There are so many apps available that can help you record your progress and improve your riding. Best Bike Split (BBS) is a new tool from Training Peaks that can help predict your cycling future. Sound crazy? Give it a try before you knock it.
Most cycling apps out there focus on analysis, comparing your time, power, heart rate and so on. It crunches these numbers to give you a snapshot of where you’re at right now, and how far you’ve come. Best Bike Split, however, uses mathematical equations to predict what power a cyclist needs to reach a certain time goal for a specific route or course, and will formulate a pacing strategy accordingly.
BBS founder Ryan Cooper first had the idea during the 2013 Tour de France, when he designed a model to predict the times of some of the top racers. During the Stage 11 time trial his model with within just a few seconds of Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, and Tony Martin’s final times. From there he developed the app to help riders of any ability to predict, train, and plan for race days more accurately and to more success.
How Best Bike Split Works
- Input your data – Set up your profile on your desktop computer with as much data as you can, including weight, height, functional threshold power (FTP), max heart rate, bike model, and wheel type.
- Course mapping – Select the course you want to analyze, or upload your own. As more and more people are using the app, the more courses are available. You can also upload a recorded ride in GPX format from your Garmin or smartphone.
- Create a race profile – From your course selection, Best Bike Split will calculate all the variables specific to that course like rolling resistance, mechanical loss, altitude changes, wind direction, and many more.
- Get your best bike split – Using their math and physics engine, Best Bike Split will output the best possible power based plan given the course conditions. You can then download the app on the Garmin Connect IQ store. There is a free version, but for more advanced calculations including weather predictions, gradient chart, and TSS score you will need to purchase the premium membership.
Who’s Using It?
Best Bike split is great for anyone wanting to take their racing to the next level, and is a valuable tool for coaches. Or, if you’re a techie and love trying this kind of new technology, it’s a lot of fun. You can download other people’s power plans and see how long you can ride at their level. (Check out this plan for TJ Tollakson if you want to be humbled).
BBS is designed for athletes who race and train with power meters, and can help determine a number offactors such as:
- Predict future race times.
- Plan optimal power targets.
- Pre-train a race indoors with Zwift, TrainerRoad, Computrainer, etc.
- Determine what equipment to use for a race.
- Compare race plans and finish times for various scenarios.
- See how weather impacts your race day strategy.
- Determine ideal places to attack or sit in during events.
The wealth of information that comes with the app can be overwhelming and completely unnecessary for the majority of riders. However, it can be a great tool for motivation and can help you reach those time goals sooner than later.
Where can I get it?
BBS is available in the Garmin Connect iQ store, and can also sync with Wahoo Elemnt and use the full web version with premium for $19/month. For more information check out the Best Bike Split website.