Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: ErgVideo's Alpe d'Huez Goodness

If you're a regular reader, you know we've been a big fan of ErgVideo since the beginning. So when ErgVideo founder Paul Smuelders approached us last year to film some new videos focused on specific winter training, we jumped at the chance. This year Paul asked us to send him a handful of PCG kits to outfit his team of riders for some filming. We gladly agreed, but we never imagined they'd show up in eye-popping 1080p Alpe d'Huez video! Putting that out right here at the front gets the disclaimer out of the way: yep, we are biased. We love ErgVideo.
Peaks Coaching Group ErgVideo Review
The ErgVideo team, knocking down another switchback on Alpe d'Huez, 2014.
Now let's talk Alpe d'Huez. We tested this video last week in our training center, and it truly was an instant favorite. ErgVideo has already gone to great lengths to make winter training as interesting as possible, and now that they've introduced 1080p video and some tweaked focus, it's downright entertaining.

What We Liked

High Def

Confession: we really didn’t understand how the 1080p would make a difference. The video was already pretty darn good; it was hard to imagine it getting better. We we wrong. ErgVideo always does a great job of bringing you into the ride as part of the entertainment, but I was amazed how much better that feeling is at 1080p. You really feel the ride. How, you ask? Well, you can really see what threaders are doing, just like climbing with a group of friends or your team, You can see (sense) the moves and changes of pace more than ever, and you feel more connected to the people, not just the amazing scenery. This really makes it feel like a group ride, like riding a famous climb throwing down with a group of buses to see who can drop who.

Rider Profile

The team really rode this one like a great tempo ride. The first 15-20 minutes are a good warm-up in the valley before you turn uphill for a solid hour of tempo. During that hour of tempo, the group takes turns attacking each other and adding some nice, hard bursts just above threshold, making for a great workout! The ride ends with about six minutes of easy cool-down on the descent. I love riding a lot of tempo and sweet spot in my power foundation training, and this video is very focused at that level. I can ride some great tempo, or use the editor to change to some sweet spot intervals.


Perfect length, training stress score (TSS), and target average power! About ninety minutes of trainer goodness is the perfect amount for that weekday workout or rainy Saturday.


We love the new download feature. So easy to buy new videos and get rolling!

What We Didn’t Like

The Download

The reality is that a 1080p 90-minute file takes time to download (a standard 720p version is also available). We were warned about this, so we started the download at night and thus can't say exactly how long it took, but it was there in the morning, which is what we wanted. The cool part about it is that the downloader will restart itself if there's an issue, so you can let it roll without worry.

Overall, this is an amazing experience. We love the feel and engagement of this video! But don't take our word for it. Check it out for yourself!

Here's a preview to give you a glimpse of the greatness: