The Best Indoor Cycling Apps For Becoming Faster


When I think back at my first hours of indoor biking (a.k.a starring at a wall…), I am really happy that companies created indoor apps. It makes indoor biking much more enjoyable.

As probably every triathlete, I struggled for a while to find the right indoor app for me. With this blog post series, I want to give you a first glance at the main indoor apps so you can decide which one you want to test first.

If you want to use an app whose primary focus is to make you a faster triathlete, you will probably want to give one of the apps below a try! Otherwise, look at my other blog posts:

The Best Indoor Cycling Apps For Racing
The Best Indoor Cycling Apps For Riding Real World Roads

TRAINERROAD

WHAT IS TRAINERROAD?

Trainerroad is laser-focused on structured training. You can either pick a workout out of their gigantic library, choose one of their training plans, or use their plan builder tool. The latter one is giving you workouts and a periodization based upon your main races.

Looking at my screenshot, you can see a really clean interface but no form of entertainment. They let that to you. You can do the workouts indoors but also outdoor with compatible devices.

They have recently added the possibility to do video group workouts, which is basically the equivalent of doing a skype with other cyclists who are doing the same workout as you.

They also have a really active forum and a weekly Youtube podcast that you can listen to for free.

FREE TRIAL

Trainerroad has a 30 days money-back guarantee where you get access to the entire platform. If you don’t want to be charged upfront, you can instead get a 30 days coupon code from either one of your friends who is using Trainerroad or by asking for it on their forum. They have a dedicated thread for those requests.

HOW MUCH DOES TRAINERROAD COST?

Trainerroad costs $19.95 per month per profile and $189 if you choose their 12 months subscription plan.

CAN YOU SHARE A TRAINERROAD ACCOUNT?

Each profile has its own subscription, and there is currently no family discount available.

WHAT YOU NEED TO RUN TRAINERROAD

Have a look at their support page, which is listing all the requirements

MY PERSONAL OPINION

Trainerroad is currently my main indoor cycling app. I really like their ecosystem with, of course, their training platform but as well their forum and weekly podcast. I have never personally met the owners, but I can see how much they care about their product.

I am usually using Trainerroad on an iPad and watching Youtube or Netflix on a TV. For longer rides, I sometimes combine it with Rouvy.

THE SUFFERFEST

WHAT IS THE SUFFERFEST?

The Sufferfest has hundreds of workouts and some training plans. I find the library’s depth to be less impressive than Trainerroad, but way more than most of the other indoor cycling apps. Their unique selling point is their immersive video race footage to motivate you to go through those tough intervals. You will either love it or hate it.

Their strategy is to base your workouts on your 4-dimensional power (5 sec, 1 min, 5min, 20min power) instead of your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). It supposes to tell you which rider you are and how you can get better. Whether it is only a marketing strategy or truly a revolutionary tool, I will let you try and decide for yourself.

Sufferfest also offers mental toughness, yoga, and strength training.

FREE TRIAL

As with every other indoor app, The Sufferfest is offering a free trial. You will get access to the entire platform for 14 days.

HOW MUCH DOES THE SUFFERFEST COST?

The Sufferfest costs $14.99 per month per profile and $129 if you choose their 12 months subscription plan.

CAN YOU SHARE A SUFFERFEST ACCOUNT?

Each profile has its own subscription, and there is currently no family discount available.

WHAT YOU NEED TO RUN THE SUFFERFEST

Have a look at their support page, which is listing all the requirements

MY PERSONAL OPINION

As I mentioned in the intro, you either love it or hate it. I personally think the video effects are trying too hard to push me. After a couple of workouts, it just annoys me. On the other side, my wife loves it, and she is using it as her main cycling app. I think you won’t know before you try it, which I absolutely recommend you do!

XERT

Like Trainerroad, Xert focuses only on training, so there is no entertainment waiting for you here. The idea behind Xert is to collect your indoor and outdoor rides (only with a power meter!) from Strava or Garmin and give you an adaptive training program. You won’t need to do an FTP test. Xert will calculate your threshold on the go.

FREE TRIAL

As with every other indoor app, XERT is offering a free trial. You will get access to the entire platform for 30 days.

HOW MUCH DOES XERT COST?

XERT costs $9.99 per month per profile and $99.95 if you choose their 12 months subscription plan. They have a free version that limits you to one activity a week. 

CAN YOU SHARE A XERT ACCOUNT?

Each profile has its own subscription, and there is currently no family discount available.

WHAT YOU NEED TO RUN XERT

Have a look at their support page, which is listing all the requirements

MY PERSONAL OPINION

I like a lot the idea of their adaptive training plan. However, I didn’t test it long enough to confirm if it has really improved my fitness level. I wish they would make their interface easier. It is not as straightforward as the other apps to get a good grasp of it. I will definitely keep an eye on the platform to see how it evolves.

PELOTON

WHAT IS PELOTON?

Peloton is a completely different beast with above 1 million users. To summarize it, they have coaches who are recording live classes in Peloton studios (where other cyclists are also joining). You can either join those live or access the recorded videos afterward in their gigantic workout library.

Peloton has two types of membership: “All Access” (using their bike and/or treadmill) and “Digital” (using your own set up). The advantage of the “All Access” is that you can see all metrics and the leaderboard, which gives you full immersion.

Peloton is not only about cycling. They are offering as well run, strength, yoga, meditation, cardio, stretching, outdoor, walking, Bootcamp classes.

FREE TRIAL

You get 30 days free for the digital version and 30 days money back for the All Access when you buy their bike.

HOW MUCH DOES PELOTON COST?

The digital version costs $12.99 per month per profile, and the Full Access costs $39 per month for the entire family (+purchase of the bike and/or treadmill).

WHAT YOU NEED TO RUN PELOTON

Have a look at their support page, which is listing all the requirements

MY PERSONAL OPINION

I am not into spin classes and even less into fitness classes in general, so I was quite confident that I’d test Peloton for a while and throw it away. Well, I still have an active subscription at the time I am writing this article 🙂 The interesting part is that I am not even using their bike classes, but only their strength and cardio classes, and I have to say it is quite addictive.

Having my own bike set up, I just don’t feel that immersion in their bike workouts. However, I can totally see a family investing in a single bike and have one All Access account.

If you are interested in other types of indoor apps, have a look at those:

The Best Indoor Cycling Apps For Racing
The Best Indoor Cycling Apps For Riding Real World Roads

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