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This indoor cycling app is making me suffer, and it’s highly effective

This indoor cycling app is making me suffer, and it’s highly effective

Welcome to Riding Nerdy, TNW’s fortnightly dive into bicycle-based tech, where we go into too much detail and geek out on all things related to pedal-powered gadgets.

In November last year, I started using Zwift, an online gaming-come-indoor cycle training platform. Whilst still remaining very much in a niche, over the past few years its popularity has exploded in the cycling world. But it’s not the only option, and it certainly wasn’t the first digital tool designed to take the monotony out of cycling indoors.

After finishing a six-week training plan on Zwift, I thought I’d try out “The Sufferfest,” an online training platform that uses real life footage from famous international bike races to motivate users. Like Zwift, it’s $14.99 a month.

[Read: How this VR video game is transforming indoor cycle training]

Sufferfest has actually been around for quite a while. It first spawned as a collection of exercise videos designed to guide indoor bike trainer workouts. Back in these early versions, the user would have to adjust their bike trainer’s resistance to coincide with the instructions on screen to perform the workout. The instructions, music, and carefully curated video really took the monotony out of training indoors.

The latest incarnation of the Sufferfest, though, builds these videos into an app (Mac, Windows, and iOS compatible) that has a whole host of interactive features, too. When playing a Sufferfest video, the app can control the resistance of a smart bike trainer meaning the rider just has to ride along and do as they’re told, kind of like Zwift.

Credit: Sufferfest