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. Many of these apps are also compatible with structured workouts exported from your TrainingPeaks account.

zwiftFrom 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+. ZWO files exported from your TrainingPeaks account can be imported into Zwift.

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.  ERG and MRC files exported from your TrainingPeaks account can be imported into CycleOps Virtual Training.

CycleOps VirtualTraining is best for you if you are looking for an app that can run on multiple devices, and gives you 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.  ERG and MRC files exported from your TrainingPeaks account can be imported into TrainerRoad.

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

hurts-ergoHurts Ergo is available for download from iTunes and works with the Wahoo KICKR and KICKR Snap smart trainers. Structured workouts scheduled in TrainingPeaks can be directly opened in Hurts Ergo from the TrainingPeaks iOS app. The Hurts Ergo app is then able to control the resistance on the KICKR so you can perform the exact workout that your coach or training plan prescribed. You can also pair your bluetooth heart rate monitor and Wahoo RPM sensor to measure heart cadence sensor. Hurts Ergo is free and a one time $2.99 in-app purchase enables uploading the completed workout data to TrainingPeaks.

Hurts Ergo is the best choice if you have an iPhone or iPad, a Wahoo KICKR and structured workouts scheduled in your TrainingPeaks calendar.

ICW-appIndoor Cycling Workout can be downloaded for free from the Google Play app store and is available for ANT+ enabled Android phones and tablets. ICW works with any ANT+ FE-C smart trainer. You can also pair your ANT+ heart-rate monitor.  A one time $2.99 in-app purchase enables uploading the completed workout data to TrainingPeaks. Structured workouts scheduled in TrainingPeaks can be directly opened in Hurts Ergo from the TrainingPeaks Android app.

ICW is the best choice if you have an ANT+ enabled Android, an ANT+ FE-C compatible smart trainer, and  structured workouts scheduled in your TrainingPeaks calendar.

thesufferfestThe Sufferfest is more than just training videos. Their new app for iOS, Windows, and Mac OSX  gives you unlimited streaming or offline access to their full library of 40 cycling, triathlon and running videos, as well as 20 Yoga for Cyclists videos. Connection to heart rate, power, cadence, and speed sensors through either ANT+ or Bluetooth 4.0 allows you to capture detailed workout data and share it instantly to TrainingPeaks. There is a 7-day free trial, after which subscriptions are $10/month or $99/year.

The Sufferfest 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.

erg-videoErgVideo™ is a video-based power-training application that syncs the power profile of the riders in the video to your smart trainer (CompuTrainer, VeloTron, Kickr, ANT+ FE-C trainers). The free PC software that accompanies an ErgVideo supports up to 24 rider stations, and records all ANT+ device data using a single ANT+ USB stick. ErgVideo software is designed for ease-of-use, so you can be up and riding each day in as few as two clicks. It features a graphical studio-setup interface, free comprehensive training plans, and a ride designer to easily customize your training sessions. Each rider experiences an ErgVideo session according to their own fitness level, so ErgVideo is ideal for couples who want to train together, but not feel like they are competing nor falling behind.

ErgVideo is best if you are looking to combine focused power-training sessions with action-packed, high quality, and real-road visuals to keep you completely engaged and motivated.

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. ERG and MRC files exported from your TrainingPeaks account can be imported into PerfPro.

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.

About the Author

Ben Pryhoda

Ben Pryhoda joined TrainingPeaks in 2009 as a Senior Software Engineer. Since then has been promoted to Director of Engineering, V.P. of Engineering, and is currently the Senior Director of Product, Device and API Integrations. A former roadie turned XTERRA triathlete, Ben uses his training time to come up with new features for TrainingPeaks users.

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