Exercise Bike Apps

Exercise Bike Apps

Our review of the best cycling apps for home fitness.

Transform your exercise bike or indoor bike into a smart bike with these apps. We’ve written this blog for those of you who want to add an interactive element to your home cycling workouts. You’ll be riding through virtual worlds, racing champions and taking part in spin® classes in no time with these fantastic exercise bike apps.

CAN I USE APPS WITH MY EXERCISE BIKE?

There are a variety of exercise bikes on the market, all with different interactive capabilities. The good news is, whatever type you have, there’s an app for you. Take a look at this list of exercise bikes to work out which one you have. We’ve reviewed apps for each type of bike, so you can give our favourites a go.

1. Interactive Bikes

These are the flashy newcomers to the exercise bike scene. You’ll know if you’ve got one because you will have spent a few thousand pounds on it! A big screen and inbuilt apps are the unmistakable signs of an interactive bike. Maybe you’ve heard of brands like Peloton; they’re the leaders in the interactive bike market. These bikes send information to integrated apps, so you can get detailed statistics on your performance. Some apps can also change the resistance of your bike automatically according to the workout.

Best Apps: ZWIFT, SUFFERFEST, TRAINERROAD, KINOMAP, BITGYM, PELOTON DIGITAL.

2. Exercise Bikes With Bluetooth Pedals

These are standard exercise bikes that you might buy for your home workout, with a twist. When exercise bikes are fitted with a pair of Bluetooth power pedals, they can relay information on your ride to a variety of apps. This means you can train interactively and get detailed statistics on your performance. These exercise bikes won’t automatically adjust your resistance to match the app though, you’ll have to do that yourself.

It is possible to adapt your own exercise bike, replacing the standard pedals with a pair of Bluetooth power pedals. Like these ones from Garmin. However, you’re going to need to make sure the fitting on the crank is the same size as the fitting on the power pedals. Power pedal fittings are generally 15 mm, whereas most exercise bikes have the larger sized, 18 mm fittings. If you own a JTX exercise bike, please feel free to contact us about specific compatibility.

Best Apps: ZWIFT, SUFFERFEST, TRAINERROAD, KINOMAP, BITGYM, PELOTON DIGITAL.

3. The JTX Cyclo-5

The JTX Cyclo-5 is an exercise bike with a difference. Because it’s fitted with Bluetooth technology, it integrates directly with a fantastic app called Kinomap. Kinomap allows you to cycle real-life routes, and your resistance will automatically change to match the terrain. Be sure to check this one out if you’re the proud owner of a JTX Cyclo-5. The JTX Cyclo-5 is also the only JTX exercise bike with 15 mm crank fittings. So, for access to a greater range of apps, you can purchase a pair of power pedals.

Best Apps: KINOMAP, BITGYM, PELOTON DIGITAL.

Also take a look at SUFFERFEST, TRAINERROAD, you won't get the full interactive experience, but can still ride along.

4. Other Exercise and Indoor Bikes

Exercise bikes and indoor bikes as standard don’t have interactive capabilities. This is because they have no way of outputting information on your performance or interacting with apps. But, there are plenty of great exercise bike apps which will keep you entertained and motivated with no extra kit required.

Best Apps: KINOMAP, BITGYM, PELOTON DIGITAL.

Also take a look at SUFFERFEST, TRAINERROAD, you won't get the full interactive experience, but can still ride along, or connect with a heart rate monitor.

Connecting to these indoor cycling apps with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, like the Polar H10 is another way to get interactive with an exercise bike. You'll essentially be training based on your efforts rather than your distance or power. With the heart rate monitor, you'll get less data on your performance and the data won't be as accurate, but you'll still get a good amount to analyse. For more information on heart rate monitors, take a look at our blog post on heart rate training.

INDOOR CYCLING APPS:

1. Zwift

Best for the fun loving, social cyclist

Our review - 9 / 10 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

An immersive gaming style experience.

