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Zwift "vs" Bkool - what am I missing

ActriActri Posts: 2
In the last few days I used both. I have been training on indoor trainers for 20 years, including on old Computrainer. I just got a Wahoo Kickr to crank up winter training and use these virtual platforms.

Zwift is hugely popular but I don't get why, since Bkool seems better. I must be missing something. Functionally you get is quite similar in terms of tracking and reporting on watts/HR/cadence, control over trainer, etc. But Zwift has only 2 courses, both which require many laps for a good ride. After a few times I am already bored. BKool has the velodrome for hammering and tons of courses. Also there are velodrome based games/competitions. The real world videos are okay but I am not convinced they are better than a virtual world. Real world course is great but it could be virtual looking.

The only thing Zwift seems to have over Bkool is a lot more people.

What am I missing?

Posts

  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,220
    That's about right. Bkool is more varied but I do find Zwift has better graphics and the trainer responds to the course in a slightly more accurate way (bkool tends to go in steps). Also, Zwift support seems more reactive whereas Bkool can be a bit on the quiet side.

    Zwift workouts are better than the Bkool interval sessions too.

    I prefer bkool if I want to challenge myself with a famous climb or use the velodrome - but would rather use zwift for workouts.
  • bobinskibobinski Posts: 568
    In the last few days I used both. I have been training on indoor trainers for 20 years, including on old Computrainer. I just got a Wahoo Kickr to crank up winter training and use these virtual platforms.

    Zwift is hugely popular but I don't get why, since Bkool seems better. I must be missing something. Functionally you get is quite similar in terms of tracking and reporting on watts/HR/cadence, control over trainer, etc. But Zwift has only 2 courses, both which require many laps for a good ride. After a few times I am already bored. BKool has the velodrome for hammering and tons of courses. Also there are velodrome based games/competitions. The real world videos are okay but I am not convinced they are better than a virtual world. Real world course is great but it could be virtual looking.

    The only thing Zwift seems to have over Bkool is a lot more people.

    Come over to the cycle chat forums where we have active bkool leagues including mountain goats and regular races together. They are chalk and cheese at the moment bkool and Zwift but in the long term will probably edge closer together.

    What am I missing?
  • bobinskibobinski Posts: 568
    In the last few days I used both. I have been training on indoor trainers for 20 years, including on old Computrainer. I just got a Wahoo Kickr to crank up winter training and use these virtual platforms.

    Zwift is hugely popular but I don't get why, since Bkool seems better. I must be missing something. Functionally you get is quite similar in terms of tracking and reporting on watts/HR/cadence, control over trainer, etc. But Zwift has only 2 courses, both which require many laps for a good ride. After a few times I am already bored. BKool has the velodrome for hammering and tons of courses. Also there are velodrome based games/competitions. The real world videos are okay but I am not convinced they are better than a virtual world. Real world course is great but it could be virtual looking.

    The only thing Zwift seems to have over Bkool is a lot more people.

    .

    What am I missing?
    Come over to the cycle chat forums where we have active bkool leagues including mountain goats and regular races together. They are chalk and cheese at the moment bkool and Zwift but in the long term will probably edge closer together
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    I've been umming and ahhhing over what platform to subscribe to again (I don't have a smart trainer though), ended up going with cyclops VT, I found Zwift tedious after the novelty wore off. Which was after about an hour.
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  • I've been using Bkool for about 12 months but have recently tried the free Zwift trial. Zwift is more polished software and better graphics and the achievements work really well. The courses however are limited (very) but guess this will change over time. Lots of users and the Zwift team do an excellent job in regular updates, improvements and communication. Bkool is amateur in comparison but it has two big advantages - video routes and ability to ride any route you want in the world. The graphics are more basic and there are lots of glitches and gremlins which make the software a little unfriendly. However, there is a fantastic community of riders, leagues and racers at Cycle Chat which is well worth checking out.
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,696
    I've been umming and ahhhing over what platform to subscribe to again (I don't have a smart trainer though), ended up going with cyclops VT, I found Zwift tedious after the novelty wore off. Which was after about an hour.

    I only have a normal very cheap trainer which in the past I've just done pyramid sets of 30 to 120 mins whilst watching YouTube cycling, this weekend I tried bkool with one of my shorter local training routes uploaded by gpx

    It took me about 10 mins to work out how to simulate climbing by changing gears, which whilst not perfect was effective, so much so my legs are hurting now, so apart from a good hard work out I also really liked watching my stats online with the bkool app, seeing the est power speed HR cadence speed distance and gradients overlayed on my local route was far more interesting that someone else's YouTube video.

    I'll be doing a lot more routes this winter for sure.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,696
    New 23" HD monitor should help :D

    Sa Calobra tomorrow morning I think
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • I've been riding Zwift a lot but yesterday thought I would give BKool a go for a few minutes.

    Was confused about the main menu system and how to actually ride a course, but eventually got into one which was a video of riding on a road near Madrid. The video was poor resolution but otherwise ok but I noticed a big difference compared to Zwift in that BKool only seems to care about the speed of my rear wheel, not my power output, or the slope in the 'game'.

    e.g. In Zwift I approach a downhill 5% gradient I power into it, then stop pedalling, in the game my character keeps going at 30mph until the bottom of the slope - realistic.

    However in BKool on a 5% downhill, I stop pedalling, I immediately stop in the game! In order to keep going I have to put it in top gear and keep pedalling like crazy - which on my turbo is a really loud affair! Have I set something up wrong? I'm using a Tacx Bushido and it simulates the slope etc fine.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,220
    That doesn't sound right, but I've read that for non Bkool trainers, downhill speeds are wrong. Not sure if this is the same issue though - have a look at the new Bkool support thread as it may be mentioned in there.
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