Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App

Friday, March 18, 2016 | By Ben Pryhoda
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Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App

For any triathlete or cyclist, if you are serious about your goals you will eventually find yourself riding indoors on your bike trainer. Thankfully, there are now many apps that make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. Additionally, these apps record your workout so you can analyze your effort. Here is a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you. Plus, each one also uploads your training automatically to your TrainingPeaks account for immediate feedback.

ZwiftZwift 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 with each other in rich, 3D-generated worlds simply by connecting their existing devices (e.g. trainers, power meters, heart rate monitors, etc) wirelessly via open industry standard ANT+. 

Zwift is best if you are looking to compete against your friends in real-time on virtual group rides.

VirtualTrainerCycleOps Virtual Training (CVT) is compatible with virtually every smart and non-smart trainer. CVT is available for iOS, Android, and PC so you can run it on your favorite ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart enabled device. Using CVT, you can ride real routes from all over the world as the app tracks your training data. You can also pre-program your interval workouts and CVT will automatically control the resistance on your smart trainer. CVT offers new users a 2-week free trial.

CycleOps VirtualTraining is best for you if you are looking for an app that can run on multiple devices, and you want the flexibility to ride virtual routes or perform structured interval training.

TrainerRoadTrainerRoad is available for iOS, Mac, and PC and connects to your ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart devices to measure your power, speed, and other metrics. It then uses that data to customize workouts to your personal fitness level. You can train with a power meter, smart trainer, or use TrainerRoad's own VirtualPower® feature- all you need is a speed sensor and supported trainer. TrainerRoad features a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their product.

TrainerRoad is best for you if you are looking perform structured interval workouts.

TheSufferfestThe Sufferfest videos have become one of the most popular indoor training tools. Their new iOS app combines unlimited access to their library of 27 videos, which you can stream or download to follow along with during your workout. You can also connect to heart rate, power, cadence, and speed sensors and train within specific goal targets. There is a 7 day free trial and after your trial period, the app is $10/month.

The Sufferest app is best for those who want structured workouts and want extra motivation to push hard.

KinomapTrainerKinomap Trainer features hundreds of GPS videos generated by Kinomap members and lets you ride routes from all over the world. Kinomap Trainer is compatible with most smart trainers, and with any basic trainer with the addition of a speed/cadence or power sensor. A multiplayer mode is also available for up to 10 players, so you can challenge your friends or anyone else online. Kinomap Trainer is available for iPhones and iPads.

Kinomap is the best choice for virtual rides up the cols and cotes of Europe. The Alpe d’Huez video is one of our favorites.

PerfProPerfPRO Studio© is a PC based training application that supports up to three riders with the Home version and unlimited riders with the Studio version. PerfPRO Studio is compatible with nearly every smart and non-smart trainer. The software can connect to your power meter, heart rate monitor, and other ANT+ devices using a USB ANT+ Stick. When using an ANT+ speed sensor with a fluid/mag trainer, PerfPRO Studio can estimate your power output. PerfPRO  Studio supports ERG mode, course mode, and its own proprietary "MixMode", where segments can be ridden in both ERG and course mode during the same workout. Using a GPS bike computer and a video camera users can also create their own virtual ride videos for year round playback.

PerfPRO is the best choice when you need to connect multiple bikes, power meters, and smart trainers to the same PC.

Use these apps to get in a great workout when the weather isn’t cooperating, or you just need to get it done. View the complete list of indoor training apps that are compatible with TrainingPeaks.

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