With Wahoo announcing the demise of RGT this week, I thought I’d have a look at the alternatives to Zwift. One of the things I would like is other members of my family to be able to use my Smart bike but not have to pay an extra subscription for each of them to use it occasionally
Not that I’m really thinking of stopping Zwift either but wanted to find out what else is out there and what the pros and cons are.
I have downloaded MyWhoosh (I’m using Android but it is available on PC, Mac and iPhone) and have been giving that a bit of a go (as it’s free) and have used it for a couple of rides. My conclusions so far
It’s Free! - I’m sure not forever but just to get people using it
Looks really slick - not perfect but nice enough looking interface / graphics
Lots of routes - 5 cities - about 10 routes per city of different lengths
Indicates when you are drafting (Watt numbers go green)
Speeds seem more realistic than Zwift - slightly slower
Bot group ‘race’ - do a race (I did one just under 20 miles) where groups of 7/8 bots ride at consistent power. I found this actually pretty motivating to try and hang with the faster group - who eventually dropped me on a climb
It’s deserted - almost only bots on there (which is fine - so was Zwift in the early days)
No route badges - there’s no achievements to tick off - I find these actually a decent motivator for easy rides
It crashed - I was about 15 minutes into a ride and the app just crashed with all data lost
Time Zones - All races / events are in whatever time zone they’ve picked - so I’d have to work out when anything is
FTP testing - I couldn’t find it
Collision detection - riders just barge through others rather than riding around
Time gaps - time gaps to other riders are complete rubbish - the numbers just jump around all over the place.
There’s a lot of banners and hard to see where laps / segments start/end.
As it’s free, if I only rode the turbo once a month it would be worth using. If I could tick off routes and test FTP this would be great for normal everyday use. I’ve not completed any races yet but I doubt there’s many other humans
What else have others tried? Bkool looks interesting and it has a Family subscription as well as what looks like Peleton style workouts which may appeal to my wife more. Rouvy has run options and I do use Zwift with my treadmill (mostly just to log the miles though). Anything else to check?
I used FullGaz for a while; think I had a free period after registering for an IM, and they then extended the free period. Think my TriClub also has a membership which allows us access.
I thought it was pretty good for doing workouts (I don’t really use the ‘game’ elements of Zwift or race etc) and it uses real life IM courses, so you can look at some pretty scenery while riding. Having just checked, it will import workouts from Training Peaks etc
That said I’ve unknowingly defaulted to using Zwift recently, may give FG another go if I feel like a change
I use Rouvy for this reason. Zwift only does (or did) individual accounts which makes it quite expensive for two or more family members. Rouvy did a family subscription that was pretty much the same price as an individual Zwift account.
Rouvy did change their pricing so I’m not sure what it is now for the family subscription. They kept the old pricing for existing members, which is nice
I tried the Fulgaz free IM trial and didn’t think it was as good as Rouvy.
I used Bkool for a couple of years after getting it included with a Bkool trainer.
I got a 12 month subscription but they added on up to 3 months extra if you didn’t use it for whole months (such as in the summer) so I got 2 winters out of it, then carried on using the free version for another year or two before they made the free option pretty useless.
This was a few years ago so it may well all have changed now but they do a free month’s trial so you could check it out for yourself.
My recollection is huge choice of routes with either full video or cartoon type graphics, name an IM or any well known tour/race and it’s probably there. You could upload any route yourself so could practice a specific course you had in mind if required. There was a velodrome option (which I used a surprising amount although on the face of it it was really boring) and workout options, intervals etc.
Interesting - I may have the trial on Bkool.
I found the FTP tests on MyWhoosh and have just completed a ramp test. Results were about right (321W) but despite me being pretty sure ERG mode was on it felt like it was not and I felt I had to change gears to stay in zone (I don’t know for sure though as there’s no gear indicator on my smart bike and I can’t recall if I changed up and down the same number of times each zone).
It meant I had to concentrate so much more on the actual number rather than just pedalling and surviving
IndieVelo looks good and RGT’ers appear to be heading over there. It’s been set up as a “racing platform” and by a couple of ex Zwift employees. Currently free as its in Beta, but you can choose to donate monthly and become a founder member and get a few benefits later I guess.
I paused my Zwift subscription for a while in the summer and just signed up again. I paused it as I was injured an not fit enough to do any of the rides I’d normally do so rather than throw £13 a month at zwift I spent it on beer instead. #winning
During that time I used IndieVelo (as it’s currently free) as I just wanted to freeride or use their pace partners and I was pretty impressed. Mainly as there’s lots of people on the platform (in the weekly release update email you get I think they said this week their numbers went up 25% or something as a result of the RGT news). I didn’t try any races (I probably should have) so have no idea how busy they are.
I’m running it on a PC with a decent graphics card.
There seem to be quite a few routes on their ‘world’ but I guess the number of miles is limited as I don’t think it’s that huge. It does seem very focused on racing/teams etc. and the weekly updates and detailed email you get about them make it seem like they’re really keen to build a decent platform.
I was an early adopter of Tacx back in about 2009. Back then the software was glitchy as hell but they improved it over the years (from i-magic to TTS1 and up to TTS4).
Then they moved to a subscription based app, not sure how much it costs as I’m still using the (now completely unsupported) TTS4.
Basically I have a lot of real life video (sunk cost!) and don’t turbo much if conditions are ok to ride outside.
The big advantage of Tacx was always the quality of the films, the video quality is exceptional.
Squint a bit and you can imagine you’re riding up a mountain in the Alps rather than being sat in a cold shed in Chester
If I were to want to turbo a lot in future this is where I’d start my search … I understand that the subscription gives you access to every film in their catalogue.
Worth adding that I’m not interested in racing and value the immersive experience over the rather cartoon-like graphics of Zwift.
Tacx has a similar virtual environment but no idea how popular it is.
TrainerRoad is undoubtedly the best for training imo, and I’ve used Rouvy and FulGaz for ride simulation. I think Rouvy was more accurate, but both are good.
It’s interesting that a lot of folks on this thread seem to be preferring real-world scenery than Zwift?
Just to provide an alternative view, I love Zwift’s made up worlds because the scenery varies much quicker - I can go from desert to forest to mountain in Wattopia in the space of a 1 hour ride, which seems to make the time go by nice and fast for me.
Tried out indieVelo for the first time today.
Very Zwift like but incredibly easy to set up and get going. Did a short race which I assume was all against bots but it felt pretty realistic - certainly not very different from Zwift but with a lot more info on screen.
Obviously, I’ve only used it once but first impressions are good. Couple of minor downsides - couldn’t see anywhere to set maxHR and auto calculate zones. Doesn’t upload to Garmin and also that it needs to run on a PC or Mac (I just use my phone normally for Zwift as I don’t have anywhere convenient to put a laptop/TV in front of the turbo).
Will use again