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Discussion in 'Cycling Department Forum' started by Bram Hengeveld, Nov 8, 2018.
Who has used all of them and can give me a brief impression why I should pick one over the other?
I am now on TrainerRoad. Impressed me more already than Zwift did in the last months.
This will by fourth year using Trainer Road. I'm a huge fan. I love their modern twist on old school intervals. Some of the sessions are brutal and it's definitely more performance based but the gains can be huge. No flashy graphics but if your the type who likes to don headphones, zone out and focus on some old school training then TR gives the best return on time/effort/money I've seen.
I do regret my efforts a bit at the FTP test. Have been slacking a bit for the last few weeks and really did my best with the ramp test in trainerroad. Now I have to suffer for the coming weeks as all intervals are based on my FTP.
Now back on Zwift for the last month of winter. Did a nice build up with Trainer Road. Now counting the days until spring finally starts!
These are all really great tools for riding a stationary bike, or a bike on rollers, but it entirely depends how you use them and what you want to get out of it.
I get the impression if you use turbo training solely for structured interval training then Trainerroad is going to be the best option. But you better have another screen / window with netflix running or music on because its so dull to watch, basically like a giant bike computer screen. But nothing else has the quality of data on the screen. It is quite a traditional scientific approach. You either like it or you don't.
I've not used it but I know guys that rate Sufferfest highly for a more emotional reason, they love it because they just want to get on their bikes press play and not think about what they are doing just live in the moment of the video, and match the power numbers it tells you. Great fun to do. Brilliant for hard training efforts, if nothing else. But it is limited to just this. Definitely not a quiet pootle...
What Zwift is and why its so popular is it covers all the above with the Workout mode, its a social tool, its an open world simulator where you can meet real people and most importantly its a racing sim.
For training you can use the inbuilt training sessions switch your brain off and just bash it out. This is what I use it for, plug in workouts my coach prepares and just do them. Although it is a bit insular, but occasionally you get a few people ride with you while your doing a workout. You get the level increase and free new kit and stuff, but this is only valid for posing or better performance in the races better bikes and wheels etc.
Or you can use it like a social media tool, going out for virtual club rides with your mates. I'm less interested in this as I only rarely do training rides with my mates in real life maybe once a week, and want to get away from training in a shed on my own as i do it too much. But can totally see that its a powerful tool to socialise. I do get images of groups of people playing Zwift together with headsets on Discord and chuckle.
Where its real strength is however, is to use it for racing. It can genuinely help you prepare for the efforts of real racing in a safe environment. You can enter races held at the category at your level (at the moment its a simplistic W/kg level) and they are very competitive, you have to use your brain and tactics like you do in real life. I've only done a few races but all of them have been awesome, simulating; hills, bunch riding, attacking, breakaways, and sprinting. All genuinely replicating real world efforts, albeit with absolutely no bike handling skills. Which in real bike racing is very important.
If you are not working hard enough in a break and sitting in, people will sit up, the group will loose time and they will attack you to get rid of you, if you work together well you pull away from the chasing bunch behind. Again like in real life if you are patient, time your attacks and save your energy you will be rewarded. Its not perfect, it doesn't simulate crosswinds, there is no crashing or bike handling so no fear, and the bunch simulation is a bit vague you sort of bob around bumping through people.
And yeah the graphics are a bit crap by modern computer games standards but its only going to get better as its profile increases.
I am fully expecting Zwift to copy iRacing or GT sport model from the simracing world with a licence points and category system in due course. After all this is how racing is in real life and how you climb the ladder. Its fast creating its own specific discipline in cycling.
Zwift are already carrying out GT academy style find the next pro sessions with both Team Dimension Data World tour team and Canyon / Sram womens team. They are also now holding quite popular pro races with the Kiss Super leagues with all the domestic UK pros battling it out which is also streamed on twitch with a commentator. Its early days but i see this exploding as it gains more and more traction.
Anyway apologies for the epic length post, just thought i'd put this down.
Nice write Rob. Very interesting to read your analysis. Totally agree with you, just want to add something. I cycling for pleasure (and of course for my health). I like to pedal and see beautiful places and spend some time out after very long office hours .
In the winter I tried to simulate this, and I found the best for me is Rouvy or Bkool or any app which let me ride virtually where ever I want. I start the video and I'm simtraveling to the most iconic climbs and most known routes all over the world. I can ride almost all grand tour routes or some amateur beautiful route. I just enjoy the ride . Of course it is nice I can race with others on this routes and I can see how I'm doing compared to them on the online charts, but this is just a secondary goal.
I never tried the training capability of this app and don't have any curiosity
Just give me some nice scenery and I'm happy
Sorry for Off Topic
Nice, just had a look and both look impressive, and I totally see where you are coming from.
Rouvy looks like 3D overlaid ontop of a rolling video stream and Bkool looks like a 3D world and more realistic than Zwift. Zwift to me looks more like a fantasy computer game than some sort of simulator but maybe that's its appeal.
Incidentally, Zwift together with British Cycling held the first ever esport / virtual / Zwift British National Championships last week which was live streamed from a studio on Youtube, a Mens and Womens event. We all think giving away an actual national championships jerseys was a bit too much, you cannot wear a national championships jersey in any event outside the discipline you won it in (i.e. you would not be able to wear them in any event other than a Zwift race). I'd be embarrassed to wear it in the open as people would get the wrong idea. But anyway set a bold precedent.
It is not related to the OP question, but I think it is a very interesting option for simcycling
I, for sure, would like to have this baby's in front of me for the indoor cycling sessions. I'm really missing the proportional wind/speed effect.