Kinomap Review: Severely Underrated Training Platform?

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

Kinomap is an indoor cycling app and training platform. Its library includes tens of thousands of routes from all over the world.

But, it offers much more…

In this Kinomap review, you learn how it differs from other indoor cycling apps, its pros and cons, and more.

I will also tell you who I think this app is suitable for and whether you should try it.

Let’s dive in.

Kinomap Summary

Pros

  • A comprehensive library of high-quality, real-world routes, structured workouts, and coaching plans
  • Suitable for cyclists, runners, and rowers
  • Option to buy the app for a lifetime
  • Allows hosting group rides

Cons

  • Not a very sophisticated motivational system
  • No avatars (can be an advantage for some people)
  • No drafting, power-ups, etc.
  • No racing
  • No macOS or Windows app (screen mirroring available)

What is Kinomap?
Kinomap is an app with a rich library of pre-recorded high-quality footage from around the world. It also includes thousands of structured workouts and training plans. You can ride solo or with friends.

Who is it for?
Kinomap is suitable not only for cyclists but also for runners or rowers. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an advanced rider. Kinomap is suitable for people of all levels. It will allow you to explore beautiful places worldwide thanks to crowd-sourced footage.

Who is it not for?
Kinomap is not for those who want to participate in races or require sophisticated gamification elements.

My Experience with Kinomap

Here is my experience with the initial setup, routes, user experience, and more you can find in Kinomap.

Initial Setup

Kinomap is only available on iOS and Android. But, thanks to clever engineering, the app can mirror video to a smart TV or laptop.

This means they act as the main screen showing the video, while your phone is a secondary screen with your ride data.

You can choose one of the three screens on your mobile device:

  1. Your map position
  2. Elevation
  3. Leaderboard

The following picture shows what the app looks like when you don’t use screen mirroring:

Screenshot of Paris route playing on iPhone 6s.
Kinomap running on iPhone 6s

I paired my Wahoo KICKR v5 trainer using the app without issues. However, finding out how to pair the HR monitor took me a while.

First, you pair the smart trainer, click on its settings, scroll down, and then pair the HR monitor.

If you don’t have a smart bike trainer, you can use a dumb trainer and pair the app with a Bluetooth-compatible power meter.

But, you will miss the interactivity because dumb trainers can’t adjust the resistance based on the terrain.

Of course, Kinomap is also compatible with smart treadmills and rowing machines. (Source)

In-App Experience

Kinomap has a wide library. You can either:

  • Ride scenic videos
  • Free ride
  • Follow coaches or structured workouts
  • Train on your own GPS track

I first decided to try the scenic videos. To my surprise, the screen mirroring worked well.

It was stable, had almost no latency, and was of good quality. Although it requires an extra step (scanning the QR code), I think it’s not a dealbreaker.

I highly recommend riding on FHD settings instead of HD:

Screenshot of Arc dde Triomphe in Paris in the Kinomap app (HD quality).
Kinomap Arc de Triomphe in HD quality
Screenshot of Arc dde Triomphe in Paris in the Kinomap app (FHD quality).
Kinomap Arc de Triomphe in FHD quality

My 20 Mbit/s internet was enough for FHD quality, so you don’t need super fast internet.

You can ride scenic videos in two basic riding modes:

  1. Challenge Mode – video plays at your speed. So, if you are slower than the video maker, the framerate decreases (and vice versa). This mode is perfect for competing against others.
  2. Discovery Mode – video plays at the original speed. This mode doesn’t change the video framerate.
    (Source)

I noticed an issue with the challenge mode. It didn’t adjust the speed of the video.

In theory, the video should play faster when you start to ride hard (or sprint). But I honestly didn’t notice a difference.

FulGaz works on the same principle. But they added a video playback speed indicator to see how fast you ride compared to the video maker.

Another area you can try in Kinomap is structured workouts. But more about them later.

TIP: Get an indoor cycling fan to stay cooled down during your indoor training sessions.

Engagement

Kinomap only uses a few gamification elements, like leaderboards or badges (unlike Zwift).

Kinomap badges library.
Kinomap badges

Due to the lack of socialization, Kinomap is less engaging. Therefore, you have to be internally motivated.

