Kinomap, one of the more popular trainer apps out there has expanded their platform with two new apps, one focused on Strava, and the other for Intervals. In addition, they’re going to become the first 3rd party app to roll-out Bluetooth Smart support for Tacx trainers.
In a nutshell, there’s the three core pieces of news here:
1) Rolling out a new app called Skuga, which is a Strava Segments/Routes app
2) Rolling out a new app called Intervals, which allows you to create/save interval workouts
3) Support of BLE control (effectively ANT+ FE-C tunneled over Bluetooth Smart)
Phew, lots of stuff! I’ll cruise through each of the above, starting first with the Intervals by Kinomap app. In addition, more details of these apps can be found on their new beta website.
To start, the Intervals app is totally free, no subscription required. This app focuses purely on interval workouts, and more specifically, fairly flexible intervals. The app is cool in that you can create and save specific interval segments to then mix and match over various workouts as you see fit.
For example, if I look at my catalog of structured workouts from my coach, they have generally fairly predictable ‘chunks’ that are mixed and reused over the course of each week/month/season to form workouts with various purposes. Things like my warm-up and finishing sprints are identical, for example. As are the build sections when doing brick workouts.
So the app allows you to create each of these chunks individually, and then save them away for mixing and matching to create a larger workout. Pretty darn logical, and surprised it’s not more widely done this way.
Below, you can see the workout creator as I create a two-section warm-up, with a power target.
You can target Power, Speed, BPM (Heart Rate), or RPM (Cadence). For example, in this build section I’ve just targeted three different HR levels. I’ve set each one to have an interval of 5 minutes, though the duration has a slight oddity in that I couldn’t set it to be 15 minutes, so it ends up shorting the last interval to 4 minutes. So still some minor quirks to work out. But Kinomap tends to iterate pretty quickly.
Here’s an example creating another segment with 3x300w. Though, this would be too much rest time for a proper interval (unless you were consuming ice cream between each work effort), but you get the picture.
Next, you can see combining these together to create a larger workout. Up in the top right you can just add any of the segments you’ve previously created. Then re-arrange or delete as required.
On the equipment side, you can connect to supported trainers, which today is just the Wahoo KICKR. You can also connect to various sensors – such as heart rate straps and cadence sensors.
When it comes to executing the workout, the app will walk you through step by step. Unfortunately photos of that on the show floor didn’t come out too pretty, and at present I don’t have a KICKR with me while travelling. Though, this photo of the KICKR did. So I’ll give you that instead.
Finally, post-workout you can save and upload the completed effort to various services such as Strava or Nacho Cheese. Yes, I’m just seeing if people are actually reading or not.
This app is all about Strava. It allows you to ride any of your existing Strava Rides (and thus segments). The goal here being to compete against yourself or others while indoors.
The app is (currently) free to Strava Premium Subscribers (or, Kinomap subscribers), though it sounds like the free to Strava Premium piece is more time limited. To start you’ll want to authorize your account within the app:
Once that’s done you’ll go ahead and find your Wahoo KICKR or KICKR Snap. Additionally, you can connect to Bluetooth Smart heart rate and cadence sensors.
Then it’ll grab your existing activities and show you a list of all of them. The obvious limiter here being that you can’t select other people’s activities, only your own. So you’ve gotta want to race something you’ve already done.
Once you’ve selected one, you can crack it open to see the route, profile and other stats from the ride. You can also see various Strava Segments within that too:
Then it’s up to just riding the activity. As you do so you’ll see your results on the right side, and the previous record on the left side. Along the bottom it’ll show you the elevation of the ride, while the top will give you total status against your record.
So how does this differ from something like Wahoo Segments? Well the key thing is that the Wahoo Segments app can’t ride an entire ride, but rather just a given Strava Segment. So this is about re-riding the full thing, segments and all.
