JOIN cycling app

Hi everybody,

feels kinda weird to ask this on the Trainerroad forum, but I’m really curious. Laurens ten Dam has this new podcast about training, which is sponsored by (or you might say its just one big ad for) JOIN. I never heard of this app before but it claims to use machine learning to provide cyclists with personalized training. Seeing as how Trainerroad is working on this too, and is obviously relying on their big dataset, I was wondering if anybody here has used JOIN and how it compares to Trainerroad. I’m not thinking about switching, but was just surprised to see an app claim these features that Trainerroad is just now getting around to using in beta.

I took a look at their website, shows a few interesting things but also suffers from lack of detail as well. But it looked cool that it allows users to specify available time per day to give rides that fit into availability/time constraints. They appear to have to some type of rating system but it’s unclear what it’s based on. And of course it doesn’t seem like there’s any type of periodization, so who knows how they actually structure and progress people toward goal events. So, a couple of good ideas there along with obviously glaring lack of details

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Quite enjoy that podcast (i think it’s sort of the Dutch TR podcast. But it’s clear it has a different look on training and perhaps even a different audience (TR more aimed at time restrained) .

I have looked at their website but i was already done with it when i couldn’t find any pricing on the main website.

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I went straight to the App Store to look at pricing and reviews. Yes, it would be nice if they posted that on the website too.

The training plans are from CyclingLab Training Academy, a coaching company that is the official performance partner of Belgium pro team Intermarche Wanty Gobert.

I read some of the training tips on the CyclingLab website, overall the JOIN app and plans seem very very interesting to my eyes.

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CyclingLab also designed the training plans in the Tacx training app.

They strike me as very well designed plans, but unlike TR with more of an 80/20 focus with long endurance component - not for the time constrained. The problem has always been the lack of ownership from Tacx for the training plans and their failure to really integrate the plans with their software. It was like the plans were published, job done.

I would say Jim van den Berg (owner of CyclingLab) is the overall brains behind the Tacx / JOIN plans and you get some good insight into his thinking in the Tacx Blog articles he has authored.

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Thanks, I was unaware they also designed plans for the Tacx app.

Haven’t seen a plan, however from the several of the Training Tips I assumed they had a focus on long endurance. This training tip:

was rather interesting, and I agree with it even averaging 6-8 hours/week.

The CyclingLabs site only has a listing of workouts, many look very familiar after having been coached (FasCat) for the last year.

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It looks like the app doesn’t control the trainer, as the website says to log in so you can download the workouts to import into Zwift or Garmin. Which is a really kludgy user experience.

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The perfect user experience IMHO is syncing to TrainingPeaks to auto-sync to Garmin or Wahoo. One user experience to rule them all :wink:

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The perfect user experience would be to have your own trainer control capability. But short of that, sync directly to other platforms that do provide trainer control.

Going to agree to disagree. I did use TR app to control trainer for two years. Honestly don’t care much for Erg, or having inside be completely different experience from outside. It’s just so much easier (cognitively and all) to use my bike computer for both inside and outside. #KickrStandardMode or #KickrSimMode

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I would agree with that. Controlling workouts on the Garmin is just as good as via the TR app - and better in that there is just that one app/device to deal with as the syncing all happens behind the scenes. You also have your favourite data screens available.

The only caveat is that Garmin has that totally weird limitation on workout steps… last I checked it can only handle 50, which becomes a problems if you’re doing bulk 30/15s or similar. Maybe they fixed that?

Anyway - good on the team behind Join. It’s good to see some extra variety and competition in the space.

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I was looking at the app and website after seeing this, and was also wondering HOW you brought those workouts to life, so interesting to see you thought the same.

I really like the TR UI and its the only reason I stay with my original grandfather’d subscription, usually using custom workouts or sync’d via TP. I’ve honestly never even tried a workout controlled via a head unit in all the years I’ve trained indoors and out though, so maybe worth a punt.

These days I’m back on the rollers for 99% of my indoor sessions so erg control etc is irrelevant, but I do want the session displayed on a monitor I can see without looking down and a clear graph or line to follow and guide my efforts. Phone and most tablet screens are far too small for this when you’re working hard on the rollers!

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I quite like how TR merges Strava recorded and Garmin recorded sessions that were done in parallel. TP is a bit annoying in that both appear in the calendar and I have to delete one. 1st world problems though, hey ho :joy:

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Agree to disagree :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’m using a trainer bike, so control / workout display via the TR app is the best solution, as I don’t have a head unit. I run using a mac mini, and a large screen TV, always in ERG mode. Again we can agree to disagree on ERG vs. regular vs. sim mode. The only thing I wish the TR app supported was auto-mode switching. There are some workouts where I’d like to do parts in ERG mode - warmup & recovery intervals - and then parts in resistance mode (assuming I could pre-set the resistance level) (e.g., sweet spot / tempo intervals). But I’d have to test how well this mode switching would actually work with the SB20

@AlphaDogCycling: I usually use TR when on my SB20, and like you like to use ERG for warm ups and some of the Z2 rides. If I’m doing intervals, I usually warm up in ERG then do the switch to resistance 30 seconds or so before the first interval. It seems to work fine – sometimes I need to adjust the gears to get the cadence I want at that time.
I have switched back and forth several times within one workout, moderately successfully – ie, it takes 10 seconds or so for ERG mode to stabilise at the power target. But I don’t do that anymore – because I don’t like ERG after intervals, not because the SB20 can’t handle it adequately.

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Trainerday imports zwift outs, put a support request in and I wouldn’t be long before I expect TrainerDay to link to “JOIN”, which gives a very TR workout experiance

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Join launched direct integration with training peaks this morning, which means their workouts go to trainerday and zwift e.t.c, without user intervention now

would that mean they would also go from TP to TR?

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I expect it does, in there list of players they have just listed Wahoo, HammerHead and Zwift, but I anybody that pulls from TP

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Hm, is there a scheduled job for the sync or something like that? I was just tinkering with it and created a plan, but it’s been about an hour and there’s no JOIN plan or workout showing up on the calendar in TP. I double-checked both apps and they both list each other as connected apps.

That said, it looks interesting but TR’s UX is way ahead of pretty much everyone else and gives you a ton more info and feedback. The plan I created (Live Slow Ride Fast, I think? for off-season) looked decent, but only went a week ahead. Does it generate the next week on the fly as you finish the current week, maybe? There doesn’t appear to be any larger calendar view, you can only scroll day-by-day.