But, the large variety of routes is a motivation by itself. It allows you to visit places worldwide, for example, those you have visited already, or completely new ones.

TIP: Are your indoor cycling workouts uncomfortable? Try a rocker plate. It will reduce the friction between your intimate parties and the saddle. It will also make it more engaging.

Routes

Kinomap has a rich routes library. This is thanks to thousands of users who uploaded footage of their rides.

The principle of Kinomap is similar to FulGaz. I asked Kinomap about the criteria they consider when approving routes. Here is their reply:

We validate the type of activity, synchronization of the slope with the video, the slope, the quality and interest of the video, and the environment.

Their library is easy to browse and filter on mobile and desktop. So, finding the route that will suit you best is easy.

You can explore new places or ride those routes you have already visited. It’s up to you.

I also like their browse map feature, where you can find routes shot by people in your area.

Screenshot of a map with routes from locals.
Local routes finder in Kinomap

Training

Kinomap’s workouts library is comprehensive.

This is because people can contribute workouts they created. But, of course, their quality is questionable, and not all workouts are worth trying.

Kinomap also offers so-called playlists. It’s a series of training videos created by trainers, coaches, and other community members.

It’s nice to see that you can follow some structured training over a longer period, but they are not tailored to your goals.

So, if you are highly oriented toward improving your performance, I recommend Wahoo SYSTM or TrainerRoad.

These apps can create a customized training plan based on your goals and preferences.

Kinomap’s workouts are guided, but not fully. This means that the coach will tell you about what’s coming, but mid-workout, you will only see text instructions.

Another issue is that the app doesn’t adjust the trainer’s difficulty. So, when you get an instruction to pedal at a cadence of 120 RPM, you have to either reduce it manually or shift to an easier gear.

User Friendliness

Kinomap has a nice clean user interface that is pretty easy to navigate.

Some texts are hard to read because of the tiny font, but the app is intuitive and responsive.

Unlike many other apps, Kinomap is available in multiple languages. So it’s accessible to a wider audience.

As a fan of dark modes, I appreciate that Kinomap has one.

Screenshot of a route profile in Kinomap.
Light mode
Kinomap route profile in dark mode.
Dark mode

Of course, you also can download videos in advance to avoid issues caused by a slow internet connection.

However, during my testing, I never had to do it because everything ran smoothly.

Platforms Availability

Kinomap is only available for iOS and Android.

Kinomap platforms availability (iOS, Android).
Kinomap platforms availability

It’s a shame that desktop apps (for macOS or Windows) are unavailable. Luckily, Kinomap can mirror the video screen to a smart TV or laptop.

Kinomap Alternatives

There are plenty of indoor cycling apps out there. Here are the closest alternatives to Kinomap:

  • FulGaz – works on the same principle as Kinomap but is also available for macOS and Windows. Its libraries of workouts are not as comprehensive, but the video quality seems to be better.
  • ROUVY – also uses real-world footage but augments it with objects like avatars. It includes more motivational elements and is racing-friendly.

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, clear, and intuitive?
  • Platform availability – is the app available for multiple platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, AppleTV, 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.

Kinomap FAQ

My Verdict

Do I recommend Kinomap?
Yes. Kinomap is a great app that offers thousands of real-world routes and workouts you can ride.

Furthermore, it’s also suitable for runners and rowers, so it’s not a cycling-specific app.

The main limiting factor is that Kinomap is not available for Windows or macOS, so you have to use their screen-mirroring feature.

Do I recommend it to everybody?
No. Kinomap is unsuitable for dedicated athletes who want to take their performance to the next level. These should use TrainerRoad or Wahoo SYSTM instead.

You will also probably get bored if you are used to sophisticated gamification elements and socialization with others, like in Zwift.

2 thoughts on “Kinomap Review: Severely Underrated Training Platform?”

  1. Great article! In winter, I am a big fan of Kinomap for “touring” rides and of Zwift for group rides/races.

    I did notice one issue with your article. I believe you reversed the discovery and challenge ride modes. In discovery, the video plays back at the rate at which it was filmed, so no matter how hard or easy you pedal, the frame rate does not change. In challange mode, the frame rate changes based on how hard/easy you pedal.

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