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  1. #1
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    I'm thinking Zwift even though snow/ice 6 months away. Your input from last winter??

    Last winter was record setting snow and ice in my area. Normally my winters are cold, but with good clothing I'm outside when possible. I despise indoor trainers and 15 minutes felt like 5 hours on a real ride. Okay, that's exaggerating a bit. I gave my trainer away though.

    Strava shows I have over 80 hours snow shoeing and hiking in 2017, and it got dangerous at times even with traction devices. If record setting snow/ice stays away I'd like the option to do FTP tests and "wuss out" with a few indoor slow long distance rides when 3 hours in freezing temps is not realistic.

    Summer hasn't started (oh, I'm in US), but I'd like to find off season deals to start up Zwift. I've read Everything You Need to Get Started With Zwift : Jump Into Races | Bicycling but wanted to ask for real-world experience.

    Any absolute must-dos or things not to waste my money on?
    Do I need to HTFU and just put in an hour here and there instead of investing big bucks for interactive training?

    I have a road bike with power, work from home, have a big screen, yadda yadda.

    If you were to start Zwift or interactive training again what route would you take (no pun intended).

  2. #2
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    I'm thinking Zwift even though snow/ice 6 months away. Your input from last winter??

    Like you, I used to toil away in just about any temps to avoid the trainer. Fat bike, XC skis, minus twenty in the dark (I'm in Eastern Canada). Then I tried Zwift. I was shocked that it got me (almost) looking forward to trainer rides. Specifically, I find the group rides and even races to be really compelling. They're a great way to do tempo/sweet spot endurance efforts. I use a regular trainer with a powermeter and a fairly basic laptop. I told myself I'd get a smart trainer when Zwift got boring with my basic setup, but that hasn't happened after two winters. I still do plenty of fatbike riding outside, but I really like having a good other option for when the weather is dreadful and the weekday daylight is too short. It sounds like you're basically set up to start already. Give it a go! I think they even have a free trial, don't they?

  3. #3
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    Interactive trainers (auto adjusting resistance) are going to be the best option but $. Since you already have a powermeter, you can just get an ant dongle if you don't want to spend the money for a fancy trainer. If you go that route, get a used rock n' roll trainer.
    The 3 platforms I've used are Sufferfest App, Trainer Road, and Zwift. I think all 3 offer a week trial. Give all 3 a whirl early next winter and decide which you like the best.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by euro-trash View Post
    Interactive trainers (auto adjusting resistance) are going to be the best option but $. Since you already have a powermeter, you can just get an ant dongle if you don't want to spend the money for a fancy trainer. If you go that route, get a used rock n' roll trainer.
    The 3 platforms I've used are Sufferfest App, Trainer Road, and Zwift. I think all 3 offer a week trial. Give all 3 a whirl early next winter and decide which you like the best.
    I'd like to avoid the fancy spendy interactive traines for sure!
    I'll google the dongle. Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    I'd like to avoid the fancy spendy interactive traines for sure!
    I'll google the dongle. Thanks!
    Here you go: https://www.amazon.com/PerfPRO-Cycle...rds=ant+dongle

    I bought a 15' HDMI cable to run from my computer to the TV. I'm sure you can Chromecast it now, but the cable is easy enough.

  6. #6
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    The Wahoo Kickr isn't too fancy and expensive. It is a wheel on model which makes it cheaper. An interactive trainer REALLY makes it easier to stick with it and keep riding when you want to quit. Prices have really come down in the past two years.

    I live in SoCal and am currently averaging 250 miles outdoors, even I use Zwift on occasion (mostly if I'm on a time crunch, like working winter OT).

  7. #7
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    I'm a tightass.

    I hate trainers.

    I rode zwift on a dumb trainer with a powermeter. Somewhat more interesting. Still opt to brave crappy conditions outside though.

    I rode zwift on a smart trainer. AH HA! The moment you feel the resistance change with the terrain is the moment you're hooked. It's so much more immersive!

    I'm still into it 6 months later with use 4-5 days a week if needed. On occasion I've even opted to ride Zwift instead of outside in nice weather as there has been a good race/bunch ride on Zwift at the right time.

    Buy a smart trainer! Direct drive are soooo much better than wheel on. Wahoo KickR, Cyclops Hammer, Tacx Neo. Whatever you can get cheapest.

  8. #8
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    I don't get it, why do you want to ride on a trainer when you still can ride outside?

    Trainers to me are the treadmill for runners. You can get results from it, but hardly any fun doing it, though I accept they have legit uses.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    I don't get it, why do you want to ride on a trainer when you still can ride outside?

    Trainers to me are the treadmill for runners. You can get results from it, but hardly any fun doing it, though I accept they have legit uses.
    If I have a one hour window to ride, I have two choices:
    1. Kit up, check the bike, and head out into traffic with stop signs and red lights for 15 minutes to get to the bike path, maybe ride a mile or two, then turn around because the hour is up.

    2. Change into my shorts, jump on the trainer, and ride for 55 minutes.

    When I'm doing 7 days a week at work and staying late, plus household chores (which includes caring for two horses), I can't get the quantity I want so I go for quality. When I'm on my sub 50 hours a week work schedule (like right now) I don't have a problem getting in my training hours. Though, being in SoCal, 110-120 weather in the summer isn't nice for everyone.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    I don't get it, why do you want to ride on a trainer when you still can ride outside?

    Trainers to me are the treadmill for runners. You can get results from it, but hardly any fun doing it, though I accept they have legit uses.
    Zwift has brought the competitive or group aspect of riding indoors.

    Maybe I lack the motivation to go and do my hard session by myself outside one day. Get on Zwift, find a hard race and suddenly you've done that hard session having to hold a wheel, close a gap, launch an attack.

    Maybe I'm lacking inspiration on a solo route for some base k's. Jump on Zwift. Find a bunch ride that is doing close to what you need. Suddenly you've got a bunch to ride with and you won't turn early.

    Maybe you've got a specific workout to do but your terrain doesn't suit it. Jump on Zwift and you'll be able to do it as you can choose what terrain you ride.

    Maybe you want a flat/recovery ride but you don't have a flat road nearby. Zwift...

    I'm yet to stoop so low to choose Zwift over a bunch ride in real life in nice weather. As Zwift evolves though (and motorist attitudes towards cyclist decline) that will probably happen in the future.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    If I have a one hour window to ride, I have two choices:
    1. Kit up, check the bike, and head out into traffic with stop signs and red lights for 15 minutes to get to the bike path, maybe ride a mile or two, then turn around because the hour is up.

    2. Change into my shorts, jump on the trainer, and ride for 55 minutes.

    When I'm doing 7 days a week at work and staying late, plus household chores (which includes caring for two horses), I can't get the quantity I want so I go for quality. When I'm on my sub 50 hours a week work schedule (like right now) I don't have a problem getting in my training hours. Though, being in SoCal, 110-120 weather in the summer isn't nice for everyone.

    Yes a trainer is very convenient, which is also the main problem. Its so convenient that sometimes you just skip normal rides outside because of the convenience of riding the trainer.

    If you enjoy doing it I see no problem, however in my experience burnout occurs much sooner in trainers than riding outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by aussie_yeti View Post
    Zwift has brought the competitive or group aspect of riding indoors.

    Maybe I lack the motivation to go and do my hard session by myself outside one day. Get on Zwift, find a hard race and suddenly you've done that hard session having to hold a wheel, close a gap, launch an attack.

    Maybe I'm lacking inspiration on a solo route for some base k's. Jump on Zwift. Find a bunch ride that is doing close to what you need. Suddenly you've got a bunch to ride with and you won't turn early.

    Maybe you've got a specific workout to do but your terrain doesn't suit it. Jump on Zwift and you'll be able to do it as you can choose what terrain you ride.

    Maybe you want a flat/recovery ride but you don't have a flat road nearby. Zwift...

    I'm yet to stoop so low to choose Zwift over a bunch ride in real life in nice weather. As Zwift evolves though (and motorist attitudes towards cyclist decline) that will probably happen in the future.
    I get you, but when winter comes and you are unable to ride outside you will have to ride your trainer, riding a trainer during the entire year, that's an easy way of burning out.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    Yes a trainer is very convenient, which is also the main problem. Its so convenient that sometimes you just skip normal rides outside because of the convenience of riding the trainer.

    If you enjoy doing it I see no problem, however in my experience burnout occurs much sooner in trainers than riding outside.



