Here is a selection of our favorite useful apps for bike travel. They provide navigation, weather forecasts, accomodation and camping possibilities and general information. These apps have made life on the bike a lot easier.

Useful apps for bike travel: navigation

Offline navigation app: OSMand 

Navigation is one of the apps we use most for our bike trip. We have tried various navigation apps and in our opinion, none can compete with the functionalities provided by OSMAnd+. You can download the map of the area of interest on your phone and all data is available offline. The app lets you easily create routes or import GPX files. 

  • The best feature of the OSMand app is that it displays the elevation profile of the route with very detailed information on total altimeters ascending and descending. 
  • It has an offline search option for points of interest (POI). Looking for a supermarket? A hotel? or an ATM nearby? All information available in the open street map is available and searchable in the app. 
  • The map display can be customized including contour lines and hillshades and colors extra overlays. In fact, there are so many features that the app might be overwhelming in the beginning. 

Note that not all the OSMand features are available for iOS. In particular, the elevation profile of the route (status 2019) is a feature we use a lot on the android phone but unfortunately, the elevation profile is not available for iPhones. 

costs: free + $10 if you want to download all map data of the world.

Offline navigation app Mapout (Iphone)

Where OSMand beats all navigation apps for Android, Mapout is a real cool navigation app for Iphone. Mapout has a simple user-friendly interface that makes route planning easy. You can simply ‘draw’ a route with your finger on the offline map and it provides the distances and elevation profile. Mapout uses information from open street map and it provides all the information you need for cycling in the backcountry with contour lines and with hiking trails.  The nice additional functionality of Mapout is that with good information on elevation but there is even a function you can see the map in 3D. You can st

costs: one-time payment of $4,99

useful apps for bike travel
nvaigation bicycle touring app


Useful apps for bike travel: Weather

YR – weather forecast app

We are always interested to know what the weather conditions will be like. Can we expect rain? Freezing cold nights? Or will we be lucky and have a very sunny day? For our bicycle travels in South America we have good experiences with YR, a Norwegian weather forecast app. It displays data in table format. For cyclists it provides a quick overview of the weather in surrounding areas in map format as well.

costs: free

Useful apps for bike travel: Accommodation

iOverlander app for wild camping

The iOverlander app has been mainly developed for overlanders but is also very useful for bike travelers. In particular for wild camping spots and accommodations outside popular tourist areas and big cities. It’s a user-generated global database of points of interest – including bike-friendly hostels, campsites, and wild camping sites. We found some really cool wild camping spots that were recommended by other travelers on iOverlander. A useful category we often check the ‘category’ warning to see if there is any information reported on road conditions. In particular, in Peru, it has warned us and helped us to detours because of landslides.

costs: free

bicycle touring app
bikepacking app navigation ioverlander

Useful apps for bike travel: logging your ride

Strava

Strava is an app to record your runs, hikes, and cycling adventures. We also like to keep a record of our rides, it will record the route, elevation, time etc, all offline. You can add a description of the route and photos, a nice way to keep friends and family posted on all the adventure. Note: if your phone is in energy-saving modes, Strava does not record the routes

costs: free

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