Note that Skuga will properly tag the ride as being on a trainer, when it uploads to Strava. This will in turn add you to the virtual ride (aka Trainer) leaderboards, instead of putting you on the regular (outdoor) leaderboards. This is the same new virtual leaderboards that Zwift started using as well.
Kinomap adds Bluetooth Smart Tacx Control:
(Note: The news in this section is separate from that of the previous two sections. Just happens to be related to Kinomap as a company, but not related to the two apps noted above.)
Finally, we’ve got a little nugget of news that has been hinted at recently, but is almost ready to be more widely noted – which is 3rd party Bluetooth Smart control of Tacx trainers. You’ll remember that while Tacx released ANT FE-C support this past summer, they didn’t release any way of apps controlling their trainers via Bluetooth Smart. That’s super-limiting for iOS devices, which lack a native way to connect to ANT+ devices (without an adapter).
Well Kinomap and Tacx have been working together over the last few months and will be rolling out support within the next Kinomap app update (which is being submitted to Apple in the next day or two). This means that you’ll be able to control the Tacx Smart-branded trainers with the Kinomap app. For clarity, those Smart trainers are currently: Bushido Smart, Genius Smart, Vortex Smart, and NEO Smart.
Interestingly, the way they are doing this is to simply encapsulate the existing FE-C protocol and then just tunnel it over Bluetooth Smart. Kinda brilliant, as it avoids having to reinvent the wheel. It’ll be interesting to see if others (such as Elite) take this approach as well for 3rd party BT support. Hopefully whatever these companies do, they make it easy for 3rd party apps to quickly implement it.
With that, thanks for reading! If you’re looking to burn a bit of time, here’s all my Interbike 2015 posts!
Just uplooaded my workout to Nacho Cheese- worked great, got my first COM 😉
Is Nacho Cheese Ant + or Bluetooth?
Any idea how well elevation changes work in Skuga? I remember the Segments app had wonky resistance changes due to elevation data not being precise. I assume they try to smooth it out.
Also, Skuga sounds like an Eastern European moped. 🙂
I have a Tacx Bushido Smart, I’ve just downloaded the Skuga app but it seems to only have the option to pair with a Kickr? Is that right? The article implied these apps were also for Tacx trainers? I’m confused.
Sorry, two different topics. Probably a bit confusing. The Tacx one is for their existing Kinomap app, whereas the other two were separate.
I’ve just added a line to help minimize the confusion there. Sorry!
Do you happen to know if they are planning on adding Tacx Smart support to the Skuga app? either by bluetooth or over ANT+FE/C using a dongle?
That app seems to be exactly what I’ve been looking for for a while, i.e. the ability to do the same rides I do outdoors inside. But it seems I chose the wrong trainer!
As of Today, for the launch, the 2 apps are only compatible with the Wahoo KICKR and KICKR Snap.
We should extend it to Tacx Trainers (FE-C over BLE) before the end of October though.
See the page dedicated to Skuga on our new website (in opened beta):
link to beta4.kinomap.com
Fantastic news Laurent, I’m looking forward to trying it out.
What do you call Cheese that isn’t your cheese?
Let’s hope bushido fot tablets can also be controlled by Kinomap. Wpuld be kind of great!
Shame the Skuga app is only for Wahoo trainers. Are there any other apps that do a similar thing that will work with a Tacx Vortex Smart?
It’s possibly a future article for Rays consideration? The market is moving so fast at the moment you’ve got different apps, PC, iPad, iPhone etc, different protocols in ANT+ and Bluetooth some support one but not the other or are locked down to certain trainers. It’s hard to get a grip of it all in any sensible way!
@RobHug, just answered to Mark Hewitt on the same question, please watch my comment of September 21, 2015 at 6:59 am 😉
I have an iPhone – with ANT+ dongle and a Tacx Bushido smart
Is there anything currently available or upcoming which would allow me to ride a course – could be a ride I’ve done before or perhaps created – follow it on the screen and have my trainer adjust the slope automatically.
Then when I’m done upload it to Strava as a virtual ride?
