The 6 Best Indoor Cycling Apps to Keep You Engaged in 2021

Best Indoor Cycling Apps

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There are many training apps out there, so it may be time-consuming to go through them all. But don’t worry! I did in-depth market research to save your time and recommend you the best indoor cycling apps.

All these apps will take your indoor training to the next level. They will keep you engaged and motivated, so your indoor workouts won’t be as boring anymore.

Together with your self-discipline and effort, they will help you increase your fitness. Some of them even allow you to virtually visit beautiful routes from all around the world.


What Are the Best Indoor Cycling Apps?

The best indoor cycling apps are those apps that offer a free trial so you can try them. They should be available on major platforms like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and help you meet your goals (e.g., improve performance, have fun, virtually visit places worldwide).

Below, you can find my selection of the best indoor cycling apps. I selected them based on the criteria you can find below.

Feel free to skip to the comparison table to compare all apps that I tested.

Zwift

Zwift Indoor Cycling App
  • Price: 14.99 USD / month
  • Free trial: 7 days
  • Connectivity: ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMS
  • OS Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV

Zwift is the most popular indoor cycling app out there. Eric Min, the co-founder of Zwift, said in an interview for Forbes, they had about 3 million subscribers and at one point, around 45,000 simultaneous users (2021).

The Zwift app consists of a completely virtual world and avatars that represent individual riders. It’s a game for cyclists, triathletes, and runners.

In addition to the virtual world, one of Zwift’s main features is the social element. It allows you to ride with your friends or people from all over the world. Thanks to the Zwift Companion app, you can better interact with others using the in-built chat. You can also set goals, see your stats, etc.

What I also like about Zwift is the effort with which they improve it. The updates upgrade, for example, calculations, drafting, avatar behavior, etc.

Zwift also contains a lot of gamification elements. As you ride, you gain experience (and drops) that translate into levels. Levels unlock new equipment that you can buy for drops. There are also various challenges and achievements. If you enjoy games, you will enjoy Zwift.

Thanks to the popularity of this app, many websites, videos, and other content have been created with tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Zwift. I can recommend Zwift Hub, Zwift Insider, or What’s on Zwift.

Paradoxically, the main disadvantage of Zwift is the virtual world. After discussions with fellow cyclists, I found that it reminds them of children’s games. These riders, therefore, prefer apps with real-world routes like ROUVY, FulGaz, etc.

Zwift can be considered a pioneer among indoor cycling apps. It is not the first application of its kind, but definitely the most popular.

If you don’t have a trainer yet, make sure also to check out my selection of the best bike trainers for Zwift to get the best zwifting experience possible.

…or read my in-depth Zwift review.


You might also be interested in these cycling apps. The article includes the selection of the best first aid, weather, training, and other types of apps suitable for cyclists.


ROUVY

Rouvy Indoor Cycling App
  • Price: 12 USD / month or 144 USD / year
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Connectivity: ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth
  • OS Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV

ROUVY was founded by two brothers from the Czech Republic. In 2011, they partnered with Saris Group (CycleOps brand back then), and ROUVY quickly grew on the foreign market.

These days, ROUVY belongs to one of the most popular indoor cycling training apps out there. According to the company, the g’rouvy’ing community counts hundreds of thousands of registered users.

It is also no surprise that the Czech National Championships in e-cycling (2021) used ROUVY as the main platform.

ROUVY differentiates itself from the other apps by offering real-world recordings of famous climbs and routes. These recordings are augmented with a virtual avatar and other ride data from your bike trainer or 3rd party sensors. This makes your training more realistic, and you can explore beautiful places around the world from the comfort of your home. Currently, there are more than 10,000 video routes in their database.

The possibility to ride official routes of races like Vuelta a España, IRONMAN, Tour de Suisse, and many others, and compare your performance with the elite WorldTour and triathlon pros is also unique.

You can even create your own routes and invite friends to join you on a group ride. So if you have a favorite route in your area, take a video of it, upload it to the app, and start riding.

Runners can use ROUVY too. It works on the same principle as cycling. ROUVY also includes challenges and badges to keep you motivated and engaged. Additionally, they have a database of 10,000+ workouts to ensure your workouts’ diversity.

ROUVY lags a little bit with reliability. Users report connection issues, and the app freezes from time to time. These issues should be addressed with the following app updates.

The team behind ROUVY has also just released a Spanish localization (other European languages are coming soon) and plans to host more virtual events of famous races.

I recommend ROUVY for every rider who doesn’t like the virtuality found on Zwift and wants to enjoy beautiful sceneries of famous routes in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and many more countries.

…or read my in-depth ROUVY review.


TrainerRoad

TrainerRoad Indoor Cycling App
  • Price: 19.95 USD / month or 189 USD / year
  • Free trial: 7 days
  • Connectivity: ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMS
  • OS Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV

TrainerRoad is a different type of indoor cycling app. It is not focused as much on your visual experience but rather on your training.

Improving your performance is also the main goal of TrainerRoad. Therefore, this app is ideal for serious cyclists that want to take their results to the next level and maybe win some races.

