BKOOL Review: Is It Worth Trying? No… Here Is Why

Kinomap Review: Screenshot from BKOOL app put into MacBook Pro mockup.

In this BKOOL review, you learn whether this app promoted by Chris Froome is worth using or not.

I tested and compared it with other free and paid indoor cycling apps.

BKOOL uses real-world footage; some of its routes are also in 3D graphics.

So, is it worth your time and money?

I don’t think so.

The video footage quality is poor, and the graphic is outdated. The app is also not responsive, and many users reported issues with BKOOL customer support.

Continue reading to learn more.

BKOOL Summary

Pros

  • A large number of real-world routes and structured workouts
  • Access to two apps (BKOOL Cycling + BKOOL Fitness) for the price of one
  • Videos from multiple cycling tracks
  • Can make customized training plans

Cons

  • Low video quality
  • No social-interactivity
  • No motivation elements (career, achievements, etc.)
  • No racing
  • Outdated and laggy user interface

What is BKOOL?
BKOOL is an indoor cycling app that uses real-world footage from people worldwide. Some of its routes are designed from scratch in 3D graphics.

BKOOL Cycling routes library includes thousands of routes and structured workouts. In addition, the second app, BKOOL Fitness, has guided fitness sessions.

Who is it for?
BKOOL is suitable for people who want to explore worldwide routes from the comfort of their homes.

You can also use BKOOL to maintain or improve your fitness.

Who is it not for?
BKOOL is not for people who require in-app social interaction or riders who look for comprehensive, structured training plans.

Due to the low video quality, it’s also unsuitable for those with high demands on video quality.

My Experience with BKOOL

Here are my takes on the ease of initial setup, in-app experience, engagement, and more that you can find in BKOOL.

Initial Setup

If you want to use BKOOL, you don’t need a smart trainer (although I recommend it for a better riding experience).

You can use a dumb trainer with a power meter or cadence + speed sensors.

I used BKOOL with Wahoo KICKR v5 smart trainer that measures power, cadence, and speed and a Wahoo TICKR heart rate monitor.

The pairing process went smoothly. The app found the devices quickly and paired them without issues.

Pairing my Wahoo KICKR v5 with BKOOL.
BKOOL pairing process

TIP: Use a rocker plate to improve your indoor cycling comfort.

In-App Experience

BKOOL has a comprehensive library of routes from around the globe. You can relive memories of places where you have been or explore new ones.

Some routes are shot by contributors, but some are designed from scratch, so they look like routes in Wahoo RGT (but a little less realistic).

It took me a while to determine how to differentiate if the route was shot on a camera or built from scratch. Then I noticed the following icons:

Icons indicating the type of route in BKOOL library.
Icons that indicate the type of route

I chose a route and turned it on. It loaded within about 20 seconds.

All BKOOL activities include a short warmup (you can adjust its length in the settings). If you stop pedaling, the warmup stops, and the app starts your activity in the next 30 seconds.

Ready to begin? prompt in BKOOL at the start of the ride.
Don’t underestimate the warmup before the activity

The following gallery shows the differences between the three view modes.

The video and 3D graphics quality are bad, and looking at the map doesn’t make any sense. So far, I am disappointed.

If you are into track cycling, you will appreciate videos from multiple tracks worldwide. I have not seen cycling track videos in other apps. Cool!

Engagement

BKOOL doesn’t have any sophisticated motivation mechanism (unlike Zwift).

You have to be pretty self-motivated to use it for weeks or months. This is a problem with many indoor cycling apps.

However, ROUVY, for example, has a career, and you can collect achievements. So, they motivate you to spend more time on your bike.

BKOOL is honestly pretty boring. The video footage is often not in high definition. FulGaz or Kinomap have much nicer videos.

I don’t like the graphic either. You can set different levels of 3D graphics quality. Honestly, they don’t differ from each other much.

Considering it’s 2022 already, I dare to say the graphic is bad. See for yourself:

The only nice thing about BKOOL gamification is the possibility of buying different jerseys and bikes. But, the selection is limited.

Choosing a Quick-Step jersey in BKOOL app.
BKOOL equipment – jerseys

Routes

BKOOL’s route library is one of the biggest I’ve seen. But as I noted earlier, the routes are often not in high definition. I believe this is because of poor requirements on quality.

The following pictures show how they look:

Screenshot from a route in BKOOL - low quality road.
BKOOL video quality example
Screenshot from a route in BKOOL - low quality road and forest.
BKOOL video quality example

The in-app filtering is also pretty basic. For example, you can only filter routes by type (3D or video), distance, elevation, slope, and difficulty.

Screenshot from BKOOL routes library with its basic filtering.
BKOOL routes library filtering

If the rule “quality wins over quantity” should apply anywhere, it should be here. What’s the point of tens of thousands of videos when they are unwatchable?

Training

If you want to do structured training in BKOOL, you can. It includes hundreds of workouts.

Their filtering is, again, basic. So finding the right one for a given moment might be a challenge.

Screenshot from BKOOL workouts library with its basic filtering.
BKOOL workouts library filtering

BKOOL can do customized training plans using its web app. However, it’s nowhere near the quality of apps like Wahoo SYSTM and TrainerRoad.

