/your calendar, voice activation, and lots more. For a GPS cycle tracking app, battery usage is relatively modest – especially when the screen is off.

8. iTorch (iOS), Torch (Android)


Your phone may already have a flashlight function that repurposes the camera flash. These apps give you more control over it, such as brightening or dimming the beam, turning it into strobe light, or sending an SOS message in Morse code flashes if you’re lost on the hills. While there are lots of torch apps available, iTorch and Torch are both simple, effective, and free. A torch you always have in your pocket is very useful for year-round commuting, whether you’re unlocking your bike at night or finding dropped keys or tools. In an emergency, a phone mounted vertically on your handlebar and running one of these apps is better than nothing if your main light dies.

9. Flare – Personal Protection

Free (in-app purchases). iOS, Android.

Flare App

Formerly know as Busby, Flare is a personal safety app that uses the sensors in your phone to detect if you fall off your bike or suffer a similar incident. After it’s happened, the app asks if you’re okay. If you don’t respond within a set time – for example, 30 seconds – the app sends your exact location to a pre-selected emergency contact. As well as incident detection, you can use the app to pinpoint hazards (which will show up to other Flare users) or to alert a group of Flare-using cyclists if one member gets too far from the others. There’s also an SOS function that you can trigger manually or by voice command.

10. Strava

Free (in-app purchases). iOS, Android.


Another GPS cycle tracking app for cyclists with a particular interest in fitness, Strava does the usual speed, distance, and route logging stuff, plus something extra: social media. You can follow – and comment on – the rides of friends and clubmates. If you stump up for the premium version (normally £6.99 per month), you can see how your performance compares to that of other cyclists on any given ‘segment’, such as a local hill. Can you get into the top ten? Can you beat your own personal record? It’s a powerful motivational tool. Just remember to respect other road users and your own safety. And don’t forget to create a ‘privacy zone’ around your home and workplace, to stop tech savvy criminals from following you and stealing your bike!

Check your savings

Find a retailer