With products like the Wahoo KICKR taking advantage of Bluetooth’s ability to send and receive data, it’s had a bit of a headstart in terms of integrating cycling (or desktop) computers and smartphones into an overall system. For example, when we reviewed the KICKR and TrainerRoad, the training software or iPhone app could control the trainer to make for some automatic and furiously effective workouts.
Now, ANT+ is in on the game, letting multiple devices have real, two way conversations with each other. It’s geared toward indoor cycles and trainers, and TacX, Kinomap and TrainerRoad have already integrated it into their products alongside other major updates…
The TacX Vortex Smart and Bushido Smart trainers can now use TrainerRoad and KinoMap to control the resistance directly through those programs’ apps. That means both apps will now be able to automatically change the ride based on the workout or virtual ride you’re doing, making it much easier to focus on your physical output.
Other data that FE-C brings is familiar sounding: Real time speed, distance, elapsed time and power, assuming the trainer or spin bike can calculate it.
Outside of the training boost it provides, it’ll be interesting to see if this carries over to outdoor equipment, letting cycling computers send signals to other things, like lights or (please, God) garage door openers.
In addition to the new FE-C compatibility, TrainerRoad has made a lot of updates to their program. Here’s the list from their PR:
- Ride Sync – You can now link your TrainerRoad account to your Strava, TrainingPeaks or Dropbox accounts to automatically sync your TrainerRoad workouts. You can also sync rides individually.
- In-app training plans – This is the first step in a much bigger plan to allow athletes to find and follow the perfect training plan. For now, you can sort through over 80 training plans and see which workouts to do on which day.
- Filter by workout duration, power zone, IF & more – Prior to this update, you had 800 workouts to sort through manually. If you’re not following a training plan but are still looking for a particular workout, this allows you to narrow things down very well.
- Interval analysis with new zoomed-in graph – To help keep you focused on the current interval you are in, we changed the zoomed-in view on the workout screen to give you a progress bar. Once you’ve completed the interval, the next one slides into view.
- PowerMatch (sync power meter with electronic trainer) – A discrepancy in power readings from power meters to electronic trainers is a common issue, and this resolves that. PowerMatch allows you to use the power data from your power meter to control the resistance of your electronic trainer. It also allows you to manually offset the power readings from your electronic trainer so that they are in line with your true power.
They’re also working on Video for iOS, which will allow you to watch video while doing your workout on your iPad or iPhone, and their Desktop app will be completely rebuilt soon with new back end architecture that’ll make future updates easier and provide a more consistent user experience across all platforms.