Please disregard / delete this as Skuga will do the job shortly 🙂
Let’s hope Skuga pushes the price (€30!!!) of Segments down or the quality up…
Does Nacho Cheese have support for iOS9?
Doh! Everyone is distracted by the Nacho Cheese, and completely missed the Specialized Lunchtime Monday ride in Morgan Hill. It’s more like bread crumb trail hints.
Intervals App is quite useless if time intervals for recovery have to be the same length as the “effort” intervals. For example 3 x 10min at FTP can only be combined with 3 x 10min recovery. Ratio usually is 2:1, not 1:1.
Is this right? I was just about to purchase. Say it ain’t so, Laurent!
@Mag @Happy Runner: we wanted the interface to be very very simple and user friendly. So inside an “interval”, you can have small bits of the same duration with different values. Say 4 minutes slots for example, for 20 minutes, so 5 slots. But you can also of course decide to put the same values for successive slots and achieve the ratio you want.
And then of course combine these intervals to create longer activities.
Give it a try : the app is free, play with the interface!
Hope that makes sense!
The problem with the ‘very very simple’ interface is that users of devices like Kickr are most likely quite committed cyclist and technically savy and will expect to be able to create workouts in a more flexible way. Novice users are either going to use something like Trainer Road with pre-baked workouts or Wahoo’s own app and just ride with a slope set.
The difficulty with your design is that I have to think about my intervals in terms of my ‘rest’ period first then work out a common divisor for the ‘work’ period e.g. 5x5mins with 3min rests becomes 5x1min Work then 3 x 1min Rest.
The interface doesn’t let me create intervals below 3mins in duration so even this isn’t possible!
Your approach is quite mathematically or logically clever but hardly very simple or user friendly. Hopefully you can address some of these issues and improve its usefulness.
I played with it and understand what you mean about successive intervals at the same power, then a rest phase to equal any ratio.
The main problem is the inability to create an interval less than three minutes. So, for example a one minute rest phase is impossible, as is any phase that involves 30 seconds.
Why do you prevent the user from creating short intervals?
In addition to only working with Wahoo Kickr, Skuga and Intervals only pair with Wahoo Tickr and RPM for heart rate and cadence. So if you’re using another brand, like I don’t know Garmin for HR and cadence they won’t connect.
Totally understand why only Kickr support but for HR and cadence as well?
Also agree about the effort v recovery ratio. It’s like the person/team that designed it need to revisit Rule #5.
I really hope they don’t just stick to Wahoo products only, that would be pretty terrible – not that there’s anything wrong with Wahoo products, I use their HRM for example, but my cadence comes from my power meter, am I going to end up having to put an RPM on my crank? That would just be silly.
I lost focus when you mentioned Nacho Cheese…
Just to clarify about the ‘price’ structure of the 2 Apps currently set for the Wahoo Kickr, then Tacx Trainers by October time frame :
– Skuga to re-ride your Strava activities and upload them to Strava as a virtual rides: the App is free if you have a Kinomap subscription or Strava premium account.
– Intervals by Kinomap to create your own interval training based on Pwr, Cad, HR, Spd, and upload your sessions to Strava as a Virtual Ride: the App is free, you just need a free Kinomap account.
Does the 3rd party Bluetooth Smart control also works for the older version of the Tacx Bushido (for tablet T2790)? Since you only mention the newer Smart trainers.
Apparently the bluetooth connection is being used as a tunnel to the ANT+FE/C interface. As I understand it, so if yours supports ANT+FE/C it will probably work, if not it probably won’t?
It only works with the ‘Smart’ branded variants, so not the original Bushido, since that doesn’t do ANT+ FE-C, just private ANT.
Will it be possible to ride a created route? As in one which hasnt been riden before?
This would be a killer feature to be able to ride routes/segments from around the world!
@Shawn: not as of now because the idea behind Skuga is to re-ride “against” a previous “you”. So it could be against someone else maybe one day but a created route would need to assume then a theoretical speed for a given elevation, etc, a bit like Garmin’s Virtual Partner and we have no plans to go in this direction (yet!).
