Turbo Trainer Apps and advice

Schmuck_on_Wheels

Active Member
Hi,

I have recently decided to extend my cycling beyond the fair weather and have purchased a Turbo Trainer, Training Tyre and Wahoo Blue SC speed/cadence sensor.

My aim is to improve fitness and maybe shed a couple of pounds. Can anyone recommend any good guides for training on a turbo trainer and ideally any apps that may make cycling in my conservatory a little more interesting......

Thanks

Matt
 
Location
Bucks
If you must then - Sufferfest & Trainer road.

Getting out on the road beats turbo hands down though, even in horrible weather - just my opinion of course.
 

Bollo

Failed Tech Bro
Location
Winch
At work at the moment but I can give an overview of a few of the main ones this evening. Matt, are you just looking to make it a bit more fun or are you looking for something more structured?
 
OP
S

Schmuck_on_Wheels

Active Member
If you must then - Sufferfest & Trainer road.

Getting out on the road beats turbo hands down though, even in horrible weather - just my opinion of course.
At work at the moment but I can give an overview of a few of the main ones this evening. Matt, are you just looking to make it a bit more fun or are you looking for something more structured?
Thanks for your reply. I am looking for something structured so I can have a good idea of how much effort i am putting in and how much I am improving but also something that is maybe a bit more fun than just looking at speed/cadence values.
 

Rob H

Eat, Sleep, Climb, Repeat
No, just the Wahoo cadence/speed sensor plus an Elite Crono Fluid Elastogel trainer which is supposed to be decent but lacks advanced features.
Take a look at traineroad, to be honest its the only real option for your setup at the moment but well worth it. You can integrate sugfferfest but that will cost you per vid

Into the future Zwift will come off beta and that will allow you to set up using virtual power (which TR already do)

http://www.trainerroad.com/

They run iphone app as well as mac and windows
 
OP
S

Schmuck_on_Wheels

Active Member
Take a look at traineroad, to be honest its the only real option for your setup at the moment but well worth it. You can integrate sugfferfest but that will cost you per vid

Into the future Zwift will come off beta and that will allow you to set up using virtual power (which TR already do)

http://www.trainerroad.com/

They run iphone app as well as mac and windows
I guess I should also have mentioned that I am Android only as well!
 

Rob H

Eat, Sleep, Climb, Repeat
I guess I should also have mentioned that I am Android only as well!
Have a look you can download to a laptop or desktop, you just need an ant dongle or bluetooth one :thumbsup:
 

Bollo

Failed Tech Bro
Location
Winch
Back from work!

Given that you're after something more structured, I'd +1 for TrainerRoad. Advantages are it's an established product, there are integrated training plans and it supports a few of the more well-known training videos, sufferfest being the prime example. In my experience the sensor pairing (often a source of trouble) is very reliable and supports both Ant+ and Bluetooth protocols. It'll also try to estimate your power output based on your speed and turbo model (sometimes known as 'virtual power') although this should only be taken as a rough guide. Customer support is excellent. Costs about $10 a month or thereabouts for a subscription, cancellable at any time.

Downsides are that it can feel a little 'dry' at times, especially if you're not using a synchronised training vid. The export options are weak- you have to export a file from TrainerRoad and then into your tracking software of choice rather than directly export. Also, the ride analysis functions in the associated website a clear but limited. It's also single player only if you're looking for interaction.

Next up is Bsim Bkool. Bsim does a lot, including virtual 3D rides, rides synchronised with recorded video and multiplayer races. This was developed primarily to support the associated bkool turbo. I don't think it can work just with a speed sensor - I think it needs an explicit power output - so might fail your criteria out of the box. The downside of Bsim is that the software and associated website are eccentric to say the least. Personally I got fed up and cancelled my subscription. There's a group on here with more patience than me that have it working after a fashion. I don't think anyone would say the support is great. I think subscription is about €8 a month, but might be a euro or two out.

Last one I know a lot about is Zwift. Zwift is another 3D multiplayer 'game'. Unlike Bsim, it supports riders without a power sensor using the same virtual power approach as TrainerRoad. At present Zwift is still invite only as it's at the beta stage. I've been riding it for about 2 months now, so what follows are initial impressions.

Zwift is much slicker than Bsim, but in it's present form has very limited functionality. You have a simple 5km circuit ('the island') which you ride around with whoever is also active. I've been on with 145 other riders at one point. The circuit has a biggish hill in the middle which, if you're riding a controlled resistance trainer like the kickr, will vary your resistance. If you're on a 'dumb' turbo, it'll scale your speed based on a model of your weight, incline and estimated power output. And for now that's it. They're promising so much more (courses, training functions etc). Although it's got a huge amount of potential and the quality appears to be high, I still think there's a way to go. Free during beta but I'm guessing around $10 a month.

PerfPro is another program along the lines of a multiuser TrainerRoad. It's an old school windows application with a relatively high upfront cost - from $99, but no subscription payments after that unless you put your data in their cloud. I've never used it although I have seen it in action.

TrainingPeaks is the daddy in terms of analysis, but I don't thing they do any live logging software. They seem to be buying up the world and his bike computer at the moment though, so I wouldn't be surprised if they move in on the action.

As the wahoo is 'dual' Ant+ and Bluetooth, you'll find a number of less well known apps on Google play and the Apple store that might offer some more interest, but most of these seemed very lightweight last time I looked.

Hope that helps.
 
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I am Spartacus

Über Member
Location
N Staffs
Need to mention Golden Cheetah which is not only a beater of TrainingPeaks which has seriously gone off the boil over the last 12 months or so as regards analysis but also has a Training feature.... a bit clunky but does work with ANT+ sensors
You need to invest some learning curve time to use it as it is completely free to use and cross platform - Mac and Windows.
It aint as pretty looking but it sure does the job as regards analysis. The reports on Training Peaks even in subscription mode do not allow data mining as Golden Cheetah does.
In fairness TP is really aiming for the tri and Ironman market which is a little more lucrative for them as opposed to cash strapped road racers...

OP , you see. you really have to have specific goals to make the investment in time and effort worthwhile. Vague desires about wanting improved fitness and losing a few pounds will not make getting on the turbo any easier to get back onto after the first flush of motivation evaporates.
 
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