    I get you, but when winter comes and you are unable to ride outside you will have to ride your trainer, riding a trainer during the entire year, that's an easy way of burning out.
    Well, some people think that road riding is a total waste of time. Mountain bike or don't bike at all. I do an 80-100 mile road ride most Tuesday nights after work (30-40 miles riding to a group ride, riding 20-30 miles, then returning home). But if I wanted to do a race simulation, nothing beats a Zwift A group race outside of an actual race. With the benefit of being included in the monthly fee and if you have to drop out, you don't have to walk back to the car...

    Just logged into my account, my last ride was 3/22/17. But I am also in the middle of my race season. I'll probably ramp up my activity this winter preparing for next year, regardless of weather. My bike shop owning friends use Zwift more then anyone else I know

  13. #13
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    I hate riding the trainer and regardless of whether I'm using Zwift or some other service. I honestly don't think my indoor workouts are as productive as on the road/trail because there are no external variables that you have to work through (wind, trail conditions, other riders, etc.).

    BUT, if I absolutely have to ride inside I am using Zwift. I have been really impressed with it since it really helps stave off the boredom more than anything. I have turned out 2 hour rides inside where I normally would have been brain fried by 1.5 on any other service such as TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, etc.

    I think Zwift still has a lot of work to do to improve the interface and especially to make group riding (non-competitive or organized) more productive, but I think there is a lot of potential there. I think if Zwift partnered with a coaching service it would be incredibly powerful because coaches could ride with athletes and help them execute certain workouts more successfully. However I think the fundamental benefit is there: it makes riding indoors tolerable.

    I wouldn't spring for a smart trainer unless I was forced to ride inside for like at least 3 months out of the year every day, but in that case I would be pulling out all the stops to get my setup dialed in perfectly for use with Zwift.

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    If simulated video game riding is what you want to do, Zwift is a fine choice. I tried it a couple of times, and it just wasn't for me.

    If training to improve your fitness, raise your FTP, and track tangible progress is your goal, TrainerRoad offers the best program in my opinion. The structure that TR provides makes training highly efficient versus just logging a bunch of miles, or running with a pack in a drop ride--virtual or otherwise. Training with TR on a smart trainer like the Wahoo KICKR 2 or the Tacx Neo is the ultimate combo to ensuring you are consistently holding to your power targets and deriving your desired fitness adaptations--they have plans for just about every discipline of riding. I use the Wahoo KICKR 2 with my MTB mounted and TR and I love it--3 days indoors and 1 or 2 rides outdoors a week. The indoor rides are at night after work when I wouldn't be able to ride anyways....so I am only gaining time on the bike as a result.

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    I use and pay for both Zwift and TrainerRoad, but if I have to do either long intervals or a z2 ride indoors, Zwift is the only option if I don't want want to be desperately counting down the seconds after 45 mins.

    Back to the original question, I'd say a smart trainer is better but not essential if you already have a power meter.

    If you're planning an indoors winter now I'd get set up with a training plan - either something like a Training Peaks paid one or something from TrainerRoad (it's quite easy to do TrainerRoad's workouts on Zwift) but also mix in regular Zwift group rides and races which will keep things fun and definitely prevent burnout.

  16. #16
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    In the end everyone has find out for himself what works and what not. I spend an awful lot of time on my smart trainer. Even in summer. There is no way I could train a high volume approach without sitting indoors.

    Personally, I found Zwift boring. Tried it a few times, boring. Same with Sufferfest. Can't stand it. I simply can't stand how these videos are made.

    I basically use PerfPro with a Kickr. Depending on the workout I "do" different things. This goes from surfing the internet to watching the Giro or Classics in spring. For me variety is key. For example longisch multi hour endurance rides start with reading the newspaper, then watching some TV shows or sport events. And more, one just has to get creative. Generally, ERG mode makes riding indoors and compliance to training goals so much easier. Or often I ride/run outdoors and add an indoor session right after. Everything that helps to add to the weekly/block volume ...

    But it is difficult to give advice here, some people hat indoor riding, others can tolerate it.

  17. #17
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    I got a smart trainer from cycleops and got on Zwift in March and I like it a lot. The races are motivating and it's easy to ride through 60-90 minutes without normal "counting the seconds" you get on the trainer.

    I love their structured workouts and most of the time am riding one of the programs with some group rides and races sprinkled here and there. It's basically everything you need from a structured workout with auto power adjust and some visual enhancements so you're not just pointlessly spinning.

    I will log in a lot more miles come winter but even now I'm on it almost every day since my schedule doesn't work for outside rides most of the time and I'm pretty much just down to racing MTB outdoors while everything else is on the trainer.

  18. #18
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    Wahoo Kickr direct drive has been the best cycling purchase I've ever made, period. Nothing has made me faster dollar for dollar.

    TrainerRoad for structured training
    Zwift for 60-90 minute races and to replace dangerous outdoor group rides.

    I'm faster than I've ever been.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    Wahoo Kickr direct drive has been the best cycling purchase I've ever made, period. Nothing has made me faster dollar for dollar.

    TrainerRoad for structured training
    Zwift for 60-90 minute races and to replace dangerous outdoor group rides.

    I'm faster than I've ever been.
    Was informed a Kickr is my Father's Day present so glad to see glowing comments like this. Eager to join the community reaping the benefits of this training!

  20. #20
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    With my 90 mile ride yesterday starting at 4 PM in 106 degree heat, I'm almost tempted to go back to Zwift.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    Wahoo Kickr direct drive has been the best cycling purchase I've ever made, period. Nothing has made me faster dollar for dollar.

    TrainerRoad for structured training
    Zwift for 60-90 minute races and to replace dangerous outdoor group rides.

    I'm faster than I've ever been.
    My ingredients for moving from a Top 20% rider to a podium candidate this season:

    (a) weight loss
    (b) massive increase in training volume. very structured, on time efficiency oriented training.
    (c) my kids are older and sleep through

    for (a) and (b) my powermeters where crucial

    for (b) my smart trainer. If you can tolerate riding indoors it allows you to accumulate a lot of hours in winter. You can acutally do a pro style base training.

  22. #22
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    Simlulated video game, not real, just playing, i've heard it all time and time again over the past year, HELL, i used to say exactly the same pre-zwift.

    However, 2 weeks ago i went to the mountains for a weeks MTBing averaging 1000m climbing per day, 7 days running. The reason i was able to do this was because of Zwift, the reason my XC racing speed has improved is because of Zwift, the reason i'm lighter, faster, stronger than i've ever been is because of Zwift.

    I look forward to races, i plan my riding around Zwift racing too, i work exceptionally hard in races, 95% of FTHR rides are common with just slight recovery mid race. Battling to pull away, trying to pull people in on hills, it's racing, just like 'real' racing but in the garage.

    Today i'm going outside though as we've had 30deg weather this week and it's cooler today

  23. #23
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    I went out today on a 'known' loop, one i've done dozens upon dozens of times over the past 10 years.
    Even though i only averaged 127bpm average and a max of 161bpm, i still set 21 Strava PB's over the course of the ride, some of them i know i've pushed hard on before many many times, yet i was quicker yesterday after a winter of Zwifting.

    Sometimes you just let the numbers do the talking.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    Wahoo Kickr direct drive has been the best cycling purchase I've ever made, period. Nothing has made me faster dollar for dollar.

    TrainerRoad for structured training
    Zwift for 60-90 minute races and to replace dangerous outdoor group rides.

    I'm faster than I've ever been.
    Do you remove the rear tire from your mountain bike when you you use the Kickr direct drive, or do you have a different mtnb/road bike that you use with Zwift?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by drich View Post
    Do you remove the rear tire from your mountain bike when you you use the Kickr direct drive, or do you have a different mtnb/road bike that you use with Zwift?
    Disregard... I'm short of sleep and not thinking clearly.

  26. #26
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    Agreed. I had some riding buddies giving me crap about my Zwifting, but I've podium'd all but one race I did this year (and that one I didn't taper for and was using it as a long hard ride to cap off a hard training cycle). Note: I didn't usually podium every race in previous years. All my rides in Zwift are using Workout Mode. I was following one of their plans (12 wk Winter Advanced) and started to modify it about 8 weeks in, but I refer to it to help me plan the intensity of the workouts I plan to do. I could easily see and relate to getting bored if I was just riding around aimlessly in Zwift, but the Workout Mode is like the structure of TrainerRoad, but with the visual and social motivation of Zwift. I think it's the best of both worlds. The thing is, I get used to having such incredibly effective workouts in Zwift, that I really don't want to waste my time riding the road bike outside. The idea of dealing with cars, stop signs, etc., just so I can get a less effective workout isn't that appealing to me now. I still ride my mountain bike of course. I just moved and haven't got my Zwift setup set back up, but I sort of miss it. I expected I'd cancel my membership as soon as it warmed up, but I could see easily still doing 2-3 rides a week on it (I ride 6 days/week). Sometimes I have patient procedures I just can't be late for, so I can't risk getting a flat on a mountain bike ride, so it's nice to still be able to wake up early and just Zwift and get in a killer workout.

