Benefits of going MVP (paid subscription plan)
Each of the features we’ve mentioned so far is available with a free subscription to the MapMyRide service.
But while these are all extremely useful features, if you really want some specialist analysis of your cycling data, then you might want to take a look at MVP.
As their premium monthly subscription service, this starts at $5.99 per month, or you can sign up for a bulk discount of $29.99 per year.
Not only does this remove all the external advertising, but it also gives you access to a wide range of advanced features. This includes some that are unique to MapMyRide, and which are perfect for monitoring your cycling performance.
Premium features include Heart Rate Analysis, Power Analysis, Cadence Analysis, Custom Splits, Advanced Maps, Interval Training, and Route Genius, a major time-saver when it comes to creating new routes and courses.
We’re now going to take a closer look at these features, to give you a greater insight into what to expect, and whether or not they would be beneficial to your own cycling and fitness plan.
If you’re happy to handover all the customization options and control that the standard ‘Create Route’ option provides, Route Genius is an incredibly useful tool.
When we were browsing through many of the saved routes under the ‘My City’ page earlier, we noticed that many of them mentioned they were created with Route Genius.
There’s no custom map markers or map tools here, just the ability to provide a starting point and target distance.
A complete route will then be mapped out for you, with a small amount of control via a number of optional settings. This includes whether you have a preferred direction, and whether you want to avoid highways.
Route Genius quickly creates a new route based on your desired location and target distance
If you don’t like the first route that’s created, you can always click ‘Recommend A New Route’, and you’ll have a new route to follow within seconds.
Once you find the one you want to use, you can choose to either save it for access later, or send it to your phone to follow now.
If you choose to save your route, you can find it alongside the ones you create manually or have imported from files.
Heart Rate Analysis
Whether you’re following a strict high-intensity fitness program, or looking for of a steady-state cardio approach, your heart rate can be a useful indicator of how much effort is being put into a workout.
When we created our profile earlier, we mentioned that the profile creation fields included your height and weight, but not your age.
Yet when we view the data on our ‘Heart Rate Zones’ tab, MapMyRide clearly knows our age, and has already used it to calculate our maximum heart rate.
From there it’s also gone on to calculate the equivalent beats per minute (BPM) for 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, and 40%.
Heart rate ranges can be automatically calculated using the age from your Facebook profile
As we thought, this is from data that’s been pulled from our Facebook profile when we linked accounts earlier.
If you measure your maximum heart rate with a trained physician and know it to be different to the number provided, you do have the option to override this.
What’s also interesting is that MapMyRide don’t subscribe to the traditional calculation for maximum heart rate, which is 220 – Age.
Instead they follow a similar calculation to what we’ve seen on some of Precor’s fitness machines, which recent studies have proven to be more accurate.
That formula is: 208 – (0.7 x age).
But to feed your heart rate back to MapMyRide from your cycling workouts, you’ll also need a heart rate sensor, such as a Polar H7, Wahoo TICKR, or the MapMyRun Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor.
MapMyRide requires a compatible heart rate monitor to sync data to the app for analysis
The MapMyRun model uses Bluetooth(R) Smart technology to transfer your heart rate information to the MapMyRide app without the need for additional adapters. While this does work with iPhones, you’ll need to use a model later than the 4S. For Samsung Galaxy users you’ll need model 3 or up, with Android devices requiring the 4.3 operating system for them to connect.
Once you’re wearing a compatible heart rate monitor for your bike rides, your heart rate data will sync back to your workouts page, where you can analyze your time spent in each heart rate zone.
Although you’re profile divides your maximum heart rate into percentages, the graph on your workouts page converts this into more meaningful zones such as Warm Up, Fat Burn, Cardio, Training, and Max.
Similar to heart rate zone monitoring, Power Zone analysis is available on your workouts page, providing you’re using a compatible power sensor or power meter.
A power meter’s function is to measure the torque applied to the bike and multiply it by the speed at which the wheels are rotating to provide an accurate power output measurement (Watts) regardless of conditions.
MapMyRide requires a compatible power meter to sync data to the app for analysis
Unless you’re quite specialized about your cycling, you may never have heard of a power meter before, which may mean that you never actually benefit from this feature.
However, if you want to have a power meter fitted to your bike, there are a range of units we recommend considering.
We’ll avoid going into too much detail here, as they certainly deserve their own in-depth guide, but we would suggest taking a look at PowerTap (usually the most cost effective), Garmin, SRM, Quarq, and Look. Essentially start with any that provide ANT+ wireless connectivity and start filtering down your options based on requirements.
Differences you’re looking for include battery life, attachment area, claimed accuracy level (most will be +/- 2%), and the ability to update firmware.
The reason you’ll want to look for a power meter with ANT+ connection is because there’s a whole host of companies developing products that are compatible with them. This includes Garmin, with their Garmin Edge bike computers and Forerunner 301XT multisport.
With a power meter fitted to your bike and wireless connectivity setup to your phone and the MapMyRide app, power zone data will then be recorded alongside the rest of your workout information during each ride.
You can then monitor time spent at the various stages, which includes:
- Active Recovery
- Lactate threshold
- VO2 Max