Zwift; Best Cycling apps

Zwift; Apps for Indoor Exercise Bike

Ride with: Interactive bikes or exercise bikes with Bluetooth power pedals.

Power your avatar through the incredible virtual world of Zwift. Join your friends for rides, cycle in regular group rides and get detailed stats on your performance.

Zwift offers hundreds of workouts. There's a range of training plans you can choose and follow over numerous sessions. Training sessions can be chosen based on time, fitness goals, experience level or specific event training. You can also choose a different individual workout every time you ride. Zwift stores all your ride metrics, so you can watch yourself progress over time.

Zwift are big on community and there are many ways to get social on this platform. You can take part in live rides, which take place every hour or so. These rides are really popular and allow you to connect with Zwift users from around the world. You can also meet friends for races and share your stats to social media.

Overall; Zwift is one of our favourite indoor cycling apps here at JTX. We love the game like feel of powering your avatar from your exercise bike.

Free Version

7-day free trial with unlimited distance if using a PC or Mac

If using iOs you'll get your first 25km (about 15.5mi) free

Paid Version

£12.99 a month

Unlimited access to all routes

Participate in group rides, workouts and races - over 200 events a day.

Access to full library of workouts and training plans

Availability

Compatible with iOS devices and most newer PC’s. Zwift for Android is currently in development. This is a beta version and may have limited availability and functionality.

Reviews

Apple Store- 3.9 / 5 - ‎416 reviews

2. SufferFest

Best for the hardcore cyclist

Our review - 8 / 10 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cycle the worlds toughest races with the pros

SufferFest, Best Exercise Bike App

Best Indoor Cycling App; SufferFest

For the full experience, ride with: Interactive bikes or exercise bikes with Bluetooth power pedals.

Or, ride along with a JTX Cyclo-5 or any exercise bike.

You're going to need serious grit and determination to make it through any of SufferFests sessions.

SufferFest workouts push you to your absolute limits while reminding you frequently that 'pain is good'. If indoor cycling is a winter necessity for you that leaves you lacking, SufferFest will whip you back into shape and make you feel like you're tearing through the mud.

SurrferFests motto is 'I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow'. This is why there are no group races or the ability to train with others; if that's what you want, then go for Zwift. Sufferfest is about developing the mental grit to win your races. Training programs take place in 'Sufferlandria', and there's a gruelling 43 bike training videos, 30 yoga videos targeting specific areas for cyclists, 21 mental training tutorials and four run sessions to work through.

One of the main attractions to Sufferfest is the ‘4 Dimensional Power’ test, which works out your Anaerobic Capacity, Neuro-muscular Power, Functional Threshold Power and Maximal Aerobic Power. The app then sets your specific training zones based on these results, which will give you, possibly the most accurate training zones available, unless you want to train in the sports science lab.

You will need an interactive bike or an exercise bike with power pedals to take the 4DP test and to train according to your power output. You can still follow along if you don't have power pedals though, you can simply pick a video in the app and press play - the app will tell you how fast you should pedal and how hard you should be working based on Recommended Perceived Exertion (RPE). RPE is how hard you feel like you're pushing yourself. If you want to track these workouts you can link up your heart rate monitor too.

Free Version

7 day free trial, unlimited access.

Paid Version

[£7.48 monthly / £74 annually]

Access to library of over 50 structured cycling workouts and 100 training plans.

Access to 10 week mental toughness programme

Exclusive 4DP Fitness Test with tailored workouts.

Availability

Compatible with iOS. Can also be used on a PC.

Reviews

Apple Store- 4.8 / 5 - 2.6 K reviews

3. TrainerRoad

Best For Those Wanting To Improve Performance.

Our review - 10 / 10 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Super structured and science-based training programs for all cyclists

Best Static Bike Apps, TrainerRoad

TrainerRoad; Exercise Bike App

For the full experience, ride with: Interactive bikes or exercise bikes with Bluetooth power pedals.

Or, ride along with a JTX Cylco-5 or any exercise bike.