I have Segments and one of the things I found disappointing is that Unless I am using it wrong, you cannot ride a whole Ironman 70.3 bike course in it, right? Would Skuga give me that option? Thank you for the support.
@DT It will give you this option… if you already rode the IronMan 70.3 in the real life 🙂
The app is really about replaying a real outdoor ride that you’ve already done. At least for the moment.
I guess that if you find someone willing to share his tcx/gpx file (with timestamps, that’s important), you can import it on your Strava account as a private ride and find it back in Skuga but that’s not a good long terme solution as the ride imported will alter all your real statistics.
For the BPM intervals, does\will the app change kickr resistance to keep BPM in the correct zone. Considering the lag factors, it would be difficult but cool if they could pull it off.
@Simon: that’s an interesting idea but not, it’s not the case.
How realistic is Skuga when riding a route on a Kickr. I seem to remember that applications that let you re-ride ‘your’ route suffer from the erratic elevation data recorded while you were doing the real ride. Applications like Virtual Trainer have the option of applying some elevation and therefore gradient smoothing. Is this possible with Skuga?
I do wonder how the course is recreated, does it do it just in terms of there’s a 5% slope here, put a 5% slope on the trainer adjusting for rider weight.
But I more ‘smart’ way of doing it would be to look at the power / speed etc from the rider on the ride being simulated so say I was putting out 200W in real life at that point and then I’m putting out 200W on the trainer then we get simulated as being level. But if I’m doing 220W on the trainer then I’ll pull ahead. The point is that then you’re not just simulating the course but also the conditions that prevailed on the day, was there a crazy block headwind meaning you had to put in twice the effort you would normally on the way out, but half on the way back? Well that would be reflected indoors too.
@Mark: we’re really based on the slope of the Strava ride “as it is” and use the simulation engine of the KICKR along with other smotthing techniques and what we call the “e-brake” which is a smart calculation for dowhills: when a sharp turn arise, you can’t take it without braking a little bit of course.
We could actually improve the app to use the power as a comparison point when we have a real power (Vector, Powertap, Stages, etc) recorded when outdoor. We’ll add that to the features list.
kinomap- any idea when skuga will be available on google play store for android?
@MATT: no plans yet on Android unfortunately. Let’s see how the app starts on iOS to be more precise in a few months. Sorry about that…
Yawn, another “lets ignore Android” company.
@David Tunney. We don’t ignore Android users at all, we actually have 4 apps on Android : link to play.google.com and a 5th one is coming very soon.
For several reasons (limited resources, mainly), we started on iOS but I’m confident about Skuga & Intervals: stay tuned!
Looked for intervals with Android. Hope this comes, you guys do know there are way more android users than iOS (but I guess maybe the market dynamics is that iOS is a wealthier segment, more users for trainers on iOS than Android?)
Sorry, but I expected a better user interface for the Intervals app. The slider is exceptionally frustrating in terms of touch sensitivity; the numerical intervals are odd; it would make a lot more sense to drag and drop intervals to shuffle the shorter ones and to specify a work to rest ratio.
I lost interest before giving it a try on the Kickr. I’ll stick with (the brilliant) Kinomap and Trainerroad.
@Hu3ain : Ok, thanks for the compliment on the Kinomap app and for the feedback of the Intervals user interface. I guess you mean the 2 sliders at the top for a “bar” length and the total intervals duration? Or do you mean the individual bars to set the values of PWR, BPM, etc? In the next update (not the one currently being reviewed by Apple which fixes a bug on iOS9… but the following one), you’ll be able to set a unit bar as low as 1 minute, compared to the 3 minutes limiation now: it will allow more granularity for the activity.
On this subject, to everyone reading this post: with Intervals, don’t forget you can also combine endlessly “Intervals” to create activities so you can have different unit duration in these combinations.