    Like weeksy950 says, sometimes I'm just riding along, not even feeling like I'm pushing, and I get a PR or top 10 on a segment that I know I've tried hard on before. The amount of power I have now is just ridiculous, and I really have to chalk it up to the structured training on Zwift.

    EDIT: Oh and for a cheaper option, check out the new Elite Direto, seems like the cheapest direct drive with a built-in power meter. BTW, I have the Hammer, I recommend that one also.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    Agreed. I had some riding buddies giving me crap about my Zwifting, but I've podium'd all but one race I did this year (and that one I didn't taper for and was using it as a long hard ride to cap off a hard training cycle). Note: I didn't usually podium every race in previous years. All my rides in Zwift are using Workout Mode. I was following one of their plans (12 wk Winter Advanced) and started to modify it about 8 weeks in, but I refer to it to help me plan the intensity of the workouts I plan to do. I could easily see and relate to getting bored if I was just riding around aimlessly in Zwift, but the Workout Mode is like the structure of TrainerRoad, but with the visual and social motivation of Zwift. I think it's the best of both worlds. The thing is, I get used to having such incredibly effective workouts in Zwift, that I really don't want to waste my time riding the road bike outside. The idea of dealing with cars, stop signs, etc., just so I can get a less effective workout isn't that appealing to me now. I still ride my mountain bike of course. I just moved and haven't got my Zwift setup set back up, but I sort of miss it. I expected I'd cancel my membership as soon as it warmed up, but I could see easily still doing 2-3 rides a week on it (I ride 6 days/week). Sometimes I have patient procedures I just can't be late for, so I can't risk getting a flat on a mountain bike ride, so it's nice to still be able to wake up early and just Zwift and get in a killer workout.

    Like weeksy950 says, sometimes I'm just riding along, not even feeling like I'm pushing, and I get a PR or top 10 on a segment that I know I've tried hard on before. The amount of power I have now is just ridiculous, and I really have to chalk it up to the structured training on Zwift.

    EDIT: Oh and for a cheaper option, check out the new Elite Direto, seems like the cheapest direct drive with a built-in power meter. BTW, I have the Hammer, I recommend that one also.
    Came back to my old thread after finding a like-new Rock and Roll trainer locally. The OCD paralysis by analysis in me thought about getting my new stationary dumb trainer back from the nephew, but that thing literally brought me to tears in terms of being a piece of crap.

    But your post and a few others have me leaning toward a fun relatively inexpensive direct drive even though my road bike has power. It's triple digits, early July, and I'll give myself a few more weeks to decide.

  28. #28
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    As of today my leading candidates for a Zwift workout on the road bike with power are:

    like-new Rock and Roll dumb trainer with riser block for $200 (and I'd have to buy dongle for $15).

    brand new with 1 year return policy at local shop for $275 summer sale: https://tacx.com/product/flow-smart/

    I realize the Flow only has 6% max incline slope, and doesn't have the direct drive like the Elite Direto, but as a bad weather z2 workout option and way to escape triple digit heat it sure seems like a decent budget option. Plus I have a garage full of inexpensive 700c tires to use up, ha.

  29. #29
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    Looks like the cheap Chinese smart trainers are coming!

    https://youtu.be/IcmESWyA1oo

  30. #30
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    If I have a one hour window to ride, I have two choices:
    1. Kit up, check the bike, and head out into traffic with stop signs and red lights for 15 minutes to get to the bike path, maybe ride a mile or two, then turn around because the hour is up.

    2. Change into my shorts, jump on the trainer, and ride for 55 minutes.
    No doubt. Love them or hate them, a trainer is by far the most efficient use of your time. Lets not forget coasting during the ride and more clean up when you get back.
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    Set the Hammer up, and initially though Zwift would be the app, but a few YouTube comments that echoed my riding and training mentality (more solo than group) has me leaning toward SufferFest or TrainerRoad. Although the comment above about Zwift in "workout mode" allows me to do a TrainerRoad type ride with the visual fun/stimulation of Zwift.

    I work from home and still follow an old coach's program, for the most part, and from the little reading online the SufferFest and TR seem up my alley. One has week trial and other 30 day trial.

    We're experiencing a lot of smoke from regional fires and it's nice having indoor riding options. My ANT+ stick shows up Friday so until then it's "dumb training" on a smart trainer since I'm not in any hurry to download and stare at a tiny phone.

    This thread's great replies plus CycleOps website has made it all very easy. I think my only minor question mark is how to upload whatever virtual ride APP to Strava, Golden Cheetah and Garmin Connect. Probably takes a second and I'm OCD'ing myself as usual, ha.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Set the Hammer up, and initially though Zwift would be the app, but a few YouTube comments that echoed my riding and training mentality (more solo than group) has me leaning toward SufferFest or TrainerRoad.
    I work from home and still follow an old coach's program, for the most part, and from the little reading online the SufferFfest and TR seem up my alley. One has week trial and other 30 day trial.

    We're experiencing a lot of smoke from regional fires and it's nice having indoor riding options. My ANT+ stick shows up Friday so until then it's "dumb training" on a smart trainer since I'm not in any hurry to download and stare at a tiny phone.

    This thread's great replies plus CycleOps website has made it all very easy. I think my only minor question mark is how to upload whatever virtual ride APP to Strava, Golden Cheetah and Garmin Connect. Probably takes a second and I'm OCD'ing myself as usual, ha.
    TrainerRoad has automatic Strava and Garmin Connect sync, and you can also connect to a dropbox folder that you can point Golden Cheetah at

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    TrainerRoad has automatic Strava and Garmin Connect sync, and you can also connect to a dropbox folder that you can point Golden Cheetah at
    Thanks. I like to make very simple things into First World Problems. *typing while still coughing the bad fire smoke in Oregon and glad to have a trainer.

  34. #34
    DLd
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Set the Hammer up, and initially though Zwift would be the app, but a few YouTube comments that echoed my riding and training mentality (more solo than group) has me leaning toward SufferFest or TrainerRoad.
    I work from home and still follow an old coach's program, for the most part, and from the little reading online the SufferFfest and TR seem up my alley. One has week trial and other 30 day trial.

    We're experiencing a lot of smoke from regional fires and it's nice having indoor riding options. My ANT+ stick shows up Friday so until then it's "dumb training" on a smart trainer since I'm not in any hurry to download and stare at a tiny phone.

    This thread's great replies plus CycleOps website has made it all very easy. I think my only minor question mark is how to upload whatever virtual ride APP to Strava, Golden Cheetah and Garmin Connect. Probably takes a second and I'm OCD'ing myself as usual, ha.
    Zwift has a free trial also. I think a lot of people with the YouTube comments don't realize that Zwift has a workout mode, or they're already committed to TR and don't want to "lose" their virtual progress. If you're following an old plan, you can easily build it up in Zwift's Workout Editor. I've built a few plans, and also just modified some of the existing. It's super easy to use, drag and drop, and just type in the values you want for each interval. I haven't used the workout editor in TR, but I've read that the Zwift one is easier to use. There's also a whole crapload of workout plans that are already in there that you can just follow for Zwift. You can check them out here. https://whatsonzwift.com/workouts/

    I like the visual of Zwift during a structured workout. Instead of just waiting for a timer to countdown, like in TR, you see a glowing ring on the road ahead that you ride through to start or end an interval. You still have the timer of course too, and you see target power and current power, but the visual feedback is nice, it makes it feel more like outside where you're sprinting to a telephone pole or something. I'd at least give it a shot. I think a lot of people's opinions were formed when Zwift first came out and didn't have the workout mode. Now that it does, I think it blows TR and Sufferfest away. Anyway, try them all. They're all a heck of a lot better than just staring at a wall or the TV. It's sort of fun when you're doing a hard interval and you're just blowing past people, real people in a virtual world. It's like a little bit of extra motivation, and they have the races if you're into that. Which are surprisingly like mountain bike races and not at all like road races. For some reason everyone freaking pins it for the first two minutes in the Zwift races. It's a lot like going for the holeshot in a XC race. It doesn't make sense, but it's a good simulation of a XC race start, so good for us mtb'ers.

