Complete beginner guide to zwift.. bike? trainer? help! Newbie.. no bike expirence

Hi all, is Zwift for me?
I have hardly any experience on a bike. I do enjoy bike riding but don’t partially like it on the roads.
I have recently moved and have come across zwift and it seems very exciting. I would really like to get fit and am guessing this is super for fitness… is there a lot of people like me on the programme? i had a knee injury a few years back and the only real exercise I can/am allowed to do is bike ride. running is a no no. so this seems like a perfect match. however I need help… no real experience with bikes - which bike should i buy as a first one? what would you guys recommend? also a trainer i am blown away by how these work as someone who has never rode before couldn’t believe this all existed! i am from the UK and would like advice what to get and how to get started, I don’t want to go for the cheapest budget but also not the most expensive. i have funds for i would say the mid range bike trainer ect…
any help will be greatly appreciated! from anyone especially people from the UK, my dm’s are open i need all the help i can get!
thanks to this great community for helping i look forward to hearing from you all!

You can check out this site for trainer recommendations:

As far as a bike, if you are only going to ride indoors I’d suggest looking for a decent used aluminum or steel frame (weight doesn’t matter on the trainer) that fits you. You can go to a local bike shop (after this craziness is done) and get a better idea of what size bike you need.

Welcome @jake_jacobson, you are going to love Zwift!

My first recommendation is to use a real road bike, you can get one used to save money, it doesn’t need to be top of the line, but mid range will suffice. Go to your local bike shop and start making friends with them (if they are open, mine are all closed due to COVID-19 in the USA). The local bike shop will help get you fitted on a bike and they probably have sources for used bikes too.

Next you need a decent trainer, if you have the funds, get a direct drive trainer that hooks directly up to your bike chain. Most users seem happiest with either the Tacx Neo or the Wahoo Kickr. These are top of the line models and work great. Check out the ink that Daniel posted for all the details on different trainers.

3rd, you need a device to run Zwift on. The least expensive route is to use something that you already have that will work like an ipad or your home PC or laptop. This will tell you more about what is supported:

Please note, this is important, the device you use to run Zwift has to communicate with the trainer by using Bluetooth or ANT+. Most of us find that Bluetooth is very finicky and can lose signal a lot and disrupt your ride. I’ve found that using ANT+ is much more stable.

You will also want a fan to keep cool during the rides, and a smart phone to use the companion app while riding (kind of acts like a remote control while riding).

That should get you started on the right path, enjoy!


Adding a link here for anyone else researching a smart trainer purchase: Zwift Insider’s new Smart Trainer Index has the web’s largest database of smart trainer reviews, specs, and recommendations.

For those wanting a quick answer, we’ve put together short lists of the very best trainers at three budget levels: