Many have asked us for features such as structured training programs, group training, and tools to analyze one’s training data. To bring you those features, we have teamed up with Xert. Xert has excelled in data analysis and structured workouts for a long time (Read this review). And now Xert is doing group training sessions as well.
Using sophisticated data analytics tools, Xert analyzes your power data to tell you exactly what you need to do to meet your goals. With Xert you no longer need pre-defined training plans. If you miss a training session, no problem. Xert simply adapts to the new situation. It tells you if you need to train more to reach your goals, or maybe less to avoid over-training.
We think Xert perfectly complements the functionality of Open Road. If you have missed some of the features above, then we think Xert is the perfect addition to your training with Open Road.
In the following sections, you can read more about Xert and how you can use it with Open Road.
Signing up for Xert #
To get started with Xert, you sign up on Xert’s website. You have a 30-day free trial you should take advantage of. Xert is competitively priced compared to what you get. All Open Road yearly members receive a 10% discount towards an Xert Premium yearly subscription. The voucher is available when you log into our website. Xert has additional help on how to get started here.
How to set up Xert with Open Road #
To set up Open Road to work with Xert, you need to download and install the Xert Player. It is available for Garmin, Android, and iOS. Once the Xert Player is installed and ready to use, you can connect to your devices using Bluetooth LE. The Xert Player will control the resistance of your trainer, while Open Road will ‘listen’ to your power output, and transform it into real speed and let you Bike the World.
Connecting Xert to your devices #
If you are doing structured workouts with Xert, Open Road, and a smart trainer, you will normally let Xert control the resistance, while Open Road is reading your power input. If you are running Xert and Open Road with a power meter, both will ‘listen’ to your power output. You have three options for how to set up the Xert Player.
Set up Xert Player for Garmin (ConnectIQ) #
To use the Xert Player, there are no special setups. Simply follow the regular setup guidelines as described in Xerts video.
Set up Xert Mobile for Android #
For Xert Mobile on Android, simply set up the app as you would normally to run your workout on your trainer. You will want to pair your Power Meter & Smart Trainer at a minimum. No special settings are needed. Check Xert’s support documentation for the Android app here.
Note that if you have a power meter on your bike, it’s best to set up the trainer to use Powermatch so that your power meter is used as the power data source rather than the power data coming from your trainer. If using powermatch, note the options for pairing your Smart trainer (left) and power meter (middle) to Xert Mobile. If you’re using power from your smart trainer, be sure to also enable ‘Power’ under the sensor settings. The Remote Player is enabled by default but can be configured by going to Settings –> Options (right).
With the recent updates to Xert Mobile for Android (V3.2.2 and newer), Bluetooth (FTMS) is now supported for trainers, so you can pair your Android to your Smart trainer without additional ANT+ dongles. However, remember that each BT sensor can only be paired once, so you may need to pair your sensors to Open Road using ANT+.
Set up Xert for iOS #
The Xert app for iOS can also be used through Bluetooth (FTMS). Simply set up the app as you would normally to run your workout on your trainer. No special settings are needed.
You can pair your sensors in the Xert iOS app by going to the Settings Tab. Powermatch is supported by default, so be sure to pair your Power meter to the ‘Power Source’ and Smart trainer to the ‘Trainer Control’ sensor. Note that Xert for iOS supports BT sensors only at this time, which means that you should utilize ANT+ to pair your sensors in Open Road, in order to avoid conflicts.
Connecting Open Road to your devices #
To Bike the World while you follow an Xert workout you need to set-up Open Road. Open Road needs an ANT+ USB stick and PC to run. If you have never used Open Road before, you can follow this detailed guide to get started.
If you have signed up and installed Open Road, then you just need to follow the normal pairing procedure described here. If you have a smart trainer, you want Xert to handle the resistance and let Open Road pedal along. To avoid resistance conflicts, it is important that you only pair with the power output of your trainer/power meter:
Once you have paired with the devices you want to ‘listen’ to, you can move on to pick the ride you want to do. Once you are ready to ride with Open Road, you can start your workout session on your Xert app. Open Road will now let you pedal along at a realistic speed.
Structured workouts #
Structured workouts are one of the pillars in Xert’s offerings. It takes your previous training data and compares it to your training goals. Using advanced data analysis, Xert recommends which structured workouts you should do.
Using Xert’s Workout Player, you can follow these structured workouts while you are using Open Road. That means you can do structured training that is adaptive to your current fitness level while you are doing your favorite ride realistically. Once you are done with your training, Xert will analyze your data and let you know in which direction your training is going. Xert will even tell when you have a ‘breakthrough’ in your training.
Once you have signed up for Xert, you can pick a workout by clicking the ‘Workouts’ button in Open Road:
Now you are taken to Xert’s website, where you can get to an overview of workouts available:
We recommend picking a workout that is recommended by Xert. To pick a workout recommended by Xert, you sort on ‘Recommended’:
Once you have picked your workout, it will be available in your Xert Player (Learn how to set up your Xert Player here).
Having set-up Open Road to read your power output (as explained in this guide) and the workout available in the Xert Player, you are almost there. All you need to do now is to pick your favorite ride in Open Road and start the ride as explained in this guide. When you start the workout in the Xert Player you will automatically pedal along on Open Road.
Group sessions #
Riding with others can be a great way to stay motivated with your training. What is interesting about Xert’s group sessions is that everybody is on par. Xert adapts the session to each rider’s individual fitness level. That means the ride will be equally difficult for everybody in the peloton. The best rider in these group sessions is not the rider with the highest watt output, but the rider that improves the most. You can read more about how Xert sessions work here.
To connect the session to your trainer, you will need one of the apps supplied by Xert (Read more here). Once you have connected the app to your trainer, you can start the group ride:
All participants in the Xert group session will see the same ride along video. But if you want the same “real ride” experience you know from Open Road, you can download a ride from Open Road’s cloud library. Once downloaded, you can adjust and place Open Road on top of the browser window running the group session:
Now your group ride will be just as realistic as in real life.