    Remember to update your firmware, and Zwift has a new rolldown calibration feature built-in that works well with the Hammer. They recommend the trainer being warmed up first, so I start my workout, which usually starts with a warmup anyway, then I use the mobile app to pause the workout (always Pause a workout before you stop pedaling or it turns off ERG mode, I keep the mobile app open on my phone, and just have it next to my computer for that), then press T on your computer keyboard which is the shortcut to changing outfits, bikes, etc, but when you press done on that, the connection screen pops up, and you can click the little wrench next to the power meter, and get to the calibration screen, once you do the calibration (just follow the directions) and click ok, then you can start pedaling again and unpause the workout. I usually pause it before the end of my warmup, so I'm not jumping in and out during the middle of a work interval. I only do the calibration once a week, or any time I take the bike off the trainer (which is currently more than once a week anyway.)

    Have fun. It's awesome.

    EDIT: Oh, and Zwift of course has automatic sync to Strava as well. I sometimes use my Edge to also automatically upload to Garmin Connect. I'm not sure if it does that built-in.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Having used both (albeit not since spring so there may be updates...??), I find the TR workout creator easier to use and perhaps most importantly the workouts are tied to your profile. In other words you can create a workout on your work computer during lunch and ride it at home using your phone/tablet/personal pc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Having used both (albeit not since spring so there may be updates...??), I find the TR workout creator easier to use and perhaps most importantly the workouts are tied to your profile. In other words you can create a workout on your work computer during lunch and ride it at home using your phone/tablet/personal pc.
    I would like it if Zwift let you modify/build workouts from a browser that would automatically sync to your computer when you log in. That is a nice feature to have. Of course by the time someone necroposts on this thread in a year or so it will probably already have been added. Both TR and Zwift are in such a state of growth and adding features, many criticisms don't stay valid for long.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Been trialing Zwift a few days. Obviously still learning the ins and outs, but I absolutely enjoy it so much. We're covered in smoke from regional fires and it's been hot...and I'm burned out late in the season and riding the roads just isn't fun. Perfect time to turn on a fan and Zwift. Admittedly wasn't expecting much, but the smart trainer is an ego busting eye opener.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Been trialing Zwift a few days. Obviously still learning the ins and outs, but I absolutely enjoy it so much. We're covered in smoke from regional fires and it's been hot...and I'm burned out late in the season and riding the roads just isn't fun. Perfect time to turn on a fan and Zwift. Admittedly wasn't expecting much, but the smart trainer is an ego busting eye opener.
    I tried the Mat Hayman Paris-Roubaix 1 workout (in 60-90 minutes to burn) this morning and it kicked my ass. I completed it, but it was harder than I thought it would be.

    One thing I found nice is changing your view. The default is the 3rd person view (looking at your own rider from behind), but I find I prefer the 1st person view (the view you would have from the rider's eyes.) I find it slightly more engaging. I can't think of any other tips at the moment.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Having used both (albeit not since spring so there may be updates...??), I find the TR workout creator easier to use and perhaps most importantly the workouts are tied to your profile. In other words you can create a workout on your work computer during lunch and ride it at home using your phone/tablet/personal pc.
    If you use TrainingPeaks this is pretty easy for Zwift, use the TrainingPeaks workout creator to create a Zwift workout file and then get the file on to your Zwift machine using Dropbox etc. Not so easy for iOS though.

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    This is a world i'v only recently been discovering, last winter I treated myself to a Tacx smart trainer and fount it 100% improvement on the usual dumb trainers. Even so I only used it on and off over winter when the weather was bad enough to put me off going outside, that was using some workouts I'd built on the Tacx cloud and uploaded.
    Just last week I bought a little Asus TS10 stick PC and to my surprise it ran Zwift fine on the medium settings, so I plugged it into the side of the TV I have in a garage and got dipped my toe for the first time in this virtual world.

    It's only when you mix the smart trainer with the software the lightbulb moment happens, off I went straight into an evening crit race and emerged a dripping wreck from the garage about an hour later. There is no way without the competitive element I would of pushed that hard on a training block previously. Now i'm keeping my eye out for more races and looking to build my W/kg.

    Brilliant stuff.

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    What I like about TR is that the workout plans are based on current science. They (Coach Chad) is always updating and changing them based on what is current. Zwift has a ton of workouts and seems fun but their are no USAC coaches behind it that are out there talking about why they plan the plans the way they do. TR has a Podcast weekly where they discuss all of this and more. Makes you feel like you are getting current and accurate advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HopHeadEVENTS View Post
    What I like about TR is that the workout plans are based on current science. They (Coach Chad) is always updating and changing them based on what is current. Zwift has a ton of workouts and seems fun but their are no USAC coaches behind it that are out there talking about why they plan the plans the way they do. TR has a Podcast weekly where they discuss all of this and more. Makes you feel like you are getting current and accurate advice.
    This. Zwift's workout plans are pretty garbage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HopHeadEVENTS View Post
    What I like about TR is that the workout plans are based on current science. They (Coach Chad) is always updating and changing them based on what is current. Zwift has a ton of workouts and seems fun but their are no USAC coaches behind it that are out there talking about why they plan the plans the way they do. TR has a Podcast weekly where they discuss all of this and more. Makes you feel like you are getting current and accurate advice.
    Can your TR workout schedule be virtually ridden within Zwift?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zgxtreme View Post
    Can your TR workout schedule be virtually ridden within Zwift?
    You can connect two dongles to have your Zwift character move when you are riding a TR workout. That's what I do.

    I have TR iPhone app connected to Kickr and Quarq DZero via Bluetooth and then I have the computer pick up the Ant+ signal for Zwift so my character moves during the workout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    You can connect two dongles to have your Zwift character move when you are riding a TR workout. That's what I do.

    I have TR iPhone app connected to Kickr and Quarq DZero via Bluetooth and then I have the computer pick up the Ant+ signal for Zwift so my character moves during the workout.
    Thank you. Seems like the ideal solution.

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    First week went great and this week I lose bluetooth with Zwift within the first few minutes. Read their FAQ and had to submit a ticket. Frustrating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    First week went great and this week I lose bluetooth with Zwift within the first few minutes. Read their FAQ and had to submit a ticket. Frustrating.
    I only use Ant+ FEC with Zwift. I always get massive connection dropouts otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    I only use Ant+ FEC with Zwift. I always get massive connection dropouts otherwise.
    Ah, the dongle I just returned.

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    I'm also struggling with occasional BTLE signal drops, but I can't get an ANT+ USB Dongle at the moment.

    Good luck, Westin.

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renzo7 View Post
    I'm also struggling with occasional BTLE signal drops, but I can't get an ANT+ USB Dongle at the moment.

    Good luck, Westin.

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk
    Thanks. I had a dongle and returned it when I thought "hey, my Hammer doesn't need it." Now I'm buying the dongle off Amazon, again, and hopefully the repeated drops stop. My virtual cyclist guy just sits roadside. I'll figure it all out soon enough. Good time for my "recovery days" because it's howling nasty windy and rain out there.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Thanks. I had a dongle and returned it when I thought "hey, my Hammer doesn't need it." Now I'm buying the dongle off Amazon, again, and hopefully the repeated drops stop. My virtual cyclist guy just sits roadside. I'll figure it all out soon enough. Good time for my "recovery days" because it's howling nasty windy and rain out there.
    What are you cycling with?

    I'm with a Windows 10 PC and an android phone running Zwift ML. When I get a drop, it's either the cadence (Giant RideSense) or HR (Wahoo TICKR) sensor. If I hit A (shortcut to the pairing screen), wait about 3 seconds, and go back, the problem is usually fixed.

    Have you tried that? Have you checked that your Hammer's firmware is the latest version?

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renzo7 View Post
    What are you cycling with?

    I'm with a Windows 10 PC and an android phone running Zwift ML. When I get a drop, it's either the cadence (Giant RideSense) or HR (Wahoo TICKR) sensor. If I hit A (shortcut to the pairing screen), wait about 3 seconds, and go back, the problem is usually fixed.

    Have you tried that? Have you checked that your Hammer's firmware is the latest version?

