Question from a Zwifter: Isn't Trainerroad boring compared to other platforms that add more gamification?


I dropped zwift on the minute I noticed that what would make me a faster cyclist were structured workouts. Watopia is an invitation for junk miles without leaving home.


I have been a subscriber to TR for 5 years. I have been a subscriber to Zwift since it was in beta and the only course was “Jarvis Island”. For a couple of years I ran Zwift and TR simultaneously. I had been at level 25 for a long time and have had the Tron bike forever. Despite expansions Zwift has gotten really stale for me. I recently cancelled my membership without any regret. I much prefer Netflix as entertainment for aerobic and tempo workouts and running a bike race from FLO Bikes in the background while listening to Spotify for intense workouts.


I run both simultaneously. I like my loud music and can’t hear television over my fans, so Netflix doesn’t work well for me. I probably look at TR 75% of the time, but then look up at the Zwift world the other 25%. I’ve had gym memberships and paid for spin classes, I have a nice bike and a nice trainer. Spending the price of a pizza to have the 2nd app feels like a steal to me.


For me, Zwift is all for fun, and TrainerRoad is all for faster. :grin:


I’m with @Darkgerbil on this one. I don’t find TR boring at all. And I usually don’t need entertainment. I just watch the blue blocks of doom and follow along with Coach Chad’s instructions. I actually look forward to the simplicity of the suffering.


TR and Zwift serve totally different purposes. Yes, simply riding around can get boring and junk miles never help anyone. But the visuals on TR are equally as boring. I’ve found though that doing a TR workout on my phone whilst riding on Zwift is for me a perfect distraction. It’s meant that I can easily do a 90 min turbo session whereas before I would struggle past 45 mins.

The thing that TR can do, and I’ve found TR workouts simply can replicate, is the ability to race. There’s similar tactics and unpredictability you get on the road. This year so far Zwift racing has been a revelation for me. There’s more to racing a bike well that having a big FTP.


I see it the same as swimming lengths in the pool vs open water swimming.

You’ll see and experience more swimming in the sea or a lake, but you’ll get more structure and control in the pool. It’s easier to perform specific drills in the pool.


I have never tried Zwift, but can see how it appeals to some however it’s not for me. I’ve been using TR for around five years and it does everything I need with regards training plans etc. With music in the background and any type of video playing on the screen I can immerse myself in the workout with no feeling for the need to interact with anyone else. I should also add that I’ve never used a smart trainer therefore I’m constantly keeping an eye on the power output to ensure I hit the targets, and I find that this is mentally engaging enough to preclude any other form of stimulus.


Horses for courses. Zwift is great for my wife who needs something like that to encourage her onto the trainer. The gamification is more important. She just wants to be generally in shape and burn some calories.

I on the other hand want to be the fastest I can be and have put my faith in the hard work put into the plans and software for trainer road. If I need entertainment that’s what TV shows are for. Or music. Or whatever. Hell I could probably get away with a PlayStation game during recovery weeks if I really wanted to.


Zwift is excellent for just spinning around, social rides and especially racing. I never raced much, but I did achieve a new maximum heart rate during a race finish. Tells you something about the engagement level. Also, you see social groups forming in real life around Zwifting. I’ve met a few acquaintances that way. That’s the aspect of Zwift I’ll miss the most, probably.

Trainerroad is for training. Zwift does have a workout mode, which is pretty good, but it has nowhere the training plans and workouts that Trainerroad offers. I found myself staring at numbers anyway when I was in workout mode, so I decided TR was better (and cheaper) for this particular purpose.


I’m thinking to cancel my Zwift account and only use TR. Because the thing that bothers me on Zwift, is the fact that so many people ride faster then me​:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. So I try to push myself to ride faster then neccesary and lose the point of training for that moment​:sweat_smile:. That’s why I run Zwift mostly in the background also I always get so tired just from watching Zwift.

TR and some music or Netflix will do it from now on


TrainerRoad has gamified training.

It just doesn’t look like a game. We compete for TSS points, the girls/guys with the most points (FTP) are better at the game and so on.

Chess vs Minecraft


Nope. TrainerRoad is for getting fast. Throw on some CX or XC replays on red bull tv and everything is fine. Music helps. And a fan. And a towel.

I still have my zwift account for weekday races, but I’ve been on zwift maybe twice in the last two months. Probably canceling soon.


I echo what most of the other Trainer Road riders have said, and will add that virtual training partners aren’t the same as real training partners. On the days when I’m riding by myself, I don’t dread it at all. I get into a groove and don’t WANT the distraction of entertainment. Crank up the tunes and reach inside for motivation. When I want the pleasure of company during a workout, I either do a group ride, or jump on a bike with fellow riders at The Wheelhouse. I love the people who ride with us at our cycling studio - the various personalities have kept us laughing - and motivated to work out - for years. TrainerRoad keeps it real, giving us everything we need and nothing more.


Zwift is great for filling in your outdoor rain days. TrainerRoad is great for killing it during the winter months. When you come back to group rides in the spring, everyone gets dropped.


Most people on a TrainerRoad forum will probably favour that platform and I do understand that.
TR is good and I had used it from around late 2012 until this year and it does work very well but I had gone from around 100 workouts a year to a handful.
For someone like myself who only trains to keep in shape and because I also enjoy it I can struggle with the motivation at times to do higher efforts and this is where I much prefer Zwift. I absolutely love either leading or taking part in the group training rides and can push myself better with others around.

As I mentioned above, I increased my FTP when using Zwift after being around the same for a while when using TR, SF, etc. So for some people just getting mors time on the bike will work as long as you follow a basic training plan.

TR would probably be ideal to target strict interval workouts then use Zwift for everything else.

I did try watching movies or sports when using TR but didn’t like that at all. Doing TR and Zwift together was good and I would maybe pause the workout so that I could start it when I reached a known segment on Zwift but eventually just used Zwift on its own.

Everyone is different and it is worth trying a variety of apps because at the end of the day it is what works for you that is best.


I love my Zwift and use it a lot for free rides and just fun. But TR is the real thing…


I use you tube, movies and like for entertainment. Tried zwift, it was FUN! but Trainer Road gives mea much better workout. Also I don’t need ridiculous hardware to PLAY Trainer Road!


I have work to do and goals that are multiple years away. When I get on that trainer, it’s all business and I’m focused on the workout and the numbers. I’m not on the trainer as a substitute for riding outdoors, I’m there because I want to be a cat-3 in CX.


Exactly my issue. Loved the group rides but scheduling was not optimal.