The 8 Best Indoor Cycling Apps for 2024: A Comprehensive Review

the best indoor cycling apps

Immersive indoor cycling apps, along with smart trainers, have transformed the indoor cycling experience. No longer confined to mundane spins, you can now explore virtual worlds, compete in online races, and follow structured workouts right from your living room. No need to ship your bike anywhere for a race, you can race from home.

But with such a myriad of choices available, how do you find the best indoor cycling app that suits your training needs and preferences?

Read on to find out!

Best Indoor Cycling Apps to Consider

A person using an indoor cycling app on a tablet with a smart trainer in the background

Here’s a brief guide on the finest indoor cycling apps that accommodate a variety of training needs and preferences.

Each of these apps possesses distinct strengths and features. To select the most suitable one, ponder on your training objectives, budget, and the features you would find desirable in a cycling app.

Best For Racing: MyWhoosh

With amazing graphics, online racing for prize money, and a great user experience, what’s not to like?

Best for Workouts Beyond the Bike: Wahoo SYSTM

This app is an abundant resource for individuals looking for structured workouts and training plans beyond mere cycling.

Best for Gamified Cycling: Zwift

If you love gaming, Zwift is your best bet. It combines the thrill of video gaming with the best cycling experience in indoor cycling, making your workout sessions more fun and engaging.

Best for Real-World Routes: Rouvy and FulGaz

These are among the best cycling apps that bring real-world cycling routes to your fingertips, offering an immersive and realistic indoor cycling experience.

Best for European Real-World Footage: BKOOL

Experience virtual cycling with real-world footage with BKOOL. It’s like traveling the world on your bike!

Best Free Option: ErgVideo

If you’re a fan of HD videos, ErgVideo won’t disappoint. It provides an indoor cycling experience with high-definition videos of famous climbs and races with many functions available for free.

Best for Interactive Indoor Training: Kinomap

This app offers an interactive indoor training experience for cycling, running, walking, and rowing, providing a comprehensive fitness solution.

MyWhoosh: Virtual Cycling with Real Prize Money

MyWhoosh is considered one of the best indoor cycling apps

If you like racing others, MyWhoosh is your indoor cycling app. It has racing for every level of rider, daily group rides, avatars that you can customize to look like the person you want to be, and more.

You’ve also got more than 700 workouts to choose from to keep you motivated. The best part of MyWhoosh is the price. It’s free.

The only concern with the app is that some users are saying it crashes a lot for them. And when it does, they lose their ride data. Hopefully, this will be fixed soon.

Price

Free

Free Trial Period

N/A

Download?

Yes – Windows, iOS, Android

Pros

  • Free
  • Great graphics
  • Over 700 training workouts
  • Real prize money for virtual races

Cons

  • Some users are commenting that it crashes a lot

Ratings

  • Price: 5/5
  • Design: 5/5
  • User Experience: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4.75/5

Wahoo SYSTM: Best for Workouts Beyond the Bike

best indoor cycling apps screenshot of wahoo systm

Ever desired an app that caters to your cycling workouts and also incorporates yoga, strength, and mental training? Allow us to introduce you to Wahoo SYSTM.

This app is a complete package offering:

  • Structured workouts and training plans that go beyond cycling
  • Vast workout library
  • Route planning features
  • Immersive video footage
  • Inclusion of yoga, strength, and mental training

Wahoo also categorizes each rider using its proprietary 4DP (4-dimensional power) technology. Reviewing your riding style and power curve, they automatically tailor your workouts to get the best results possible and take the guesswork out of training.

Also, if you have a Wahoo ELEMNT bike computer, you can upload a structured workout from Wahoo SYSTM to it and take your training outdoors.

However, no app is without flaws. Wahoo SYSTM can pose challenges in locating workouts at lower zones and the absence of automatic adjustments like other apps.

It also doesn’t provide the opportunity to connect with other triathletes virtually or join a virtual group ride, making it more of a solo experience compared to most indoor cycling apps.

