Compatible trainer

Hello - I’m on a little budget, but would like to have some recommendations on one of the more economical trainers compatible with the Zwift Software?


Thank you

I use the Tacx Satori Smart. It is quiet and broadcast power via Ant+.

The cheapest way to ride in Zwift is to get a dumb trainer (you can find some under $100) and use a Speed and Candace sensor and Zwift will calculate your power (zpower). This way can be very inaccurate especially as the wattage goes up.  


If you have a crank or pedal power meter then Zwift will use actual power. You don’t need a smart trainer, that only cranks up the resistance on hills etc. You can accomplish the same thing via shifting to a harder gear. It is possible that you will top out the resistance this way however. 


A “Smart” training does not necessarily mean it can adjust the resistance for the virtual hills on Zwift. I have a “Smart” Tacx Satori and it just has a built-in power meter, you would need to manually change resistance or shift gears. 

Semantics. I’d say that what you are using is a power meter and not a smart trainer if it doesn’t automatically change resistance but you should feel free to call it what you will. Smart to me suggests that the trainer has awareness of what is going on with the course (hills, drafting, descents) and adjusts resistance automatically in response.

To the OP, adding power reading (via Paul’s Satori, my quarq, or any other power producing instrument) will get you 95% of the way there. 


It is not semantics, all the label of a “smart” trainer means is that it has a built-in power meter and it can broadcast it’s reading in either Ant+ or BLE. This is standard across the industry.  

You win Paul.

Sean - Get yourself a smart trainer like Paul’s trusty Tacx Satori and you’re life will be complete.

I’m out.

Thanks Paul and Matt for the advice.

Hi, could I check with you about th Tacx Sartori trainer. Should this be set up with zpower or the classic setting in the set up?


Neither, it has a built in power meter so pair it as such. You can pair it as a power source and a cadence sensor. Make sure calibrate the trainer or you could be 50+ watts off on the low side. I have compared it to a 4iiii power meter and it is pretty close in power readings.

Paul, thank you. With the group rides I have tried so,far, my wattage output seems about 50% lower than I would expect so I’m thinking the configuration isn’t right somewhere (I honestly don’t think it’s my legs).

Have you downloaded the Tacx app and calibrated? Make sure your tire is between 100 and 110psi.

I’ll do that tomorrow and check it out. Thanks again.