I tried to set up a customized training plan but gave up after the third or second step. That’s how user-unfriendly their interface is.

So, if you are serious about improving your performance, I recommend those instead. Don’t even bother with BKOOL’s builder.

User Friendliness

BKOOL Cycling app feels like it was designed five or ten years ago.

Some texts and icons are not sharp, and the overall feeling is not positive. It reminds me of ROUVY. Its interface also doesn’t look good.

What bothers me the most is the lack of responsiveness. BKOOL doesn’t react to clicks instantly, but there is always a delay.

The app is probably not well optimized and would deserve a major update.

Platforms Availability

BKOOL is available on all major platforms (iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows) except Apple TV.

BKOOL Cycling platforms availability (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows).
BKOOL platforms availability

Remember, BKOOL has two separate apps:

  1. BKOOL Cycling
  2. BKOOL Fitness

You can use them both with the BKOOL subscription.

I used BKOOL Cycling on macOS Monterey, and it worked okay but was not responsive.

For context, I have a 25 Mbit/s internet connection and MacBook Pro 2020 with 16 GB RAM, a 5-core Intel processor, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 1536 MB.

BKOOL Alternatives

There are plenty of indoor cycling apps out there. Here are those worth trying:

  • ROUVY – is one of the closest BKOOL alternatives. It augments real-world routes with virtual objects. I
  • Zwift – uses a virtual world built from scratch. It has fewer routes but a much larger community, more events, and allows racing. You can check out my comparison of Zwift vs. BKOOL for more info.
  • TrainerRoad – is focused purely on making you a better cyclist—no distractions – only structured training plans.
  • Wahoo SYSTM – displays your ride data with pre-recorded footage. It is a universal app not only for cyclists but also for other endurance athletes.
  • Wahoo RGT – features a virtual world inspired by real-world roads. Its graphics are more realistic than Zwift, but it doesn’t offer as sophisticated motivation mechanisms. It also doesn’t have as many users.
  • FulGaz – has thousands of videos of real-world routes in high definition. The main difference is that FulGaz doesn’t use augmented reality.
AppPriceFree TrialWorldMultiplayerConnectivityPlatform Availability
Zwift14.99 USD / month7 daysVirtualYesANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
ROUVY15 USD / month
144 USD / year
14 daysRealYesANT+ FE-C, BluetoothAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
TrainerRoad19.95 USD / month
189 USD / year
n/a**n/aNoANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
Wahoo SYSTM (formerly The Sufferfest)*14.99 USD / month
149 USD / year
14 daysRealNoANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
Wahoo RGT (formerly RGT Cycling)*Free or
14.99 USD / month
149 USD / year
14 daysVirtualYesANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
Android, iOS (remote)
Kinomap11.99 EUR / month
89.99 EUR / year
269.99 EUR / lifetime
14 daysRealNoANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS (screen mirroring available)
FulGaz12.99 USD / month
108.99 USD / year
14 daysRealYesANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
List of the best indoor cycling apps with the info about their price, free trial period, type of the world, multiplayer option, connectivity, and platform availability.
Updated on the 15th of November, 2022.
*You can only subscribe to the Wahoo X subscription and get access to Wahoo SYSTM and Wahoo RGT.
**30-day money-back guarantee

I created a rating system for evaluating the following features. It helps to keep the comparison between training apps consistent.

  • Price – how expensive is the app relative to other indoor cycling apps?
  • Ease of setup – is the app easy to set up with a smart trainer? Can it be used without it?
  • Engagement – does the app keep you engaged and motivated?
  • Routes – does the app offer a wide route library?
  • Training – does the app include prebuilt workout plans? Do they help you get faster?
  • User-friendliness and intuitiveness (UX) – is the app easy to navigate, easy to use, straightforward, and intuitive?
  • Platform availability – is the app available for multiple platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Apple TV, etc.?

The following table shows my ratings of specific areas on a scale of 1–5 (5 is the best).

AppPriceEase of SetupEngage-
ment
RoutesTrainingUXPlatforms AvailabilityTotal
Zwift355343528
ROUVY354533528
TrainerRoad253n/a*55424
Wahoo SYSTM**454355430
Wahoo RGT (RGT Cycling)**552242323
Kinomap442545226
FulGaz452532526
BKOOL452532425
My indoor cycling apps rating on a scale of 1–5 (5 is the best)
*TrainerRoad is different from other apps and doesn't offer any routes.
**You can only subscribe to the Wahoo X subscription and get access to Wahoo SYSTM and Wahoo RGT.

BKOOL FAQ

My Verdict

Do I recommend BKOOL?
No. Its video quality is poor, and the overall experience is much worse than in other indoor cycling apps.

It also seems that BKOOL abuses their terms and conditions regarding subscriptions.

Many people reported that they were unknowingly charged and then not refunded by BKOOL.

Have you ever used BKOOL? What’s your experience? Let me know in the comments below.

1 thought on “BKOOL Review: Is It Worth Trying? No… Here Is Why”

  1. I am just trying BKOOL having used Zwift before. Initially not impressed find it hard to move around the screens, doesn’t g link with Strava. Analysis of rides is poor.
    Will go back to Zwift even though its more expensive. Out of 10 / 4

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