7 Top Cycling Weather Apps to Help Keep You Dry, Warm, & Safe
We’ll explore the seven most popular weather apps that cyclists—including you—can use to stay warm, dry, and safe while blissing-out on two wheels.
Updated: June 19, 2020
Cyclists spend a lot of time outdoors.
So, whether you’re a commuter or a randonneur, a time-trialist or long-distance bikepacker, knowing the weather is vital for maximizing your bliss during rides.
Fortunately, weather apps abound, many of which deliver real-time, ultra-precise forecasts, actionable alerts, and customizable functionality.
To move you one step closer toward finding your best option and to help you distinguish their meaningful differences, this article lists some of the top weather apps for cyclists, based on a combination of relevance to anyone who regularly rides their bike, along with popularity among online users (cyclists or otherwise).
For each app, you’ll find a brief description, along with pricing details, user feedback, and whom it might work best for. Let’s ride!
1. Epic Ride Weather
Pricing: 30-day free trial for your first 1,000 forecasts (you use one forecast for every 10 minutes of estimated ride time); $2.99/mo for 2,000 forecasts; $8.99 one-time purchase for an additional 20,000 forecasts
Compatibility: Android, iOS, manually uploaded TCX or GPX files. Third-party apps include Strava, Ride With GPS, Komoot, MapMyRide, Trailforks, or Runkeeper.
Main Features: Created by David Green, the Epic Ride Weather app promises to help cyclists stay prepared by delivering weather forecasts for the duration of their ride.
Simply import routes from Strava, Ride With GPS, Komoot, MapMyRide, Trailforks, or Runkeeper, or manually upload TCX or GPX files, and Epic Ride provides forecasts for:
- Temperature (actual and feels-like)
- Precipitation (probability and intensity)
- Wind (speed and direction)
If you’re a Strava member, the Epic Ride website emphasizes you can also sort your segments based on current weather conditions. Segments with the highest tailwinds are listed first “based on the forecasted wind speed and yaw angle,” potentially allowing you to set a personal record.
Related: Strava App Review
What Riders Say: The Epic Ride Weather app doesn’t currently have a lot of user reviews between Google Play and iTunes, although most report positive experiences.
Frequent compliments include accurate, real-time weather forecasts along routes and stellar customer support, while the relatively few complaints relate to various functionality issues.
Best For: Epic Ride is the only full-featured cycling-specific app listed here, which most bicyclists report delivers accurate weather forecasts along routes, whether you’re car-free, commute regularly, or simply ride for pleasure.
Compatibility: Online browsers (no standalone app). Syncs with Strava and Ride With GPS routes, and you can upload GPX files directly.
Main Features: Created by Ben Norbury, the myWindsock website is a robust resource that provides cyclists with accurate weather forecasts before their rides, in addition to “observed weather data to assist in performance analysis” afterward.
myWindsock promises to immerse users in:
- Real-time forecasts as you move along your route, and historic weather for your past Strava segments
- Segment time prediction based on changes in watt output, CdA, and weight
- In addition to myWindsock’s Spatial V2 Cycling Weather Model, you’ll gain access to proprietary metrics like Air Penalty, EAS Time, wWatts, and Spatial V2 Cycling Weather Model
- Direct feedback about different aero positions during field tests
- Colorful Wind Lines overlayed onto maps that can help you better understand weather, headwinds, and ride times
Best For: Both Road.cc and BikeRadar agreed that myWindsock might work best for serious, performance-oriented Strava users who enjoy diving deep into their data.
Also, it could be useful for peeking in on a competitor’s segment performance to see whether or not weather conditions were favorable! J
Pricing: $3.99 (one-time fee)
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Main Features: Accuweather comes in handy whether you cycle or not, since it promises to deliver a combination of live weather forecasts, customizable storm alerts, on-demand severe weather warnings (including hurricane and tornado updates), and live storm radar. And all of this with “superior accuracy,” regardless of where you are in the world.