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk
    Windows 10 and Android, here. Bike has Power2Max, but that's not issue.
    I tried calibrating Zwift but it just reads 0mph. I have not looked into Hammer firmware. Guess that should be priority but will have to wait 2 days for amazon prime delivery of the dongle.
    Last edited by westin; 09-20-2017 at 11:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Windows 10 and Android, here. Bike has Power2Max, but that's not issue.
    I tried calibrating Zwift but it just reads 0mph. I have not looked into Hammer firmware. Guess that should be priority but will have to wait 2 days for amazon prime delivery of the dongle.
    Zwift states that calibration can't be done via Bluetooth over Zwift Mobile Link. You can use Rouvy (CycleOps' mobile app) or their desktop app for calibration. I used the mobile one to perform the spindown after a 10 minute warm-up.

    Both articles are relevant:

    https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/a...bile_site=true

    https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/a...bile_site=true

    Good luck!

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renzo7 View Post
    What are you cycling with?

    I'm with a Windows 10 PC and an android phone running Zwift ML. When I get a drop, it's either the cadence (Giant RideSense) or HR (Wahoo TICKR) sensor. If I hit A (shortcut to the pairing screen), wait about 3 seconds, and go back, the problem is usually fixed.

    Have you tried that? Have you checked that your Hammer's firmware is the latest version?

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk
    Thanks! The A shortcut helps. I downloaded mobile Rouvy and it said no firmware update needed. Still can't get spindown test Zwift to work. I'll just deal with it til the Ant+ dongle arrives in 2 days for the Hammer. Didn't think I'd need "extras" for the smart trainer, but bluetooth isn't Zwift or Cycleops' "fault".

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Thanks! The A shortcut helps. I downloaded mobile Rouvy (or whatever it's called) and it said no firmware update needed. Still can't get spindown test Zwift to work. I'll just deal with it til the Ant+ dongle arrives in 2 days for the Hammer. Didn't think I'd need "extras" for the smart trainer, but bluetooth isn't Zwift or Cycleops' "fault".
    You're welcome!

    You can perform a calibration spindown in Rouvy. Zwift doesn't support it through Bluetooth at this time.

    Have fun!

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renzo7 View Post
    You're welcome!

    You can perform a calibration spindown in Rouvy. Zwift doesn't support it through Bluetooth at this time.

    Have fun!

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk
    I believe you've told me that several times, ha, yet I keep beating my head against the wall. It's just been one of those days. You've sorted a majority of my issues, and with this rain/wind and Amazon Prime delivering soon I should be just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    I believe you've told me that several times, ha, yet I keep beating my head against the wall. It's just been one of those days. You've sorted a majority of my issues, and with this rain/wind and Amazon Prime delivering soon I should be just fine.
    No problem, my friend. Have a great day!

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk

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    Cycleops also recommends a specific BT adapter if you're on a windows PC. It wouldn't work with my laptop's stock BT. Some of the choices would show up, but I think firmware or the rolldown calibration wouldn't show up. Anyway, I had heard ANT+ was the way to go, so I had already received the ANT+ dongle, but I ended up needing to get the specific BT dongle they recommend too, to be able to calibrate. With the new cal in Zwift, I can just calibrate over ANT+, so I guess I don't need the BT dongle anymore. Rouvy is sort of a mess. I wish they would just put more effort into making their trainer have the best possible integration with Zwift and TR, rather than trying to make their own software. It seems akin to if Verizon made their own version of Facebook, and tried to push all of their customers to use their "VBookFace" or something like that.

    Oh, and btw, Cycleops just released a new firmware for the Hammer this morning. I'll download it tonight.
    https://www.cycleops.com/support/firmware

    I also did get a USB extension cable for the ANT+ dongle, as recommended, and I haven't had any problems with dropouts.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    Cycleops also recommends a specific BT adapter if you're on a windows PC. It wouldn't work with my laptop's stock BT. Some of the choices would show up, but I think firmware or the rolldown calibration wouldn't show up. Anyway, I had heard ANT+ was the way to go, so I had already received the ANT+ dongle, but I ended up needing to get the specific BT dongle they recommend too, to be able to calibrate. With the new cal in Zwift, I can just calibrate over ANT+, so I guess I don't need the BT dongle anymore. Rouvy is sort of a mess. I wish they would just put more effort into making their trainer have the best possible integration with Zwift and TR, rather than trying to make their own software. It seems akin to if Verizon made their own version of Facebook, and tried to push all of their customers to use their "VBookFace" or something like that.

    Oh, and btw, Cycleops just released a new firmware for the Hammer this morning. I'll download it tonight.
    https://www.cycleops.com/support/firmware

    I also did get a USB extension cable for the ANT+ dongle, as recommended, and I haven't had any problems with dropouts.
    Fingers crossed the dongle off Amazon keeps my Hammer connected to the laptop: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Just followed the steps and my Hammer did not upload new firmware.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Fingers crossed the dongle off Amazon keeps my Hammer connected to the laptop: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I bought the Garmin one, but I also got this. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    A lot of people said they had problems with dongles dropping signals until they added the extension, for Hammers and other trainers as well.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    I bought the Garmin one, but I also got this. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    A lot of people said they had problems with dongles dropping signals until they added the extension, for Hammers and other trainers as well.
    ant+ dongle in one end, the other in laptop?! That should solve my woes.
    The 3.3 feet should be enough. Just bought it. Keep telling myself it's better than buying yet another pair of winter gloves only to have frozen hands anyway.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Showing my stupidity: the cable plugs into laptop and the dongle plugs into other end of cable?
    The 3.3 feet should be enough. Just bought it. Keep telling myself it's better than buying yet another pair of winter gloves only to have frozen digits anyways.
    Yeah, it's just an extension. Then I have the dongle routed so it's lying on the floor right next to the back of the trainer. No signal strength issues that way. I figure the lost training time if I'm getting drops cost me more in frustration than $6, so worth it.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    Yeah, it's just an extension. Then I have the dongle routed so it's lying on the floor right next to the back of the trainer. No signal strength issues that way. I figure the lost training time if I'm getting drops cost me more in frustration than $6, so worth it.
    Tried giving you positive rep but it seems I've maxed out already from all your helpful posts. The longer usb cable replaced the shorter cable order after reading your suggestion.
    Hopefully this long thread helps other newbies in their winter indoor fun whether they go with zwift, TR, Sufferfest, Rouvy, etc.

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    The Best Zwift/TrainerRoad Setups? Future-proofing?

    Despite my instincts, I am going to start doing more Zwifting and TrainerRoading this year due to a desire to improve my work/life schedule. This morning was entertaining enough on Zwift and I was able to get in a 90 minute ride before getting into work on time. Pulling that off regularly would be a huge improvement to my schedule.

    I am currently using an older Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and Stages PM. I am looking at all the crazy doodads you can use these days with these apps... everything to the basic wheel-on smart trainers like the Wahoo Kickr snap to the super advanced "cobblestone" simulators like the Tacx Neo I believe and the crazy Wahoo thing that changes the gradient your bike is sitting at by lifting the fork at the dropout (CRAZY!).

    What are the best setups out there for using these apps these days? Are there setups that you feel are particularly future-proof for new features that may come out in Zwift or TrainerRoad (or even new apps/stuff that hasn't even come out yet)?

    Also, what would I want to get if I want to use my MTB for some workouts as well? Would the wheel-on trainers be the best for this due to the dropout spacing and cassette required for the wheel-off trainers?

    Finally, is the Kurt Kinetic Smart Control unit worth anything? It seems pretty pricey when you can get a complete Wahoo Kickr Snap for about $150 more.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmygato View Post
    Despite my instincts, I am going to start doing more Zwifting and TrainerRoading this year due to a desire to improve my work/life schedule. This morning was entertaining enough on Zwift and I was able to get in a 90 minute ride before getting into work on time. Pulling that off regularly would be a huge improvement to my schedule.

    I am currently using an older Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and Stages PM. I am looking at all the crazy doodads you can use these days with these apps... everything to the basic wheel-on smart trainers like the Wahoo Kickr snap to the super advanced "cobblestone" simulators like the Tacx Neo I believe and the crazy Wahoo thing that changes the gradient your bike is sitting at by lifting the fork at the dropout (CRAZY!).

    What are the best setups out there for using these apps these days? Are there setups that you feel are particularly future-proof for new features that may come out in Zwift or TrainerRoad (or even new apps/stuff that hasn't even come out yet)?

    Also, what would I want to get if I want to use my MTB for some workouts as well? Would the wheel-on trainers be the best for this due to the dropout spacing and cassette required for the wheel-off trainers?

