It seems timely that today is the day that Pafers released the XSPIN, their new indoor cycling sensor, because today is the kind of rainy, dreary, chilly day when you'd like to stay inside under a blanket. Go outside, right now, for a bike ride? I am not that hardcore.
However, I am motivated enough to spend a few minutes attaching an XSPIN to an elliptical at the gym in order to better track my workout--and to sync to either of Pafers' new apps, also announced today.
First, the XSPIN device: It's a small cycling training sensor that's placed on the pedal crank or bar and detects the circular motion of pedaling in real time. The device uses Bluetooth Smart 4.0 to sync data to iOS devices. The XSPIN hardware measures 72mm x 39mm x 12mm and uses a CR-2032 (coin-sized lithium) battery. It can attach to indoor cycles, ellipticals, stationary bikes, or bicycles with a trainer attached. We're looking forward to testing it out--full review coming soon.
Pafers also has two new apps: Cycle on Earth and Cycle Rush 2. Cycle on Earth integrates with Google Maps to take you on a virtual tour of Cape Town, or the Roman Colosseum, or Central Park. It's similar in concept to the Story Running app released by Runtastic last month, which features tours and story lines to keep runners engaged.
Cycle Rush 2, however, is more of a virtual training coach, providing you with indoor cycling programs, motivational sessions, and inspiring music.
Both apps provide metrics collected from the XSPIN itself, such as speed, distance, and resistance level. The XSPIN is also compatible with third-party apps like Strava Cycling, MapMyRide, and the Runtastic Bike apps (Road or Mountain). Currently, both the XSPIN and the apps are iOS only. That's typical of fitness products, which tend to release on iOS first before tackling Android integration, due to inconsistent support for Bluetooth 4.0 on Android phones.