With the Accuweather app, you can also view their RealFeel Temperature®, which “tells you the difference between how the weather looks and how it actually feels,” and view forecasts up to 15 days in advance.
What Riders Say: The vast majority of Accuweather reviewers leave four or five-star feedback and frequently cite reliability, accuracy, and ease of use. This has been my experience, as well.
Best For: I’ve used the Accuweather app for years, and find it works best for cyclists (or anyone else) searching for an accurate, easily navigable weather app that delivers the basics globally.
4. Weather by WeatherBug
Pricing: Free (other than viewing “interest-based ads” according to your “precise location data”)–$19.99 (Elite membership)
Compatibility: Android, iOS, Mac App, Windows Desktop
Main Features: On the market since 2000 (one of the lengthiest on this list), the live WeatherBug website and app promise to deliver reliable data for you and your family, including real-time weather conditions for more than 2.6 million worldwide locations, in addition to detailed hourly and 10-day forecasts.
You’ll also receive access to severe weather alerts and notifications from trusted sources like the NWS & NOAA (USA), NMS (UK and DE), and SMN (MX).
Additionally, WeatherBug allows you to explore 18 animated and interactive weather maps, including:
- Local Doppler radar for precipitation information
- UV index
- Satellite view
- Spark™ lightningand dangerous thunderstorm alerts
- Local temperature
- Air pressure (measured in inches and millibars)
- Wind conditions for the day, including speed (measured in MPH, KPH, Knots, and MPS) and chill (which could be especially useful for commuters)
- Temperature (measured in Fahrenheit (°F) and Celsius (°C) units)
- Heat index
- Pollen count
- Air quality
Each of these maps is available as a widget, giving you the option to customize your home screen with weather news (alerts, featured videos, etc.) and forecasts for “all your lifestyle activities.” Currently, the app supports English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, and Japanese languages.
Combined, Weather Bug promises to provide “environmental intelligence for all aspects of people’s lives.
What Riders Say: Most WeatherBug users note it easily allows quick access to weather that’s important to you, features an excellent user interface, and delivers accurate current weather and forecasts.
The few complaints commonly reference inaccurate reports (based primarily on far-away weather stations), annoying advertisements, and slow functionality.
Best For: WeatherBug might be ideal for cyclists looking for a tried-and-true, full-featured app that doesn’t necessarily cost a dime—but you also must be willing to provide “precise” location data to the company’s advertisers.
5. NOAA Weather Radar Live & Alerts
Pricing: Free (3-day trial), $4.99 thereafter
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Main Features: As of this writing, NOAA Weather Radar is the top NOAA-related app on iTunes and Google Play. I use it regularly in combination with Accuweather’s app for (what I feel provides) the most information and accuracy before and during my bike rides.
Like many others (even myWindsock above), the Weather Radar app sources much of its data directly from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who doesn’t currently offer an official app.
Pro tip: However, you can create a mobile shortcut to quickly access NOAA’s website from your smartphone instead.
Weather Radar then takes NOAA’s data and provides you with real-time animated radar images, interactive local and world maps, severe weather warnings via push notifications, accurate forecasts, along with:
- Current conditions
- Actual and “Feels Like” temperatures
- Cloud cover
- Chance of precipitation
- Rain tracking
- Wind speed (measured in mph, km/h, m/s, knots, or Beaufort) and direction
- Air pressure changes (measured in inches, mm, kPa, or mbar)
- Short-term (24-hour) and long-term (7-day) forecasts, regardless of location
Regardless of your location (coverage currently includes the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, much of Europe, Japan, and Taiwan), you can customize the information NOAA Weather Radar provides in your report, such as adjusting your background maps, the number of frames it displays, opacity, and overlay loop speed. There’s even a widget you can add to your screen, so you don’t need to open the app.
What Riders Say: Most compliments revolve around the NOAA Weather app’s excellent forecasts and vibrant, detailed radar images. On the other hand, frequent complaints point to “sneaky” subscriptions, inconsistent accuracy, and less-than-stellar user-friendliness and functionality.
