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Altifondo: The Cycling App for Col Hunters

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We live in the age of apps.  I know many of you are addicted to Strava and its app / web site - me too. But I thought I'd review my favourite cycling app.  And then let you use the comments to reveal other cycling apps that perhaps the rest of us don't know yet.

Altifondo

Some of you know that I like to cycle in the mountains.  Altifondo is the perfect app for me to track summits cycled, and for finding and planning future conquests.

Altifondo is a universal app for iPhone and iPad.  It requires the user to have a GPS and use Garmin Connect.  The user enters their Garmin Connect credentials in the app and all rides are automatically synched.  The beauty of the app is that it also automatically detects any climbs that you may have cycled.

Click on an individual ride and you will see an attractive screen with stats, and an interactive map.    From this, I get a complete overview of a ride, with all cols/climbs nicely highlighted.

alti

The Climb Database

  • Climbs are highlighted by colour depending on whether they are paved or unpaved.  Any climb that has appeared in the Vuelta or Tour de France gets a special designation (see the polka dot jersey beside Col de la Croix Fry in above image).
  • All 1000 climbs in the global Big Challenge are included - and an orange "B" added to its symbol - again see Col de la Croix Fry above.
  • The developer is French, but this is a global app.  While France gets the most coverage, there are thousand of climbs included from all over the world.

There is an interactive map that includes every climb in the database.  I sometimes use this to search a region I may be visiting to help me find climb opportunities.  Note, the red icons below mean there are multiple climbs in a region and the map needs to be zoomed.


alt

There is a second overview map that only includes climbs that a user has cycled.

mymap

What if your favourite climb isn't included?

This is one of the cooler features of the App.  If you can't find your favourite climb, there is an option to pin-point the climb on the map and generate an email to the developer with its coordinates.  The developed regularly provides App updates - and many of these updates include adding new climb requests.  I've had several of my favourite local cols added to the database in this manner.

Altifondo as a Log Book

For me, I use the App as a climbs log book, and less so for tracking overall statistics.  I don't think this is the app's strongest point.  But, it provides the following:

  • Annual and "all time" totals for distance, ascent, and number of summits.
  • Various "awards."  For example, the app automatically detected that I have cycled the Maratona dles Dolomites and La Marmotte, and that I am a member of Les Cingles du Ventoux.  It also tells me how many times I have "cycled to the moon" (lifetime ascent as a % of distance to the moon).  For swimmers it's how many times one has swam the English Channel.  There are other things too such as longest ride, fastest ride, etc.
  • Life time totals for summits, BIG summits, Tour de France summits, etc

Photos

Each specific rides has nearby photos associated with them that are displayed above the stats for a ride.  The developer has a FLICKR group, and users can submit geotagged photos to the group for approval.  This is how I heard about the App - the developer asked me if I would submit some photos to his group.  (I think the feature is only for the iPhone edition).

Activity Feed

It's not a feature I use, but you can follow your friends or others (like a pro rider) if they are one of your connections at Garmin Connect.

More Screenshots: I've used a few iPad screen shots above, but the iPhone app provides similar if customised functionality.  Go to the Altifondo web site to compare iPhone vs iPad screenshots.

Summary

Altifondo is an attractive app that lets cyclists simply track their mountain conquests. The developer is extremely responsive and keeps the app up-to-date. It's the perfect tool for Col Hunters like me.

Again, please feel free to use the comments section to discuss any other cycling apps that you like.