Fluid 2 w/ power metr vs Wheel On Smart Trainer (Snap)

Currently I have a Cycleops Fluid 2 wheel on trainer with Powertap G3 pwr meter. Was looking at a Kickr Snap or similar. What am I getting with the Snap over my current setup? Friends have told be ‘more realistic road feel’ but is that really helping my training or really a big issue? Zwift already calculates gradient changes by lowering speeds/shifting gears. Just not sure money spent is really necessary or will be much different from what I already have. I race and ride allot–bordering on Zwift Addict.

I used a Fluid 2 (old, circa 2003) for about a year when I first started using Zwift.

I didn’t have a power meter, so was relying on Zwift’s zPower and a wheel speed & cadence sensor to calculate watts. Suffice to say that I learned later that this calcualtion was WAY OFF for my trainer…

Anyway, I bought a direct-drive smart trainer a year ago and was immediately convinced that it was money well-spent.

After ~ 5000 miles, the belt became damaged, so I had to revert back to using my Fluid 2 for a week while I waited for a new belt to arrive.

The Fluid 2 sucks. It doesn’t feel natural at all, and having to shift gears to hit wattage targets in workouts feels like a chore now. It’s also next to impossible to hit some targets when the cadence is prescribed too - if the jumps between your gears are too big.

You can still get an effective workout on a ‘dumb’ trainer but - if you’re spending a lot of time on Zwift? I don’t think you’ll regret an upgrade one bit. To me, it’s worth it for the hill simulation and the ERG workouts.

That said: I’d suggest going one further and springing for a direct- drive unit!

I started in September 2018 with a PowerTap hub along with a classic trainer. By shifting gears I was able to simulate grade changes and hit workout targets, but I felt like I wanted a more immersive experience. After a few weeks I bought a second-hand Kickr Gen 1 for $400. I was a bit concerned about investing more into Zwift than I already had (ie PowerTap hub, Apple TV, another flat screen tv) but I very shortly was happy about the purchase. The automatic grade changes are cool, but ERG mode in workouts made the difference for me. I love ERG mode. Granted, I spend maybe 80% of my time in Zwift doing workouts, so my goals may be different than yours, but I am pleased with my upgrade to a smart trainer. And I’m even more pleased that I didn’t have to pay full price for a new one. Good luck!

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