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This is a common conversation when I head out riding with a friend of mine:

Friend:  “I’m going to set my tracker app.  Maybe it’ll work this time.”

Me: “Ok, I’ll set my Endomondo app, and we can compare when we get back!”

(After the ride, which we know to be about 6 miles long.)

Me, checking the app: “6.2 miles!”

Friend:  “Dang!  Mine stopped after a mile!”

The Endomondo Sports Tracking app (free version) has yet to fail me.  To be honest, I’m not one for uploading my results to a website, tracking all my rides and miles and GPS… I just want to know how far I rode, approximately how many calories I might have burned, and what my route looks like on a map.

I like Endomondo because, with the free version, I can do all that.  Sure, it prompts me quite frequently to upgrade, and maybe I will one day, but for now the free version does what I want it to. It tracks me.

With the free version I can track my distance, duration, average and max speeds, calories, altitude, ascent, and descent.  I can post results on Facebook, save routes if I want to (though I never do), and even chart my pace per mile.  With a hike I took the other day, for instance, it appears that I hike fastest at the beginning and ends of the hike and tend to slow down in the middle.  Something to work on…

Endomondo helps you track your workout through quite a few different sports.  Sure, it has the common ones like mountain biking, hiking, running, and cycling, but it also has activities like squash, downhill skiing, skateboarding, and kayaking. It also works on both Android phones and iPhones.

Example of a saved route on Endomondo's website.

I simply open the app, choose my activity, and press the “play/start” button.  Then, I throw my phone in my pack and forget about it.  Depending on the type of terrain involved and the activity, I sometimes feel it vibrate with each mile counted.  If I have the volume up, a woman’s voice says, “one mile…” When I’m done with my activity, I take the phone out and hit the stop button on the app.

When we were in Park City biking, the phone lost its signal for a bit.  As soon as it found one again, the app caught itself up and kept right on going.

Endomondo also creates “challenges” for its users to help foster a community of active people.  For instance, one recent challenge, for women only, was the “Back on Track” challenge.  It ran from August 31 – October 31 and encouraged women to join the challenge and use Endomondo to track their overall calories burned during that time period.  The goal was to get past the “lazy days of summer” and back on track with a fitness routine.  For every calorie burned, contestants earned one “ticket” for a drawing. So if you burned 1,000 calories in the time period, you’d have 1,000 chances to win one of five prizes, which included running shorts and a year of Premium membership with Endomondo.

Some people thrive on challenges and need them for motivation, so it’s good to see tracker apps trying to help with that.  Another challenge going on now is the All the Wheels challenge: most calories burned doing any activity involving wheels between Sept. 30 and Nov. 30. 10 winners will get Premium memberships.

So what is included with a Premium membership? For $19.99 a year, you can get training plans, workout comparison tools, more detailed training analysis, access to the entire Endomondo site, which includes events, a database of routes like the one above, training info, and more… and most importantly, you don’t have to look at any more pesky ads on the mobile app!  For hardcore folks who really want to keep track of all that, a Premium membership might be just the thing they need.

For me, I just want to see how far I rode and how long it took.  Maybe I want to see the calories burned (approximately) so I can really enjoy my beer and pizza.  Most of all, I want to be able to say, “Hey!  We rode 25 miles today!”  Endomondo lets me do that.

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# Comments

  • Spartan

    Endomondo is awesome! The best part for me is that you can link a blutooth HR monitor to Endo to get accurate HR and calories burned. With Strava you cant do that unless you pay..
    I use Endo and Strava on every ride. Strava so I can keep up with my Peeps and Homies and Endomondo because the personal results info is better..

    • Greg Heil

      I think she said for both.

  • Greg Heil

    So, I have a couple of follow up questions:

    1) You said that your phone lost signal, but Endomondo resumed when you regained signal. So is the app functionality dependent on cell signal? If so, that’s a pretty fatal error. It should still track even with just a GPS signal and no cellular signal… basically every other GPS app does. Unless you were talking about losing GPS signal? Just want to clarify.