The focus here is on structured workouts. Their library includes plenty of them. Of course, you can upload your own.

TrainerRoad developers even implemented artificial intelligence to adjust your workouts based on your data, latest coaching principles, etc. They call it Adaptive Training, and it helps to make the most of your training.

Jonathan Lee, TrainerRoad communications director, told me that they plan to constantly improve this feature to find the best way to make you faster. They will also move it to the open beta production phase soon.

TrainerRoad can also count your outdoor workouts into your whole training plan and adjust it properly based on your fatigue, fitness, etc. This is great if you combine your indoor workouts with outdoor training.

I also want to point out the reliability and great connectivity of TrainerRoad apps. They are the best-rated indoor cycling apps on Google Play and Apple Store.

Keep in mind that the best way to use TrainerRoad is with a smart trainer with a precise and reliable ERG mode. However, this setup is not required, and you can use a budget wheel-on trainer with a power meter, for example.

I am sure you will like using TrainerRoad, but if not, you can take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee.

…or read my in-depth TrainerRoad review.


Check out the best bike smart trainers for indoor cycling to buy to enjoy your winter training to the maximum.


Wahoo SYSTM (formerly known as The Sufferfest)

Wahoo SYSTM Cycling App
  • Price: 14.99 USD / month or 129 USD / year
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Connectivity: ANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMS
  • OS Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV

Wahoo SYSTM (formerly known as The Sufferfest, you can learn more here) is not only for cyclists but also for yogis, swimmers, and people who want to strengthen their mental health and body. This makes this platform unique and suitable for a wide range of athletes.

The advantage is that you can download the training library and use the application offline. Unlike Zwift, ROUVY, or other applications, SYSTM doesn’t care so much about the social element. Trainings are accompanied by recordings (these vary depending on the interval you ride) and your ride data. You won’t find a virtual avatar in SYSTM.

Thanks to many disciplines, you don’t even need a bike trainer for this app. What I mean is that you can strengthen your core muscles, for example, by following their structured videos.

SYSTM workout library is extensive and well thought out. The workouts were designed by Neal Henderson, an acclaimed coach whose athletes have won more than 47 titles in various disciplines, Grand Tour stage wins, and Olympic medals.

Unlike other applications, SYSTM uses 4-dimensional power for structuring workouts instead of using just your FTP. It is a little bit more precise (especially for sprint intervals), allowing you to target the exact watts you need.

Based on the info I got from SYSTM’s head of marketing, Dylan Robbins, they plan to release a game-changing feature at the start of the 2021-2022 season. I am curious what it may be. We have to stay tuned.

The main disadvantages of this app are the lack of a social element and app for Android devices.

SYSTM is great for riders who take their training seriously and who want to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses.

…or read my in-depth Wahoo SYTM review.


RGT Cycling

RGT Cycling Indoor Cycling App
  • Price: Free or 9.99 USD / month
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Connectivity: ANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMS
  • OS Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV

RGT Cycling is the only indoor cycling app on this list with a free plan and premium subscription. The free plan won’t allow you to access structured workouts, the workouts library, or create events, but it is sufficient if you want to try the app before paying for the subscription.

RGT Cycling has more realistic graphics than Zwift. The world is virtual, but it is inspired by real roads from around the globe.

One of the main advantages is the ability to control the application directly via your phone. It’s very convenient and user-friendly (for example, you don’t have to reach for the mouse or remote).

Unlike Zwift, you can easily choose on which part of the road you want to start your training. The movement of the avatar is also more realistic, especially during descents. Your avatar slows down automatically before corners and hairpins.

The number of available roads is pretty limited, though, so they may get repetitive over time. Due to the nature of the app, you will also need to have your phone nearby to control the app. The last downside I found is the lack of the social aspect and gamification elements leading to lower motivation for long-term use.

Anyway, the RGT Cycling app is perfect for people who don’t like the Zwift graphics, want to enjoy riding on virtual roads inspired by the real world, and those who do not need so much external motivation.

…or read my in-depth RGT Cycling review.


Don’t you have a bike trainer yet? Browse the best bike trainers on the market.


FulGaz

FulGaz Indoor Cycling App
  • Price: 12.99 USD / month or 108.99 USD / year
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Connectivity: ANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMS
  • OS Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV

FulGaz is one of the applications that pay attention to details and ease of use. The initial setup and pairing with smart trainers are straightforward, and the app itself is intuitive.

One of the main added values of FulGaz is the quality of the footage of up to 4K. Therefore, you can easily transfer yourself to the summer Alps, for example, and forget about the winter outside.

The routes library is extensive, thanks to the cycling community from all over the world contributing the footage.

In FulGaz, you can ride solo or organize group rides. Just keep in mind that there is no drafting implemented, so it is up to you and your effort.

The lack of social interaction (as we know it from Zwift) is probably the biggest disadvantage for some riders. Personally, I don’t mind it as much.

I also asked the FulGaz team what their plans for the future are and found out that they want to host more events and bring the community of cyclists closer together. Hopefully, they will succeed.

