Not only has indoor training increased in popularity, but with the novel coronavirus forcing many of us to stay home, we can at least be grateful for the massive improvement in virtual training programs available now. Zwift may be getting close to becoming a synonym for indoor training, but there are a LOT more options out there. OVERVIEW: Zwift truly gamified indoor training by offering an immersive looking virtual world where you can ride as an avatar, compete against others, and customize your equipment to gain an advantage.
One of the strongest features is the social integration, letting you plan group rides, races and meetups. The variety is lacking a bit — they have just six worlds with a total of 64 available routes inside them as of this post. But one of our favorite things about Zwift is that they offer free accounts for kids under TL;DR: Zwift lets you ride through video game-like virtual worlds and racing others in real time, with leaderboards.
These include all of the most famous climbs in major races like the Tour de France. Power users can even earn a little money by submitting good videos and routes. Kinomap also offers running and rowing routes, all accessible under a single account.
Check out our ultimate virtual cycling environment build with Kinomap to see it in action. TL;DR: Kinomap lets you ride just about any route from any major road race in the world, all from the comfort of your own home.
You get simulated real-world routes and a computer generated avatar on a bike, plus that key opportunity for FREE virtual riding without any subscription plan at all. OK, the free version of RGT is pretty limited to just a handful or real roads like Ventoux aboveand another handful of classics covering everything from mountain climbs to crit courses to cobbled race routes… Stelvio, Paterberg, Formentor, etc. But the idea is that paid members can invite other cyclists to join them for free.
Have a bike shop and want to invite people for free virtual group rides when a pandemic puts everyone on self-quarantine?
RGT lets a paid subscriber create a virtual ride from real road data, then invite anyone else to come join you for free. That also means event promoters can pay to design custom or real race course, and invite participants for free. Or your single paid subscriber riding partner can create a regular weekly group ride, and everyone else rides for free. TL;DR: A free platform for anyone looking to casually ride online — on eight classic routes or invited events. Oh, and they pay out with annual competitions, too!
TL;DR: An interesting mix of real and virtual that could change the game down the road, Rouvy is one of only two platforms offering cash payouts for online bike races.
Enjoyable even. They invented the idea of combining real race footage, an entertaining narrative, killer music and tough, structured workouts. The result was something infinitely more watchable than a taped spin class, and it immediately became one of our favorites.Indoor cycle training was once the preserve of the seriously dedicated racing cyclist but with the advent of smart trainers and interactive services like Zwift and TrainerRoad, indoor cycling has been given a new lease of life and more people are hitting the trainer than ever before.
Zwift and TrainerRoad both attempt to make indoor cycle training an attractive and useful option to ride outdoors when the weather is bad or you want to add more structured training to your riding. The work particularly well with the new breed of smart trainers as the resistance can be controlled by the software and the riding experience is reasonably realistic to actually riding along the road.
Zwift turns cycling into a game while TrainerRoad offers a very serious and structured view on training. It makes indoor cycling a game and the result is that it makes turbo training fun and engaging.
If you use Zwift with a smart trainer, the level of resistance adjusts to match the terrain so when you're going up a climb, it really does feel like it. You propel your avatar, dressed up in any cycling kit even road. The main game world is called Watopia, and within that there's all the different types of terrain you could want, from a flat smash across the desert to a reproduction of the Alpe d'Huez in all its switchback glory.
There's even a mountain bike section under development. There's a guest world every day, too. These are all real locations — London, Yorkshire, Innsbruck, Richmond, Bologna — and the riding options are more limited. There are many organised events, from training rides to races, so you can ride with people of a similar fitness and get a really good workout.
You can conduct an FTP test and follow one of the week plans if you want to enjoy the benefits of a virtual coach to get you fit for a big sportive or race.
You can also customise the workouts and make your own, too. You can also high-five people with a Ride On real-time encouragement. The app also lets you browse the many events on offer and sign up to one get a reminder before it's about to kick off. More importantly for me, being told when to go hard and when to ease off in a training session, and getting constant information about your power output makes training much easier and — dare I say it?
Getting Ride Ons from friends and strangers alike is enormously motivating, and I get a kick out of spotting other riders in road. If you have a smart trainer it'll control the resistance for you. TrainerRoad uses a simple and clean graphical interface that provides all the metrics you need to track your efforts, from speed, any connected sensors like heart rate, cadence and power.
A workout is displayed as a simple graph representing your intervals and a line moves across this graph identifying your progress.
Motivational and instructional text is provided on-screen to help you stay focused and provide useful tips. Following a plan is the optimum way of improving your fitness, and it removes the guesswork so all you have to do is concentrate on following the plan. You can choose an 8 or minute test, but TrainerRoad now recommend a shorter ramp test that takes about 25 minutes to complete.
