Sick of Zwift, or just wanting to change the platform for your indoor cycling workouts? Don’t worry, although Zwift is the most well-known application, there are several competitors – and all of them are well-founded. Let’s see the best 5 alternatives to Zwift most loved by cyclists who train with smart trainers.
1 – BKOOL
Bkool was the first company to create an interactive online platform where you can train and compete. Bkool was born long before Zwift, but in the beginning it was mainly a manufacturer of smart trainers. Subsequently, the Spanish company has moved more and more online, integrating with all the various smart trainers on the market, and offering some truly unique features for those looking for an alternative to Zwift.
The first feature that differentiates Bkool from Zwift is certainly the ability to ride on a real video in 4K. There is also the option to train on reconstructed graphics, although this does not reach the detail of Zwift and is certainly less accurate, but what does it matter when you can use a 100% real video of roads taken from all parts of the world? But that’s not all, the most captivating feature is certainly to be able to load your own movie path with a 4k action camera, use it and make it usable for other users of Bkool!
The only negative flaw of Bkool is the free trial, really narrow and meaningless: it allows us to ride for only 4 km on a fixed route chosen by the company. Very little… but the platform is certainly well structured, with many cyclists taking part in the various competitions and group training – not least a recent partnership with the Giro d’Italia, which allows you to ride on the roads of the Giro, provided an additional payment compared to the classic subscription of 9.99 euros per month.
Rouvy was born in the Czech Republic to a staff of athletic trainers. Needless to say, the offer in terms of training tables and preparation plans within the platform is very wide. But even lovers of Zwift-style races will find here bread for their teeth, with many cyclists on the roads of Rouvy, also reconstructed in real videos just like in Bkool. Rouvy’s graphics are also super, while our avatar is reconstructed in 3d and pedals on the roads in a very captivating way.
Rouvy offers a very interesting option for those who have multiple family members cycling: included in the subscription of 12 euros per month in fact Rouvy allows you to train up to 3 family members. This when compared to other platforms makes Rouvy much more convenient for those who want to use the smart trainer in turn with other family members.
The free trial of Rouvy is certainly better than Bkool, but also of Zwift itself, which offers just 25 km total free: on Rouvy you can ride for 2 weeks for free, and then choose whether to switch to a subscription plan. But we are sure that if you try it you will not go back.
3- THE SUFFERFEST
The Sufferfest may not deserve third place at the moment, but it has great growth prospects, given that the company was recently acquired by the giant Wahoo. At the moment The Sufferfest is still the name of the app, while on the Wahoo website you can find it under the name Systm.
The offer is based on two subscription plans, one month for 13.20 euros and one annual for 113 euros, where then monthly you spend only 9.40 euros.
The motto of The Sufferfest is “pedal faster”, and this says a lot about the setting up of the platform. Everything is based on training and performance. So, if you are purely interested in the preparation aspect, for you this is a very specific and well-structured app. But forget about Zwift’s bland-pace collegiate training.
Wahoo’s recent acquisition, however, makes it ready for change. It is worth keeping an eye on it and following evolution.
Fulgaz is – maybe – our favourite alternative to Zwift. We have not put it in the first place only for reasons of notoriety: it is less known than the platforms that we have listed so far, but it is perhaps the most beautiful is complete.
Fulgaz also plays real videos of real roads, just like the 3 predecessors of this article, where they all differ from Zwift in this approach. But not only: on Fulgaz you can upload your own routes recorded with Action Cam, as is the case in Bkool.
That’s not all. This British platform stands out among the various alternatives to Zwift for the love of gravel. In fact, you will find many routes in HD video on gravel terrain, something difficult to find on other alternatives to Zwift.
If you are still not convinced, let’s add 2 important factors: first, the free trial is 14 days, just like in Rouvy. Second but most important, the monthly subscription is 10.99 euros, while with an annual subscription this figure is reduced to only 8.16 euros per month, making this platform the most convenient among those listed so far.
5- RGT Cycling
RGT Cycling, as The Sufferfest, has its core in preparation and performance: it is not for nothing that it boasts important collaborations in the structure with a partner like Training Peaks.
RGT really deserves a deepening, thanks to several of its peculiar characteristics:
First: RGT is based on reconstructed 3D graphics, just like in Zwift, but with truly surprising results and – we would say – superior to Zwift.
Second: RGT offers free rides without an infinite subscription. Clearly, there are many limitations, but then you can take advantage of 14 days of the free trial, and finally a subscription of only 8.99 euros per month.
Third: the Magic Roads option. Already present on Bkool, it allows you to upload a GPX file and track it with reconstructed 3D graphics. Depending on the altitude, this option will recreate a landscape relevant to the reconstructed condition.
Fourth: although RGT offers different training and preparation options, it is still very open to those who prefer to ride with groups of friends or without particular competitive ambitions, and this makes it a complete alternative to Zwift.
CONCLUSIONS: WHAT TO THINK ABOUT ALTERNATIVES TO ZWIFT
Alternatives to Zwift exist, and they are also very valid. Even though Zwift is extremely more famous than its direct competitors, in some respects it is surpassed by other systems. The strength of Zwift is definitely participation: if you want to meet 10 or 12 thousand cyclists in one shot while cycling together, then Zwift is your choice. But if, for example, for you, the priority is training and preparation because of the summer season, then The Sufferfest deserves a look.
If, on the other hand, you love landscapes, even if virtual, or challenging climbs that you have never seen due to time and travel problems, then platforms such as Bkool, Rouvy or Fulgaz are really for you.
The free trials of these applications – except for the specific case of Bkool – are really open and inviting… so why not?