iPhone Bike Navigation App


Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
I was in Nagano over the New Year and was unable to get any reception where I was staying. It's not such a remote area - about 7km out of Ueda which is a pretty large city. As you can imagine though, four days without access to text messages in this day and age was a trying experience.

The Garmin map has some problems due to its age, but softbank really do need to improve their coverage before I'll use the Iphone for mapping purposes, although this application looks pretty good for use in cities and has nice graphics.


Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
Machida, Tokyo
There are some efficient, and light weight, portable battery chargers available (which work with iPhone), but I think loss of/lack of signal is going to be a bigger issue.
I did a ride with Half Fast on New Year's Day and two out six people had iPhones (and one garmin). They liked them but used them mostly for city riding. One person carried an extra battery and was considering getting a solar charger that he could clip on his backpack or helmet. They also said that this spring Apple plans to release a bicycle iPod charger. No body knows if it will be tiny like the Cat Eye speedometers or huge and clunky like the MamaChari light chargers that cause stupid amounts of drag.

Interesting to see...


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
I just upgraded the battery to a 2000mha lipo.....if you are only slightly technically minded its very easy to do.

Of course this invalidates the warranty but Softbank don't honour thier warranties anyway!
May 22, 2007
iPhone elevation planning

Gratuitous thread bump. Actually not related to the original topic.

After an e-conversation with Kori I've been hunting around. We want an iPhone app that will allow us to visualize elevation profiles for routes we haven't taken yet. I've seen several apps including MapMyride which can do this for routes that I've already plotted and saved on the computer at home. But I can't find one that can do this on-the-fly.

Scenario: riding along in the middle of nowhere and faced with a choice of paths over a mountain range. How much will I have to climb if I go this way? OK, how about this way?

I realise there are limitations to elevation data sets, e.g., USGS doesn't take tunnels into account.

Has anyone come across such an app?
Google maps for iPhone doesn't have contour/altitude lines. :(

I figure the squigglier the road the more it goes up. Also the more interesting. Unless it's cold dark and at the end of a long day when all you can do is keep telling yourself "it's ok, the bears are sleeping in the winter!'

Not that such a thing has ever happened to me.


Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Google maps for iPhone doesn't have contour/altitude lines. :(

I figure the squigglier the road the more it goes up.
Yes, often true, except for Hokkaido...

Are you sure about googlemaps on the iPhone? Do you have the latest version installed? I can get the terrain view (with contour lines) on my BlackBerry. But of course this is only of modest use when you are in the middle of nowhere and have no reception...

Then of course there are just ordinary maps, some of which can be tremendously detailed and tell you everything you need to know...


Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
Another recommendation for my mapping app of choice for the iPhone: MotionX gps

I've tested pretty much all apps out there and this one is without competition. Caching of maps, great handling of route import/export/display, elevation profile (of recorded rides) and many different map options including on option with contour lines for Japan.

It's not too expensive and it sees significant updates at least once a month.


Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
I'll second this. It's the only app on my iPhone I actually paid for and it was well worth it. Different tracking modes for cycling, running, driving, etc. Downloadable maps with good terrain coverage. Quite the deal.
Endomondo also does a good job in tracking and displaying maps on the device and on the computer. Map coverage is online though. But best of all - it's completely free. And works on BlackBerries with GPS too.