But despite these challenges, it truly excels in cycling and provides rest and recovery features as well, making it a great choice. Its independent training app enables users to take their indoor training to the next level, regardless of the smart trainer brand.

Price

$14.99 USD/month or $149 USD/year

Free Trial Period

14 days

Download?

Yes – MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Pros

  • Comprehensive workout library
  • Personalized training plans for cycling and multisport
  • Immersive video footage

Cons

  • Difficulty finding workouts at lower zones
  • Lack of automatic adjustment like other apps
  • Video may become less motivating over time

Ratings

  • Price: 4/5
  • Design: 4/5
  • User Experience: 3.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Zwift: The Ultimate Indoor Cycling Game

Cyclists participating in a virtual group ride on Zwift, one of the best indoor cycling apps

If you harbor a fondness for gaming and cycling, Zwift is an ideal choice for you.

This indoor cycling app offers:

  • Gaming elements combined with incredibly realistic cycling experiences
  • An immersive virtual world to explore and compete in
  • Group rides and competitions
  • Training plans
  • Customizable avatar

This makes it easy for you to start your fitness journey right away.

Zwift presents exciting virtual worlds, incorporating imaginary ones and simulations of some of the most renowned real-world locales.

To fully enjoy Zwift, you’ll need a compatible trainer or a computer, iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV, plus a Bluetooth-enabled speed or cadence sensor and an ANT+ dongle if using a “dumb” trainer. But once you’re set, you can enjoy a library of specific training sessions designed by professional coaches, easily searchable by length and type of ride.

Zwift also has running as an option if you have a compatible treadmill. The adoption of running on Zwift is still quite low though.

Price

$14.99 USD/month or $149.99 USD/year

Free Trial Period

14 days

Download?

Yes – MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Pros

  • Combines gaming elements with cycling
  • Offers a virtual world to explore
  • Provides structured training plans

Cons

  • Requires a compatible trainer or a computer, iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV
  • Bluetooth-enabled speed or cadence sensor and an ANT+ dongle are needed if using a “dumb” trainer

Ratings

  • Price: 4/5
  • Design: 5/5
  • User Experience: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

Rouvy: Real-World Routes at Your Fingertips

A cyclist using Rouvy app to ride through a scenic real-world route

If you are an outdoor cycling enthusiast but often hindered by weather or time constraints, Rouvy is an excellent option for you. It offers a realistic outdoor cycling experience with over 1,300 real-world routes from around the globe. These routes are shot using hi-quality video and meticulously reviewed by the Rouvy team to ensure quality.

I use Rouvy quite a bit when preparing for a particular Ironman race course. I can find the course, and “ride” it as if I was there. It’s an actual video of the course, and the Rouvy software puts my avatar (me on a bike) in the video. The faster I go, the faster the video moves. When I slow up or stop on my bike, so does the video. It works well and is great when preparing for any race that I’ll have to travel to.

However, while Rouvy tries its best to replicate an outdoor cycling experience, it falls short in some areas. You can’t really get a feel for the outside elements, and the visual perspective of the climb through video can be limited. But despite these limitations, Rouvy offers an immersive experience with its video footage of real locations, allowing you to feel like you’re actually riding in different places.

Price

$14.99 per month for a single rider $19.99 for two riders, and $32.99 for up to 5 riders

Free Trial Period

14 days

Download?

Yes – MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Pros

  • Offers over 1,300 real-world routes
  • Realistic cycling experience with real-life video footage
  • Compatible with popular trainers
  • Pricing is great for families

Cons

  • Limited visual perspective of the climb through video
  • Not all race courses are available, even for Ironman

Ratings

  • Price: 5/5
  • Design: 4/5
  • User Experience: 4/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

FulGaz: Experience Realistic Indoor Cycling

A cyclist experiencing a realistic indoor cycling route on the FulGaz app

If you aim for a realistic indoor cycling experience, FulGaz is an app tailored for you. It features:

  • Over 2,000 real-world routes from around the world
  • Immersive and realistic indoor cycling experience
  • Stunning real-life video footage
  • Elevation data

FulGaz offers an incredible number of routes and a realistic cycling experience, but it has its share of challenges. Some users have reported glitchy app performance, but that doesn’t seem to be the norm. Despite these issues, FulGaz remains a solid choice for those seeking a realistic indoor cycling experience.

