Free or £1.99/month or 19.99/year premium
The Busby app is, primarily, a safety device for cyclists. Simple to set up and use it is just my type of tech. It offers other functions, too. Although these are limited, they may well appeal. There are rewards on offer, too. Free or premium? Well, that may depend on how many friends you have.
Pros: simple and safe.
Cons: won’t replace the rest of your tech (if that's your bag).
Fundamentally, the app – iOS and Android compatible - uses your phone censors to detect sudden halts of the unwanted type: falls, collisions, crashes, for example. When it detects an incident, it asks you to confirm you are ok within a time limit set by you. If you don’t or can’t act, then it sends an alert to your emergency contact (free) or contacts (premium). Location is courtesy of what3wiords, with whom Busby have partnered. This gives a much more accurate location than a traditional grid reference.
In addition, you can request mechanical or medical help by sending up a ‘Flare’ for other Busby users to see, and maybe rush to your aid. Actually, there’s secure chat to allow users to arrange support or give advice. Don’t fancy receiving these? Just turn them off. For group rides, you can create an activity to keep everyone in the loop.
Busby also alerts drivers through RoadRadar – if they have it.
At the same time as you are putting in the miles, every minute you are cycling for brings you points. And what do points mean? In this case, discounts rather than prizes, but the idea is the same.
Premium of free? Well, the free app brings the safety feature, plus basic data (trip distance and day distance), and a basic map showing location. Premium increases discounts available, doubles your points reward, gives you five contacts rather than one, promises exclusive new features and access to member specific new features as they come along.
Well, it works. I have not had a crash, but have managed to alert my contact with a vigorous experiment. How many contacts? Well, in my case, at the time, just one. Upgrading to premium and I was disappointed to discover that I’d not got five friends: aaaaah!
Having been a solo tourer for many years, and spending many miles alone, I’ve often wondered what might happen were I to misjudge that hairpin bend coming down the mountain pass. Well, I have to say, that I find Busby very reassuring, in that sense.
Moreover, I like to know the distance I have travelled in a day, but am not too bothered about other things. Even if you are, your phone can sit in your jersey pocket rather than on the bars, making for less clutter. No problem, either, if you are using your phone as your GPS. I’ve run mine through the Sinewave Beacon light and USB charger. However, ensuring that you have power for all of the ride is well worthwhile: many accidents happen toward the end of the journey. Of course, Busby can be applicable to running, scooting, and motor-biking, too.
Top contribution to cycling safety, and not just for soloists. On the long road tour, it can offer access tom local cyclists; in the middle of nowhere MTB adventure, it could be vital for accurate location; just make sure your phone has power.
The SeeSense Icon+ combines accident alert features with much else – but needs linking to your phone. It is fundamentally a sophisticated light with lots of extras – but it is not free!