Take your ride up a notch with these indoor cycling apps that offer everything from live classes to expansive libraries of on-demand classes to personalized training programs.
By Amy Schlinger
Whether you were an at-home indoor cyclist before 2020 or not, the pandemic has increased the number of people who are taking their cycling indoors, into the comfort of their own living room or bedroom. But it can sometime feel a bit boring or monotonous to pedal alone for hours on end. Pick up the speed and motivation with an indoor cycling app. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites that offer everything from live workouts, to pre-recorded instructor-led classes, to virtual competitions, music-driven rides, and even personalized training plans. Try any or all of the indoor cycling apps below to get the most out of your ride.
Best Indoor Cycling Apps
Apple Fitness +
If you’re all about tracking stats in real time, this app is for you. Not only does it take the key metrics from your watch, like heart rate and calories burned, and display them on the workout screen, but it also animates them when you need the motivation the most. Plus, the “burn bar” gives you incentive to push a bit harder by showing you how you stack up with everyone else taking the class. In addition to cycling, the app has nine other fitness modalities, with more workouts added each week. Need a cool down after Spin class? Try one of the mindful cooldown or yoga workouts, or stack on a core or strength workout for an added burn post-cycle. The app gives you the ability to filter workouts by time, trainer, or music type, and then lists all the cycling options that fit your criteria.
Free 3 months with purchase of Apple watch, then $10 per month or $80 per year, apple.com
Calling all those cyclists with a bike and a smart trainer (though the app also works with most speed and power sensors)—download this app to make your training more interesting with a few simple clicks. The app works like a video game, where you can customize your avatar (bike, jersey, helmet, even socks), then choose from iconic bike routes around the world and watch yourself on screen as you make your way through all sorts of terrain or cross the finish line of a race with a new PR. If you want to make things more competitive, participate in app “challenges” to unlock exclusive jerseys and earn new bike gear for your avatar, or join a limited time “mission” that unlocks prizes in real life as well. You can also join in community events to keep things social with group rides. There are individual short ride options, or you can follow a full training plan. ZWIFT is compatible with lots of popular apps like Strava or Training Peaks, so you can import your training plan from an external app, or export your internal ride stats to another app.
Free 7-day trial, then $15 per month, zwift.com
Designed by world-class sports scientists, this app aims to make you an overall better athlete and cyclist. The Sufferfest advertises itself as the complete training app for cyclists, combining personalized workouts with both mental and strength training, as well as yoga, to help you improve performance on the bike. To start, you’ll take a “Four Dimensional Power” fitness test that uses specific metrics to help the app create a personalized training plan so that every cycling workout is targeted for you. Yoga will help to increase and build core strength and flexibility, for better overall riding posture and to lower your chance of getting injured. The mental strength program will teach you to utilize your mind as a tool, while the strength training will allow you to use your body to optimize endurance and efficiency. Plus, the app allows you to connect any Bluetooth or ANT+ devices (smart trainer, power meter, heart rate monitor) to help you keep track of your stats and progress. It’s like having your own personal cycling coach and plan in an app!
Free for 14 days, then $15 per month or $129 per year, thesufferfest.com
Riding along to the beat is what many love about indoor cycling classes! Feel that energy again when you download the Strut Club app. Choose from a library of on-demand workouts choreographed by cycling instructors to music from Spotify and Apple Music playlists. If you’re not feeling a song mid-workout, you can skip it or switch it with something that speaks to you a bit more. The app is able to tell you how many beats per minute each song is (auto-detection with songs on Spotify), so you’ll be able to better keep the tempo and adjust your resistance on your bike accordingly. You’ll get that fierce, motivating workout that you’re used to, personalized to your music taste. In addition to cycling workouts, the app also has HIIT, run, sculpt, barre, yoga, and bootcamp classes, too.
$16 per month or $130 per year, structclub.com
Whether you own a Peloton bike or not, you can still get a membership to their app. Download and login on your bike, tablet, phone or Fire TV and you’ll have access to thousands of live as well as on-demand classes at home (or wherever you may be). You can plan your day and exercise schedule around live classes and instructors you love or take a prerecorded class when it works for you. The membership also allows you to see everyone else taking class at the same time using the “Here Now” feature, and you can send virtual high fives as you chase them up the “Leaderboard.” Plus, during live classes, instructors can interact with you based on your performance, which both encourages and motivates you to give it your all. Besides indoor cycling classes, the app also offers instructor-led running, walking, bootcamp, strength, yoga, barre, and outdoor (audio-only) classes, too.
Free 2 months, then $13 per month, onepeloton.com
Bring the Spin studio to your living room with the Fitscope app! It’s compatible with all equipment brands and can be accessed from anywhere through iOS and Android devices, a browser, and even your TV. The app offers an array of HIIT cycling workouts categorized by exercise type, level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) length, and exercise goal. Some of the rides even have a theme like country or 90s, so you can ride along to jams of the same vibe. The instructors are motivating and the workouts are kickass and will leave you drenched in sweat. The app also offers classes for elliptical, treadmill, outdoor scenery runs, rowing, Airbike, core, stretch, tai chi/qigong, yoga, strength training, and mat Pilates, in case you ever want a bit of variety.
Free for 7 days, then $10 per month or $80 per year, fitscopestudio.com