TrainerRoad is one of the most positively rated apps we’ve ever come across. It’s incredibly popular with pro cyclists and we can see why. It gives you a truly thorough perspective on how to improve your cycling performance. It may not be as flashy, or visually engaging as many other cycling apps out there but it’s definitely a top choice for the serious cyclists.

By putting in your race or fitness goals, you’ll gain access to training plans that give you step by step instructions on how to reach them. There’s a huge range of workouts to choose from as well as workouts to prep for specific races and events. We also love the recent calendar feature which gives you a really easy way to track your TSS; training stress score. TSS is a quantifier of intensity, duration, and frequency of workouts. It’s fantastic for making sure you’re progressing without over-training - no plateauing around here.

For the full experience, you'll want to use your power pedals. But you do also have the option of simply following along with the programs if your exercise bike shows a Watt reading - The JTX Cyclo-Go: Upright Exercise Bike and The JTX Cyclo-5: Home Exercise Bike do. Your Power reading is usually displayed as 'Watts'. If following along the Watt reading on your bike should match the suggested power in the app. Your workouts won’t be recorded if you do this though.

Overall; If you ride and you want to be better, this is definitely the app for you, simple.

Free Version

TrainerRoad doesn't have a free version. However, they offer a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Paid Version

TrainerRoad subscription is £12 /month or £100 /year

Live performance data

A library of power-based workouts

Career page to track your progress

Science-based training plans

Availability

Compatible with iOS and Android.

Reviews

Apple store - 4.9 / 5 - ‎409 reviews

Google Play - 4.6 / 5 - 1256 reviews

4. Kinomap

Best for the Globe Trotter

Our review - 9 / 10 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cycle real-life tracks from all over the globe.

Best Indoor Cycling Apps, Kinomap

Kinomap; Exercise Bike App

Ride with: Interactive bikes, exercise bikes with Bluetooth power pedals or the JTX Cyclo-5.

Kinomap is similar to BitGym, with more detailed feedback. If you own a JTX Cyclo-5 exercise bike you can integrate directly with no extra gadgets required. If not, you will need power pedals or a Bluetooth heart rate monitor to connect.

Kinomap has a huge selection of routes to cycle and gives you detailed metrics on your ride. HRM, speed, cadence and times are stored for review and analysis. You can also sync to tracking apps such as Strava. Rather than uploading the majority of videos themselves, Kinomaps asks users to upload videos. This is a brilliant choice for anyone who loves to be more adventurous in the summer months. Why not record your own route, upload and share, and ride it all winter! Another bonus of Kinomap is you can share your statistics on social media or upload them to your tracking app.

However, the only thing we'd say Kinomap could improve on, is the slightly messy interface. It’s a little hard to navigate your way to the free routes.

Overall; We love Kinomap for the huge range of real life cycle trails.

Free Version

Access only to starter videos, quite a limited choice.

Paid Version

[£10 per month. On offer at £55 annually]

Practice interval training

Unlock all video content

Join multiplayer sessions

Take part in Kinomap challenges and get selected for real world contests. (*some premium challenges might incur a one off fee)

Availability

Compatible with iOS and Android.

Reviews

Apple Store - 4.4 / 5 (from 21 reviews)

Google Play - 3.5 / 5 (from 127 reviews)

5. BitGym

Best for the Nature Lover..

Our review - 8 / 10 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Great, simple app that will have you cycling through beautiful scenery in seconds!

Exercise bike App, BitGym
Best interactive bike apps, BitGym

Ride with: Any type of exercise bike.

Bitgym is a super simple, no gadgets required app, that takes you on beautiful cycle trails around the world. We recommend it for all our fitness equipment because it's so easy to use and has a wide range of fantastic trails. BitGym uses the front camera of your tablet to track your movement. Just rest it on your exercise bike, start pedalling and enjoy the view!

