What Is Your “New Normal” For Riding?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to adjust our lifestyles in order to be safer. Fortunately, the pandemic did not bring the world to a standstill as communities have found ways to adjust to the new normal. The times have had a tangible impact on the cycling industry as cyclists’ transition from outdoor to indoor riding.
We love to ride outdoors and enjoy the exhilaration that outside riding brings us. While COVID-19 has adversely impacted outdoor group cycling, cyclists have now found new ways to adapt. The immense growth of indoor riding, training, and racing technology from smart trainers to interactive apps, means that cycling has found a “new normal.”
Although indoor cycling has been around for some time, the recent health crisis has moved indoor cycling to a whole new level. Smart trainer sales are through the roof and online platforms are crowded with riders, including those cyclists that initially resisted the idea of indoor riding.
The pandemic has caused an exponential increase in the demand for indoor trainers and software applications. To keep your regular riding schedule, while still practicing the recommended social distancing, check out these smart trainers and virtual cycling applications to help you continue to enjoy your cycling experience and maintain that hard earned level of fitness.
4 Indoor Trainers To Help Keep Your Training On Track
Wahoo Kickr Smart Trainer
“More powerful, accurate, and responsive, the KICKR indoor bike trainer is tuned for the world’s most demanding cyclists, delivering the ultimate indoor training experience. Industry-leading power and accuracy better replicate the sensation of riding outdoors make KICKR the choice of the world’s most demanding riders. Combine the KICKR AXIS, KICKR CLIMB and KICKR HEADWIND to deliver the movement and sensations of training outdoors into virtual indoor rides and workouts.”
Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer
“The iconic, progressive and popular NEO 2 Smart is optimized into an even quieter and more powerful Smart direct drive. The motor is redesigned in order to provide a better indoor cycling experience and ride feel, especially during climbs and sprints. The NEO 2T Smart is more silent than ever thought possible and without question the most powerful, realistic and accurate bike trainer to date.”
Saris H3 Direct Drive Smart Trainer
“A direct drive smart trainer that touts a sound specification of 59 decibels at 20 mph. In other words, the H3 is five times quieter than previous generations, making it the quietest smart trainer to ever leave our doors. Tested to withstand heavy training, the H3’s internal cooling system will keep the electromagnetic resistance system working and accurate.
Each H3 is made from cast and machined aluminum sourced from America’s heartland. Encased inside are components meticulously calibrated to measure power, speed and cadence, as well as a precision-balanced flywheel – all built to handle 2000 watts and replicate a 20% climbing grade.”
Elite Direto XR Smart Trainer
“The Elite Direto XR is the home trainer you were looking for your indoor training this season. This trainer is the biggest evolution of the Elite Direto trainers featuring an integrated power meter, ideal for reaching the highest level of performance and working out in a totally immersive home training experience. The DIRETO XR is a direct-drive home trainer meaning that it is one of the quietest home trainers on the market. “
Wahoo Kickr Smart Bike
“The KICKR BIKE simulates grade changes in real time, offering a virtual experience of riding up and over steep mountain passes – including downhill simulation that allows you to maintain bike speed. The KICKR BIKE’s liner action quickly raises and lowers the bike to match ascents up to 20% and descents of -15%, making your climbing workouts more dynamic than ever.”
Indoor Cycling Training Apps
Let’s face it, riding a stationary trainer is generally not much fun, or engaging, but the good news is those dreary trainer days are gone! Through the use of a smart trainer and compatible app, you can stay engaged and make the indoor ride much more enjoyable and interactive.
Here we are some great interactive applications to consider:
Zwift is popular, and likely the most popular application for a reason. The app has a way of keeping cyclists engaged and entertained.
Zwift offers 5 virtual worlds such as Watopia, the most popular imaginary route. Other real worlds include London, Richmond, Innsbruck, New York, Virginia and Giro d’Italia Bologna.
With Zwift, you get to enjoy the following:
- Group rides
- Unstructured rides
- Structured workouts
This app offers a collection of intense workouts. You can browse through several available workout plans or create yours through TrainerRoad Workout Creator.
Are you a triathlete, mountain biker, or a road racer? The TrainerRoad App has a well-designed training program for you. There are many different plans to choose from according to your preferences. You can structure plans based on overall training volume from low through high. Trainer Road provides detailed training and performance analytics.
If you are not interested in “group” rides, and just want to focus on very detailed and structured training plans, this may be the app for you.
Are you seeking to enjoy some real riding footage and virtual racing? Rouvy, formerly known as Cyclops virtual, offers real riding footage, virtual racing, and structured workouts.
The App features a huge collection of outdoor routes from around the world to offer a comprehensive cycling experience.
- Garmin Connect
Although not necessarily an interactive app, Garmin Connect allows you to create structured workouts and transfer them to your compatible Garmin computer. Garmin Connect is free to use and may be a great option for someone that does not want to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee.
As you can see, just because you cannot (or maybe prefer not to) ride outdoors, it does not mean you still cannot get a great ride in. Technology and equipment have done a great job at keeping pace with a cyclist’s needs.
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