Best For: If you want customizable access to NOAA data, and you’re willing to pay for premium access (no ads, lightning and hurricane trackers, unlimited saved locations, etc.,), the NOAA Weather Radar app can work as a powerful tool for tracking and planning any cyclist’s rides.
6. Dark Sky Weather
Pricing: Free (7-day trial), $3.99/yr thereafter
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Main Features: The Dark Sky Weather app focuses on providing those in the US, UK, Ireland, and Puerto Rico with “hyperlocal” and global weather information, including 24-hour and 7-day forecasts, current conditions, historical data, and maps for multiple saved locations.
you decide to upgrade, you’ll also gain access to down-to-the-minute forecasts
(rain notifications, severe weather and custom alerts, etc.), a current temperature display in your phone’s
status bar, and a customizable home screen widget that displays “current
conditions, next hour rain forecasts, a daily summary, and a look at the week
Together, Dark Sky advertises they’re “the best source of accurate weather forecasts to help you plan your life”—and maybe your rides, too!
What Riders Say: Most Dark Sky users report stellar functionality (quick access to information via the widget) that’s simple and straightforward, without any fluff. More than one calls it “perfect” for their location.
At the other end of the spectrum, top complaints about the app reference inconsistent and inaccurate forecasts (especially reviews posted in recent months), making it not worth upgrading.
Best For: Although the Dark Sky app also advertises worldwide coverage, it might work best for “hyperlocal” weather information—but only if you’re in the US, UK, Ireland, or Puerto Rico.
Furthermore, users report starkly different satisfaction ratings depending on their location, so your mileage may vary a great deal based on this factor alone.
7. Bonus: Klimat
Compatibility: Strava users
Main Features: Klimat is a patent-pending visualizer app that automatically overlays weather details from the beginning of your Strava activity onto your feed once you’re finished.
Klimat’s free version allows you to choose how your data displays (weather conditions or emojis), language shown, and measurement units used. You’ll also see a 14-day average of your riding conditions, which you can pause at any time.
Premium Klimat members can choose their weather provider and which conditions to display at the end of their activities. They can also organize fields in any order and gain full access to the following data:
- Activity Feel (“a measure of what it really felt like when you were out there”)
- Activity time
- Real temperature and Feels Like temperature
- Cloud cover
- Dew point
- UV index
- Weather summary and emojis
- Wind bearing and gust speed, including Beaufort Scale wind speed
Best For: Klimat could work well for all cyclists looking for a fun, new—and free!—way to add weather data to their Strava activities.
The Bottom Line When Choosing Your Best Cycling Weather App
Most of the popular weather apps currently provide you with essentials like temperature (actual and feels-like), real-time radar, local, national, or worldwide weather forecasts, actionable alerts, and customizable functionality.
Therefore, choosing the best option depends on the aspects and features you emphasize most.
Which App is Best for Cyclists?
For example, if relevance to cycling, access to robust data, and full-featured weather functionality is at the top of your list, Epic Ride is hands-down the first place you should look.
Epic Ride is also one of the most expensive apps in our list, whereas Accuweather, myWindsock, and WeatherBug offer highly-rated free versions that don’t require upgrading.
What’s Your Budget?
If you’re set on advancing to a premium experience, though, Dark Sky’s app only costs $2.99 for an entire year but provides access to pared-down data, which could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences.
Accuweather is priced the same but for lifetime access, and NOAA Radar is only slightly higher at $4.99 annually.
Do You Require Strava Compatibility?
Klimat’s basic version is free, but its platform piggybacks off of Strava activities. So, while potentially useful, it’s not a standalone option.
Along these same lines, is Strava compatibility important? If so, Epic Ride and myWindsock are your only options in our list above.
Tell Your Story!
Which weather app—if any—did you choose? Did you base your decision on cycling or another factor? Did we miss an important app above? Share your story by leaving a comment below!
Keep rolling: The 7 Best Cycling Mapping & Route Planning Apps