ROUVY Review: The Best Augmented Reality Training App? (2022)

ROUVY Review: Screenshot from ROUVY app put into MacBook Pro mockup

ROUVY belongs to one of the most popular indoor cycling apps out there.

It combines real-world footage with augmented reality, adding avatars and other objects to enrich 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, its benefits, disadvantages, and more.

Let’s get into it.

NOTE: ROUVY introduced a new Career system at the beginning of 2022. I updated the relevant parts of this article accordingly.

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.
  • You get exclusive deals from ROUVY’s partners by reaching new levels
  • Strava live segments integration

Cons

  • No explanation of features in-app
  • Very limited social-interactivity
  • Can’t make customized training plans

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 and 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 of places you visited.

Who is it not for?
ROUVY is not for people who require in-app social interaction or riders who look for comprehensive, 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. Remember 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 used 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 setting up all devices.

Pairing Process in ROUVY app
ROUVY Pairing Process

I encountered an issue with the connection, though. Due to the Firewall, I was in an offline mode.

To pass this, I had to edit firewall settings in macOS. Here are the steps to solve this issue. Go to:

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 with my avatar. I had to contact ROUVY’s support to troubleshoot this.

I was recommended downloading 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.

This is one of the downsides of apps that leverage real-world footage. They have high requirements for a fast 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 In-App Routes Library
ROUVY 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 a 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 rises to maintain your preferred cadence.

I will disappoint you if you look for social interactivity like in Zwift. ROUVY doesn’t have an extension app (like Zwift Companion).

It also won’t allow you to chat with others, give them kudos, waves, etc.

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.

They didn’t use a very sophisticated gamification system by the end of 2021. But, they launched a new ROUVY Career at the beginning of 2022.

It’s clearly inspired by Zwift, and ROUVY’s developers work on further updates.

It consists of 9 levels that include 80 sub-levels. I don’t understand why they split them this way (it makes things more confusing), but there you go.

Luckily, you don’t have to complete specific tasks (obtaining TSS, participating in races, etc.) like you had to in the past.

The only thing you have to do now is ride and collect coins. By collecting them, you level up your avatar and get exclusive deals (discounts, free trials, etc.) from ROUVY’s partners (TraininingPeaks, Elite, and more).

You can import your outdoor rides to get more coins. Is that cheating? Well, I don’t think so.

NOTE: ROUVY introduced Strava Live segments integration in 2022. You will see a virtual avatar of your Personal Record, which will motivate you to ride faster.

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 additional objects. You will only see the footage.
ROUVY's Online Routes Library
ROUVY’s Routes Library Online

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

The routes are recorded in high-definition (720p, 1080p). Some of them are available in 2K.

I recommend downloading them in advance to prevent dropouts and freezes.

FulGaz is the closest ROUVY alternative. It also uses real-world footage but 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. 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?

The Workouts are now included in the ROUVY interface.

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 feature of 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 does not have as clean and user-friendly user interface as TrainerRoad.

But it is quick and smooth. This is great because laggy apps are frustrating.

I also mind 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 from the app to the ROUVY web interface, where you can learn more.

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

ROUVY's leaderboard in web app
ROUVY 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 (Windows, macOS, iOS, etc.)
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.

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.


ROUVY Alternatives

There are plenty of indoor cycling apps out there, but only a few 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 a 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.
  • Wahoo RGT (formerly RGT Cycling) – 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.
  • 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
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
129 USD / year
14 daysRealNoANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
Wahoo RGT (formerly RGT Cycling)*Free or
14.99 USD / month
129 USD / year
14 daysVirtualYesANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
Android, iOS (remote)
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 11th of July, 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
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.
**You can only subscribe to the Wahoo X subscription and get access to Wahoo SYSTM and Wahoo RGT.

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. It’s not suitable for people who want to socialize. Some riders may also find it boring because its career is not as sophisticated as in Zwift.

ROUVY is also not as focused on making you a faster cyclist as other apps like TrainerRoad and can’t make customized training plans.

About The Author

4 thoughts on “ROUVY Review: The Best Augmented Reality Training App? (2022)”

  1. I evaluated Rouvy on my older tablet… no issues, memory or otherwise. I ran a video ride. It didn’t download to my tablet, which has limited space. I went over to BKOOL… didn’t like it. It was mostly virtual. Also did not download vids to my tablet. Kinomap: pretty close to Rouvy, no downloading of vids, to tablet with limited space. A few months later, trying Fulgaz…. Running one video downloaded their entire video on my tablet. They also suggested I download the videos instead of streaming them. The quality of the video is better, but if there was a way I didn’t have to download their vids to my tablet, it would be a better experience. A 20-mile ride was cut short to 7 because the space on the tablet was less than a gig.

    Dave

    1. Hi Dave,
      Thank you for your comment. 🙂
      Yes, from what I noticed, the problem with the “real-world” indoor cycling apps is often with their high demands on the internet connection or the need to pre-download the rides. It is not very convenient… This is where “virtual-world” apps like Zwift or RGT Cycling have an advantage.
      Which app do you use now?
      – Petr

  2. How close are the indoor results of Rouvy (speed and distance) to outdoor reality speed and distance? Seems Rouvy is much faster. Has anyone done this comparative analysis? Thx

    1. Hi,
      Good question. I admit that I didn’t conclude such a test. But given the fact that ROUVY implemented Strava Live segments support a few days ago, I assume it’s pretty accurate. 🙂
      – Petr

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