Keeping up with your training might have been challenging during the past year, especially as gym and training areas have just started to re-open after weeks. And now, with the outside temperatures dropping steadily, it is even trickier to find the motivation necessary for an outdoor cycle.
At the same time, your fitness goals should not be stopped because of cold weather or closed gyms – especially as technology is on our side! Systems such as Bkool and Zwift have brought indoor virtual cycling to everyone’s home. They are state-of-the-art apps that allow you to enjoy an extremely real cycling experience and track your achievements and improvements.
However, these systems, and the equipment you need to get them all set up, can represent a significant investment. So, find out what is the best choice for your needs below before committing.
Bkool: An Overview
If you are looking for a real adventure from the comfort of your home, look no further than Bkool. This virtual bike simulator includes an endless range of circuits, paths, and landscapes you can choose from.
The collection of routes include a series of real and tested paths as well as more exotic journeys that are a little further from your normal cycling routine. With this simulator, you will be able to train from your home, independently on whether gyms are opened or closed and without a pricey membership.
If you are training towards a certain goal, this app allows you to set new challenges for yourself and can help you keep track of your improvements and achievements.
Among the best features of this app is that it allows you to track essential metrics such as speed, time, cadence, and distance. However, you can also create or customise training plans and programs that you can follow to streamline the process of achieving your fitness or selecting one that is within reach for you.
If you have been feeling the lack of fellow cyclists during the months spent indoors, you can now join a group on the platform and train together.
Bkool is an incredible app by itself, but big names in the cycling landscape have also appreciated it.
Key Features of Bkool
The features of Bkool are many and easily adaptable to your precise fitness goals. You can find an overview below:
Pros and Cons of Bkool
Bkool: Pricing and Options
Bkool is an affordable app that is bound to fit the budget of most cyclists. It offers a 1-month-long free trial to everybody; then it is renewed automatically. Once your free trial ends, you have two options:
- Monthly payments at €9.99
- Yearly payments start at €96, which result in €8 per month. However, the yearly subscription is charged annually.
If you have specific goals to reach, the yearly subscription is more suitable to keep up with it.
Who Is Bkool Best For?
Bkool is a relatively affordable app that allows you to enjoy hundreds of paths and routes for a small monthly fee. If you love to join spin or indoor cycling classes at the gym, you would have probably been spending much more than this.
Because of its affordable price, simple graphic, adaptable cycling conditions, and variety of routes, Bkool is ideal if you are looking at long-term indoor cycling training. Indeed, with the affordable membership, you can set up a long-term cycling and fitness goal to stick to.
Zwift: An Overview
Zwift is arguably the main competitor of Bkool, and it is just as appreciated by fans of indoor cycling. Setting aside the time to cycle outdoors, as well as finding the right number of cyclists and picking a path has never been easy, but the pandemic has made the whole process even more complicated.
If you have been experiencing these difficulties, Zwift is the right support for you. The company devised over 1000 workouts which are structured and customisable. Tapping into the downsides of cycling outdoors, Zwift has created a platform that allows all cyclists to find safe conditions to train.
Zwift specialises in running and cycling, but options for training are not limited to a few on the app. Indeed, the creators of Zwift understand the importance of finding new scenarios and a team of cyclists who can face the adventure with you. That is why, today, the platform allows you to experience several paths and routes in the company of a team of cyclists from around the world. You can even race them!
Ultimately, Zwift has been created to be a virtual game, but it has become much more than that. The physical aspect involved – of cycling and running – makes it much more real than just a game. Additionally, the fact that you will experience the cycling route as if you were there makes it even more enjoyable. Get ready to start sweating when there is a hill in front of your – the bike’s resistance will increase as if you were climbing upwards!
Key Features of Zwift
Zwift is arguably the main rival of Bkool, and it can be just as an amazing option. In terms of features, you can count on all the ones that will make virtual cycling fun, realistic, and effective. However, because it is designed as a game, it is also much more engaging than other platforms.
Here is an overview of the characteristics that make it unique:
Pros and Cons of Zwift
Zwift: Pricing and Options
Zwift is pricier than Bkool, but it is still a relatively affordable option, especially if compared to fees such as the ones that you would need to consider to use a gym’s indoor bikes.
However, unlike Bkool, Zwiftonly offers a short 7-day free trial. While this is enough for you to test this app, it might be enough to understand whether it is a good match for your needs.
After the short free trial, the app costs £12.99 per month. A year subscription is not currently available.
If you wish to try the app but you are not ready to commit yet, Zwift offers the running option for free for the time during which this option is in Beta. This option might allow you to discover more of the app before committing to a purchase.
Who Is Zwift Best For?
Zwift is an excellent option if you are looking at a virtual trainer who can follow you in your development step-by-step. Because of the endless training plans and varieties, Zwift is the ideal platform for any cyclist who is new to indoor cycling.
Of course, the fact that you can try to cycle across the Tour de France makes it also suitable for more expert cyclists who have had to break their routine because of the current restrictions.
It can be difficult to pick between the two platforms, especially if you are not an expert in the matter of virtual cycling systems. However, in both cases, the free trial can help you decide.
While Bkool might be more suitable for those who already love cycling indoors, Zwift is accessible by everyone. And, you can cancel at any time. Cycling indoors can be an excellent way to keep fit, meet your goals, and achieve more – even during winter or among the various lockdowns.
However, because of the investment that buying a professional indoor bike trainer might involve, it is recommendable to find out whether this sport is suitable for your preferences.