Mobile device (iPhone, Android) as outdoor cycling computer


I was wondering if there any folks out there that use a mobile device (iphone, Android) as a cycling computer for the outdoor rides. Currently I am using an iPhone 5s with the Wahoo Fitness and it works great. I secure it to the bike with a quad-lock and have had no issues. The appealing thing about using the phone is the large display as I find smaller bike computers hard to read due to my increasing farsightedness. Lately I have been wishing I could take a structured workout file (ERG or MRC) and upload it to the device and have it lead me through it, but I have yet to find an app that will do that. I have not tried using TrainerRoad offline yet - that might be an option as well.

Would appreciate any input!


I used to use my phone, but after not clipping it in properly once and watching it bounce down the road I changed to a Polar 450.

I prefer the simplicity of just having speed or heart rate displayed while cycling.

I did the same, with the same phone for a while when I broke my 520 (Garmin) and hadnt decided on a replacement. That’s a pretty expensive bike computer in any case.

As to the hard to see bit, the screen on my Wahoo ELEMNT is bigger and easier to read than even the wahoo fitness app on a 5s. You might really consider the Wahoo infrastructure, I haven’t looked back once since I bought it.

It’s pretty big…I still have the 5s, I’ll take a picture of them side by side later with the wahoo app open.

On the question of loading up a file, are you saying you want to use structured workouts on your ride through your phone? If so you can tricky rouvy into working that way, it just thinks you’re riding on a non smart fluid trainer. Ive not done it myself, but I have a friend who makes it work.

I’m gonna say though, I think it would be a lot smoother through a dedicated head unit.

Thanks for input - I’ll keep an eye out for the photo comparison.

I have not settled on the 5s - it’s simply an older phone I replaced recently and was just sitting around. I do like the Wahoo stuff - I have the Tickr and few bike sensors. I was considering the Bolt but again, it looked a little small (for display purposes).

As for uploading workouts - it would be nice to be able to load a structured workout of some sort, and then have the unit cue me on the sequence all while comparing my current power (from my on-board power meter) to what is required in the interval (for example). Similar to TR when not in ERG mode I guess.

Make sense?

Here’s a couple of shots of the 5S next to my ELEMNT.

As you can see, th ELEMENT is smaller, but presents data in the same size or larger. The physical buttons on the ELEMNT are taking up screen real estate on the app, or I suppose they could be almost the same size. I didn’t think to reduce the data fields to the number on the wahoo app, that would have shown it more clearly. I show a good bit of data when I ride, I’m a geek. :wink:.

Here’s one more I just took to show it with just the data fields on the wahoo app.

When the Bolt came out, I thought about getting it, but decided to keep this because the screen was bigger. They are completely identical function and feature wise, this just has a bigger screen.

Back to your workout, I know the Rouvy app can do what you were describing, it’s designed to work with trainers, but it doesn’t know if you’re on a trainer or out on the road. I guess you’d have to have both apps running to track your actual route and all, I don’t know if your power meter would dig that or not.

I hope this helps your decision making.