BKOOL vs. Zwift: Surprisingly Easy Choice!

BKOOL vs. Zwift: BKOOL in-app screen on the left vs. Zwift in-app screen on the right.

This is my comparison of BKOOL vs. Zwift. Is one better than the other?

I tested them in-depth to learn their differences, pros, and cons. Below, I will help you decide which one you should use.

The main difference between BKOOL and Zwift is that BKOOL uses real-world footage and is not as socially oriented as Zwift. It has some routes in 3D graphics, but Zwift graphics is better. Zwift is like a game. It offers a virtual world, gamification elements, and many user social interactions.

My recommendation is simple. Use Zwift, although it’s more expensive.

Continue reading to learn more.

BKOOL and Zwift Summary

The most significant difference between these two apps is the world you ride in.

While Zwift’s designers and developers created a virtual world from scratch, BKOOL uses real-world footage from places worldwide.

It also has a few routes recreated in 3D graphics, but in much worse quality than Zwift.

I summarized the essential features in the following table.

AppBKOOLZwift
WorldReal and VirtualVirtual
DraftingNoYes
MultiplayerYes but very limitedYes
In-game ChatNoYes
Races & EventsNo races, occasional eventsYes
WorkoutsYesYes
Workouts BuilderYes*Yes
GamificationNoYes
Power-UpsNoYes
Platforms AvailabilityAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
Free Trial30 days7 days (limited to 25 km)
Price9.99 EUR / month
96 EUR / year
14.99 USD / month
In-Depth ReviewBKOOL ReviewZwift Review
Comparison of the main features of BKOOL vs. Zwift
*Workouts builder is available in the BKOOL web app only.
Updated on the 22nd of September, 2022.

Features Comparison

Let’s now dive deeper into the individual features.

World

For many people, the graphics aspect is one of the most important features they consider when looking for a new indoor cycling app. And I am no exception.

In BKOOL, you can choose from thousands of routes worldwide. Their filtering is basic, though. So, finding the route you want may be difficult.

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

BKOOL routes are available as footage, in 3D, or as a map view.

As you can see from the pictures, the video and graphics quality is poor.

Zwift, on the other hand, has multiple worlds like Watopia, London, Paris, Richmond, etc. (you can check out all here).

However, only three worlds are available at the same time. The Watopia is open permanently, and the other two worlds change based on a schedule.

Naturally, the number of routes in every world is limited. This is one of the most significant downsides of Zwift – the routes get repetitive.

But, the visual experience is entirely different from BKOOL. See for yourself:

Zwift benefits from a focus on quality over quantity.

Winner: Zwift

PRO TIP: Use an indoor cycling fan to stay cooled down. You will perform better and feel more comfortable.

Multiplayer & Social Interactivity

Zwift crushes BKOOL in these aspects.

Zwift routes thrive thanks to a larger community and fewer routes. You always meet somebody.

BKOOL is more suitable for people who don’t mind riding solo or don’t want to socialize. (Yes, I am talking about you, introverts!)

You won’t even see other users* of BKOOL unless you ride a special group ride mode.

*Real-time leaderboards are available.

There are also no gestures like the wave in BKOOL, so you cannot greet your (in-game) friends, give them likes (‘Ride Ons’), etc.

Winner: Zwift

Races & Events

Zwift is racing-friendly. It’s the busiest indoor cycling app in this aspect. Just browse this Zwift races and events calendar.

My avatar in a bunch in Zwift race.
Screenshot from Zwift race

BKOOL has no racing, and group events are pretty rare. So, Zwift is the way to go if you are into racing.

Winner: Zwift

Have you ever heard about rocker plates? They will allow your trainer to swing from side to side. This movement makes your indoor training more engaging and comfortable. Learn more in my cycling rocker plates article.

Workouts

If you are looking for an app that allows you to do structured training, both will satisfy your needs.

At this point, it’s probably no surprise that I like Zwift workouts more. This is thanks to easier filtering, a better user interface, and overall quality.

BKOOL workouts library has only basic filtering.

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

Zwift has more sophisticated workouts and plans. You can also create your workouts using their workout builder or upload workouts.

Additionally, Zwift has so-called pace partners. So if you just need a “company” to maintain a constant tempo, you can use these bots instead of friends.

Although BKOOL can create customized training plans, its web interface is hard to use. So, I don’t even recommend it.

Winner: Zwift

Gamification

Another area that sets these two apps apart is their approach to gamification.

While Zwift is a game that uses many gamification elements (more about them below), BKOOL is pretty much gamification-free.

In Zwift, you collect drops (an in-game currency), achievements, finish routes, build equipment, etc. These elements add extra motivation for riding more.

The only thing that BKOOL offers is an analogy of Zwift’s Garage:

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

The equipment and bike selection are limited. You can only buy a new jersey or bike for the in-game currency.

Another difference worth pointing out is the absence of power-ups in BKOOL.

Winner: Zwift

User Friendliness

The user-friendliness, in other words, how easy it is to use the apps, is day and night too.

BKOOL feels a bit outdated, and its screen is not even responsive!

BKOOL dashboard.
BKOOL dashboard

Zwift, on the other hand, went through a complete redesign in 2022. They improved it drastically. It’s not full of colors and confusing buttons anymore.

Zwift Dashboard screen (available worlds, events, etc.)
Zwift Old Dashboard
Zwift Dashboard 2022
Zwift New Dashboard

Zwift feels more intuitive and responsive. BKOOL is laggy. Many users also reported that mobile apps are not reliable and crash often.

Winner: Zwift

To avoid dropouts, I recommend downloading BKOOL routes in advance, especially if you have a slow internet connection.

Platforms Availability

BKOOL and Zwift are available on all major platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows. However, BKOOL, unlike Zwift, is not available for Apple TV.

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

Winner: Zwift
Overall winner: Zwift (7), BKOOL (0)

Alternatives

Due to the nature of BKOOL (video + 3D graphics), it has multiple alternatives.

To name a few, I recommend checking out:

  • FulGaz for its high video quality
  • ROUVY for its unique video + AR approach
  • Kinomap for its sports versatility (cycling, running, rowing)
  • and Wahoo RGT for its real-life physics in a virtual world

Wahoo RGT is the closest alternative to Zwift. It also leverages a virtual world. However, the graphics and physics are more realistic than in Zwift.

On the other hand, it doesn’t have sophisticated motivation mechanisms that motivate you to ride more.

BKOOL vs. Zwift: FAQ

The Winner

Zwift is the clear winner over BKOOL.

It has a sophisticated motivational system that rewards frequent users. Its graphics are better, and the app is easier to use.

In addition, Zwift has a thriving community of users. You can socialize, race, or just cruise with others.

BKOOL has poor video and graphics quality. I honestly couldn’t find any aspect that BKOOL is better in.

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