Frequently Asked Questions

How can I backup my tracks?

The best way is to set up an automatic backup/sync of the entire /Documents/UrbanBiker folder to a desired storage service.

Many other apps are available for this purpose, and also for other services.

What is the best way to keep the tracks and the settings when you change to a new mobile?

All saved tracks and most of the settings are saved to external storage folder, /Documents/UrbanBiker. This folder stays intact when you uninstall the app. To be on the safe side, you can copy the entire folder to your computer or somewhere else as a backup before reinstalling the app. Other possibility is to backup this folder to your Google Drive account automatically. Please see the previous question.

Other data (unsaved tracks, all-profiles settings) are saved under a system-designated private folder which cannot be accessed by the user unless the phone is rooted. Contents of this folder are removed when the app is uninstalled, but are normally backed up and restored automatically by the system when the "auto sync" is turned on in Android and the app is reinstalled. To be on the safe side, we recommend that you Save & Reset all unfinished tracks in all profiles, before uninstalling the app.

How to delete a track?

To delete a track, please go to the History screen and long click on a track to select it. You can then select Delete from the menu.

Is it possible for app to work with offline maps without google apps installed?

Unfortunately, Google map library that our app uses to display maps (both online and offline) requires Google Play Services to work. We may provide an alternative map library in the future, but it's not our priority at this time.

Which speed sensor do you recommend to use with app?

We would recommend Topeak Panobike speed & cadence sensor as it's proven to work with the app. This is a Bluetooth sensor. For ANT+ we would recommend Bike speed and cadence sensor from Garmin. This one is more expensive but offers better flexibility for mounting as it comes in two separate pieces.

There are also many 'generic' speed-only or cadence-only ANT+ sensors that are both inexpensive and reliable, eg. the one from BBB. You can setup two of them and tell the app to use one for speed and the other for cadence. In general, any standard ANT+/Bluetooth sensor should work, just be aware that cheapest sensors may not be as reliable.

If you add a speed sensor, how do you use that sensor instead of the gps, to show a precise speed?

The app will provide speed from the sensor whenever it's available. This means the sensor must be added to the profile so it gets connected when tracking starts, but also the wheel circumference must be given in sensor properties screen (or measured, if Automatic circumference is enabled and it hasn't been measured before). The app will seamlessly switch from sensor speed to GPS speed and vice versa if there are some problems with the sensor, for example if it gets disconnected during a ride, its battery runs empty, or similar. This is indicated in the app's status bar - 'sensors' icon will be yellow or red (yellow: wheel circumference still unknown, red: sensor not connected).

I have another speed sensor, and was wondering if I could use that ANT+ speed sensor as a cadence sensor if I add a magnet to the pedal arm?

Yes of course! Simply enable Swap speed and cadence option in sensor properties page for that particular ANT+ speed sensor, and it will effectively become a cadence sensor.

Why is calorie count different than in another service eg. Strava?

Many services estimate calorie count using an overly simplified formula, where they basically use predefined average calories per hour for a given activity type and simply multiply that with duration.

Our app computes calorie count during a ride based on ride kinematics. It takes into account factors like air drag, roll resistance, altitude change, acceleration and others, which makes it more accurate (assuming parameters are correct).

How to properly set up Power/Energy parameters?

Default settings of the power/energy parameters are valid for an average city bike and an average rider.

Weight may be most important parameter of them all, so be sure to correctly enter weights of yourself, bike, wheels, and possible cargo (tools, food, clothes, water, etc. as this will make the result even more accurate). But you need not get too finicky; if you estimate the weight of yourself, the bike and the cargo to within ±3kg that's perfectly okay.

Drag area (CdA) parameter need not be changed, unless your bike is something special like recumbent bike, or you ride in aero position (in which case you could lower this a bit to eg. 0.4), -or- you wear a big jacket that gives lot of wind drag, or have bags (panniers) on your bike, in which case you could probably increase this a bit to eg. 0.6.

Roll resist (Crr) parameter is slightly more important. The default (0.01) is set for average city bike tyres and professional mountain bike tyres. If you ride professional road tyres, you should probably decrease this to eg. 0.005. If you ride grippy tyres designed for nothing but offroad ride, you should probably increase this to eg. 0.025. This also applies if you ride on surfaces rougher than asphalt, eg. on a gravel road, in mud, snow, etc. You can get a feel for this number (or even find the exact one) by visiting https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/.

Efficiency η (greek 'eta') is an easy parameter to set, but can greatly skew the results if set too high or too low. Basically, if you are a fit athlete, you can set this to 25%; if you are very unfit, you can set this to 19-20%. If you feel something in between, you can set this to 22-23% and be done with it. Just bear in mind that this few percent difference translates directly into calorie count value - smaller η means more calories will be expended for the same trip (as you are less efficient in converting calories to work/motion), and vice versa.

Is there a way to edit the history? At times I forget to change between profiles, biking and walking. It would be nice to be able to change this in the history once I realize my mistake.

Sorry, this is not possible in our app at the moment. The thing is, this would require us to save every bit of information acquired and used during the track recording (not only location and altitude, but also the accuracy, doppler speed, barometer pressure, temperature, etc.) in order to make it possible to recalculate all track statistics correctly after the track gets split. This is not feasible at the moment.

On the other hand, splitting a GPX file alone is rather simple task and can be easily done manually. Simply open the GPX file in any better text editor (if you use a code editor that's even better) and delete all lines from the end of the file that don't belong to your ride. This will usually imply deleting everything from the last </trkseg> tag in the file, up to the <trkseg> where the unwanted data begins. If these lines belong to another profile, instead of deleting you may want to move them to the beginning of other GPX file, right before the first <trkseg>.

You can identify where the foul data begins by examining the timestamp of each line, and also the speed (which is in m/s). For example, it's easy to see where biking ends and walking begins by noting the drop in the speed - from about 5-6 m/s to about 1-2 m/s. You can then repack the edited GPX file back to the original zip if you want. However, note this will not change the track statistics shown in the history screen. To change those, you must also edit the SUMMARY file (the file structure is pretty self-explanatory when you open it in the editor so we'll not explain it here).

How to install the latest ANT+ services?

News 2018-11-01: ANT+ services have been updated finally. You can find the latest versions from the links below:

ANT+ services on Android are often outdated and can cause problems with sensors. Unfortunately, it seems like the ANT+ project on Android has stalled. You can see this by the fact that their service apps weren't updated since year 2015.

Recommended approach is to install the very latest available versions, and these are the 2018 versions available from the links above.

If successfull, the version of ANT Radio Service installed on your device should be 4.14.30 or greater, and the version of ANT+ Plugins Service should be 3.6.40 or greater. Please see images below.

ANT+ sensor not working

Please make sure that ANT Radio Service app owns the permission to use ANT hardware. See the image below.

Why don't you reply to my email?

Please do not hesitate to resend your support request again, if you feel we don't answer quickly enough! This will indicate to us the urgency of the request, and we'll at least provide a short reply explaining why we're unable to give a definite answer at the time.

The most simple requests are usually answered quickly, or within a day. Complex requests frequently require us to first do some testing, or examine the source code more closely before we can answer. It can happen that the testing takes quite some time, or even that there's no definite answer in reasonable time.

As new support requests keep coming in every day, sometimes it can happen that we simply forget to answer some of the older requests. This doesn't mean that we ignored them; please don't take us as arrogant if this happens!

Contacting us

If you have more questions you may contact us:

https://github.com/Sublimis/UrbanBiker/issues
http://www.facebook.com/UrbanBikerApp
contact@urban-bike-computer.com

Last change: 2018–11–03