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Cycling app: rouvy, zwift etc how to choose?

  • 15-12-2021 8:30am
    Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Im going to be new to the world of cycling apps soon. I will picking a cycling app but dont know which one.

    Rouvy, zwift etc seem to be the main ones. I can manage outdoors roughly 100klm, example tallaght to baltinglass return. Have a decent enough bike and im getting a direct mount smart turbo. Id be fit enough as i train kickboxing too so want to push myself.

    Can anyone recommend an app that's decent that i havent mentioned. Or which is better between rouvy and swift? Are these two the best out there?



  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Just realised there you have to check the app to see if its compatible with your device. Im getting an an elite zumo which is compatible with rouvy but the the elite tuo is not.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,855 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Weepsie

    Rouvy were found to be nicking videos from Bike the world recently so they can go f*ck themselves.

    Bike the world is windows only. Has about 60 videos. Can be downloaded and done offline and uploads to Strava if your online.

    Rouvy is interesting though. Loads of courses on it, though not as many as the previous version. They whacked up their price to be closer to zwift.

    Road grand tours or rgt cycling is another. It's the most similar to zwift, but a much smaller user base of fairly hardcore fans . Seems to be geares towards racing. Can upload your own routes and no has a standalone app.

    Zwift is zwift. Probably the easiest to just get in and go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭ lissard

    It all depends on what you want from the app. If it's pootling around a virtual world then Zwift and RGT are your man. If you want something that shows real roads then maybe Rouvy will suit. Personally I prefer apps that have a strong emphasis on training so I like TrainerRoad and Wahoo Systm. Every app gives you a free trial period of a week or so, if I were you I'd spend a bit of time trying them all out before chosing one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    I want to casually ease myself into it with a focus of training myself for hills and getting my fitness up so im ready for summer. Thanks for replies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,502 ✭✭✭ Trekker09

    I tried Rouvy after being on Zwift for a few years. It was OK but not enough for me to switch over permanently. I think Zwift is hard to beat if you just want to tip your toes into the water of the cycling app.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,576 ✭✭✭ Macy0161

    I'm a bit of a fanboy of TrainerRoad, but it's definitely focused on training (and provide you're own entertainment via spotify or netflix). It now has adaptive training which means it's not just "cookie cutter" plans - the plan adjusts to how you're progressing. It also has outside workouts to with Garmin and Wahoo.

    I hadn't used zwift until lockdown 1. I found it flaky on my phone (especially casting) for big events, so I ended up getting AppleTV and a new (bigger) TV (and also needed a new bluetooth HRM). And hardwiring the ethernet to the shed. I'd say the plans are "grand", although I found the interface on finding workouts not great. It is good for going on group spins, racing etc. I got quite into it first lockdown and again last winter, but I haven't really got back into the event aspect this winter at all - The subscription is close to being paused!

    To follow on from the zwift point - it also comes down to your hardware too. TrainerRoad (and I assume Wahoo) work fine on a bog standard mobile phone. Zwift, you're potentially getting into investing in other computer/ media hardware to really get the benefit (in my opinion at least). Certainly that was my experience anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    I have a brand new work laptop that i can use so i dont need much more for now. I think ill give the swift a go first and see what its like. Cant wait, she works nights and weekends and i have 2 kids with disabilities so getting out on a bike most of the time is a pipe dream. At least now i can cycle at home.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,960 ✭✭✭ nilhg

    OP, you'll probably get a few months worth of free trials for various apps with a new trainer, if you are strategic and use them one after the other you'll have a good idea what you like by the end.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,219 ✭✭✭ Mefistofelino

    OP - Don't forget a BFF (Big forking fan) especially if you are using it inside the house, with the heating on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,576 ✭✭✭ Macy0161

    just the one? I still have the three going in my unheated shed with the door wedged open for my morning workouts!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Ill shed weight quicker with no fan. Ill run it off me 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,609 ✭✭✭ dancinpants

    Zwift is the easiest for starting out. Look into their training programmes as it's too easy to just jump in and get carried away killing yourself needlessly. I signed up in October and have just completed the 10 week FTP builder programme and it's been fairly handy. Well structured and got me fit.

    If you really want to train for racing, then TrainerRoad as mentioned above is excellent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Thanks. I have a free month of zwift and tacx training with the machine so ill check them out first. I really like the look of if rouvy though with the real videos. It adds a better experience to it but ill check zwift first.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,576 ✭✭✭ Macy0161

    Ah I haven't raced the last few years, and still pick TrainerRoad (I think I'm process driven) - but it is aimed at training primarily. If you're going to dip into the social/ even aspect, I'd definitely give zwift a try. But don't come complaining when you're sucked into badge hunting, getting the tron bike etc etc 😀

    Big advantage of TrainerRoad is that it's relatively low cost in terms of equipment - I trained quite effectively on hybrid rollers and a bike with a power meter, even if it's a much better experience on a smart turbo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭ MangleBadger

    I was using TrainerRoad earlier this year during lockdown. Only really getting back on the turbo now. But think it may be a bit too hardcore. 90 minute over/under threshold sessions are just torture. Just off the bike. I can barely walk!

    I also do a lot of powerlifting focussed gym work so TR was too much on top of that. Going to give Zwift another go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,576 ✭✭✭ Macy0161

    At what volume? Adaptive training should reduce the intensity of the next one if you select "Very Hard" or "All Out".

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Rgt offers some basic features for free also. The subscription itself is meant to be limited though compared to others.

