The free Bike Hub cycling satnav app for iPhones and Androids finds quickest or quietest cycle routes in UK and Ireland. It also locates nearest bike shops and British Cycling Go Ride clubs. It has been featured on Treehugger.com, Macworld.co.uk, The Register, BikeRadar.com, Road.cc, The Sunday Times, and BBC.co.uk.
A car satnav uses roads, the Bike Hub satnav uses roads and cycle paths, including off-road cycleways. The app also features turn-by-turn navigation, with voice instructions and vibrating alerts.
The cycle routing – note: UK and Eire only – is done via CycleStreets.net. This A to B bicycle journey planning website uses mathematical graph theory algorithms to quickly work out great bike routes. It uses OpenCycleMap, a cycle-specific map based on the community-generated OpenStreetMap.
The Bike Hub app can cache maps so users can download sections of the map to their phones for even faster screen loads. There’s also A to A routing via ‘sticky’ points of interest, such as pubs or churches. This makes the app into a leisure route suggester.
It’s also possible to upload your own GPX routes to the app – email them to your phone and then load them into the app when prompted.
The latest version of the app (4.2, released on 10th May 2017) features a version for the Apple Watch – your wrist now tells you when to turn – and, for you sporty types, there’s also connectivity with the Wahoo RFLKT.
This video runs through the app’s main features and how to use them:
Here are some reviews of the app on iTunes. We really appreciate these reviews and the star ratings. As there’s no mechanism to reply to reviews on iTunes it’s impossible to provide solutions to those people who report problems.
When the app is first opened after downloading a pop-up message asks for the user to allow the app to know the user’s location. Some people click ‘no’ – don’t do that!
If the app is eating your battery by staying on even when you think you’ve turned off the app, get the latest update. When the app says you’re too far away from the route suggested that’s because you have strayed from the route, or taken a wrong turning by mistake. However, the app offers dynamic re-routing so you’ll soon be provided with a fresh route.
Android users have issues specific to certain Android phones. Android is an operating system that’s available on lots of different devices: we haven’t been able to test the app on every single Android smartphone. The app works fine on all the market-leading, ‘standard’ Android phones but there are some niche ones which may have screen sizes that aren’t well suited to the app. This is frustrating for owners, and frustrating for us too, but there’s little we can do. Sorry.
And to those folks asking whether we’ll bringing out versions for other phone operating systems the answer is “no”. Sorry.
Users not in the UK or Ireland can use the bike shop finder (as this is fed by the bike shop layer of OpenStreetMap) and will see maps, but the routing-engine may not always plot routes outside of the home nations.
Stunned by how good this is! – ★★★★★
by Andy Murray
I didn’t beleive a free app would work do well. This app got me through Kingston via the back roads and cycle paths. I did an awesome 10miles without having to deal with fast traffic. I used to deliver pizza around Kingston and thought I know the road well, but this app showed me routes cars can’t do, but bikes can AWESOME! Planning to follow the app on a 25 mile route next.
Good new route finder – ★★★★
This is very good app. I have used it to try new occasional commuting routes from St. Albans to Central London. It gave me a completely different route from the one I had planned. Safer, more enjoyable and 30 minutes quicker than my current route.
Got me to my destination, Good App – ★★★★
by Big mazza
So I decided to use the bike hub app today to get me in the uk from bath to Glastonbury, 35 miles and back again. So here is my opinion on it.. Good points; Gets you there! Takes you off the main roads and makes really good routes, you can chose fast routes as well if you want to brave the traffic. It works in parallel with runkeeper so I can get directions and record my progress. The battery consumption gives you about 6 hours. Points to improve; The speed options only go to 15mph, on a racer this is too slow, 20, 25mph should be also in there. Sometimes the message to turn happens after you’ve passed it! Maybe I’ve went too fast?! If you go off track completely then it doesn’t tell you. The beep is not great to listen to, the voice sounds depressed! Voice level would be good to be adjusted, also fade in fade out if you have music in the background. Overall though great product! It took me on a sweet route today:)
Just what I’ve been looking for – ★★★★
I tested my route from home to work on the balanced option and it is almost identical to what I normally take, so it’s a great fit for me. I can’t agree with the other reviewers so far on this version. I’ve had no problems with crashing, loading or directions on an iPhone 4; obviously it may be different on other devices. I did have a problem with being able to hear the directions, but sorted that by changing the settings on my phone.