The Ironman Group purchased FulGaz in 2021, and it has seen improvement (and a substantial marketing push) since then. It will be interesting to see if the future of this product will have more integration with Ironman-branded races. They have many of the Ironman bike courses already, along with the UCI World Road Championship courses and even mountain bike courses such as the Cape Epic.

The app allows you to upload your own workouts in ZWO format.

Price

$14.99 USD per month, $125.99 USD per year. Annual subscriptions allow for one extra family member.

Free Trial Period

14 days

Download?

Yes – MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Pros

  • Offers over 2,000 routes from around the world
  • Features different riding modes
  • Good graphics

Cons

  • Glitchy app performance
  • Uploading workouts downloading the file from TrainingPeaks and then re-uploading it.
  • No avatars on video, so group rides feel more “imaginary” than a real race.

Ratings

  • Price: 4/5
  • Design: 4.5/5
  • User Experience: 3.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

BKOOL: Virtual Cycling with Real-World Footage

Bkool virtual cycling app with diverse real-world footage

If you enjoy cycling through various global locales without stepping out of your house, then BKOOL is just the app designed for you. This virtual cycling app uses real-world footage from people worldwide, offering a unique indoor cycling experience. BKOOL has every stage of the Giro d’Italia that you can ride, as well as virtual velodromes to test your speed.

Some of the drawbacks of BKOOL include:

  • Occasional low video quality
  • Lack of social interactivity or motivation elements like badges or achievements

But if you’re looking for a simple app that offers a variety of real-world routes, BKOOL is worth considering.

Price

11 Euros/Month, 110 Euros/Year, 129 Euros/Year for a family plan (3 riders)

Free Trial Period

30 days

Download?

Yes – MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire

Pros

  • Uses real-world footage from people worldwide
  • Offers thousands of routes and structured workouts

Cons

  • Some low-quality video
  • No social aspect to the app
  • The user interface seems dated

Ratings

  • Price: 3/5
  • Design: 2/5
  • User Experience: 2.5/5
  • Overall: 2.5/5

ErgVideo: Immersive Indoor Cycling Experience

Riders in an ErgVideo training video

ErgVideo offers high-definition videos of famous climbs and races, compatible with popular trainers and supporting group rides. They provide stunning high-definition videos of famous climbs and races, making your indoor cycling sessions more engaging and enjoyable.

The software itself is free. You can add any power file from almost any power source for free as well. ErgVideo actually provides a large library of workout sessions you can use for free as well. You also get free training plans for free.

With a paid subscription, you get access to Ride Designer (workout planner), ErgVideo video content, and ride streaming with 1-3 riders.

One of the challenges with this cycling app is that it’s a bit more primitive than some of the competition. The user interface is dated and requires much more setup before you begin.

Also, updates are sparse on their website and social media. The latest videos are from 2019. I question how much development is going on.

While it requires a bit of technical knowledge to set up than the more popular apps, you do get a lot of functionality here for free. I’d compare it to an iPhone vs. an Android phone. If you like to tinker, this may be the app for you. That’s the trade-off. They have a robust support section that will help you through almost any issues you’re having.

Price

Free, $10 / Month with videos

Free Trial Period

Much of the software is free forever.

Download?

Yes – Windows

Pros

  • Offers high-definition videos of famous climbs and races
  • Compatible with popular trainers
  • Supports group rides
  • Lots of functionality for free

Cons

  • Windows only
  • Interface is dated
  • Lack of updates
  • No rider avatar. You’re watching cyclists in the video.

