Velocity VQ Virtual Cycling Platform: The Basics
VQ Velocity is a still-in-beta online cycling platform that preaches the idea that "fast is a skill" on the bike. The VQ Velocity platform focuses on two main areas within their classes: skills work--like cadence, holding aero position, or standing out of the saddle--and energy systems, like threshold focus, VO2 max focus, or a blend of the two.
VQ Velocity puts a heavy emphasis on leveling up your game metabolically, claiming that their platform can calculate your fat-to-carb utilization (a formula that uses sex, age, and heart rate for a basic output), lactate threshold, and more. Their apex of this, though, is "INSCYD," which VQ Velocity states will "identify your physiological rate limiters to help you train specific energy systems to achieve your goals."
Basically, the idea with INSCYD is it will take stock of where you have growth areas--your VO2 max, for instance--and will potentially recommend training based off INSCYD's determinations. We say "potentially" because there isn't a ton of information about INSCYD and how it works on VQ Velocity's site yet.
While we talk about our quick impressions in the review below, check out our extended review for a deeper dive into the many (many) facets of this platform!
Velocity VQ Virtual Cycling Platform: What We Liked
VQ Velocity is a very sleek platform. It certainly looks like it would help you level up your cycling game. The videos of the instructors are professional and high-quality and the dashboard where your metrics are displayed each ride is thorough and clean.
Skills-based cycling is something we have yet to see other platforms dive into the way VQ Velocity does. While other training software offers VO2 max- and threshold-focused workouts, only VQ Velocity seems to offer deliberate focus on crucial cycling skills like mastering specific cadences, sprinting, holding an aero position for longer periods of time, pacelining, and more. Although we don't often think of cycling this way, it is fundamentally a skills-based sport.
VQ Velocity--despite being a 100% class-based platform (meaning there's no virtual reality component, like Zwift for instance)--hasn't forgotten the importance of community. Each ride has a leaderboard to the right of your personal dashboard and you and your friends can even opt to turn on your cameras within the platform for a live look at how much each of you is suffering throughout the ride.
Velocity VQ Virtual Cycling Platform: What We Didn’t Like
It's worth noting that VQ Velocity is still in beta. Many of our notes here may be rectified as the program develops (currently, you can offer feedback with the "Help Us Improve" tab, visible on every ride).
For such complex-seeming software, there aren't a lot of resources for riders. INSCYD, for example, looks to be an awesome use of AI for the benefit of personalized cycling training, but there were no FAQs or documents further explaining INSCYD on VQ Velocity's website. It makes it a bit harder to trust in something (especially AI) when the transparency isn't there.
The live, Peloton-esque classes are a great idea for building community and for those who may not have a coach. However (and this is to be expected, but is still noted here), the current offerings of live classes are quite limited. They happen on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the occasional Friday and Saturday. Each day has two-to-three live classes to choose from. For an app that's in beta, bravo, but for the app to justify its $40/month price tag moving forward, VQ Velocity will want to have a stronger schedule of live rides.
We go into a few other little question marks in our extended review of the platform here.
VQ Velocity has a lot of potential, not to mention a board of heavy hitters like Allen Lim (founder of Skratch Labs) and Robbie Ventura (former member of the U.S. Postal Service cycling team) behind it all.
VQ Velocity is venturing into previously unexplored--but entirely necessary--territory by adding in skills-based work to their sessions. For cyclists who take those skills practices seriously, they could see some massive gains when their rides hit the road.
In terms of transparency and fine-tuning their science to be ready for the public to take it in, VQ Velocity has a lot of work to do here. Their FAQ page is lackluster and there is little-to-no information about their science and INSCYD anywhere on their site or within the platform.
We'll be keeping an eye on VQ Velocity as it develops, though, because it could become a more data-targeted (read: more triathlete-y) rival to Peloton or even those wanting to get away from the virtual reality "games" like Zwift.