The Spoked training app uses data from recent rides and user input to generate training plans via an AI coach. This, combined with algorithms from scientific papers, removes the need for a real-life coach. There's still some room for improvement, but this could be the future for getting a structured cycling plan.
We all want to get stronger on the bike, right? One of the ways to go about this is paying for a coach to set you structured sessions, using their experience to help you progress. Spoked is different; it uses your input for training availability and algorithms based on recent ride data and scientific papers to guide your progression.
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Initially, this sound great. You don't have to find a coach that suits your needs as it is available on your iOS or Android mobile devices. This means you have full control over your sessions and there is no need to liaise with anyone.
There is something special about having a real coach, though, as they can analyse your training and listen to your feedback to adapt your training over the next few days. The use of AI coaching by Spoked reduces this ability as you can only input your RPE (rate of perceived exertion) on a scale of 1-10. Some might say that's enough for them, but if you're after the best progression then it is good to have individualisation from a real-life coach.
That said, the algorithms used by Spoked are pretty good and can be adaptive if your training rides differ from the set plan. You can access Spoked's explanation of the science used on its website, and it's quite an interesting read.
A simple layout makes it easy to follow with your daily activity on your home page. This also includes your readiness score, which uses your daily health stats – which you need to input – as well as your training rating that gives you a score based on how well you have followed the set plan.
The only part of the app I struggled with initially was uploading a ride. I ended up contacting Spoked to find out, and the answer is actually quite simple: you must click the 'Complete session' button, and this allows you to select an activity from your connected accounts, such as Strava, Garmin and Wahoo.
Unfortunately, there is no way to properly analyse your training. I know this is an AI coach, but it is nice to go back and look at your own data, especially after events and FTP tests. If you want to look at your own data properly, you will need something extra like the Strava Sauce extension, or Training Peaks premium.
An AI coach is something new for the cycling world, and it is likely that this is how coaching will be done in the future, using science and rider data to provide optimal training plans.
There are other companies offering AI coaching platforms – AI Endurance uses similar algorithms as Spoked to develop a 'personalised' plan that you can alter depending on your availabilities.
One thing I must add is that the customer service of Spoked is amazing. I had a few issues when beginning to use the app, and within a few hours of emailing for help I'd had a response and had everything explained to me.
Furthermore, there is a Discord community for Spoked users where you can get quick responses from Richard Lang, the founder of Spoked, and also get good insights into the app.
At £9.99 per month for the Pro plan, it is considerably cheaper than paying for a coach to give you sessions – a good coach can easily cost more than £100 a month.
However, you are getting less. You don't get the ability to analyse (most coaches can provide you with some sort of premium account on the software they use), and the individualisation of your training plan is quite a bit different as you are relying on a computer to decide what you should do next.
I can't compare it to anything similar on road.cc as this is a first, but AI Endurance is a very similar price at $9.99 a month.
If you are a time-crunched cyclist who wants some structured sessions to do on the indoor trainer, then Spoked will definitely help, though it is annoying not to have the ability to thoroughly analyse and look back through your recent workouts. But this could certainly be the future of coaching within cycling.
Structured training for a time-crunched cyclist at a fraction of the cost of a coach
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
Make and model: Spoked Training App
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Spoked uses data from recent rides and user input to generate training plans for cyclists that don't want to spend money on a coach. Using ride data, the app can adjust upcoming training instantly to cater for changes mid ride.
Personally, I'd say Spoked is more for the time-crunched cycling as it always likes giving planned workouts and not 'free-rides'.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Spoked uses scientific research to produce algorithms that generate training plans based on your availability, which can be altered at any time.
It is mobile based for either iOS or Android.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
App 'construction' makes it pretty simple to view.
Rate the product for performance:
Some good stuff, but no ability to analyse the rides after completion.
Rate the product for value:
Similar to AI Endurance – but compared with a regular coach it's going to be quite a bit cheaper.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It took some time to get used to. It was hard to keep up with all of the planned workouts as sometimes it is nice to have a general ride with mates, but the app does allow you to alter rides if you want it to be a free ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Removes the need to think about your training.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Overly simple; it'd be nice to go back and look at rides.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
AI coaching is relatively new so we don't have anything previously reviewed on road.cc although there is another company doing a similar thing called AI Endurance with pricing being similar at around £10/month.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I think, as it is, Spoked is quite good. There's definitely a future for AI coaching, so you don't need to rely on an independent coach, and Spoked could really kick off and be a great way for all athletes to get their training plans, but it needs further development to get there.
Age: 22 Height: 185cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Dolan Rebus My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, Always love some off-road with some mates.
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