The latest update also allows you to import your outdoor riding into the program from Strava, and add that to your calendar, to get a better idea of your overall training stress.
Dave is one of the founders of road. He's been using TrainerRoad for a couple of years. There are three main reasons for this. Firstly, it's more time efficient.
Zwift vs TrainerRoad: Which is best for you?
If you have to do four hours of training a week, then save for faffing around with your heart rate strap beforehand and a quick shower afterwards, four hours is all you need.
Going out and getting a comparable amount of hard effort on the road takes a lot longer. Secondly, it's much easier to work at the level you need to: when you ride with other people they're either ripping your legs off or you're easing up to stay as a group.
When it's just you and a wiggly line, there's no distraction. Thirdly, it makes the outdoor rides more fun. You're not having to think about working at a certain level: you can just be out enjoying yourself, knowing that you've done your chores. Zwift is more fun, and I love the racing aspect, but if you're riding indoors with a goal in mind then the focus on structure and the progressive nature of the plans makes for higher-quality training.
I used to struggle to complete 45 minutes on the turbo but now I can manage double that. Partly that's because the session is laid out before you and you can see what you're getting; partly it's because the on-screen commentary helps you to focus on why you're doing what you're doing, and what the rewards will be.Everyone is welcome to join the charitable marathon, ride virtually across iconic Italian locations and donate to the local administration or hospitals.
Join the RideForItaly challenge by registering hereand get full details here. RGT, one of the other online cycling training apps we profiled in our app roundupis offering free premium subscriptions during the outbreak and quarantine period.
The RGT team has made this decision in response to the developing situation around COVID19, having yesterday seen national governing body British Cycling suspend all sanctioned cycling activities and suggest restrictions on club riding. Meanwhile, governments in cycling hotbeds Italy and Spain have banned recreational cycling outdoors with other nations expected to follow suit.
At a time when focusing on profit would be easy, this removal of restrictions will provide free access for all and, we hope, offer some support to the cycling community. We are already in discussions with many of our friends and partners in the cycling industry to encourage and enable them to do more to help the global cycling community at this time. Details on how to get your free account are listed here. Brands interested in sponsoring online events, roads and accounts can reach out, too. Get everyone on it, show them how much faster it makes you, look good, and have a bunch of new customers when Corona goes away.
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Top Six Cycling Apps to Replace Zwift
Forgot your password? Password recovery. Recover your password. Get help. RGT Cycling makes all premium features free RGT, one of the other online cycling training apps we profiled in our app roundupis offering free premium subscriptions during the outbreak and quarantine period. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation.
Check our Comment Policy for full details. Cancel reply.Indoor cycling can be boring. However, sometimes the weather, the training plan or time constraints mean that thrashing away on the pedals indoors is necessary if you want to enjoy all that outdoors, freedom and adventure come the sunny months. Indoor cycling has its benefits — these are pretty well documented but in case you needed reminding:.
The downside? Explore a selection of virtual worlds on Zwift. Read more: Zwift training app in detail. The key feature of Zwift is that it allows indoor cyclists to join group rides where they can measure themselves against others in the comfort of their own homes. The results of races are published on Zwiftpower. Ride the dirt roads of the Mayan jungle on your TT bike.
You can even defy reality and ride through volcanoes! Zwifting with an iPad makes the process portable. For more accurate results, you can use a power meter on a standard set up but for the full experience a smart turbo trainer will replicate climbs, descents and the effect of drafting.
Follow individual sessions as part of a much wider training plan. There are over different plans, which are very specific — for climbing road racers, criterium riders, time trialistsrolling road racers, century riders, triathletes sprint to full distanceXC Olympic, XC marathon, short track XC, cyclocross, gravity and general fitness riders.
Once signed up, you can choose a training plan, log your sessions, as well as your fitness and progress — all inside the app. The core of the product takes cyclists through structured, power based workouts and training plans. All sessions are based off FTP, which is measured in an initial assessment — and all plans concentrate on three specific phases — a Base, Build and Speciality.
Base builds initial endurance and skill, Build focuses on improving FTP, then the Speciality phase is a fine tuning process focused on specific goals. Each plan totals 28 weeks and comes with low, medium and high volume options — and riders can modify them according to their needs as their target events loom closer.
We are unique in the fact that they ask riders to bring their own entertainment with them while they use the app. We just focuses on making cyclists faster. Read more: The Sufferfest training app in detail. The Sufferfest has progressed from offering videos for individual purchase to a full workout app in the last couple of years.
In January it released a brand new app which lets you watch your own videos and select whichever metric overlays you want on screen. In JulyThe Sufferfest was acquired by Wahoowith plans to release an android app in There are training plans, devised by APEX coach Neal Henderson, that can be downloaded in PDF form and The Sufferfest is now working with Training Peaks to provide integration so that athletes can access data and sessions all in one place.
