Advice for a newbie

Hi everyone, newbie novice here!


I’ve just bought a TACX Vortex Smart trainer and did my first ride on zwift yesterday, very impressed.  I’m not an experienced (or good) cyclist but have am taking part in a challenge at work to cover 3,500 miles in 2016 so I figured this might be the best method me to do so as I don’t get out on rides very often.


My setup is a Vortex Smart with my Chris Boardman race bike plus an Ant+ with a USB extension so it’s close to my bike.  And here’s my questions:

  1. Do I need to do anything to calibrate my bike/turbo to zwift?  The ride I did yesterday was 40 minutes around the street course (with hills) yet I only covered 10.5 miles (no taking the p1ss!).  I want to be sure the distance I’m covering is accurate and reflective of the effort I’ve put in.

  2. Does anyone know if there’s a flat course in which I can just do a consistent effort to get the best distance possible?

  3. I hear people talking about riding round the island but couldn’t see where to do this?

Thanks in advance and look forward to seeing you on zwift :slight_smile:

There are 2 courses- Watopia island  and Richmond Worlds. They alternate depending on days of the week.  On the island, you can choose a route that gives you a mostly flat course.  10.5 miles in 40 minutes is reasonable for the Richmond course. 

  1. Yes; you need to load the Tacx utility app onto your phone Android or iPhone and use that to calibrate the trainer. It’ll tell you if the rear tyre is too tight or too loose onto the roller.

Just to expand on Mark’s reply. You need to do this regardless of Zwift and I would do it every other week. (Also check your tyre pressures)

+1 on the tyre pressures. I neglected mine for about 2 months then wondered why the back wheel was squeaking when climbing Libby Hill. It’s also important to recalibrate if you’ve pumped your tyres.

… Also, calibrate it when it’s warmed up, not cold; ride on it for 10 minutes or so first, then calibrate :wink: