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Bkool Adds Real-Time Location Based Wind Resistance, Free Guest Mode & The Ability To Use On Any Trainer

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Bkool makes an affordable trainer with interactive software, but they also make an app for free download. The newest release of the software allows it to be used with any trainer (with limited function), but means that you can actually get the Bkool experience for free, provided you already have a trainer and compatible digital device.

The compact Bkool Pro trainer retails for $649.99 and the Bkool Indoor software is a free download.  There is a free subscription to the online service, as well as a $15/month premium subscription that unlocks video, 3D World, multiplayer and several other features. For the full details on the trainer, click the link above for Tyler’s review from June. Bkool continues to refine the app and add functions to make the product better, and the basic service being free is a nice start, although if you buy the full trainer, a year of premium is automatically included. Click more to see the new updates…

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Bkool is proud that their unit is more cost effective than others, selling for about half the price. While a bit lack luster at the launch, they have been steadily improving the app, which should start to get them some good market acceptance if they can offer a similar experience as the bigger guys at a better price. Here are the new features just added:

GUEST MODE: This is an option for anyone who just wants to test out the simulator without needing to set up an account. It lets anyone use the simulator and ride any of 5 pre-loaded routes, including one video route, to experience the full functionality of the Bkool Indoor simulator. It works with Wahoo and Elite trainers as well, but won’t have the road feel function.

WRITE ON THE ROAD: Spectators in 3D mode can write messages on the road (limited to two lines of 7 characters) to other riders in the session. This seems like a good feature for some friendly ribbing while remotely competing against your buddies.

REAL WIND: You can choose whether to have wind simulation or not. Wind speed and direction are retrieved for the particular location of the session based on real time weather data. This is super interesting, yet begs the question why you wouldn’t just go outside and ride.

OPPONENT TYPES SHOWN IN RANKING: Type of opponent (bot, ghost or human) is indicated in session ranking.

TRAINING NOTES: users can now add notes about their training at the completion of each session, and they are saved with the session history.

NON-CONTROLLABLE DEVICES: You can now ride a session with any one of these devices: power meter, speed sensor, cadence meter or heart rate strap. You can even perform a session with no devices at all. Obviously, you won’t be able to control trainer resistance this way. If you are not paired to a trainer, you will get on-screen prompts to raise or lower resistance based on the terrain. In this way, you could use any trainer and do your workout only based on perceived effort. It is interesting how it works — if you ride paired to just a heart monitor strap, as your heart rate goes up and down, your calculated power and speed do as well.

The app is currently available from Bkool on their website.

www.bkool.com

 

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WV Cycling
WV Cycling
8 years ago

Why isn’t anyone making a USB speedometer/cadence sensor that you can use instead of these proprietary things? You could make one for like $25-40, and the only problem you’d need is to have someone else make the software.

Hell, if you wanted, you could just race “lines” or completion bars with other punks on the internet pretty easily with some flash game scripts.

PartyTime
PartyTime
8 years ago

@wv Cycling they are already out. I am using Zwift and it allows more regular trainers or even rollers to be used vs what BKOOL or TACX has done. You just need a USB ant+ and a 40$ cadence sensor and you are on board. Sure powermeters and heartrate straps work too but its pretty cheap to get in which is why I think BKOOL is scrambing to not miss the boat Zwift has created.

JRA
JRA
8 years ago

Bkool and Zwift simulations are very different from each other. Zwift does not nor will support (user crated) GPS routes or videos which makes it very limited in function. I find it much more appealing to romp and crush someone or train on a real world GPS 3D created course that what Zwift will offer.

DCT
DCT
8 years ago

The issue with allowing people to “race” based on solely speed is the variability of resistance relative to speed. With my mag trainer I could adjust it so that there is practically no resistance, which would allow me to dominate.

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