Dear lord what trainer do I get!?!?!


(Sam Hudson) #1

Hi all, i’m very new to zwift and indoor training for that matter.
I’ve had road bikes in the past but moved and fell out of love battling local cars!! but zwift and indoor training is really appealing to me.

Picking up a bike tonight so now I need a trainer.

I really don’t want to spend more than £150 - used is fine. I’m not looking to get the best trainer in the world, all I want is something that will work with Zwift and allow Zwift to control the power resistance etc.

I saw the Tacx Flow (reconditioned on ebay is £130) but then it appears I need an ANT dongle and other bits.

Am I asking too much for £150 - I’ve seen Elite Muin B+ trainers for £200 used, wheel off and all that jazz.

Please help!! really keen to find something. I can find loads of tutorials for budget setups but I’d like to go mid range - I want it all to talk to each other so I can really just get on and ride


(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #2

With a recent Zwift release it is possible to connect the trainer to a PC directly using Bluetooth or you could use the Zwift Companion App to bridge the connection. An ANT+ dongle is an option not, not a necessity.

A Tacx Flow would work fine, but here is a link to supported trainers: https://zwift.com/hardware
And good reviews: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/10/annual-trainer-recommendations.html

I have using a Tacx Satori Smart that just broadcast watts or a 4iiii power meter for over 2 years. I have never felt the need for a trainer to adjust the resistance, but I know a lot of people really enjoy it.


(Sam Hudson) #3

thanks for the reply.

So, if I get the flow and a dongle I’m away? Zwift will control the power and all that?

Awesome.


(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #4

Yes, if you use an ANT+ dongle Zwift will control your resistance. There seems to be an issue with connecting via BLE and Zwift not being able to control your resistance. I almost always recommend ANT+ over BLE, you will have far fewer issues and it’s much more versatile at the moment. I would also recommend a USB extension cable to you can get the dongle as close to the trainer as possible. ANT+ kits are sold in the Zwift Shop


(Jim Mattson) #5

I have to disagree with Paul on this point. Over the past three years, I have had nothing but trouble with ANT+. Typically, my wattage drops to zero three or four times an hour, despite having gone through all of the ANT+ debugging steps I’ve seen.

BLE, on the other hand, works flawlessly. The only downside is that I need an extra device (my phone), because native BLE on Windows hasn’t been supported in the past. I’m still having trouble with the beta of native BLE on Windows, but I continue to hold out hope.

Your mileage may vary.


(Joe Daknis) #6

I guess it has something to do with the number of variables involved with a user’s experience (e.g. Windows vs. iOS, ANT+ dongle manufacturer, extension cord vs. no, trainer mfg and model, etc.). I’ve been exclusively ANT+ for 2 years (Suunto Movestick Mini w/ cord, paired to a bunch of different garmin speed/cadence sensors, HRM from Wahoo and Garmin, and/or Elite Direto control, power, and sometimes cadence. Windows 10 laptop.

It all works consistently well. Signal drops? Only the HRM when the battery starts to go. My experience with BLE is extremely limited by comparison (except when using it for calibration in the Elite app), so I can’t really say if it’s better, worse, or equivalent re: Zwift performance. But then, with ANT+ so seemingly foolproof w/ my setup - why would I bother changing?


(Ben Fricker) #7

The really low budget version:
Get an old used snap on dumb trainer, like Tacx Blue Motion.
Get a ANT/BLE Speedsensor you can mount on your rear wheel hub.
cadence sensor and heart rate monitor helps, but is optional.
You can ride then with an old street tyre or better with trainer tyre and it works flawlessy
ATM I’m riding exactly like that.
A Direct Smart Trainer is a dream, don’t have the money for sth like that.