The Best turbo trainer apps

Words by Cycles UK

on 23/10/2019 13:14:01

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It’s that time of year again where you may be more tempted by a quick turbo train indoors that a ride after work in the darkness and rain. So what’s the best app to use with your turbo trainer, watt bike or cadence app? Well, it depends on what you want to achieve and how you like to ride. You may love to race and be involved in a community, want a full training program, additions such as dietary advice and yoga. We’ve done the research to help you find the right app.

Zwift

Probably the most well-known choice, Zwift provides a variety of worlds for your avatar to ride through; from jungles, mountains, to cityscapes including London and New York. Zwift delivers a variety of surfaces and gradients you may not be able to experience where you live. The sense of community Zwift promotes is visible hosting races such as “tour de swift” and “Zwift world Championships”; it can even host your club ride. Virtual and real-life prizes are awarded for achieving goals. Zwift also has a structured workout plan where you can focus on improving certain aspects of your capabilities or push yourself.

  • Costs £12.99 a month
  • Available for IOS, Mac and Windows devices.
  • Set up with you turbo trainer or other devices requires Bluetooth or an ANT+

Our summary: Zwift is great for the thrill of a race and the sense of community when you ride.

The Sufferfest

The Sufferfest is a pretty comprehensive training site offering Cycling, Yoga and mental toughness training alongside training programs. Unlike Zwift, these training sessions feature footage of past and present pro riders and  allow you to mix and match footage of your choice. All videos can be downloaded, avoiding streaming issues if you have them. Unlike other training apps, Sufferfest uses what is calls 4DP (4-dimensional power) instead of FTP alone to create a complete power profile and personalize your target. FTP focuses on a long sustained effort 4DP looks at your ability to attack and recover time and time again. It works by measuring your Neuromuscular, Anaerobic, Maximal Aerobic and Functional threshold. 4D enables Sufferfest to tailor your training to make you stronger and faster. At the end of your 4DP ride, you will find out what type of rider you are from Climber to Rouleur, accompanied by a full write up describing your attributes. Yoga for cyclists is designed to keep you comfortable and stronger in the saddle and aid recovery. Tutorials range from beginner level to advanced focusing on recovery, back pain relief and core strength. If that wasn’t enough Sufferfest, have got your brain covered too, video tutorials feature everything from establishing goals, enhancing your focus, reviewing rides and establishing a method to improve it also provides diet tips and weight training tutorials.

  • Costs $99/£77.00 a year or $12.99/£10.10 a month     
  • Available for IOS, Mac and Windows devices.
  • Set up with you turbo trainer or other devices requires Bluetooth or an ANT+

Our summary: If you want a more holistic approach to your cycling Sufferfest has it all, with a good sense of humour and care for your achievements.

Trainer Road

Trainer Road builds a training plan around both your goals and FTP. It has over 100 plans to choose from, for every type of rider from professional to recreational, Climbers to Crit racers. These plans get right into the specifics of what you want to achieve without confusing you with the science. The app takes you through a fine-tuning to get the perfect seasonal calendar plan for you. Plans total 28 weeks, feature interval training, guided workouts at different levels low, medium and high. You can integrate and submit outdoor rides a part of your training plan, making Trainer Road almost a hybrid of Zwift or Sufferfest and Strava. There are also options to create your own workout or complete a fitness assessment. On-screen Trainer road is technical but less elaborate providing performance info rather than music, videos or an avatar.

  • Costs $99/£77.00 a year or $12.00/£9.33 a month    
  • Available for IOS, Mac and Windows devices.
  • Set up with you turbo trainer or other devices requires Bluetooth or an ANT+

Our summary: More than just an Indoor training App Trainer road is a complete plan and log of your rides no matter where they take place.