ROUVY Review: The Best Augmented Reality Training App? (2021)

ROUVY review

ROUVY belongs to one of the most popular indoor cycling apps out there. It combines real-world footage with augmented reality that adds avatars and other objects to improve your riding experience.

In this ROUVY review, I share my experience and compare ROUVY with other popular indoor cycling apps. You learn who ROUVY is for, what are its benefits, disadvantages, and more.

Let’s get into it.

ROUVY Summary

Pros

  • A large number of real-world routes (with advanced filtering)
  • Quickly growing community & user base
  • You can compare your times with pros and other athletes on routes of official events like La Vuelta IRONMAN, etc.
  • Possibility to win products from ROUVY’s partners by reaching new levels & completing challenges

Cons

  • Not very sophisticated motivational system
  • No explanation of features in-app
  • Very limited social-interactivity

What is ROUVY?
ROUVY is a Czech indoor cycling app that uses augmented reality. The real-world footage is augmented with avatars and other objects. ROUVY allows you to ride and train solo, participate in races or group rides. You can also compare your results with professional athletes worldwide.

Who is it for?
ROUVY is ideal for people who want to enjoy nice views from all parts of the world while training. It is suitable for cyclists, runners, or triathletes. It makes your indoor training one step closer to training outside. ROUVY allows you to relive your memories from famous places you visited.

Who is it not for?
ROUVY is not for people who require sophisticated motivation elements and a lot of in-app social interaction or riders who look for structured training plans.


My Experience with ROUVY

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

Initial Setup

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

You will be fine with a power meter or with cadence + speed sensors. Keep in mind that your device has to feature Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity to connect with these devices. If it doesn’t, you may need an ANT+ dongle.

To get started, visit the ROUVY tutorial that will guide you through.

I’ve been using ROUVY with Elite Direto 2 smart trainer (power, cadence, speed) and Wahoo TICKR HR monitor.

The setup is straightforward, and I didn’t experience any issues when setting all devices up.

ROUVY Pairing Process
Pairing Process

I encountered an issue with connection, though. Due to the Firewall, I was in an offline mode. To pass this, I had to edit firewall settings in macOS.

Security & Privacy > Firewall > click the lock at the bottom left > Firewall Options > Add ROUVY

Once I added ROUVY to the allowed incoming connections, I could continue using the app in the online mode.

Unfortunately, issues did not stop there. Although I pedaled and the app showed my ride data, the video didn’t move together with my avatar. I had to contact ROUVY’s support to troubleshoot this.

I was recommended to download the route to prevent freezing, dropping, etc. It is a functional solution but not very practical.

If you decide to ride a route you haven’t downloaded yet, you have to wait until you download it.

Full HD or 2K routes can easily exceed multiple GBs, so it can take dozens of minutes to download them, depending on your internet connection.


PRO TIP: Bike trainer accessories will take your indoor cycling to a whole new level. A fan will keep you cooled down and a rocker plate will improve your riding comfort.


In-App Experience

One of the main benefits of ROUVY is the comprehensive library of routes from around the globe.

One day, you can ride climbs in Italian Alps, then move to France to climb Mt. Ventoux, and the next day, you can try the official IRONMAN route in Canada. It is up to you.

ROUVY has an in-build advanced filter. So picking the right route is easy. You can filter by distance, elevation, name, event, etc.

ROUVY Routes Library
ROUVY’s Routes Library (In-App)

When using ROUVY, you can choose from four main modes:

  1. Training mode allows you to move freely and skip certain sections.
  2. Time trial mode measures your activity (segment) time and shows it on the leaderboard.
  3. Event/Race mode is for the official and non-official races.
  4. Group ride mode allows you to ride with friends. ROUVY levels your different fitness levels.
    Source

My favorite mode is the time trial mode because I can compare my performance with professional athletes and other ROUVY users. This provides me with an insight into my fitness level.

Here is the comparison of my time on Arabba – Passo Pordoi with others.

I was pretty satisfied with my result. I tried to catch the rider in front of me. He had about 2 km lead when I started the route. In the end, the gap was about 200 m.

ROUVY adjusts trainer resistance relatively smoothly. I recommend downshifting a few meters before the gradient starts to rise, so you can maintain your preferred cadence.

Keep in mind that ROUVY doesn’t have an extension app (like Zwift Companion) and there is also no in-built chat, so the social interactivity is very limited.

Engagement

ROUVY focuses on providing you with as realistic an indoor cycling/running experience as possible using high-quality footage from around the globe. However, you have to do the work – ride or run.

