I'm after a group consensus answer to "are cycling software/applications on topic for bicycles.se? "

Thoughts for being on-topic

  1. Cycling apps are absolutely totally cycling related.
  2. Applications are somewhat separate from the services that run the backends. Example, strava has an official client, as well as third party software which also interacts with the service.

Thoughts for being off-topic,

  1. Many of them have an upfront cost or pay for added features. Most also have a free mode, with some features missing. That makes it a product.
  2. Software eventually falls out of development or out of support over time, meaning its unavailable eventually.

So cycling apps would fall partway between "no product recommendations" and clearly on-topic.

Example questions.

Your thoughts?

  • An extension question - is it considered double-dipping to ask the same question on two separate SE sites? Specifically softwarerecs and bicycles, in this case.
    – Criggie Mod
    Aug 9, 2016 at 10:42

4 Answers 4


The two that you have linked are definitely product recommendation questions. They are asking for the community to recommend an app. It doesn't actually matter if an app is free or not. Free products are still products. I have closed the newer one and have locked the older one with the historical significance tag.

As far as whether or not non product recommendation questions about cycling apps are on topic, I would think so. Examples of this might be:

  • How do I use x app to do y thing?
  • Does x app have y capability?
  • Is x app compatible with y heart rate monitor?

Basically, I look at it the same way that I look at questions about bicycle parts. "Which one should I choose?" is clearly off topic. Questions that are about how to use a specific one are on topic.

The one caveat that I see with this is that many apps are multisport. Those might be better on Fitness SE, but I think that might have to be evaluated on a question by question basis.

  • 1
    Agreed. It's the nature of the beast with cycling that a lot of questions end up being product specific -- a good portion of my answers mention particular Shimano products. You have to use judgement on each question to see if its speciifcally product rec, or not.
    – Batman
    Mar 14, 2016 at 19:44
  • Fair points all. Many of these questions are asking underneath "which info ecosystem do I join" and "what tools are available to access that ecosystem with ABC specific requirements"
    – Criggie Mod
    Mar 14, 2016 at 19:46

I think the recent spate of attempts to close such questions is misguided.

We do have questions that compare cycling apps, for example Strava vs Map My Ride, et al.

To me, this is no different from comparing Shimano with Campagnolo.

Just because it's software does not mean it belongs on another site. If it's directly related to cycling then it's on topic here.


Software recommendation questions should be posted to the relevant site:


Be sure to explain:

  • Your final goal
  • All of your requirements
  • Your operating system (ex: Android)
  • Whether it must be able to work offline or not
  • Your budget/license requirements (ex: free open source)

See https://softwarerecs.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/336/what-is-required-for-a-question-to-contain-enough-information

Questions that are too broad (ex: What app can show a map?) get closed, so be sure to add enough requirements.


@Criggie I believe this is proper place to ask about which software to use for cycling, as it is related to cycling asking which app to use for cyicling may not be most relevant question to be asked over there what if there are no cyclists in that community?

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