    Finally, is the Kurt Kinetic Smart Control unit worth anything? It seems pretty pricey when you can get a complete Wahoo Kickr Snap for about $150 more.
    For using MTB, I know the Hammer and the new 2017 Kickr's (not 2016 and before) have adapters for all the different thru-axles (142x12, 148x12 boost) and QR. Possibly the Direto as well is another one to check out, just came out, direct drive for only $799 I think? Be sure to read the comments on DC Rainmaker's review to see how it's working out for people. The difference would be if you have 10sp on one bike, and 11sp on the other, which type of cassette would you mount on the trainer. Even a 10 spd bike would probably line up well with at least 1 gear on an 11spd cassette, so if you were using ERG mode in workout mode, you wouldn't need to shift. I haven't tried putting my mtb on my Hammer yet. Far easier to just leave the road bike on there.

    I don't think anything is really future proof. If they come out with some brand new feature, it might require new hardware to implement it. Even Kickrs' new Climb thing requires a new 2017 Kickr trainer. I think the Climb thing is silly anyway. I'm more worried about the effectiveness of the training rather than trying to pretend like it's outside. I feel engaged enough with just Zwift. Maybe I'm just easily satisfied though.

    Regarding wheel-on trainer for mtb, that would mean you'd have to switch out tires on your mountain bike to use the trainer. You wouldn't want to use knobbies on a trainer. If you have a spare rear wheel, that might be a way to go, but the noise benefits of a wheel-off trainer almost make it worth it for that alone.

    KK Smart Control, read the DC Rainmaker review of it. It really doesn't seem like it's worth it, even it was $300 less than a Snap. I haven't heard anything positive about it. Which is a bummer because the Rock'n'road is supposed to be a nice trainer. Kinetic just needs to come out with their own direct drive smart trainer that maybe integrates their Rock'n'road tech and build quality.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    I don't think anything is really future proof. If they come out with some brand new feature, it might require new hardware to implement it. Even Kickrs' new Climb thing requires a new 2017 Kickr trainer. I think the Climb thing is silly anyway. I'm more worried about the effectiveness of the training rather than trying to pretend like it's outside. I feel engaged enough with just Zwift. Maybe I'm just easily satisfied though.
    Maybe I am missing something... What is the actual training benefit of a smart trainer? I thought it was to 1. Use ERG mode, 2. Simulate real riding.

    My understanding is that the Kickr Climb gives a closer simulation to real riding so there would be some actual training benefit to it as well. This is the same reason why I would like to have the option to ride my MTB on the trainer too.

    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    KK Smart Control, read the DC Rainmaker review of it. It really doesn't seem like it's worth it, even it was $300 less than a Snap. I haven't heard anything positive about it. Which is a bummer because the Rock'n'road is supposed to be a nice trainer. Kinetic just needs to come out with their own direct drive smart trainer that maybe integrates their Rock'n'road tech and build quality.
    I read a little more about this thing and it sounds like a total misfire on their part... bad pricing strategy, terrible implementation with no Ant+ support.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmygato View Post
    Maybe I am missing something... What is the actual training benefit of a smart trainer? I thought it was to 1. Use ERG mode, 2. Simulate real riding.
    I think the training benefit 1 comes from ERG mode, and the motivation benefit comes from simulating real riding. I feel like the motivation provided by Zwift and a smart trainer is enough for me already (I think I have almost 3,000 miles on Zwift since January) so for me personally, I don't think more realism is needed. There's probably a little adaptation benefit from the Climb unit. I don't deny that, and there can be some adaptation benefit from training on the same bike you race as well. For the Climb unit, I can't justify the benefit vs the cost of buying a new 2017 Kickr and Climb unit, especially when my results have been so good without it. As to the mountain bike, I have my road bike seat position set up very close to my mtb position since the primary reason I ride road is to train for mtb racing, and I haven't noticed any deficiency when jumping on the mtb after extensive training on the road bike. So in that case, it feels like I'm weighing a small possible benefit vs. the additional inconvenience of putting my mtb on the trainer. That's just me though. Other people may weigh the costs and benefits differently.

    If you're just doing simulation mode on the trainer, you'll run out of gears more quickly on the mountain bike, just like when using a mountain bike for road training with road tires on it. The only reason that doesn't work well is you can't maintain effort on slight downhills where you would be cruising at 30mph on a road bike and still pedaling hard, you're spun out on a 1x11 mtb, and it's just wasted training time. Getting off-topic a little. You wouldn't have those issues with ERG mode on a mtb.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    ^^^

    Copy on all of that... thanks for your input.

    It sounds like my best option is to go for a 2017 Wahoo Kickr with the possibility of adding the Climb later if I want to dork out even more.

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    Another question for you all... what is the maximum simulated incline you would want for a smart trainer? Would the 10% on the Kickr Snap be a significant limitation? Would you ever actually want a 20% incline trainer? I think the steepest grade I have ever climbed is 25%, and that was only for maybe several hundred meters.

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    How did I ever put up with my plain old Kurt Kinetic Road Machine...

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    Quote Originally Posted by twobigwheels View Post
    How did I ever put up with my plain old Kurt Kinetic Road Machine...
    Haha, same with my Cycleops Fluid 2. I got some hours in, but I wasn't looking forward to it. Now I do. Weird. Still spinning in place...
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmygato View Post
    Another question for you all... what is the maximum simulated incline you would want for a smart trainer? Would the 10% on the Kickr Snap be a significant limitation? Would you ever actually want a 20% incline trainer? I think the steepest grade I have ever climbed is 25%, and that was only for maybe several hundred meters.
    I dont' necessarily think of it in terms of incline% rather how the trainer responds to the significantly larger loads (e.g. transitioning from some steady state z1/z2 to anaerobic efforts) Your snap (and my computrainer) are limited by the amount of friction between the roller(s) and the rear tire - advantage to direct drive but it's still like riding into a wall unless you ease/smooth the transitions (even a 1-2 second transition makes a ton of difference).

    Your trainers aren't going to like extended climbs at low speeds for cooling reasons (I have a $5 small fan aimed at my resistance unit as it has a fan blade mounted on the roller shaft thingy) and you won't like them as the resistance NEVER stops. Its exacerbated in low cadence/standing efforts and feels like trying to ride uphill in mud wearing a weighted vest. ymmv

    I can successfully execute some high wattage sets but I have to use the aforementioned transitions AND keep the wheel speed of the trainer high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    I dont' necessarily think of it in terms of incline% rather how the trainer responds to the significantly larger loads (e.g. transitioning from some steady state z1/z2 to anaerobic efforts) Your snap (and my computrainer) are limited by the amount of friction between the roller(s) and the rear tire - advantage to direct drive but it's still like riding into a wall unless you ease/smooth the transitions (even a 1-2 second transition makes a ton of difference).
    Excuse my ignorance on this topic. I assume you are talking about operating the trainer in ERG mode, correct? So the transition between Z1 and anaerobic feels like riding into a wall due to the sudden resistance increase? Are you saying this is better or worse with a trainer rated for only 10% incline? Is there a way to smooth the transitions more in a 20% incline trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Your trainers aren't going to like extended climbs at low speeds for cooling reasons (I have a $5 small fan aimed at my resistance unit as it has a fan blade mounted on the roller shaft thingy) and you won't like them as the resistance NEVER stops. Its exacerbated in low cadence/standing efforts and feels like trying to ride uphill in mud wearing a weighted vest. ymmv
    Do you mean that if I am using a smart trainer with Zwift it is going to start overheating, eventually burning itself out, if I am doing extended climbs and letting the resistance do what it needs to do to match whatever grade I am on? I guess I don't understand what you mean by "your trainers". Do you mean "all trainers" or just "smart trainers" or some other subset of trainers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    I can successfully execute some high wattage sets but I have to use the aforementioned transitions AND keep the wheel speed of the trainer high.
    So you mean you are doing some configuration on the trainer to make the transitions smoother, correct?

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    Sorry about that but I think you have the gist. to your first point the sudden change is what I'm trying to talk to. I'm not quite sure what 10% translates into tbh but in your workout designer (zwift, Trainer road... ...etc.) you can just put in a shorter interval of a few seconds to transition from say 120w to 450w and it's markedly better (IMO) ride as it also takes the trainer a few seconds to adjust from 120 to 450 (or even 300).

