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Zwift app for indoor cycling/turbo training
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JacobReesMogadishu · 15/05/2020 21:59

If this bloody virus carries on into the autumn/winter I’d been thinking of buying a peloton bike. But obviously at 2k a bike and £40 a month it’s bloody expensive.

Saw Gordon Ramsey rabbiting about the Zwift app which I’ve never heard of before and it looks good. I could use my old road bike and leave it permanently set up. It’s been unused in the shed for 2 years. I’ve already got a normal turbo trainer but I’d be happy to spend £600-800 on a smart turbo trainer which will change the resistance in line with the course for hills, drafting, etc.

Has anyone got it and what is it like? Are there lots of different courses including some with some nice scenery rather than just urban road races. Has anyone used this and peloton and how do the two compare?

Is peloton more spinning classes and zwift is more of a turbo training computer game experience? I think I prefer the idea of zwift with outside courses, bit of visual interest?

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justanotherneighinparadise · 15/05/2020 22:02

Watching!

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user1471428628 · 15/05/2020 22:05

I’ve never used Peleton but Zwift is great. You have to have a compatible turbo trainer and then for £12:99/month its unlimited riding. There are training programs, you can join group rides or just head out. There’s their own virtual world which has mock ups of some pretty iconic rides eg Alpe de Zwift (Alp d’Huez) but also courses (with some artistic licence) around London, New York, Richmond and somewhere in the Alps. The more you ride the more you unlock.

I gave up my subscription earlier this year due to injury which was also very straightforward - I just lost to the end of the month with no quibbles which I appreciated. As soon as I can get knee surgery I’ll be back on it.

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user1471428628 · 15/05/2020 22:06

And sorry can’t help with suitable turbo trainers. DH and his cycling buddies seem to just know this stuff and I go along with it! I don’t remember it being an eye watering purchase though.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 15/05/2020 22:14

I think you can use it with an ordinary turbo trainer and just change the resistance manually. In which case I wouldn’t need to buy anything apart from the subscription. Guess I could do that first to trial it.

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Blondebear123 · 15/05/2020 22:16

Look up watt bikes as an alternative to turbo trainer. Better than peloton and you can use it with zwift. im thinking of getting one.

I currently do peloton and les mills rpm and sprint on a normal spin bike

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lampygirl · 15/05/2020 22:19

Zwift is amazing, I'm currently hitting around 200 miles a week on it, using my old road bike. There is structured workouts, social group rides and races for all levels along with free-riding round about 100 routes.

Definitely a direct drive turbo trainer if you can get hold of one. You'd need a cassette but could possibly take this off your wheel if you were leaving it permanently set up (if you buy a new cassette buy a new chain too so they wear evenly). I use a Tacx FluxS and for a cheaper direct drive model it's been pretty bomb-proof.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 15/05/2020 22:43

@lampygirl are they easy to set up? All this talk about needing cassettes worries me. I’m not very good at bike stuff.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 15/05/2020 22:44

I’d been looking at the flux s

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MrsAvocet · 15/05/2020 22:45

You can use Zwift with a basic turbo trainer or even rollers but you get a more realistic experience with a smart trainer. If you look on the Zwift website it tells you what the compatible trainers are and what extras you will need for each option. If you don't have a smart trainer you will still need a Garmin or similar bike computer with speed and cadence sensors - obviously you can't use the GPS on your Garmin as you aren't actually going anywhere. Its one of those things where you can spend an absolute fortune if you want the most realistic experience. The more you spend the better it will be, but you can get a fairly good experience without breaking the bank. I bought a refurbished Tacx smart trainer off EBay for about £150, an ANT+ dongle for about £15.00 and we already had a laptop which has reasonable graphics. I don't mind it, but it will never replace real cycling for me. I've got friends who are really into it and do a lot of racing and group riding. They do more Zwifting than outdoor riding and are a bit too fixated on all the numbers in my opinion. Some of them have top of the range smart trainers costing many thousands of pounds, and super expensive computers too. Its just not worth that much to me. If I had that money going spare I would rather buy another bike. I'm not a competitive cyclist and for me nothing will ever be as good as being outdoors, seeing the scenery etc, but its better than nothing. My DS is quite enjoying riding "with" his friends though and it makes indoor riding a bit less hideous than doing a standard turbo session. He is still training quite seriously so is getting quite a lot out if it.
The only other thing I would say is essential is a decent fan as it is easy to get very overheated when you are riding indoors.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 15/05/2020 23:12

I think I will definitely prefer riding outside but I’m a fair weather cyclist. I normally do a couple of spin classes a week in the gym Plus 14 miles a day commute. At the minute I’m biking outside for 60-90 mins a day.

I’ve been told I won’t be physically back in the office until jan 2021 at the earliest so that’s 14 miles a day commute I’m down. Plus from Oct onwards it’s going to be colder, darker, wetter outside. I’m worried the gym won’t be open!

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mylittlefidget · 16/05/2020 06:35

Rouvy may be a good go-to app for you if you prefer "real" roads and nice scenery rather than virtual reality.