    2) Can you export the full GPX data post-ride to your computer with a free account? I don’t think you mentioned either way in your article. GPX export is a deal breaker with me, and is my big beef with MapMyRide: they’ll strip the time data from your GPX export, which is crucial. However, thankfully Strava and Runtastic both allow full GPX export for free.

    Anyhow, nice write up! I’ve never tried Endomondo, but perhaps I’ll have to give it a shot!

    • Canonballs

      I use Endomondo frequently. To answer your questions Greg:
      1.) I believe it runs solely on the GPS signal. I had a low battery one time and ran the app while in airplane mode, so I could conserve power.
      2.) When you register with Endomondo (download), all your ride information goes into their database. So when you log into their web page, you can view your entire ride complete with the map, elevation, speed, mile (lap) splits, etc.

      One of the things I really like about Endomondo that the author didn’t mention, is that you can link it with other fitness-based devices and web pages. I have mine set up to sync with my Fitbit tracker and myfitnesspal.com (MFP). MFP is the catalyst that makes these all work together. All of my activity that gets tracked on the fitbit is synced with MFP, and all the activity I track in endomondo is synced with MFP. MFP then syncs the Fitbit and Endomondo together.

    • Greg Heil

      Thanks for the GPS-signal info!

      However, I understand that you can view your ride maps on their website–my question is, can you download a complete .gpx file of your completed activity to your computer hard drive, for use in other places, such as Singletracks.com?

    • Canonballs

      My apologies, I didn’t read your question correctly. The answer is yes. It does have an option to export to a .tcx or a .gpx file.

    • Canonballs

      I should add that I’ve never actually downloaded any of my rides, but the option is there.

    • Jeff Barber

      Yes, GPX export is included. Actually a lot of Singletracks members use it to upload maps to the database.

  • mtbikerchick

    Greg – to be honest I have no idea if you can download the .gpx files or not. I’ve never been inclined to try! As for losing the signal, I don’t really think that it did; sometimes if you stop to actually check the app to see how far you’ve gone or whatever it takes it a few minutes to catch up…if that makes sense? We’d just done a really long, fast downhill section so I think it wasn’t so much that it lost signal as that I was trying to check it before it had processed all the information.

    It works for Android and iPhones both.

  • mtbikerchick

    Ok, from the website you can export your workouts as .gpx files. I just played around with it and found that out 🙂

  • Jeff Barber

    Singletracks is working on integrating some of the more popular GPS/fitness apps so if you use Endomondo (or others), update your profile with your user name and we’ll send you an email when the integration is complete. Cool stuff coming!

    http://www.singletracks.com/settings.php

    • Greg Heil

      This is going to be awesome!

    • Joe Morales

      Looking forward to this!

  • captainmorgan

    I use Endomondo all the time. Like everyday. I track all my commutes, all my runs and workouts. I dont post to facebook all the time, but to have the log that I can compare year to year statistics. Also, during National Bike to Work Week, Endomondo is the app of choice for logging and tracking your biking habits. There are teams and contests and point systems, and a lot of things to make it fun.

    The app also integrates with your Fitbit account, so if you use those products they can talk to each other.

  • campire

    Cam someone recommend a blue tooth heart monitor brand and model to use with endomondo on a samsung s4 phone (ie android).

  • rattler

    I tried this today and I’m just not that impressed. I have used cardio trainer and map my ride. I don’t use the gps tracks besides just watching the map. I like how map my ride has a good map and a pretty intuitive interface. But of course….to each, his or her own.

  • andreasdima

    I have bern using Endo for some time with HRM which I purchased from the Endo store though they no longer sell b the HRM’s. The HRM compatible with Endo for Android are Polar and Zephyr for iphone 4s and 5 HRM by Wahoo. if Singletrack would integrate with Endo that woul be awsome so rides tra c ked on Endo would upload gpx file automatically to singletrack just like Endo logs my calories to myfitnesspal.

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