dbdb designs sent me a review copy of their Android app for cyclists, Velodroid. Although I’m trying to get back into cycling, I don’t have an Android phone. So I asked my Twitterpal Brena Smith if she’d like to write the review. Fortunately, she agreed. Read on, for what she has to say.
Introducing Velodroid: Simple. Accurate. Smart. Velodroid is the brain-child of some nerdy Melbourne cyclists who were sick of the current offerings for Google’s rapidly growing platform. It is the simplest to use, most accurate cycling app available for Android. — 27 April 2011 Press Release
An app for serious road and track cyclists
Velodroid is an app for serious cyclists of the road and track riding variety, of which groups I am not a member. Though as a fairly keen, non-serious mountain biker with an Android powered HTC Desire smartphone I was offered to take the app for a spin, so with phone in backpack into the forest I pedalled!
Turn Velodroid on!
Probably the trickiest thing about using Velodroid is remembering to turn it on before going riding.
Once fired up the interface is super clean and simple, just hit “Start a Ride” and go.
A live view is presented with current speed, distance, elevation, gradient, time and even an average speed. Viewing these requires having the phone mounted on the handlebars or maybe in an arm strap, not always very practical especially for mountain bikers who tend to ride off banks and into the occasional tree but maybe fine for our road and track going friends though.
A fun new dimension
So I’m spinning through the forest with a few friends and Velodroid in my backpack. A few minutes in, a woman’s voice starts telling me how fast I’m going, how far travelled and so on, in a quiet forest being all Zen this was quite unexpected and took a moment to fathom!
As I couldn’t see any stats I soon started looking forward to each new announcement, getting a live update of our ride’s progress added a fun new dimension to the experience. The frequency of the announcements is configurable as on a long ride a lower frequency may be more desirable, a short blast type ride the opposite would apply.
Interval training mode
One feature I haven’t yet tried is the interval training mode.
The idea is Velodroid tells you when to do “go hard” for a spell, then when to back off to cruise mode.
This definitely would help boost fitness, and since learning of this concept I have experimented doing so but without any timing. I’m now looking forward to trying again with the app guiding me along.
A ride log
Velodroid keeps a log of rides and maintains various personal statistics. It has an easy save ride feature, pulling your start and finish points via GPS and auto-magically filling the form with place names, all in a clean, easy to use app.
Overall I’m sure many cyclists would find Velodroid a simple, easy to use tool to record and log their rides. Having the interval training mode built in is an added bonus.
It’s available now
The app is now available in the Android Market and is currently priced around $4 NZ so a reasonable buy for some useful features.
- Clean simple user interface which just works.
- Easy to understand statistics and ride log.
- Voice announcements when phone is out of sight.
- Interval training mode for fitness boosting.
- Export ride data to standard formats.
- IT’S PINK! 😉
- A theme colour option may be nice for non-roadies.