Thanks for all the valuable feedback of Ray’s readers!
I have an android tablet with bluetooth (but not ANT+) and a Bushido Smart. Does the android app also support this protocol over bluetooth? I am keen to subscribe to kinomap if so.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) also called Bluetooth Smart is well supported. Current version of the Apps is dedicated to the Wahoo Kickr and Kickr Snap. A new release is expected by October time frame to support Tacx Neo and other Smart Bushido. Note that it will require a firmware upgrade from Tacx, working on it at present. so be patient for 2 or 3 weeks before to really take benefit of your nice Bushido with Kinomap.
At the moment I cannot find the tacx Bushido smart using the kinomap (I can find it with the tacx app). Is this because I need to wait for the latest versions of the software and firmware?
Thanks for your help,
You need firmware >3.1.7. I have 3.1.8 and bushido works perfectly with Kinomap.
Thanks, is that with bluetooth?
Note that the Tacx firmware update is only iOS which might be an issue if you only have Android.
My girlfriend has an iOS phone so I can update with that!
i tried Skuga last night with the Kickr. All seemed to install ok, and it paired the kickr fine. Picked a ride i regularly do, but when i rode it the resistance on the Kickr didnt change, and i was travelling at 40+km/h up hills, on flats etc…Suffice to say i dropped my ‘real’ ride self very quickly! Disappointed it didnt work…Any clues re how to get the Kickr working for a more realistic resistance (and changes for gradient)? Noting i calibrated my Kickr via the Wahoo app prior to the ride and it works fine with other apps (TrainerRoad, Zwift).
Same here. Exactly the same.
@Mattbab @mspeas There was an issue with absence of resistance change in the current version in some cases. Make sure you update to 1.0.2 when validated by Apple, probably next Monday based on our recent experience with iTunes Connect. Sorry about that.
I downloaded the new version of the app today (ver 1.0.2) but still no change in resistance. Rerode one of my usual real ride loops and to test held a constant 100 watts kickr output. This equated to a speed on the app of ~22km/h which didn’t change even when the kickr gradient indicator changed from -2% to ~5%. Also there was no resistance the kickr as I moved along the ride up hills etc. looks like it just doesn’t work. Bit of a shame as all other features look good re indicating segments, route tracking etc…
actually…just tried again and this time it worked! yay….it seems a lot better and resistance was changing….it looks good!
would be great to enter rider weight, so more realistic speed up hills for wattage expended
when i rode earlier i was getting indications of segments, this time there were no segments (even though i followed the same route) but still interesting….
Just got the Kinomap app update for iOS. Says it supports the Neo and Vortex Smart. What about Bushido Smart and Genius Smart?
Is Nacho Cheese still invite-only or is it open beta now?
I do not think Skuga supports Neo yet!? Does anyone know when it will be supported?
Just as Mark Hewitt I can’t get Kinomap to work with a Tacx Bushido Smart.
Is this how it is going to be or are the update not rolled out yet?
I’m really hoping to use both Kinomap and the Skuga app with my Bushido this winter!
Skuga seems like a really cool app which can be developed even further.Some ideas;
– Paste the URL for other peoples activities and race against those.
– Introduce a segment function which you can turn on and off during the race. See current segment, KOM leaderboard and how your time is against your own best and KOM.
– Explore segments in a area on a map and race against the leaderboard. An easier solution is to enter the segment ID till you get the map in function 😉
With ANT+ FE-C and open Bluetooth support for Tacx trainers Kinomap and Skuga will for sure be on of the better trainer-apps out there!
@Mark Hewitt : all Smart trainers from Tacx should work, including the Bushido Smart and the Genius Smart: it’s just a question of firmware update availability from Tacx that should arrive soon (inquiring on this subject)
@Magnus Kinn : Very cool ideas, thanks!