    To your second point, yes. These things can (and do) overheat. Most of these trainers have a fan impeller on the driveshaft and in low speed/high effort scenarios like climbing hills you do run the risk of that happening. On Slowtwitch there are/were a few threads about this in relation to both the Kickr and computrainer. I'd wager the snap would have similar concerns but haven't looked for anything.

    Many people recommended the use of a small fan directed at the resistance unit and that's what I've been doing for the past few seasons.

    on your third point, I'm doing the configuration in the workout designer. You wont' have those issues just riding along in zwift.

    Apologies for being kind of vague. I think I've checked out for the week

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    ^^^

    I follow you now.

    Regarding overheating, I totally understand how that can happen. I guess I thought that they designed them with this in mind though. Does the manufacturer's warranty cover overheating in most cases? Like if it's designed for use with Zwift, it seems ridiculous that you wouldn't be able to climb the steepest, longest hill in it.

    To be realistic though, the whole indoor training mousetrap is ridiculous... I'm doing work to turn against a powered motor which is plugged into a wall. There's no wind so I have to turn another fan motor to cool myself off and to cool that powered motor I'm turning against I have to use yet another fan. I'm watching an avatar of myself in a virtual world to try to keep my mind off the fact that I'm not really having any fun. Hahahaha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmygato View Post
    To be realistic though, the whole indoor training mousetrap is ridiculous... I'm doing work to turn against a powered motor which is plugged into a wall. There's no wind so I have to turn another fan motor to cool myself off and to cool that powered motor I'm turning against I have to use yet another fan. I'm watching an avatar of myself in a virtual world to try to keep my mind off the fact that I'm not really having any fun. Hahahaha.
    You get it, next trainer will have vr integrated for the full experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    You get it, next trainer will have vr integrated for the full experience.
    They'll have to put dual fans in there to keep the condensation off the glass!

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    The best part of Zwift is dropping the Fred's and wheelsuckers that glom onto you wheel when you pass them. In that regard it is like real riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggrin View Post
    The best part of Zwift is dropping the Fred's and wheelsuckers that glom onto you wheel when you pass them. In that regard it is like real riding.
    Awesome...

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    A quick comment on future proof trainers... I learned yesterday that the CycleOps Hammer is the only direct drive trainer that is specified for up to 148 mm Boost spacing. I was surprised to see this since a lot of training programs are advising to train on what you race which makes a lot of sense. Boost was coming out maybe 2-3 years ago so it seems like a lot of trainer companies missed the boat.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggrin View Post
    The best part of Zwift is dropping the Fred's and wheelsuckers that glom onto you wheel when you pass them. In that regard it is like real riding.
    You must be winning A races then superstar

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    Peeve of mine.

    If I'm out on a ride, and you try to latch on to my rear wheel, I'll do everything I can to help you out. I'm not in a race (obviously the that's current in a race, where I'm the one getting dropped).

    If you're a bad ass and someone who struggles to hold 200 watts needs a tow, give the damn tow. You lose nothing except your reputation for being an asshole.

    If you think you're a bad ass riding at 3 w/kg dropping people who can't push 2, you're not. So help them out.

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    Well said Sidewalk.

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    I am trying to figure out what is best for me and didn't want to start a new thread.
    I have no room for a trainer. I have 5 commercial level spin bikes(no power) and a 70 inch flat screen, moderate internet connection, a laptop I can plug in but cant install any application onto, older 4g Ipad Training Bike | Exercise Bike | LeMond Revmaster Pro

    Winter is coming and that means I will be coming home in the dark and will need a way to train in evenings. This is the first season I think I will do structured training because of this. I want to train with power.

    Since I don't feel I need virtual control of resistance and am ok with having to reach down and crank up the knob, is a PowerTap Single-Sided Pedal a good option for me. Is this all I would need to run zwift and zwift interval training? For those in the know, would this be problematic for targeting and holding power for interval training?

    I currently just log on and watch a youtube first person race and hammer it out. It has to be the right race to be able to go 1:30-2Hr but I can do it. I am sure with time some of the races will grow old and I want to incorporate power anyways.


    If this works, this opens up a world of possibilities because I may be able to travel with them to use in hotels in my travel season and can use them on my Hardtail for street training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    I am trying to figure out what is best for me and didn't want to start a new thread.
    I have no room for a trainer. I have 5 commercial level spin bikes(no power) and a 70 inch flat screen, moderate internet connection, a laptop I can plug in but cant install any application onto, older 4g Ipad Training Bike | Exercise Bike | LeMond Revmaster Pro

    Since I don't feel I need virtual control of resistance and am ok with having to reach down and crank up the knob, is a PowerTap Single-Sided Pedal a good option for me. Is this all I would need to run zwift and zwift interval training? For those in the know, would this be problematic for targeting and holding power for interval training?
    You will be able to monitor and train with power just fine with the PowerTap pedals if you add a head unit or some other data collection device to your setup. This could be through a laptop or through a separate Garmin or other device. I suggest taking a look at DC Rainmaker's site to get an overview of how it all works together. I am not sure how the pedals compare to other power meter options such as crank or hub-based solutions, but since you haven't trained with power before I would guess that the pedals will work fine for you. If you go this route I would just make sure that you can use them on at least one of your outdoor bikes (but not the MTB!... pedal strike issues) as well so that you can just swap pedals to make your data consistent.

    The concern I have with your proposed setup is that it is going to be really hard to get any specificity out of it. So you'll be building fitness, but the fitness you gain may not be applicable to XC mountain bike racing fitness due to differences between the exercise bike and your mountain bike.

    I'm not sure why you couldn't trade one (or more) of the 5 spin bikes for a smart trainer and a cheap laptop. I assume you say this because you are going to a gym to do these workouts which is free or relatively inexpensive. In this case I think you'd be better off limiting your time there, even if that means training with heart rate alone.

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    They converted our poolhouse to a yoga studio. This bothered me at first to not have a place to prep fajitas and store chips and salsa in the summer. All that was offset with the addition of the spin bikes and the on demand Peloton style classes which mostly focus on intervals (not core/dancing). I also currently mirror first person youtube race videos of the course I am going to race and hammer away. I make my own "stupid" trainer by adjusting grades with the resistance when the course takes me up climbs. I train in the gym on the weeknights using HR.

    This is all fine and works great except that I cant measure power for short intervals. I am finally ready to implement intervals, but want to do so with Power.

    Plan B is to buy a Stages Crank arm power meter for my hardtail. Then I will be limited to power outside, which I know is ideal anyways. This does not fix the fact that the days are too short in the winter to do any interval training. After reading up on Interval work and training with power, it turns out I have inadvertently been training for Marathon racing in my road work.

    Plan C is to save money on anything technical, work on my real weak spot [climbs]. Going from 188 lbs-170s and continue climbing every hill I can find. I am not sure if Hill repeats will even improve this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Plan B is to buy a Stages Crank arm power meter for my hardtail. Then I will be limited to power outside, which I know is ideal anyways. This does not fix the fact that the days are too short in the winter to do any interval training. After reading up on Interval work and training with power, it turns out I have inadvertently been training for Marathon racing in my road work.
    I recommend Plan B, but you need a head unit or a laptop with an ANT+ dongle or maybe Bluetooth. Do you have one? If not, any power meter will be useless. Again, browse DC Rainmaker for an overview.

    I also recommend you move one of those goofy spin bikes over, get a $100 trainer, and put your power-metered bike on it.

    Either that or try to kill two birds (power meter and trainer) with one stone (smart trainer).

    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Plan C is to save money on anything technical, work on my real weak spot [climbs]. Going from 188 lbs-170s and continue climbing every hill I can find. I am not sure if Hill repeats will even improve this.
    Specificity is important; If you want to get better at riding hills, ride them over and over again.

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    How about an MTBR group ride?

    I am trying to keep up an early morning (for me) schedule starting Zwift and other training rides around 5:15 am Pacific time Tuesday through Thursday. Right now I am in my base phase so the highest intensity would likely be tempo with jumps slowly progressing to threshold. I will eventually work in VO2Max intervals one day during the week too. I will also have at least one day of endurance during a week.

    Is anyone interested in joining me for a group ride on Zwift if I start them up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by weeksy950 View Post
    You must be winning A races then superstar
    You know it baby!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Peeve of mine.

    If I'm out on a ride, and you try to latch on to my rear wheel, I'll do everything I can to help you out. I'm not in a race (obviously the that's current in a race, where I'm the one getting dropped).