Favourite Features

BitGym has a great introduction video which guides you around the very simple interface. You’ll see that the speed of the video changes depending on how fast or slow you’re cycling. This is an excellent piece of tech which really makes your cycling experience more integrated. You'll also have access to tours guided by a fitness coach. To keep things simple you're coached by your RPE - rate of perceived exertion). This is a scale of 1-10 where 1 is easy effort and 10 is your all-out maximum effort. You'll also be guided on how you should be seated on your exercise bike and how you should position your hands.

As BitGym guides you around some of the most beautiful parts of the world, it gives you on-screen interesting facts about the location you’re cycling through. We loved this unique feature! You can also listen to your own music while the app is running or you can choose to listen to the apps nature noises. BitGym even allows you to Live Stream videos or to download them for offline use.

Cons - it’s not the most accurate piece of equipment. It isn’t the one for you if you want a good breakdown of statistics from your ride. However, it does give you the option to connect your heart rate monitor.

Overall, it’s definitely one to try out! With such a minimal amount of effort required, who could say no?

Free Version

1 Circuit per tour available (18+)

10 Minute maximum workout length

Paid Version

[BitGym Premium subscriptions £5.99 /month]

Unlimited (120+) circuits per tour

Unlimited workout length

Availability

Compatible with iOS and Android.

Reviews

Apple Store - 4.4 / 5 - ‎245 reviews

Google Play - 4.3 / 5 - 2,875 reviews

6. Peloton Digital

Best for the Spin® Class Lover...

Our review - 8 / 10 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

An immense range of high energy spin® class videos, with amazing soundtracks.

Best Indoor Cycling App, Peloton digital
Exercise Bike App, Peloton digital

Ride with: Any type of exercise bike.

The Peloton Digital App was named “Netflix of the workout world” by Forbes Magazine, and we’re not surprised to hear it. Peloton Digital offers a huge range of dynamic, engaging workout classes lead by top NYC trainers. Think sweaty, uber-enthusiastic Americans shouting “YOU GOT THIS!”. If that sounds like your cup of tea, Peloton Digital is for you.

Spinning® and more

Indoor Cycling workouts are the most popular class type but you can also choose from running, boot-camp, strength and yoga classes. Sessions range in length, theme and difficulty. You can also choose from one-off classes or programmes lasting up to 4 weeks. We also love the fact lots of the workouts are categorised by music type; driven by rock music? Love spinning to Hip Hop? You’ll find the class for you easily.

The Peloton bike is a top of the range interactive exercise bike which will set you back around two grand. With this app, you can use any exercise bike and reap the same benefits. Because you’re using your own equipment with the app, you’ll have to change resistance on your bike by yourself. It’s easy to follow along with the class though, as the instructors will tell you the resistance setting you should be training on during the workout. The only drawback to Peloton Digital - you’re paying for the brand. It’s not a cheap app! But, if you have the budget, and love spin® class, we think it could be worth it.

Keep in mind this app is really all about streaming spin® classes and working your way through Pelotons training programmes. If you're interested in tracking your metrics and progress through stats, then this won't be the app for you.

Overall; Transport yourself to some of the best spin® classes in NYC. Brilliant motivation for at home workouts.

Free Version

14 Day free trial with unlimited access.

Paid Version

£19.49 per month - automatic renew unless auto-renew is turned off.

15+ daily live studio classes or 10,000 on demand classes.

Availability

Compatible with iOS and Android.

Reviews

Apple Store- 3.9 / 5

Google Play - 4.1 / 5

We hope our review of exercise bike apps will bring plenty of fun and motivation to your workouts. There are lots more apps on the market, these are just our favourites here at JTX Fitness. Before downloading an app, make sure to have a good idea of your exercise bikes interactive capability. Then you can be sure to get the most out of your exercise bike. And if you're looking for an affordable exercise bike you can use with indoor cycling apps, take a look at the JTX Cyclo-5.


Have you tried out any apps with your JTX equipment? We’d love to hear about it!

Please note; These apps have frequent updates and prices outlined here are correct to the time of writing this article. 14/01/2018