So the types of training that you would assign to them would be vastly different in order to develop them as athletes. The Sufferfest training sessions show power and cadence requirement — power can be based from FTP of 4DP, the latter being much more accurate across a variety of efforts.
Sufferfest have also launched a whole library of free training sessions that are accessible via Training Peaks. It currently includes 50 cycling workouts designed by elite coaches, 30 yoga-for-cyclists sessions. You have to try it to get it. You go on the Sufferfest Facebook page and there are riders of all different types, and everyone is helpful and supportive.Zwift, the virtual indoor cycling platform was developed three years ago and was free for beta testers.
The company just released its Apple TV app today and is working on an Andoird version and expected to be released sometime next year. The good news for current Zwift users, they have a full year to think about the fate of their avatar. The battle between TrainerRoad and Zwift has been going on for years. TrainerRoad offers a huge library of power based cycling workouts.
Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App
Then you can browse through hundreds of workouts or create your own via TrainerRoad Workout Creator. You can also follow one of their structured training plans to properly prepare for a cycling or triathlon event. TrainerRoad offers training plans for road racers, triathletes, off-road, and cycling enthusiast and they come in low, mid, and high volume.
You can connect to your fitness devices and train to specific performance targets, like heart rate, power, and cadence. On top of that, you get a week Mental Training Programme of 20 audio modules and associated exercises.
If you like riding real courses, Rouvy might be what you need. Rouvy lets you ride anywhere in the world. Kinomap gives you access to hundreds of fully geolocated videos created by the community or you can upload your own videos.
However, if you are looking to do structured workouts, you will need to download Intervals by Kinomap. With this subscription, you will be able to use their workout library or create your own workout. Export workouts to Strava any other applications. Bkool simulator offers real video routes, 3d routes, or just follow along on a map. You will also have access to a workout library, instructor-led workouts, velodrome, multiplayer, and leagues.
You can also upload your own GPX file with or without a video to create your own route in 3D. You will also have access to their large library of HD quality videos of real courses from around the world.
Tacx Software is currently in open beta, meaning you can download it and start using it now for free. All of the above applications offer a free trial so you can test them out and decide which one you like. Do you know of other applications that you think worth trying out? Please let me and others know in the comment section below. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.
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It also helps with the real video on a lot of the courses. The AR is also cool. I found myself more engaged riding Rouvy than Zwift.Indoor trainer rides are a must for most triathletes and cyclists. Recently, several new apps have come out to help you make the most of your time inside. Learn more about these apps to help you decide which one best fits your needs. Thankfully, there are now many apps that make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. Here is a list of common indoor cycling apps, and a description of how they function, to help you decide which is best for you.
Every app on this list can be synced with TrainingPeaks so you or your coach can analyze your workouts. Many are also compatible with structured workouts exported from your TrainingPeaks account.
From friendly competition to casual group rides and structured training programs, Zwift is building a community of like-minded athletes united in the pursuit of a better experience. Athletes from around the globe can ride together in rich, 3D-generated worlds, simply by connecting their existing devices e.
In addition to open free riding, Zwift has races, group rides and group structured workouts starting two to four times every hour. Zwift offers a free trial and has multiple subscription options after the trial period. It is is also one of only two major indoor training apps so far the other being Sufferfest that works for indoor running.
All of the community, social, racing, training and gaming features available for cyclists are also available for runners.
Zwift is best if you are looking to compete against your friends in real-time on virtual group rides or races, and you still want basic structured workout features. It is one of the two options currently available for indoor running. The app also includes access to a full suite of training plans for road, mountain, triathlon, and cyclocross, with the option of adding complementary strength and yoga plans.
Connection to smart trainers and other fitness devices allows you to train to specific targets, analyze performance data, and share instantly to TrainingPeaks. The Sufferfest is best for those who want personalized workouts and additional cross-training options like strength and yoga to train both body and mind. The latest features include Outside Workoutsa custom Plan Builder and Group Workoutswhich allow users to ride virtually together. TrainerRoad features a day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their product.
TrainerRoad is best if you are looking to perform structured interval workouts and want a complete pre-made plan. Road Grand Tours is all about realism. Real courses with more realistic graphics and realistic physics like limiting the speed at which you can take downhill corners. Road Grand Tours has most of the basic configuration, syncing, structured workout, and group ride and race options that you would expect from a virtual riding platform. You can use these courses to relive your favorite rides or to practice pacing and get a sense of the difficulty of an upcoming event.
RGT is best if you prefer a more realistic riding experience over a gamified one or if you want to upload your own courses to train on.
Rouvy formerly CycleOps is compatible with virtually every smart and non-smart trainer. Using Rouvy, you can ride real routes from all over the world as the app tracks your training data.