Apps for Cycling



Is anyone aware of any free/libre app (be it in the f-droid repo or in gplay) that supports connection to a bluetooth bike speedo and/or cadence sensor?

Optimally with map and bike-routing, track recording etc. to turn the smartphone in a full featured tour computer?

I thought of buying a bluetooth speed and cadence sensor, but I don’t see whether there is a “standard” kind of protocol they are “speaking” or whether the used protocols are hard or easy to reverse-engineer.


Hi ramack,

I have been searching for this as well but I am not aware of such an bicycle app. Might have overlooked something - glad if someone gives a good pointer!

Map and bike routing could be done with OsmAnd (on fdroid too).
OsmAnd is pretty flexible (you probably know, just stating: the data it operates on is free/libre, can be used offline, its routing cost functions can be changed, the underlying routing engine can be changed (e.g. to BRouter “Let’s get serious about bike routing”) and it has an API other apps can connect to)

Maybe also RunnerUp is an application to watch. I haven’t used it myself but it seems to have lots of things in place.
There might be two drawbacks though: a) it’s for runners;) b) it’s been excluded from fdroid builds because it uses ANT+ libraries (not compatible with free/libre and RunnerUp currently cannot be compiled without).

Eventually look for speed and cadence sensors which support both ANT+ and bluetooth. This helps if you ever plan to see your data both on the smartphone and a dedicated bicycle computer.

Once you have your ride data colllected you might be interested in the excellent GoldenCheetah (PC software, GPL v3, Linux, Mac OS X, Windows) for post ride analysis.


Thanks for this long answer. I am well aware of osmand and I use it for hiking and cycling and for sure car navigation. But some features are missing. E.g. nice track organization tour comparism (last time your have been here 5 min. earlier, etc.) and the support for speed and cadence sensors.


oruxmaps - no FOSS app (!) but provides the features you are looking for, ad-free, usage of offline vector maps (e.g. openandromaps based on OSM, for free as well), offline routing (e.g. BRouter), organizing/editing/sharing tracks, routes, waypoints…, supports ANT+ and BT devices.
Free version was removed from gplay because of violating the payment rules, apk download on the developer’s page. There’s no difference between this free apk and the paid version, which is still available in gplay.


oruxmaps could be interesting - if it just would be free :slight_smile: it also doesn’t seem to be too hard to implement a free app, as the interface to devices like speed and cadence sensors (but also heart rate, etc.) via Bluetooth LE (LowEngery, Smart,…) seem to be standardized.

Anyone with some free time available?


Hallo, as stated before, there are a few challenges for such a fitness app / implementation, some of them have been mentioned by previous posters:

  • Bluetooth: (Some of) The Bluetooth specifications are standardized, heartrate and cadence should generally work, but many hardware manufacturers of fitness trackers, GPS watches or electronic shifting systems rely on proprietary formats (Not FOSS)
  • ANT+: Ant+ relies on proprietary libraries, which are not published as open source (Not FOSS) (See:, which led to the F-Droid removal of RunnerUp
  • Maps: With OpenStreetMap an excellent provider of maps is available
  • Routing: While several routing providers offer free start packages, these offers are generally very limited. In general these services require an API key and valid / profitable business model.
    Examples: Google (recurring $200 credit), Mapbox (50,000 monthly active users, 50,000 geocode requests / mo, 50,000 directions requests / mo, 50,000 Matrix elements / mo); Here (250K transactions per month, 5K SDK monthly Active Users, 250 Managed Assets per month); MapCat (100,000 Visualization sessions*/mo, 3,000 Search requests/mo, 3,000 Directions requests/mo), Graphhopper (Credits 500 per day, Max. locations / request 5, Max. vehicles / req. 1 vehicles)
  • Weather: While several weather providers offer free start packages, these offers are generally very limited. In general these services require an API key and valid / profitable business model.
  • Data Politics / Privacy: Many commercial / proprietary apps provide centralized services, vital / health and fitness data is often sent to other countries / beyond legal and social control; Decentralized networks to share, sync and process health and fitness data are currently still in developments - at the moment users basically lose control over their data when they press the start button of their app.
  • Data and Formats: Many commercial / proprietary apps do not allow users to download / extract / process their original data, at best these providers provide aggregated, lower quality sync functionality via dedicated interfaces. Users would eventually be interested in the original data, and might prefer open / inclusive data formats.
  • Health: The integration of vital and fitness data into healthcare is just starting, different requirements, standards, and regulation efforts do not always promote such proposals.
  • Open Source Effort: The effort required remaining uptodate / compliant with several platforms (Strava, Endomondo, Map My Track, Runtastic etc.), many devices (Pebble, mi, Garmin, Fitbit, Withings) and different Apis is quite significant, especially when these providers not always support (Open Source) development efforts.
    One of the best examples for such a continuous effort is GoldenCheetah ( - desktop software (Win / Mac, Linux) initiated by Mark Liversedge.
  • Algorithms: With more and more sensors, wearables, and other digital devices the sport sciences have seen dramatic changes in the last years, which leads to rather fluid, moving field of expertise, especially for analytics, performance analysis, recovery estimates etc. Even apparently simple assumptions, for instance for the MHR (HRmax, Maximum Heart Rate, crucial for heart rate training zones for instance) , can be described by at least a handful / different algorithms, partially reflecting the diversity of the human race / gender / age / body. The same applies to power, cadence and calorie consumption.
    Examples: Inbar et al.: HRmax = 205.8 − 0.685 × age, where age is the age of the person in years
    Karvonen / Haskell, William and Samuel Fox.: HRmax = 220 − age, where age is the age of the person in years
    Londeree and Moeschberge: HRmax = 206.3 − 0.711 × age, where age is the age of the person in years
    Wohlfart and Farazdaghi: HRmax = 203.7 / (1 + exp(0.033 × (age − 104.3))) (for men)
    Wohlfart and Farazdaghi: HRmax = 190.2 / (1 + exp(0.0453 × (age − 107.5))) (for women)
    Nikolaidis 2014: HRmax = 223 - 1.44 × age
    Nes et al. 2012: HRmax = 211 - 0.64 x age
  • Trademarks: Some companies have registered trademarks for terms used in many popular devices, even though the underlying algorithms / formulas have been in the public domain since inception. Projects unable to secure approval from the trademark holders thus face limitations when using these de-facto “standard” terms. GoldenCheetah and other platforms have to develop, introduce and standardize alternative terms and algorithms.
    Example: Coggan, Andrew R. “More to the point: all of the algorithms have been in the public domain since day 1, and nobody has to pay me (or anyone else) a dime to use them.” in: SlowTwitch. Garmin has acquired MetriGear. Triathlon Forum. September 21, 2010.
    Coggan, Andrew R. “Peaksware LLC has laid claim to the trademark of the various terms (as is their legal, if not necessarily defensible, right, being the successor of the first entity to use them in commerce).” in: SlowTwitch. Garmin has acquired MetriGear. Triathlon Forum. September 21, 2010

Disclaimer: My apologies for the long response. We are currently working on such a framework, and face the issues stated above. Our research framework integrates health and fitness, Bluetooth / Ant+ / NFC, Google and Open Streetmap, decentralized storage vs. GoogleDrive/DropBox/OneDrive and NextCloud, Weather. etc.
Because of the Api / library concerns stated above, it is doubtful, that such an understanding of free (freedom of choice) would ensure inclusion in F-Droid.