Ratings

  • Price: 4.5/5
  • Design: 3/5
  • User Experience: 3/5
  • Overall: 3/5

Kinomap: Interactive Indoor Training

Kinomap indoor cycling app

Kinomap is not limited to being just an indoor cycling app – it’s an interactive indoor training app designed for cycling, running, walking, and rowing. It is compatible with exercise bikes, home trainers, treadmills, ellipticals, and rowing machines, offering a comprehensive fitness solution.

Kinomap provides a huge collection of high-quality training films, including famous spring classics and challenging routes in the Alps.

Price

$11.99 / month, $89.99 / year, $429 / lifetime license

Free Trial Period

14 days

Download?

Yes – iOS, Android

Pros

  • Offers interactive indoor training for cycling, running, walking, and rowing
  • Provides a large collection of high-quality training films
  • Multiple sports capable

Cons

  • No avatar, just a video

Ratings

  • Price: 4.5/5
  • Design: 4/5
  • User Experience: 4/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App for You

After perusing the top indoor cycling apps, you might still be pondering – which one is suitable for me? The answer lies in your training goals, personal preferences, and the type of trainer or devices you have.

If you’re a fan of gaming and want to make your workout sessions more fun and engaging, Zwift is your choice. If you’re looking for a comprehensive fitness solution that caters to not just cycling but also running, walking, and rowing, Kinomap would be a good fit.

Ultimately, the ideal indoor cycling app for you hinges on your specific requirements. Whether it’s immersive video footage, a gamified cycling experience, real-world routes, or a comprehensive fitness solution, there’s an app out there that fits your needs.

All of them come with a free trial period, so try each one out and pick your favorite.

Summary

Indoor cycling apps have transformed the indoor cycling experience, making it more immersive, engaging, and productive. From gamified cycling experiences to real-world routes, these apps offer a range of features to cater to diverse training needs and preferences.

Each app has its unique strengths, the best one for you depends on your training goals, personal preferences, and the type of trainer or devices you have. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned cyclist, there’s an app out there that can help you reach your fitness goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a free indoor cycling app?

Yes, there is a free indoor cycling app – MyWhoosh. It boasts many features similar to other apps such as Zwift and provides workouts and training programs. It is the perfect option for those looking for a free gamified environment.

Is Strava good for indoor cycling?

Strava is not currently compatible with indoor cycling, but you can track your indoor runs using their Apple Watch app. This makes it a great tool for tracking CrossFit, elliptical, stair stepper, weight training, yoga, and other workout activities.

What are the benefits of using indoor cycling apps?

Indoor cycling apps offer an exciting, organized, and fulfilling way to train indoors. From virtual worlds to structured workouts and competitive races, they can be the perfect tool to keep you motivated while sitting in one place for a long time.

How do indoor cycling apps work?

Indoor cycling apps make working out from home easy and fun. They connect to your bike trainer or sensors wirelessly, providing a virtual environment with structured workouts, races, and routes. You can track performance metrics like speed, power, cadence, and heart rate so you can monitor progress and stay motivated. The best apps allow you to interact with other riders in a virtual environment simulating group rides and even racing.

What equipment do I need to use an indoor cycling app?

To get the most out of an indoor cycling app, you’ll need a bike, a smart trainer, a device with an internet connection, and possibly a power meter or speed sensor.

Are there any free apps like Zwift?

Yes, there is a free indoor cycling app – MyWhoosh. It boasts many features similar to other apps such as Zwift and provides workouts and training programs. It is the perfect option for those looking for a free gamified environment similar to Zwift.

Is Zwift really worth it?

Yes, Zwift is worth it if you are looking for an immersive and interactive indoor cycling or running experience. It offers virtual courses, real-time training data, social features, and a variety of workouts that can make indoor training more enjoyable and effective. It can take a rather mundane experience like riding on your trainer and put some fun and competition into it.

Disclosure

We review products based on a multi-point health-focused methodology. Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us if you decide to purchase the product at no cost to you.

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