  • Registered Users Posts: 47 Londonirish72

    I've used a few apps in my time and my experience is that you get tired of them all eventually but for me Zwift has the edge because it is more entertaining.

    I have used Trainer Road a lot in the past but their workout sessions are often just variations on a theme which is short or long intervals over an hour. TR always gave me a tough workout so I found it difficult to concentrate on watching the TV when on the turbo so I always struggled with the app and never really looked forward to using it.

    I have used FulGaz a few times too but I never really took to it.

    So for me Zwift is the relative winner. There's lots to do (races, group ride, solo, training) and I find it very engaging.

  • Registered Users Posts: 36,115 ✭✭✭✭ ED E

    The KISS setup:

    1. Head unit (eg Elemnt Bolt) with a rolling route on it
    2. Tablet with a bit of TV + daycent headphones

    Just casual training, does me fine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭ silver campaign

    Ive used Zwift and FulGaz. I preferred FulGaz to Zwift. The computer graphics did my head in and I wasn't interested in the 'social' element of virtual cycling on Zwift.

    Got a bit tired of FulGaz, and I'm now using Wahoo Systm (formerly sufferfest) for a bit of structured training. I'm a fan of it so far.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭ MangleBadger

    Only low volume, so 2 1 hours sessions and 1 1:30 session. I did them Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday along with gym Monday-Friday this week so possibly just an accumulation of stress. But the pain in my glutes when I got off the bike was next level. Worse than any doms I've gotten from the gym.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,855 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Weepsie

    You can pay for the subscription out of phone credit.

    My issue with RGT is the routes. They're all short and either focus on climbing or sprinting, but nothing really rolling that mixes it up a bit.

    Now the magicroads feature mitiages this but if I'm going to the bother of looking at the screen, I'd like it look nice.

    I've used onelap too, both the orignal and new version. Still a work in progress, but not bad.

    VirtuGo was very good, Shane it shut down. Didn't have a user base

  • I'm using Fulgaz in combination with Xert.

    Basically Xert provide adaptive training day by day, and I use the rides on FulGaz to provide something nice to look at rather than the boring bar graphs that Xert uses.

    One benefit of Fulgaz I didn't see mentioned was that unlike Rouvy all of the rides are uploaded by users who are riding their bikes Rouvy on the other hand, uses cars and sometimes motorbikes so it can look a bit unnatural compared with Fulgaz.

    Also Fulgaz has quite a few routes here in Ireland, including the full length of the Waterford Greenway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    I found it finicky enough to set up the trainer. I struggled getting the bike on the trainer and then back onto my bike wheel. The defy advanced 2 2020 models have an awkward way of getting the rear wheels on and off, it was fixed in 2021 models.

    Anyway, i hadnt a clue how to use the tacx training app. I was clicking into workouts but there was no link to start me on the actual cycle. I jumped straight into switft and managed 3klm out of 25klm and had to stop as ive a chest infection.

    My bike is flithy too so it didnt help getting dirt all over me in the house in whats meant to be a clean cycle. When i was cycling in swift my gears are clicking so ive misaligned the derailer or that.

    So a bit of a disaster but only teething problems.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,180 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko

    Do you have rights to install software on your work laptop? That would usually be restricted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Ill think ill just cast it to my telly. It wasn't too bad on my phone connected to the bike either though. Have to wait to get better, im still weak from being sick.

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Had a go of rouvy there for a 10 miler in Paris that took 30mins. The sweat was pumping out of me. I had the back door closed which made it warm. Plus, you cant coast as you just stop completely if you stop cycling. Out in the real world you coast, catch your breath, stop at lights etc. This is full on. I love it. A great 30mins workout. The bike is spotless clean still after cleaning it this morning. I wasnt smashing the bike into potholes, nearly getting knocked off it by cage drivers etc. Great craic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,164 ✭✭✭ positron

    This topic came up around this time last year as well. Thread:

    As I mentioned in that thread, I had tried a bunch of them, but being a cheapskate that I am, I have settled for the free version of the ERGVideo + a training plan that I found elsewhere that I could import into ERG video. Free version doesn't give you any videos - which suited me perfectly, as I don't want to look at road / simulation during the session, I would rather watch Netflix / Youtube etc. ERGVideo nicely overlays the session progress details like speed, load etc (configurable) on one corner of the screen while you can watch whatever on the main screen. Withouth video to process, it takes up minimum CPU / memory footprint, which is great because I am running this + Chrome (netflix/youtube) or VNC etc on a minimum spec HP Microserver that's my network file server. The only upgrade I have on it is a graphics card with HDMI out to power the TV. Works very well overall, I am not considering any other apps this year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 838 ✭✭✭ byrnem31

    Ive no interest in zwift at all, too fake. Rouvy is good but ive been checking out fulgaz and really like the look of it. Few irish courses on it too. Very simple to find your way around the app. Im a bit confused with rouvy as im not tech savvy. Have not used it properly yet. Has anyone got really into the fulgaz, if so whats it like please?

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  • I'm by no means an expert on FulGaz but I have used it a fair bit both on PC, using their Windows app and More recently on Apple TV. I'm hopeful in the summer or spring of adding the full length of the Westport to Achill Greenway hopefully both directions.

    I really like the service I especially appreciate that all the rides are uploaded by fellow cyclists, which means you get a view of the road from a bike's perspective and also they have routes that you can only do on a bicycle like the Waterford Greenway.