Will the Apple Watch be of any use to Cyclists?

The Apple Watch launched with all the usual hype and hoo-ha. There’s thousands of news articles out there about it. But we all just want to know what it means for cyclists.

Dick Tracy was an early adopter

Dick Tracy was an early adopter

Here’s what we reckon to it

It’s a fitness watch aimed at people who don’t currently do much fitness. Despite the abundance of cycling images during the keynote speech the Apple Watch doesn’t at first glance appear to be that cyclist-y.

It signifies the start of “wearable technology”. Other companies may have released smartwatches already but the fact is that software developers don’t care until Apple get involved.

The lack of a more in-depth spec and a release date of early 2015 hints that it’s still a work-in-progress.

There’s no info about battery life, which is the achilles heel of most GPS watches (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists) and of iPhones too.

It’s “water resistant” not waterproof. The microphone and speakers are the weak points here.

It monitors your heart rate via an optical sensor on the back of the watch (not a chest strap). It’s great to get rid of chest straps. We can only hope that the optical sensor that Apple have is more accurate than other ones currently available.

L-to-R: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition

L-to-R: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition

The potential for turn-by-turn voice commands for route following is an exciting thing.

The Apple Watch has a gyroscope, accelerometer and Wifi but it needs to gets its GPS signal from a nearby iPhone.

We don’t mind the fact that it needs to be used in conjunction with a nearby iPhone. Pretty much any Apple Watch user is going to take their phone with them out on rides anyway.

It currently looks like cyclists would be better served with a decent Bluetooth-enabled GPS device and a smartphone about their person.


As with the launch of the initially baffling and roundly mocked iPad, we just don’t know what the potential of the Apple Watch is yet.

Give it a few months and then we’ll know a bit more about the brave new world of wearable tech.

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One comment to “Will the Apple Watch be of any use to Cyclists?”
  1. Seems to me that anything strapped to my wrist while cycling is next to useless. I know the Apple Watch vibrates for turn by turn directions, but that is no replacement for my stem mounted GPS unit.

    Now the Garmin Vivosmart, that’s interesting. A complete overview of my fitness using connect.garmin.com, daily steps, calories burned etc. I’ll be able to add a speed sensor so I can record my commute without the worry of leaving my GPS on my bike when I get to work, and I wont have to fumble around in a pocket looking for my phone when someone sends me an SMS.

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