Bike Set-Up & Avoiding being a "Cheater: re: Bike vs Trainer: Choosing what you are riding in Set Up

So, I’m new… right? I’ve got a stationary bike “ProForm yada yada” that isn’t necessarily smart. It only works with iFit bs. I ended up getting all the Wahoo goods (HRM, Cadence, Speed) and riding I did. Its so fun and addicting. However, in the middle of an hour ride I got prompt with (in so many words) “You are either a pro or you’ve selected the wrong equpment for your set up” and got ping with some naughty warning icon. Mind you, Im working hard. I don’t feel as though Im coasting through this, however I understand its not all perfect since I’m on a dumb bike.

This is the issue: When setting up my “equipment” My only options are trainers. What I did select was “unknown non-listed trainer”. So where are the bikes? Where are even the smart bike options? Im at a loss because I dont want to be “cheating”


Hello @Keri_Conrad, the trainer you selected has a generic speed curve that is most likely not anywhere close to accurate based on your spin bike’s manual resistance.

How are you installing the speed sensor, did you have to rig it up so it “works”, but not exactly as it is intended?

The smart bikes would pair differently, that is why you don’t see them. They pair just like a power meter or smart trainer.

Most users who have spin bikes end up wanting power meter pedals to have accurate readings in the game.

Welp… yes. So it “works”. As in my stationary bike does not have a hub nor a back wheel, for that matter. I have it on the front wheel with some adhesive the speed sensor came with.

To be fair, somehow Zwift was able to read my dumb/smart bike with my ant dongle after the fact of getting my Wahoos. That hour ride this afternoon, I decided to use what they seem to think is the bike. I’m going to see how the sensors work for an evening ride.

I can’t help it… I’m obsessed.

In the meantime… should I still selected “Unknown/Non-Listed Trainer” as my equipment?

I totally understand the Zwift Obsession. Before I started Zwifting a year ago, the most I could manage on a trainer was 20 minutes or so. Since I started last January, I’ve ridden nearly Ten Thousand Kilometers on Zwift. Had you told me I would be doing the vast bulk of my riding indoors I would’ve laughed in your face. So yes, I get it and most of the people on the forum do too.

You’re always going to be an “outlaw” with that rig. You need to have some kind of power measuring device to make it semi-reasonable. The easiest way is pedals: Garmin Vectors, Favero Assiomo or Looks. A single sided power measuring system will run about 500 bucks or so. You just replace the pedals on the trainer with a set of these, pair them to the Zwift app through Bluetooth or ANT+ and you’ll be off to the races.

Much better than that would be a trainer you put a real bike on like a Wahoo Kickr or a Tacx Neo. You’ll be a controllable system with app-changing load according to the virtual route conditions.

The next level of bike would be a full-on trainer bike like a Wahoo Bike or the Wattbike or the Tacx bike. You’re looking at 3 large or more for one of those.

I would suggest going to for more guidance. I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Eric’s site.

Enjoy and I look forward to seeing you out there!

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Hey Mark,

Unfortunately I know all my options, just trying to make this work for now. “Outlaw”… ouch. If I’m already going to drop 500 + on some power pedals I may as well save up for a trainer or smarty party bike.

Thanks for your words. Off to the virtual world with my Wild Wild West pants on… outlaw gal and all. You know, until I figure something better out.


It would be great if Zwift could do something similar to what Powertap used to do with the Powercal, using HR to estimate power. (Zwift used to sell the Powercal in their shop, but when Powertap was sold to SRAM they stopped making them)
It would open up the platform to people with spin bikes and other trainers. Spending $40 on a HR strap would lower the entrance cost for those users.
I have a couple of Powercal straps that I’ve used for Zwift when traveling in hotel gyms. Not the best but good enough. I think if Zwift developed the algorithms to take HR and estimate power it would be great
Better yet, they should let you continue with your current set up but make your avatar wear a cowboy hat so we know who the outlaws are. Giddy up and welcome to Zwift.


I’d be super down with this. Send one my way, sweat and all.

YeHaw, I say… YeHaw.

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Back again… ended up getting too frustrated and unmotivated with my outlaw life style (always at 400w) and buying a smart trainer. On my real bike but keeping the hat (see PF pic). See ya out there, partners. tipshat