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lampygirl · 16/05/2020 08:56

@JacobReesMogadishu it’s not difficult to change a cassette (loads of videos online) but you do need a couple of very specific tools. Buy at the same time but factor in £50-60 on top of the trainer for parts. What speed is your bike, as you’ll need the same for the trainer. Feedback from my cycling club is that dumb trainers do work but the experience isn’t the same as it won’t give you the hills resistance. Speed and cadence sensors will get you going though and useful outside so may as well fit them to the bike anyway.

I’ve tried the ‘more realistic video’ apps but I don’t like the non-real cyclist avatar on the ‘real’ roads, at least in Zwift it’s all gamey, but that is personal preference so do have a look at the other options if that’s more your thing.

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LarryDuff · 16/05/2020 09:03

I joined zwift in February and I'm completely addicted now. I'm averaging about an hour a day now with a mixture of workouts, races, casual group rides and just exploring. It appeals to the gamer in me as you level up, earn achievements and get new gear so there's always an incentive to keep going.

Set up wise, I have a basic turbo trainer with magnetic resistance and no power meter so I had to buy a speed and cadence sensor and an ant+ dongle which cost about £30 all together. I've been trying to get a kickr core smart trainer but they're permanently out of stock everywhere (hoping to pick up a cheap one off eBay once the world returns to normal!)

Haven't tried peloton but it seems to be aimed more at the spin class market imo

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CMOTDibbler · 16/05/2020 09:04

I gave in and got a smart trainer in November, and Zwift has been brilliant over the winter and since lockdown. I enjoy it far more than I thought I would, and I like the real world courses, though dh and ds prefer the virtual Wattopia world. Ds gets his own free subscription as an under 16, but dh and I share.
You'll need a big fan wherever you are going to use it!

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wasnotwasweregood · 16/05/2020 16:45

Finally got on Zwift at the beginning of lockdown and managing three rides a week. I use my son's out grown cross bike. I'm really enjoying using it and exploring the new world's and cities. I've been resisting it for years but am amazed at the difference I can see and feel after a few weeks.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 16/05/2020 19:45

Right I’ve decided I’m going to get an Elite Suito smart trainer (when in stock).

Question.....it comes with an 11 speed shimano cassette. Bike is an old specialised tricross which has an 8 speed shimano cassette.

Obviously I take the back wheel off the bike and put it on the turbo trainer. So does it matter that the cassette will be 11 speed and the bike 8 speed. Will I need a new cassette or an adapter?

Also dh has said I can’t have the bike fully set up all the time. So I’ll need to bring it out the shed, take the wheel off and put it in the turbo trainer. I’ve seen a video of a bike being put on a different Elite smart trainer and it looked easy and quick?

Anyone know if the suito is equally as simple? With my old non smart turbo trainer it was a nightmare for one person to try and have the bike in the right place and get it locked in and it put me off using it.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 16/05/2020 19:49

I’ve seen some reviews which talk about adding spacers if you’re bike is a 9 or 10 speed bike. But nothing about an 8 speed.

And one review said if your bike is a 9 or 10 speed you’ll need to buy a new cassette for the trainer?

So I’m really confused.

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lampygirl · 16/05/2020 21:16

You’ll need to use an 8 speed cassette and suitable spacers on the trainer, as the chains are different sizes so you can’t mix 8sp with 11sp. You could use the one from the wheel if you don’t plan on using the bike with the wheel frequently enough to have to change it. Remember to re-index your rear mech to the trainer as the cassette might sit differently than it does on the wheel. All my bikes are 11 speed so not sure what the specific parts you need are, but I think Claris is the 8sp Shimano series so that would be the model to look for for cassettes and chains.

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wasnotwasweregood · 16/05/2020 21:22

Elite have forums that you could ask on:

forums.zwift.com/t/elite-zumo-and-8-speed-cassette/242627

forum.elite-it.com/viewtopic.php?t=279

But according to DH you will have to change the cassette.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 16/05/2020 21:49

Thanks.

So it looks like taking the cassette off the bike and adding spacers should work. Fab. Now off to find YouTube videos about how to remove and fit cassettes. Grin

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ferretface · 17/05/2020 11:41

I use Zwift for running but like it so much I'm considering upgrading our turbo so can use it for cycling too!

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JacobReesMogadishu · 17/05/2020 17:53

It looks so much fun. I’m just desperate to get my hands on a turbo trainer now.

@ferretface what size screen do you use? I’m wondering if an iPad would be big enough (there are tablet handlebar clamps) or whether I need to investigate some way of getting it from my phone or iPad onto the tv. Also I see photos of people using it on a big tv but they also have a phone clamped to the handlebar but with a different screen. I’ve been reading instructions online about how to get it on a tv and it seems very confusing. Grin

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ferretface · 17/05/2020 18:04

I use a regular iPad because our treadmill has a tablet holder and it's definitely possible to see everything you need - text can be a little small sometimes but definitely legible. I don't think a TV is necessary although obviously nice to see everything larger. Especially if you use Zwift companion on the phone and then have the tablet for the main app it's easy to do everything you need.

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MrsAvocet · 17/05/2020 18:05

If you see people using their phone as a second screen Jacob they are probably using the companion app to talk to other people who are riding agt the same time or to locate friends on the island.
We use a laptop as our main screen. I think a tablet would be fine if you can put it somewhere secure.

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JacobReesMogadishu · 17/05/2020 19:13

Thanks, that’s useful to know that a tablet would be ok. One less thing to buy/worry about getting connected! Grin

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