Winter is Coming Part 4: FulGaz

In the fourth part of our “Winter is Coming” blog series, we look at the iPhone/iPad virtual riding app Fulgaz.

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ulGaz is a virtual training app that allows you to ride some of the most famous roads in the world from the comfort of your living room. How does it work? FulGaz have gone out and videoed over 200 rides in glorious high definition. In addition, they’ve combined this with the gradient information for each part of the route from GPS data. If the system knows how much you weigh, how much power you’re producing and the gradient, it can play back the video at the speed that you would be riding at. But the calculation can be fine-tuned further by adjusting your virtual drag coefficient and rolling resistance to make it as accurate and realistic as riding the real thing.

There are four modes you can ride in:

Steady Mode: This holds the video at the speed that it was filmed at. The sound plays as it was recorded on the day and you feel like you’re actually there. If the rider was on a 10% gradient for 10 mins, that is what you’ll feel. This is a good option if you want to ride for a specific time period, just select a video that runs for the amount of time you have available.

Reactive Mode: In this mode, the video changes speed based on the speed that you would be travelling at with your weight/power/drag combination on any given gradient.

Challenge Mode: This mode allows you to select other riders or your previous best ride on that course and then chase their time on the profile at the top of the screen.

Loop Mode: Need a longer ride? Loop mode automatically restarts the video so you can do hill repeats of Mont Ventoux if it takes your fancy.

While you’re riding, you get a very clean heads up displays showing all the data you need. The videos can be either streamed live over the internet or downloaded for use offline if your internet connection isn’t fast enough to deal with the live streaming.

What do you need to get started? FulGaz is an app on both the iPad and iPhone. You can set the iPhone/iPad up on your bars or a nearby table but for the fully immersive experience, it works best to project it up onto a big screen either through an Apple TV, steamed to a PC/TV/Mac or through a Lightning to AV adaptor (http://bc2.955.myftpupload.com/fulgaz-big-screen-experience/).

In regards to the turbo trainer, there are three options

Option 1: You can run FulGaz with a basic “dumb” turbo trainer and with a Bluetooth speed sensor like the Wahoo RPM Speed (https://uk.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-sensors). FulGaz have tracked the resistance curves for a number of popular turbo trainers (http://bc2.955.myftpupload.com/power-meter-setup/#power) and can therefore make a reasonably accurate power approximation as you ride.

Option 2: If you already have a power meter on your bike that communicates via Bluetooth or ANT+ (with an iPhone ANT+ key https://uk.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-sensors/wahoo-key-16) you can use this on a basic turbo and FulGaz will use this power figure to move the video along at the appropriate speed. However, you are in charge of the resistance level and it is not interactive.

Option 3: However, FulGaz really comes alive with a “smart” trainer like the Wahoo Kickr because FulGaz can not only receive power data from the Kickr but also feedback resistance data and simulate the gradient changes. So if you’re on a 24% section of the Alto de l’Angliru, you’ll be crawling in your easiest gear crying for your momma.

The experience is so real that you can even upload your rides to Strava. It’s also possible to add your own videos (http://www.fulgaz.com/add-your-rides-to-fulgaz/).

So how does this cost? FulGaz have a 14 day unlimited free trial. After that it is $9-11 per month depending on the length of your subscription. If you’d like to have a little spin, pop into the shop and we can show you what FulGaz is all about.

And remember: Winter is Coming!!!!

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