If you are looking for indoor cycling simplicity you can’t beat using Trainerroad on Android or iOS.
Zwift, or one of the other graphical indoor cycling apps, will also bring a need to set up a suitable screen. This could be a laptop, Apple TV or whatever.
It is worth noting that set up is one of the biggest bugbears for indoor cyclists.
First things first though, if you decide to use go the Android route with Trainerroad, you will want to find a decent place to put the phone. To help you here is our list of the best bike phone mounts for indoor cycling.
Different philosophy for a cycling application
Whereas a lot of the other applications are similar terms with, Trainerroad really has a different philosophy entirely.
The e-sports social networking narrative is removed entirely. In its place, the app is focused massively on training and workout programs.
In fact, many Zwifters actually avoid Zwift’s training programmes entirely and focus on Trainerroad. Then they race on Watopia or whatever.
There have been criticism of Zwift’s training programs and that they are too HIT-focused. If you’re interested take a read of this.
This means it can be used quite easily on a mobile device. Letting you watch Real New Jersey Housewives or just entering pain oblivion without distraction.
Rundown of Trainerroad on Android or iOS
Trainerroad supports all of the following features:
- Full library of workouts
- Train without power meter
- Control your small training with our match
- ANT+ and Bluetooth Connection
- Filter workouts by hour zone duration and intensity
TrailerIn terms of working with android you can use Trainerroad with ANT+ and ANT+ FE-C. Although depending on what your android phone devices like you may need to install ANT plugins.
In addition to being easily usable with a mobile or cell phone, one of Trainerroad’s qualities is the ability to use a dumb trainer.
Yes, you will still need to connect cadence. But if all you are doing is working to your own structure a basic trainer is all you need.
Be aware of one thing. The app will need to download the training program library. It is not a quick download – some said it took up to 40 minutes.
But once it’s there, it’s there.
The other thing to be aware of is this app is an acquired taste. It is cycling for the Spartans. If you like looking over the sights Watopia, Trainerroad’s blue power graph on black. background might seem bare.
But then, this is a serious app for competitors.
This is why you should use it
How does the mobile version compare with the desktop
One of the major positives about the Trainerroad app is that it is so simple in design. Once the workouts are downloaded to your device you can train in complete isolation.
That said, there have been a number of complaints about the app defaulting to the website. But Trainerroad said it was updated in January 2020 and new functionality had been added.
Overall, out of all the other cycling apps, this is closest to the desktop/ Apple TV experience.
Unsurprising really as all the functionality is in the programs.
On setting up
As with most of the indoor cycling applications, the first thing the Trainerroad app will do is make you do an FTP test.
Usually, this is in the form of a ramp test. Personally, I found this interesting as it provided a lower number than the same thing on Zwift.
Once that is done you can decide what your plan should entail. TrainerRoad splits up its plans into three phases with each of these sections ranging from 4-to-12 weeks.
Most of them focus on building up your base fitness for phase 1.
Creating your calendar
After picking a plan, you can add it to your calendar. Here you can pick what days you want to train on, and the app will add them in the calendar.
Once done, you can move them around, add more, mix and match. You get the idea. Overall, there are over 1,000 workouts to choose from in total, so there’s plenty to go with.
Overall, Trainerroad is a solid application. What you lose in the fun and social aspect of Zwift, you can in the ability to train.
As for the Trainerroad app on Android or iOS, it’s pretty much perfect. By focusing on the numbers you can watch some TV or look into nothingness. The main thing is to follow the program which is hard. Big time.
If you are interested in Trainerroad for Android, you can pick it up here.