To get the most out of indoor cycling, I suggest you follow a structured workout. Thankfully, there are many mobile apps out there that have structured training programs for cyclists of every level.
What are the top Android apps for indoor trainers? There are apps that are solely focused on structured training. There are also indoor cycling apps that will give you a more immersive experience by letting you ride virtual routes, while also providing some structured training.
So which one is the right for you? It all depends.
If you are the type that is solely interested in achieving your form and improving your performance, then you might want to use an indoor training app without the bells and whistles.
But if you need more motivation or you think you can get bored when riding alone in your house, then I suggest you look into indoor cycling apps that let you ride virtual routes.
Apps that focus on structured workouts
TrainerRoad is one of the most popular indoor training apps out there.
The app offers training plans for every type of rider. Whether you are a road racer, triathlete, off-road cyclist, or an enthusiast, there is a training plan that will suit your needs.
The cycling training plans of TrainerRoad is divided into three categories. The Base Phase is for those who need to build their endurance and improve their cycling skills. The Build Phase is for cyclists who have built a basic fitness foundation and is ready to add more challenge in their training. The Specialty Phase is for cyclists that want to reach a specific cycling goal or are preparing to compete in cycling events.
TrainerRoad also has a Training Calendar feature to help you stick with your training plan. You can customize any TrainerRoad training plan to fit with your schedule, or you can create your own custom plan from scratch. Don’t worry if you’ve missed your workout as you can modify your entries in the calendar.
Another great feature of TrainerRoad is its Performance Analytics. It can combine your indoor and outdoor cycling data for a more accurate representation of your performance.
You can visualize your training consistency and quality via its Training Stress Chart tool.
Do you want to know if you are getting faster? Use the Personal Records Chart tool to compare your stats from your current and past season.
To use TrainerRoad, you need any of these three: a smart trainer, a power meter, or a speed sensor and a supported indoor trainer.
TrainerRoad will also work with IOS, Mac, and Windows devices.
You can sign up for TrainerRoad for $19.95 per month or get the annual subscription for $189 to save $50.
Indoor Cycling Workout
Indoor Cycling Workout App is less popular but it also has great features considering that it is a free application (with InApp purchase available).
However, unlike the TrainerRoad, the Indoor Cycling Workout app only works with smart trainers that are ANT+ FE-C (Fitness Equipment Control) enabled. The app connects with your smart trainer and automatically adjusts the resistance on your equipment in accordance with the planned workout.
You can use the preloaded workouts in the app or you can design your own. You can also upgrade to a Pro version to get access to more training plans.
You don’t need an internet connection to use this app. Your data is saved locally and after each ride, you will be able to see an analysis of your training data. But you also have the option to export your stats to STRAVA if you want.
This app only works with Android phone or tablet version 4.1 or later preferably with built-in ANT+. If your phone is not ANT+ enabled, you have to use an ANT+ dongle for your phone. To see if your device is ANT+ enabled, go to this page.
Immersive Cycling Training Apps
Zwift is one of the most popular indoor cycling training apps out there that features virtual routes and social rides in addition to structured training.
You can choose from six virtual worlds with over 80 routes and ride with real-life cyclists in real-time.
It also features structured training plans for beginners, intermediate, and advanced cyclists. Or you can choose a specific workout to suit your needs from its over 1,000 structured workouts. You can also build your own workout if you like.
After your ride, you will see your post-workout analysis which shows your effort, duration, calories, heart rate, speed, and more.
The app works best with smart trainers with FE-C so you can fully experience the best simulation of your ride since the app will be able to control the resistance on your trainer based on the workout.
Zwift it can also work with ordinary trainers if you will be using power meters for your bike or speed sensors, but you will have to adjust your trainer’s resistance manually. To know more about using non-smart trainers with Zwift, check out our previous article.
Before, you can only download Zwift Companion App for Android which needs to be paired with your laptop or PC and will act as a controller for Zwift.
Now there is a full-fledged Zwift app on Android, though it may not run on all devices. But Zwift says the app is compatible with more than 2,400 devices so unless you have a really old device or it really has low specs, your phone will likely be compatible with the app. If not, you can still download the Zwift companion app.
Subscription to Zwift is at $14.99 per month plus applicable taxes depending on your location.
Rouvy is another immersive indoor cycling app. Compared to Zwift, it has more realistic-looking routes.
There are thousands of high-quality GPS synced video routes featuring famous places.
The app also features augmented reality routes wherein 3D objects, in this case, the other riders, gates, checkpoints, and others are overlayed on the route for a more realistic experience for group rides and races.
You can ride the virtual routes either in training mode or in race mode.
There are also thousands of structured workouts you can choose from. You can even create your own workout.
It features a training diary that manages and tracks all your training activities.
You can also synchronize your training data with Strava, Training Peaks, and other apps.
Rouvy works best with smart trainers but will also work with speed sensors.
Fulgaz is like Zwift and Rouvy but it lacks the social component for the rides. So basically, you train all alone but with a very realistic virtual route in front of you.
Another difference is that you have to download the ride that you have chosen rather stream it because the routes are in 4k resolution. That I assume will prevent snags in playing the video so you can have a smoother and more immersive experience.
Currently, the Android app is still in beta so expect some hiccups when using. It also works with IOS devices, Windows, and Apple TV.
Fulgaz monthly subscription is at $12.99. You can also choose a yearly subscription for $108.99.
For the best indoor cycling experience, I advise you to take advantage of indoor cycling apps.
If you only care about achieving perfect form and improving performance, then TrainerRoad and similar apps could be a perfect fit for you.
If you need visual input and competitive or social environment to keep you motivated, then you could explore Zwift, Rouvy, or similar apps.
Are there Android indoor cycling apps that do not require a subscription? Yes, there are. Cycle Go is an indoor cycling app that you can download for free but you will pay a one time fee if you want to have access to all the workouts. Another free app is Exercise Bike Workout. Both do not require you to connect to a smart trainer or speed sensor.
Is indoor trainer virtual power consistent? As long as you keep tire pressure and trainer pressure consistent for every workout, you can expect consistent data from virtual power.