It doesn’t use as many sophisticated motivation elements as Zwift, for example. However, there is a ROUVY Career that helps you track progress, and you can win real products from ROUVY partners.

You need to ride and obtain TSS (training stress score), participate in races and accomplish challenges to proceed to higher ranks.

New ROUVY’s career format should start on January 2022. Based on info from ROUVY’s website, it should be more exciting and motivational.

I didn’t feel very motivated in ROUVY except for the possibility of seeing places I’ve never seen before. Hopefully, the new career will be better designed.

Routes

ROUVY’s route library is enormous. It includes thousands of routes from all parts of the world. In addition, you can ride routes of official events like La Vuelta, IRONMAN, Tour de Suisse, and many more.

The library is what sets ROUVY apart from other indoor cycling apps. There are two types of routes:

  • AR routes – are routes complemented with augmented reality (avatars, objects, ride info).
  • Non-AR routes – are routes without any additional info. You will only see the footage.
ROUVY's Routes Library Online
ROUVY’s Routes Library Online (click to expand)

Let’s say you visited Passo Stelvio (or any other famous route). Choose the route and relive your memories from there.

The routes are recorded in high-definition (720p, 1080p). Some of them are available in 2K. However, it is recommended to download them in advance to prevent dropouts.

FulGaz is the closest alternative to ROUVY. It also uses real-world footage, but it doesn’t augment it with avatars and other objects. Instead, you get a clean, undisrupted view.

Training

ROUVY had two apps. ROUVY AR and ROUVY Workouts. The 2.0.0 update, launched on the 21st of November 2021, merged them together. They also dropped the ‘AR’ from the app name (almost nobody used it anyway).

This merge is the way to go. I found it unfortunate to split the apps. So, how does it look now?

There are a few filters, but I don’t find them very useful. For example, filters in TrainerRoad allow you to filter workouts by zones, duration, TSS, etc.

Another new feature that came with this update is that the structured workouts run in the AR routes.

ROUVY also added a structured training plan for beginners. This is something I missed in the previous version.

User Friendliness

The ROUVY app seems a little bit outdated. It doesn’t have an as clean and minimalistic interface as TrainerRoad, for example. But it is quick and smooth. This is great because laggy apps are frustrating.

However, I see the biggest problem in the insufficient explanation of its functionalities. For example, the differences between the modes are described only on the ROUVY’s website and not in the application.

The app itself doesn’t provide a lot of information. Instead, it includes links that lead from the app to the ROUVY web interface, where you can find more details.

This web interface also extends the functionality of the entire application. Here you can find a training diary, rankings, and other resources.

ROUVY Web Interface (leaderboard)
ROUVY’s Web Interface (leaderboards)

As for the information displayed while riding, they are clear and easy to understand. You can also make them bigger in settings to improve their readability.

Platforms Availability

ROUVY is available on all major platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Apple TV.

ROUVY platform availability
ROUVY platform availability

I’ve been using ROUVY on macOS, and it worked fine. But I had to adjust firewall settings and pre-download routes to ensure stability. Otherwise, my avatar didn’t load.

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


ROUVY Alternatives

There are plenty of indoor cycling apps out there, but only a few of them are worth it. The following ones are my favorite.

  • Zwift – unlike ROUVY, Zwift uses a virtual world built from scratch. It doesn’t have as comprehensive route library as ROUVY. It is much closer to being a game than ROUVY.
  • 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.
  • RGT Cycling – features a virtual world inspired by real-world roads. Its graphics is more realistic than Zwift, but it doesn’t offer as sophisticated motivation mechanisms.
  • FulGaz – is the most similar app to ROUVY. It also uses real-world footage of routes worldwide. The main difference is that FulGaz doesn’t use augmented reality. This means there are no avatars or artificial objects.
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.

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
RoutesTrainingUXPlatform AvailabilityTotal
Zwift355343528
ROUVY454533529
TrainerRoad253n/a*55424
Wahoo SYSTM354355429
RGT Cycling552242323
FulGaz452532526
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.

ROUVY FAQ


My Verdict

Do I recommend ROUVY? Yes. People who like exploring new places from the comfort of their homes while working out will appreciate the comprehensive route library. ROUVY also allows you to compare your performance with professional athletes on official routes of events like La Vuelta, IRONMAN, etc., so you get interesting insights about your fitness level.

Do I recommend it to everybody? No. Some riders may find it boring because it doesn’t have as sophisticated a motivation mechanism as Zwift, for example. ROUVY is also not as focused on making you a faster cyclist as other apps like TrainerRoad.

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