Advice? Considering new bike for Zwift

So I currently use a 2012 Marin Palisades Trail for Zwift… I have replaced the rear sprocket, chain, and chain rings to give myself a tighter/taller “road bike” gear ratio which I find acceptable

However I have been toying with the idea of a new (or new to me) road bike since I’ve really gotten into Zwift since starting in February. Instead of 10 minutes in the saddle I can now go for an hour. FTP started at 140, it’s now 210. KMs per week from under 20 to breaking 100 by Xmas… Said bike will never see the outdoors and will be a permanent resident of my basement (I made my feelings about road riding quite clear in a different post)

I’m a mid pack (at best) D racer but at 107kg my only real aspirations are self improvement and to be bumped up to C when I’ve earned it

I’ve been looking at bikes for a while and due to having to justify the cost nothing seems to be piquing my interest. I think the lowest standard I’d like would be Shimano 105 but anything new with the FULL 105 group set runs about 2.5K CAD plus 13% in taxes

Until now

I’ve found a late model BMC for sale… Aluminum frame, Shimano 105 and a 4iiii power meter (I’ll ask about that later) for 2k CAD… I’m considering making a two hour trip to see it

So, here goes…

Overall waste of time and money? 2K for a bike that will never see the light of day? I realize only I can answer this but I’m having a hard time with this

4iiii power meter? I’m guessing it’ll take the place of my Kinetic trainer as per sending power data to Zwift while the trainer still remains controlled by Zwift to mimic ascent/descent… Worth it? More accurate?

BMC rates the model at 110KG weight limit… I’m 107, too close? Should I assume a low weight limit is just for liability and its perfectly fine?

57cm frame… At 185cm (6’1") BMC tells me 59cm would be best for me… Is 2cm smaller a big deal?

So needless to say I’m very confused and could really use some input on this

Thanks, Steve

Any bike that fits you will work.
Weight is not an issue.
I literally took in a little used frame that had been set out for garbage and repurposed it for Zwift.
I didn’t put brakes on it.
I think you could find a suitable Zwift bike for a lot less than your quoted price.

If you are currently using an Inride 3 power meter on your Kinetic trainer, then there would be little to gain from switch to the power cranks or any other power meter.

If you are using a speed sensor, then any power meter will be better.
The Inride 3 is only $25 now days so it is the cheapest accurate option.

I have power pedals and used them for Zwift last year.
I had hoped that I could gain insite by tracking indoor and outdoor power using the same power meter.
The difference between indoor and outdoor was so different that I saw no advantage.
The overall power was similar but outdoor is just so different.
The trainer and pedals were similar.
The pedals do have sticky watt issues so I went back to trainer
I loan my pedals to friends to start Zwifting.

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I already see you have a different kinetic trainer than I do.
The power accuracy of the Kinetic smart trainers maybe suspect so you may want to use the power meter.

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Modern Tiagra is really good so I’d not hold out for 105.

If your trainer already reports power then I don’t really see the point in power meter cranks. If you think your trainer is inaccurate then maybe change it to something else - like the Zwift Hub One (I appreciate there are issues getting this in Canada) and take advantage of virtual gearing to further nullify any perceived drivretain quality issues.

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Personally I think you are better off getting a smart direct drive trainer. That will enhance your experience much more than a new bike.

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Agree, for 2k you can get a decent smart-bike. Why not get a dedicated set-up if you’re not planning to ride outside?

I believe a stagesbike, kicker shift? Or wattbike suits you price range.

I bought a dedicated smart bike, didn’t regret it for a day.

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I like my Stages bike but the company has gone down the toilet and support is awful. Some of the regional distributors do a good job but if you’re dealing with the company directly you can expect a lot of nothing.

@V1C_v3gA5 the BMC should be a fantastic trainer bike. Really better than you need. It’s impossible to say if the 57cm would be too small without understanding a lot more about your fit requirements, but in general fitting on a trainer bike is easier than fitting a bike for outdoor riding because handling does not matter, so you can run stem lengths that would ruin the bike handling with no ill effect indoors.

Personally I really like bikes with 11+ speed gearing. I’ll settle for 10. Would not want a 9 speed bike. They are perfectly compatible with trainers but I like more options. Most of the 11+ speed derailleurs can handle lower gearing if desired, or you can have smaller jumps between gears.

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To all…

I appreciate the replies

I never even thought about a better trainer or smart bike… I will definitely look into it

I did notice when doing the Zwift academy workouts (first time I’ve done workouts) really showed how not so smart my trainer is

Food for thought

Hopefully I don’t get more confused LoL :joy:


i’m using my old 1980s 6 speed Shimano 600 steel bike now with virtual gears, no different on swift than my road bike

and now on a swift hub, but used to use a Kinetic used to find a lot of wheel slip. I did though use my garment power pedals so any accuracy wasn’t relevant. Find the wheel off hub is much better, still using my power pedals

Not sure what BMC you are looking at, but I used to have a BMC team machine alr2 with 105. It’s a very nice high entry or low middle level road bike. For Zwift I have a neo wheel off trainer and I’ve had the BMC on there as well as a ~2005ish Rocky Mountain hardtail mtb.

Now I just keep the mtb on the trainer, initially because multiple people in my house use it and it’s the easiest bike to adjust for fit. Now even if I was the only user in the house I would leave it on there since I don’t care about it getting sweat all over it and the components for it are cheap if they need to be replaced and I don’t want to risk damage to my nice road bike on there.

From the time I did switch the bikes over there was no noticeable difference in power output, even though the gearing is very different (2x11 on the BMC, 3x8 on the mtb), unfortunately the power output was all down to me and not the bike :frowning:

As others above have said if you have a wheel on trainer then I would definitely consider a switch to a wheel off trainer (or an entire smart bike) before upgrading the bike.

I would also consider that road bikes are designed to go fast outside and hence force the rider into a more aero hunched position, if you are never going to ride outside then why force yourself into that position?

All that said the pros for me of having the BMC on the trainer was the closer gear ratios, I could always find a comfortable cadence at pretty much any speed. On the mtb I sometimes find myself between gears. Also the BMC had a few higher gears and very occasionally I find my self spinning out a bit on the mtb.

So after some careful thought I went the better trainer route and am in the process of setting up my new Kickr V5 and Kickr climb

Got them both at what I consider a great price… Cost me as much as a bike that I would have to SETTLE for, not the one I wanted

Absolutely improved the ride feel and the auto incline is way more immersive than the wonky steering

However, Kinetic sold me a trainer of lies LoL… My new real and accurate numbers paint a different picture of my abilities

Promotion to cat C in the near future is completely shot to hell but, chin up, train hard and I’ll get there


Congratulations with your new set-up.

Please post a picture when all is installed.

Most of us know the getting back to earth feeling when switching from a wheel on trainer…

Personally, I replaced the groupset on my dedicated Zwift bike this past summer. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, though you may need some specialized tools. Definitely a learning experience. Probably not as necessary as electronic cogs on trainers become more prevalentt.

As for bike frame, it’s easier to make a smaller frame “bigger” than the other way around. If your old frame suits you, you can stick with that.