– paste the URL of other activities: the idea, for the moment, is to re-ride your own rides. Technically, to retrieve the full details of an activity (including timestamps to be able to compare during the rides), we use an API function from Strava that can only give the details of an activity owned by the requesting athlete…
– that’s something that maybe we don’t show enough but you can see your PR while re-doing a segment on a video. That’s a bit strange right now because the Virtual Ride type just introduced, create then new segments while you train indoor so it is not very easy to compare
– for the last point, that’s really the idea of the app from Wahoo: Segments!
Any news about Bushido smart compatibility? The app offers Neo and Vortex options only for the meantime…
for anyone using a KICKR I would like to mention that iSmoothRun for iPhone supports the KICKR (meaning that can drive the KICKR in ergo mode) since more than two years.
in iSR you can create any kind of intervals (with a goal of time or distance) various targets (power, HR, pace) with any number of work sections (eg work+recovery or work1+work2+…recovery) and add them in a workout with multipliers. If Power or Power zone is the target and a KICKR is connected then it will drive the KICKR.
data is exported to nearly evert site (Strava, TrainingPeaks etc)
Any news on Skuga being available on Tacx smart trainers yet? Love kinomap and eagerly awaiting Skuga.
Same here.. when will Skuga support Tacx Neo???
@Jan @SimonH : yes Skuga and Intervals will support Tacx Smart Trainers, including the Neo. We’re working on it and it should be submitted for Apple’s review at the end of next week. Thanks for your patience.
Hi Laurent, any news from the developer front? Looking forward to connect my Tacx Smart Bushido to the new Skuga app. Will it be supported by bluetooth or do we need ANT+ to control the resistance?
Tacx utility update today includes firmware updates. Anyone know more details?
I just tried Skuga with my bushido smart… awesome… when I bought my trainer I just assumed this functionality would be available but it wasn’t and I was starting to think my purchase of my trainer was a bit of a bust. I rode a ride that I’d done previously (and captured in strava and luckily available as I’m a premium strava member). Where the app says Kickr it will detect the bushido smart via bluetooth le on my iphone 6.
Thanks Skuga/Kinomaps.. very happy.
Kinomap still does not work with the Tacx Bushido Smart alhtough we have mid-november meanwhile. What´s the problem??
A great way of training hard against known and previous rides. You certainly feel like your riding up hill or down for that matter, the rides feel slightly harder than real life – weather, so a great training tool. Not all segments appear to show up if it is a highly populated riding area.
Hi, is it possible to ride just part of a route, start at a specified point, or just ride a particular strava segment within the route with skuga? Or you just can ride the entire route from start to finish?
Ray, I’ve bought my first Tri bike, a cannondale slice hi mod dura ace Di2, Garmin vector 2 pedals, along with a kickr. Because of having little kids, many of my rides will have me confined to my version of the man cave. Can you please confirm if Kinomap would still be your go to for the most realistic experience to pair with my equipment?
I can think of lots of things. The first you should look at is Zwift if you have the PC to run it. It’s the best platform for indoor cycling, by a large order of magnitude.
Otherwise take a look at BKool software and Veloreality.
Kinomap is good if you only have a phone/iPad and no PC
Thanks Mark. I’ve got a Mac, but it isn’t the ideal tool to use as I’d have to carry it in from another room to set it up. Additionally, part of the allure of using the iPad was to be able to set the trainer up under our covered deck during days like today where it is a constant pouring rain, and to be able to stay dry and simulate a course. I may have to rethink my methodology based on what is actually offered in today’s technological world. Really appreciate your recommendations.
Yes Kinomap is probably the most interesting one based on real life but motion videos. You can pick up any video from. The 80,000km of cumulative track. You can download the App from the App store or google play store for free. The free version already gives you access to 15 or 20 complete videos. Enjoy.
Have any of you been able to connect Kino Interval to a Kickr? When I set mine up, it correctly reads my current power, but doesn’t control it. If I switch to Wahoo’s set-up app, it works fine for controlling power, as does Zwift.
Would be greater still if you could follow other peoples’ tracks as well!