Overall, FulGaz is a good alternative to ROUVY and other apps that use real-world footage for people who don’t mind the lack of social interaction.

…or read my in-depth FulGaz review.


AppPriceFree TrialWorldMultiplayerConnectivityPlatform Availability
Zwift14.99 USD / month7 daysVirtualYesANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
ROUVY12 USD / month
144 USD / year
14 daysRealYesANT+ FE-C, BluetoothAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
TrainerRoad19.95 USD / month
189 USD / year
7 daysn/aNoANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
Wahoo SYSTM (formerly The Sufferfest)14.99 USD / month
129 USD / year
14 daysRealNoANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
RGT CyclingFree or
9.99 USD / month
14 daysVirtualYesANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS (remote)
Windows, macOS, Apple TV (screen)
FulGaz12.99 USD / month
108.99 USD / year
14 daysRealYesANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
Updated on the 17th of September, 2021.

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few apps that did not make it into the list but are also worth trying:

  • CycleGo is one of the best free indoor cycling apps out there (in-app purchases available). It’s available for Android and iOS and it’s ideal for beginners and casual riders that want to spin their legs from time to time. The main downside of this app is that it can’t communicate with devices like trainers and sensors. You have to adjust the resistance on your trainer or shift gears and follow the instructions from the app. There is also no support for Windows or macOS devices.
  • Tacx Training works on a similar principle as FulGaz and SYSTM. You choose a real-world route that is prerecorded, and the app adds your ride data. Tacx Training is available for Android, iOS, Windows. Unfortunately, Tacx Training is compatible with Tacx trainers only when connected via Bluetooth Smart.
  • BKool was promoted by Chris Froome, four-time Tour de France winner. When it works, it is a good app but users report a lot of connectivity and accuracy issues. Hopefully, BKool developers will fix them soon. BKool is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS.

How Did I Choose the Best Indoor Cycling Apps?

When selecting the indoor cycling apps for this list, I evaluated criteria like price, connectivity, compatibility, etc. Below, you can learn more about these features and what to expect from indoor cycling apps available on the market.

Price

Most indoor training applications are paid. You usually subscribe for either a month or a year. Subscriptions per year are, on average, about 30% cheaper. Subscription prices range from about $10 to $20 per month or $100 to $200 per year.

All applications on this list offer free trials for a week, two weeks, or an entire month. It is a great way to try an app without obligation, so I recommend taking advantage of it.

Keep in mind that the trial period can be limited by the number of miles or kilometers. This can vary from app to app. So, make sure to read the FAQ of the dedicated app. Here is an example from the Zwift FAQ page:

Zwift Free Trial Limitation
Zwift limits the number of miles (kilometers) for iOS, Apple TV, and Android.

Device Connectivity

Connectivity is important because if an app doesn’t offer connectivity with your smart trainer or sensors, you can’t use it. Luckily, all selected apps support ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, or Bluetooth Low Energy Fitness Machine Service (BLE FTMS) protocols.

If you want to use the app on your computer running Windows or macOS, you will need an ANT+ dongle that ensures compatibility (learn more about ANT+ and how bike trainers communicate).

Operating System Compatibility

Depending on the device you want to use the app with, you should not forget about the OS compatibility. Most indoor cycling apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. But, if you want to use it on Apple TV, for example, double-check if the app is available.

We, as consumers, are pretty lucky because developers try hard to provide us with support for additional operating systems. Apps that don’t support some OS may include the support in the future.

App Design

There are three basic types of indoor cycling apps in terms of design.

1. Apps with recordings of the real world with or without virtual avatars – they are attractive because you can experience famous climbs almost on your own skin. These apps (e.g., ROUVY, FulGaz, SYSTM) will also allow you to relive memories from your vacation if you ride the route in-app.

Rouvy App Design
ROUVY App Design | Source: rouvy.com
RGT Cycling App Design
RGT Cycling App Design | Source: rgtcycling.com

2. Apps with complete virtual worlds and avatars – the best example of these apps is Zwift. It includes virtual worlds and artificial routes inspired by the real world.

Zwift App Design
Zwift App Design | Source: zwift.com

3. Apps with a training plan and ride data only. The TrainerRoad is a good example of this type of app. It only displays your workout structure and the ride data like power, HR, cadence, etc.

TrainerRoad App Design
TrainerRoad App Design | Source: trainerroad.com

User Reviews

Reviews from other users often help us decide whether or not even to try an app. The truth is there are dozens of indoor cycling apps out there, but just a few of them are worth using.

I did not include apps with an average rating of below 2.5 stars on Google Play and App Store.

Sometimes, an app gets bad reviews just because of one unsuccessful update that is fixed later. However, if an app gets bad reviews consistently, it is not a good app.


Conclusion

Based on testing and evaluating user reviews, I selected the following apps as the best:

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best indoor cycling apps. Which one is your favorite? What app did you try but didn’t like? Or is there an app that I should include? Let me know in the comments below.


Best Indoor Cycling Apps FAQ

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