    If you're a bad ass and someone who struggles to hold 200 watts needs a tow, give the damn tow. You lose nothing except your reputation for being an asshole.

    If you think you're a bad ass riding at 3 w/kg dropping people who can't push 2, you're not. So help them out.
    My peeve is why ride my ride by trying to grabbing onto my wheel when I pass rather than riding your own ride? If I wanted to be riding with someone I would be but if I am out doing my own thing that's what I want to do. Go do your own thing and ride your own ride, not mine.

    I never wheel suck off anyone, whether on the road or on Zwift and I guess I expect the same courtesy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggrin View Post
    My peeve is why ride my ride by trying to grabbing onto my wheel when I pass rather than riding your own ride? If I wanted to be riding with someone I would be but if I am out doing my own thing that's what I want to do. Go do your own thing and ride your own ride, not mine.

    I never wheel suck off anyone, whether on the road or on Zwift and I guess I expect the same courtesy.
    The answer to that is 'competition' , i can be out for a cruise round the Island at 200w, but then a group of 2-3 riders catch me up and are putting out 280w and i think to myself "Ohh, nice, i'll jump on this group for 5-6km" and then i up the pace for 10 mins, i'll maybe then jump on the front for a few KMs at 300w, or maybe i'll jump off the back and drop back to 200w... But at the end of the day, riding with someone and trying to stick with them is more interesting than riding alone.

    90% of my Zwift riding is in races where i'm more likely to be trying not to die at the front of a C race, but sometimes i jump on for a longer slower ride with the occasional burst of speed for fun if the right group passes.

    You realise they're not actually slowing you down ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by weeksy950 View Post
    You realize they're not actually slowing you down ?
    They definitely slow you down and you don't want that to happen with all the Pro Cycling Scouts looking for talent on Zwift

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggrin View Post
    My peeve is why ride my ride by trying to grabbing onto my wheel when I pass rather than riding your own ride? If I wanted to be riding with someone I would be but if I am out doing my own thing that's what I want to do. Go do your own thing and ride your own ride, not mine.

    I never wheel suck off anyone, whether on the road or on Zwift and I guess I expect the same courtesy.
    Haha, I hope you're kidding. It's not like you have control of it on Zwift. If you're doing your own ride on Zwift, cruising along at whatever pace you're trying to do, and someone comes along just a little bit faster and passes you, then of course you catch some of their draft, speed up a little, and might even end up staying in their draft and matching their speed, without changing your power at all. It happens to me all the time on easy days, even though I'm in ERG mode and couldn't change my power output if I wanted to. The funny thing is, in terms of the physics, both in Zwift and in the real world, both people benefit from the drafting. The person behind sees a much larger benefit of course, but it improves the aerodynamics for the person in front too. To avoid it, the person would have to change their intended workout, just so as to not cause frustration for some anonymous person, that they have no way of even knowing they're causing offence to in the first place. Don't tell me people really think like this, do they?
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    I am trying to figure out what is best for me and didn't want to start a new thread.
    I have no room for a trainer. I have 5 commercial level spin bikes(no power) and a 70 inch flat screen, moderate internet connection, a laptop I can plug in but cant install any application onto, older 4g Ipad Training Bike | Exercise Bike | LeMond Revmaster Pro

    Winter is coming and that means I will be coming home in the dark and will need a way to train in evenings. This is the first season I think I will do structured training because of this. I want to train with power.

    Since I don't feel I need virtual control of resistance and am ok with having to reach down and crank up the knob, is a PowerTap Single-Sided Pedal a good option for me. Is this all I would need to run zwift and zwift interval training? For those in the know, would this be problematic for targeting and holding power for interval training?

    I currently just log on and watch a youtube first person race and hammer it out. It has to be the right race to be able to go 1:30-2Hr but I can do it. I am sure with time some of the races will grow old and I want to incorporate power anyways.


    If this works, this opens up a world of possibilities because I may be able to travel with them to use in hotels in my travel season and can use them on my Hardtail for street training.
    The pedals will work just fine. They're great, in fact. What you need to check is if your iPad is capable of running Zwift. Since you can't install any applications on the laptop, then that's completely useless, so you don't need to worry about that. I'm not familiar with iDevices, but here's a list of the ones that are compatible.
    IS MY IDEVICE ABLE TO RUN ZWIFT?
    Zwift for iOS requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, all iPad Pro models, iPad (5th generation), and iPod touch (6th generation).

    If you're thinking you might want to upgrade your laptop anyway, then the minimum and required specs for PC are near the bottom of this page. Zwift | How it works.

    If you set up the bike fit the same as your mountain bike, then there should be no issues with specificity. Reaching down to change resistance will be just fine, you'll be able to see the power you're putting out on the screen and so will know whether to increase or decrease your power to hit your target. Same as using a dumb trainer, but reaching down to turn a knob instead of shifting gears to change resistance.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    They converted our poolhouse to a yoga studio. This bothered me at first to not have a place to prep fajitas and store chips and salsa in the summer. All that was offset with the addition of the spin bikes and the on demand Peloton style classes which mostly focus on intervals (not core/dancing). I also currently mirror first person youtube race videos of the course I am going to race and hammer away. I make my own "stupid" trainer by adjusting grades with the resistance when the course takes me up climbs. I train in the gym on the weeknights using HR.

    This is all fine and works great except that I cant measure power for short intervals. I am finally ready to implement intervals, but want to do so with Power.

    Plan B is to buy a Stages Crank arm power meter for my hardtail. Then I will be limited to power outside, which I know is ideal anyways. This does not fix the fact that the days are too short in the winter to do any interval training. After reading up on Interval work and training with power, it turns out I have inadvertently been training for Marathon racing in my road work.

    Plan C is to save money on anything technical, work on my real weak spot [climbs]. Going from 188 lbs-170s and continue climbing every hill I can find. I am not sure if Hill repeats will even improve this.
    Plan A is best and simplest for doing intervals. Power meters on mountain bikes tend to be best for looking at data after rides or races, or keeping track of fatigue/fitness. If you're actually on trails, it's very hard to be looking down at a power meter to see what power you're doing, especially if you're going hard. If you're doing intervals on your mountain bike on the road, it's hard not to run out of gears unless you have some extended climbs. A pretty solid workout for climbing is 20 minute intervals at sweet spot, or 10 minute intervals at threshold. Whether you do those intervals on the spin bike, or on the mountain bike outside, they're both going to have a similar effect on increasing your climbing strength. What matters more than the bike position is the duration and intensity of the intervals. I'm lucky enough to have a perfect climb with no traffic and a sustained grade to do that on, but that's because it's a National Monument. (here if you're curiuous https://www.strava.com/segments/5466729) I've still done a ton of my intervals this year indoors due to weather, time, work, etc, and my results are even better than when I did most of my training outside, probably because you can hit all those power targets so precisely when you're on a trainer. It's easy to zone out on a ride, and realize your 40W above or below the pace you were supposed to be at. I realize most people don't have a 1000ft climb within a 15 minute warm-up ride pace of their house, so it's actually really hard for people to do 10-20 minute moderate-high intensity intervals without encountering stop signs, traffic lights, etc. Since the spin bikes aren't yours, nor is the space where they're located, so you can't just go replacing them or moving them (sounds like common area for apartments or condos) the pedals that you can easily remove and replace sound like an optimal solution.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    [QUOTE=DLd;13357293]Haha, I hope you're kidding. It's not like you have control of it on Zwift. If you're doing your own ride on Zwift, cruising along at whatever pace you're trying to do, and someone comes along just a little bit faster and passes you, then of course you catch some of their draft, speed up a little, and might even end up staying in their draft and matching their speed, without changing your power at all. It happens to me

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggrin View Post
    In the real world why wouldn’t Froome be the one with his nose out front if he was benefiting from pulling?
    Because you only get like 1-3% benefit in front and up to a 40% benefit if you're the one drafting behind. I did say the person behind sees a much larger benefit. It's still a benefit for the person in front though, even if it is small.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    Because you only get like 1-3% benefit in front and up to a 40% benefit if you're the one drafting behind. I did say the person behind sees a much larger benefit. It's still a benefit for the person in front though, even if it is small.
    It is not small at all, and somewhat around 5%.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    It is not small at all, and somewhat around 5%.
    Small relative to the benefit behind. You're right though.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    The puppy is going into surgery for a torn CCL (puppy ACL), recovery for the next 3 months. That means my 20 hours a week I have been enjoying outdoors are going to be cut in half, so I am going back to the trainer...

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