I am currently using a 25 year old mountain bike with a Kinetic by Kurt Road Machine 2014 dumb trainer and a Wahoo bluetooth speed sensor to ride on Zwift. I am a 62 year old woman in decent shape but I am using Zwift for exercise and not any intensive training. This set up is great on the flat roads but because the gears on the mountain bike no longer work – I’m basically stuck in a low-middle gear – I can’t shift for more power on the hills. This makes for extremely slow rides up even low grade hills. (I tried cleaning out the shifting levers and lubing the derailleurs but when I shift the levers, though the levers move, the chain doesn’t respond at all. This is the extent of my mechanical abilities unfortunately.) I am trying to decide between three options in terms of expense and would appreciate your help in thinking through the pros and cons.
Use the same bike but upgrade to a smart trainer. I’m assuming with a smart trainer, the gears don’t matter. Is that right?
Stay with the dumb trainer but take the bike to a bike shop and have them fix the gears on the bike. I have another bike for real life so I will never use this bike outside anymore so the only reason to fix the gears is for use with Zwift.
Stay with the dumb trainer but replace the mountain bike with a cheap used bike with gears that work.
I know there are a lot of unknowns here such as the cost of fixing the gears but I’m trying to decide which makes the most sense in the long run. I can get a power controller upgrade to my Kurt Kinetic for about $350 that is supposed to turn it into a smart trainer and am inclined to do that and not worry about my bike gears but I don’t know if I would still need gears on a smart trainer. I also don’t want to be stingy with my money if I am still not completely happy with the results.
What advice would you give me?