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WatchOS 10 will make the Apple Watch a true cycling smartwatch

Apple is finally making the Apple Watch compatible with cycling sensors, among other things

Apple watchOS 10 zones
Courtesy of Apple

At its annual World Wide Developer Conference, Tim Cook and the developers at Apple unveiled some exciting new features for its upcoming software updates. While the spotlight might have been on the Vision Pro, don’t miss out on the biggest Apple Watch updates ever, and see if they line up with our predictions. Cyclists especially should pay attention to these game-changing watchOS 10 upgrades. Let’s take a closer look at the watchOS 10 and what it will mean for cyclists.

Apple watchOS 10 workout details.
Courtesy of Apple

Apple’s newest features for cycling

See new metrics with compatible Bluetooth accessories

Bluetooth connection to cycling sensors is long overdue, and Apple-enthusiastic cyclists are breathing a huge sigh of relief. In previous watchOS versions, Bluetooth connection to cycling sensors has been nonexistent, except for heart rate straps. Well, that will all change with watchOS 10. Automatically connect to Bluetooth-enabled accessories to add cadence, speed, and power to your Workout View.

A new Power Zones Workout View

With the new update, Apple Watch automatically detects your power meter and estimates your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Using the FTP, which is the highest level of intensity you can maintain for an hour, Apple has created Power Zones, a brand-new feature that indicates your workout’s level of intensity. During your workout, you’ll even be able to track how much time you’ve spent in each zone. By analyzing your performance data, you can fine-tune your training routine and optimize your cycling experience.

Your cycling metrics, optimized for iPhone

Cycling workouts with watchOS 10 will now seamlessly sync with your iPhone’s Live Activity display. This makes cycling workouts way more accessible. Start a cycling workout from your watch, and it will automatically show up as a Live Activity on your iPhone. With a single tap, your metrics take center stage on the iPhone screen, providing a larger and more convenient view while you’re on the go. This eliminates the need for a dedicated bike computer, offering a cost-effective solution for cyclists at any level. 

watchOS 10 workout update
Courtesy of Apple

What these features mean for cyclists

The advantages of these features are substantial. For starters, there’s no need to invest in an expensive bike computer when you can harness the capabilities of your existing Apple Watch. The option to use your watch as a cycling companion not only saves you money but also opens the door to advanced workout tracking and performance analysis.

This is particularly beneficial for beginners and those looking to monitor their stats during shorter rides, commutes, or indoor training sessions without the burden of carrying additional equipment like headgear. It presents a convenient and accessible entry point into the world of comprehensive workout tracking within the already costly realm of cycling.

Apple watchOS 10 cadence

Do competing brands offer these features already?

The production version of watchOS 10 will be available for download in September 2023. However, it’s worth noting that Apple did not announce compatibility with the ANT+ protocol commonly used by Garmin sensors. Whether this feature will be included in a future update remains to be seen. If you currently rely on Garmin sensors and are hesitant to switch, the watchOS update may not be revolutionary for you.

Nevertheless, with the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity, the absence of ANT+ compatibility may not be a deal breaker if you opt for alternative Bluetooth models like Zwift.

With this new update, the Apple Watch has definitely become an enticing choice for cyclists of all levels. If you’re on the edge of your seat, the watchOS 10 release date is currently set for this fall for those with an Apple Watch Series 4 or later. 

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Sarah Joseph
Sarah is a lover of all things outdoors. With a bright sense of adventure and a heart for the mountains, she is always…
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