Hitting the turbo used to be a mind-numbing affair, but the last decade has seen a complete revolution in indoor cycling. The transformation is mostly thanks to immersive training apps and smart trainers that provide entertainment, accurate data and training plans to do everything short of turning your legs to make indoor training less brutal and, dare we say it, even enjoyable for a lot of cyclists.
The most popular app on the market: Zwift Subscription (Monthly)
Entirely free training app: MyWhoosh Virtual Cycling App
Augmented reality riding: Rouvy Indoor Cycling Reality App Subscription (Monthly)
Most realistic outdoor riding simulation: FulGaz Training App Subscription (Monthly)
Close to having a personal coach: TrainerRoad Online Training Subscription (Monthly)
Indoor cycling on an indoor velodrome: Bkool Cycling Simulator Subscription (Monthly)
The popularity of indoor cycling means the market is fiercely competitive, making the best turbo trainers even better and the best cycling apps featured in this guide pushing to be the ones that cyclists will stick with and take out a subscription. The pandemic witnessed a huge surge in the popularity of indoor cycling, and as a result, we saw big investments in the sector. This competition is only good for the consumer of course, and in the 2020s there are now plenty of very good apps bringing different experiences to the table depending on what you want from your indoor training. However, as we've witnessed with the news of Wahoo closing the RGT app only 1.5 years after buying it, the pandemic bubble is starting to burst.
This doesn't mean that there isn't still plenty to choose from! Below, we've picked out our favourite apps to give our honest and unbiased breakdown of the pros and cons along with our recommendations. Which indoor training app you get along best with will be a very personal thing, whether you're looking for maximum training gains, immersion, virtual racing or simply pain cave enjoyment.
Many of the apps mentioned also offer a free trial that can last anywhere up to a month, which is a great way of trying before you buy and seeing if it is indeed the software for you.
For most of us training indoors isn't a means to an end, with the idea being that structured indoor sessions will lead to outdoor improvements; if that's you, then we'd also recommend checking out our advice on how to balance indoor and outdoor riding for maximum fitness gains.