The Best Cycling Apps to Use with the Stages SB20 Smart Bike
By Stan Portus – 27 March 2020
The Stages Smart Bike is compatible with a host of apps such as Zwift and Trainer Road that will help you get the most out of your home training. Here we profile some of the best.
Riding outside isn’t always possible. The Stages Smart Bike is one of the most advanced indoor training bikes and marries Stages’ expertise as the fastest growing gym bike company in the world and Stages’ Grand Tour winning power meters.
The Stages Smart Bike is compatible with a wide range of cycling training apps. These will help you make the most of your home workouts, providing motivation and letting you ride with or pit yourself against other riders, while offering game-like graphics or videos.
The indoor training bike also has a myriad of features that will make riding at home with app even more appealing than setting your bike up on a standard turbo.
A tablet and phone holder will put any apps you are using within easy reach, and the bike has electronic shifting, braking, and steering functionalities. Steering and braking isn’t built into apps like Zwift yet, but by including them in the Smart Bike Stages has accounted for any future app developments.
The Stages Bike also allows you to fit your own choice of saddle, handlebars, and pedals, meaning you can customise the finishing kit to match your outdoors bikes. Even if you decide against swapping out parts the bike comes with drop bars instead of the usual bull horn bars that come with gym bikes.
Here we profile some of the best apps to use with the Stages Smart bike to help you get the perfect home training setup.
Even if you haven’t ridden on Zwift yet, you’re probably familiar with its graphics and the kind of experiences the app offers from seeing people post their Zwift rides on Strava.
Zwift is an online training and racing platform that has several different riding modes. In ‘Just Ride’ resistance responds the gradient of the route you have selected providing a realistic feeling. Group rides offer more structured activity, and there are many scheduled every day on routes that take inspiration from around the world.
The routes on Zift are divided into 7 different worlds. These are: Watopia, Bologna, Innsbruck, London, New York City, Richmond, and Yorkshire.
Thousands of riders take to Zwift meaning you always have people to ride with. Zwift has also hosted races where the pros compete against one another on Zwift’s virtual circuits, and recently offered rides where you could ride alongside the Michelton-SCOTT riders.
TrainerRoad provides straight up, solid training sessions that are perfect if you want to become a faster cyclist.
The app features built-in trainer and power meter calibration that work excellently with the Stages Smart Bike Gen 3 Dual-Side Power Meter to provide super accurate, power-based interval sessions
It provides training plans tailored to road, triathlon, or off-road riding. Or, if you like, you can create a custom plan suited to your season and lifestyle.
Performance analysis allows you to track how your training is going, measure personal records, and get detailed insights into every ride.
‘Full Gas’ is cycling slang for when you give it all you’ve got and have nothing left, and this pretty much sums up the app.
FulGaz uses high-definition footage of rides and races to give you an impressive real-ride experience. The app has a library of 596 routes and 11,711km of road, ensuring you’ll never get bored.
The app has played an important role in some outstanding pro performances, including Rohan Dennis winning the 2019 World Time Trial Championships. Dennis worked closely with FulGaz to help understand the route as best he could before competing.
When it was first established, Sufferfest produced training videos that consisted of race footage overlayed with instructions for interval training.
In 2016, Sufferfest stopped selling individual videos and switched to providing a subscription service and app. The app uses training zone that can be tailored to your personal training zones, features training plans, power tests, cadence exercises, and even yoga workouts – something that is great for helping prepare you for cycling’s extreme positions and strains on the body.
The app has a humour that is lacking elsewhere in the world of training apps, but it is possibly a very particular type of humour. Sufferfest training takes place in ‘Sufferlandia’ and riders are often representing the ‘Sufferlandia Team’ who are at risk of being caught by minions if their efforts aren’t good enough. Minions are even known to mess with the timings of intervals, making them longer.
BKool started by providing an online app and training hardware, but he Spanish company decided to focus solely on its online training platform late last year. The platform predates Zwift and with 100,000 active users BKool is one of the most popular training platforms.
The app provides a variety of different sessions. You can ride road rides, such as stages from Grand Tours; complete workouts based off your personal power zones; compete in Velodrome events such as the Keirin, elimination races, or pursuit events; and FTP tests.
BKool also has a second app, that is covered by the same subscription, which provides recorded training sessions with coaches providing a high motivation gym class style experience. The videos have a higher production value than some other platforms and are in a number of languages.