Can You Use an iPhone As A Bike Computer? | PedalChef

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A bike computer enhances your cycling experience by recording stats and navigating trails. But what if you could use your iPhone instead?

Bike computers are built with advanced GPS technology which allows the navigation of remote areas with precision. These can record a variety of cycling stats like speed and time. They also enable you to measure different environmental factors like heat, altitude, hydration, etc. But you can do these things with your iPhone as well. Can't you?

Technically speaking, we can. There are a lot of biking applications available in the App Store. You can convert your phone into a fully functional bike computer by installing any of these applications. Moreover, it will save you money and effort.

If you can use your iPhone as a bike computer, what's the point of spending your money on something that can be replaced? Also, cyclists are not fools spending their money on something unnecessary like bike computers.

It implies that there must be some drawbacks to utilizing an iPhone as a bike computer, forcing cyclists to purchase and use bike computers. To figure these out, we rode bicycles with different iPhone models to see if they might be used as bike computers. The findings are reported below in the form of the pros and cons of using an iPhone instead of a bike computer.



Pros and cons of using an iPhone as a bike computer

Using an iPhone instead of a bike computer has its advantages and disadvantages as well. Let's learn about a few of them.


There are many benefits of using an iPhone as a bike computer. Some of these are:

Ease of use

Cycling with every all-in-one device like an iPhone, the thing which you can bet on is the ease of use and convenience. You are cycling down a rocky path, looking at the screen of the bike computer, while managing your notifications on the phone. Seems a bit struggling, right? However, when we have to share only a single screen or a single device while multi-tasking, things become much more simple to handle.

Apart from the ease with which we can use an iPhone as an all-rounder cycling device, there's also another benefit. You'll be less likely to forget to pick up your bike computer while going for a ride. Since your phone is your basic necessity, you'll not leave it at home or attached to the bike while you're away.


Multitasking on an iPhone while cycling will save you time in addition to saving you effort. At the same time, you'll be able to handle the maps, the cycling statistics, the urgent notifications, and the calls. Even when cycling, you can receive a call and have an important conversation. Your time will be freed up to do other things.

Connectivity with other devices

All of the new bike computers feature different types of wireless connections including Bluetooth and Wi-fi. Still, there are some which don't support any of these connectivity features.

If you employ your iPhone for this purpose, you'll have an endless range of connectivity options. You can connect your Apple smartwatch to your iPhone, for example. Even without taking your iPhone along, you may have to bring only your smartwatch tied to your wrist. You can use the watch to navigate, record, and track everything. Furthermore, you can save the data later on your iPhone.


The main benefit is obviously pretty clear: you'll end up saving money! A bike computer will cost you somewhere between $35 to $350. But if you use your iPhone, you won't need to buy a separate bike computer. In this way, you can keep more of your money with you.


Using an iPhone as a bike computer has some big drawbacks as well. Some of these are:

Multitasking=battery drain

The first and the most evident issue you'll encounter is your iPhone's low battery. While an iPhone is capable of multitasking, it was not designed with these features in mind. That's why GPS tasks drain batteries more quickly since the manufacturers weren't anticipating an iPhone to work instead of a bike computer.

Multitasking depletes the battery even further. When you have to constantly keep track of your speed, location, and other data, the battery might quickly drain. This will become a matter of concern for cyclists on longer rides.

Weather susceptibility

While some current iPhone models are water and dust resistant, the touch display of an iPhone does not work well when wet. No matter the high IP rating of your iPhone, the same issue arises when your fingers are damp from sweat or because of the weather. If you commute by bicycle, this can be a problem because you'll be riding in all kinds of weather.

Less sturdy

As compared to the bike computers which are quite sturdy, iPhones are sensitive devices. If you experience a slight bump while riding your bike and your phone falls off, you may have to say goodbye to it forever. Standard bike computers are resilient and are designed to withstand harsh conditions. A slight accident won't cause any harm to an ordinary bike computer.

Which iPhones are more suitable to be used as a bike computer?

If you really want to turn your iPhone into a bike computer, it needs to have the following features.


To withstand outdoor conditions, your iPhone must have a high IP rating. It should also have a built-in protective shield on the screen to prevent the damage resulting in a case of falling.

Large battery life

You can use an iPhone as a bike computer only if it has a massive battery. An average bike computer has a battery that lasts for 12-20 hours after one charge. Large battery life will save you from the problem of your device shutting down during a long tour.

Small dimensions

An iPhone with a large display is difficult to fit on the mount. It is also more difficult to handle while cycling. Therefore, an iPhone should be of small size to be used as a bike computer. We recommend using mini versions of iPhone 13 and 12 for cycling.

Elements you'll need

All you need to turn your iPhone into a bike computer is a protective case, a phone mount, and an appropriate biking app from the App Store. And Ta-da! You're ready to get going.

Protective case

You'll surely want to protect your phone on a rainy day. Buy a protective case so as to prevent the water and dust from penetrating into your phone. An iPhone is far more expensive than a bike computer and hence should be given more care.

Phone mount

Secondly, you'll need a phone mount to fix your phone on the bicycle. You can buy a suitable mount for your phone from the market or online. Fix your phone on your bike, and you are all set to start your ride.


Your phone must have an installed application that converts your phone's environment into a cycling-specific climate. Many applications are available in the App Store that provides interactive user interfaces for riders. Some of the best biking apps for iPhone are:

And many more.