Indoor Bike recommendations

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for some advice. Recently, on the advice of my doctor, I started on a weight loss regime, so far losing about 10 pounds. I used to cycle a lot when I was younger but lost the sight in one of my eyes a few years ago and have poor peripheral vision in the other, so don’t feel confident and safe enough to cycle outdoors. My wife has offered to pay for an exercise bike as an incentive/Christmas and birthday present if I can get down to below the maximum user weight to be able to safely use.

I was just wondering if there are any recommendations on indoor bikes that work well with Zwift and also if any are on the more robust scale to cope with a heavier rider.

Thanks,

Steve

What’s your budget, and do you have an outdoor bike of any sort?

Well done on your weight loss so far.

I’d say get something like a Carrera Subway hybrid bike from Halfords and get a dedicated turbo trainer, there are some great deals around for the Saris H3 as the H4 has just been announced.

https://www.halfords.com/bikes/hybrid-bikes/carrera-subway-all-weather-edition-mens-hybrid-bike---s-m-l-frames-229822.html Limited stock at mo and there are cheaper variants, but the extras on this model are IMO worth the extra cash.

British Cycling membership (and some other clubs) get you 10% off Halfords standard prices, alternatively sites like Topcashback give you a bit less discount but are free to join, currently 4.25%.

My H3 bought around Easter for ~£485 from Rutland Cycles is currently setup for my commuter hybrid (Voodoo Marasa), it takes less than 2mins to take the rear wheel off the Marasa and securely fix it on the H3’s quick release axle (it can be easily converted to accept at least 142mm road bike thru axle).

You then have the option of mixing up outdoor rides with indoor rides.

Thank you. :smile:

No outdoor bike and budget is around £1,000 to £1,500 (at a push). Currently been looking at a Schwinn 800IC and a Bowflex C7 but I’ve seen people posting on various forums about issues with each.

I’m based in the UK.

The StagesBike SB20 has a 136kg weight limit. The limit relates to possible slippage of the seat mast - the bike itself is very stout. Currently £1699 at Saddleback but prices have been dropping and they do show up for less on the used market. There was a recent report on the StagesBike SB20 Owners Group on Facebook that Wiggle are selling the bike for £1499 but I don’t see it in their catalog at the moment.

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Keep in mind that on most forums about equipment, you’ll often read about people having issues, since most satisfied people won’t post about something they are happy with.
{this made sense in my head}

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With a 1500 budget, get a bike and direct drive trainer. Please do not mess with spin bikes that claim Zwift compatibility. At best they are a compromise (no auto-controlled resistance) and at worst they are way less than mediocre.

If you want to zwift, do it right and save the frustration. Buy used if possible so that if you decide not for you, resell and move on.

Read here…lots of good info and links: Beginner Equipment Questions - #5 by Steve_Hammatt

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Sole has extended their killer deal on their SB700 and SB900 spin bikes. They easily connect to Zwift.

I cannot post links, on their website scroll down on the bikes page. Their last years models are deeply discounted. They are the same bikes.

You just started a thread asking why it’s so miles out from Zwift. :rofl:

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if you want to ride on Zwift please pay attention to chris_benton1 above. Do not buy a spin bike to ride on Zwift. If you want to save some money buy a wheel on smart trainer.

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If you not too bothered about the smart features, I can highly recomend the concept 2 Bike erg. Built like a tank, connects to zwift, It has the added challenges and motivation of the concept 2 logbook and is backed by great customer service from C2. Its also more of less maintenance free.

If you want smart features the Wattbike Atom and Stages bikes are probably the best options.

Another option could be getting a cheap second hand bike and the new Zwift hub Turbo trainer.

It may be outside your budget if you buy new, but I have the Wahoo Kickr bike and love it. Together with Zwift, it’s the closest I’ve felt to an authentic road cycling experience.

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hi Steve, id suggest getting a good ( supported) trainer (zwift are about to release their own , and “any old bike” your comfortable with that has a cassette that the direct mounted trainer will come with 9,10,11 speed ?
You could pick one up cheaply.

( im on a wheel on trainer as i’m using an old retro 6 speed trainer, that will not fit a directly attached trainer)

The Bowflex C6 (which is the slightly cheaper version of the C7) is the same bike that’s also marketed as the Schwinn IC4, and while it can technically connect to Zwift it’s a very different experience because as others have said, there is no gearing and no automatically controlled resistance. This is true of the vast majority of fitness bikes. When they say the support zwift they mean they can connect to it, but that’s not the same as being designed for Zwifting.

However the bigger issue is that these bikes only estimate power output, and it seems to vary pretty wildly how well they’re calibrated. So while they’ll fulfill the “pedal harder, go faster on zwift” desires you won’t be getting accurate numbers for racing.

The best bang for your buck is going to be a smart trainer + bicycle, but for some folks that’s not the best option. If you want to share the bike with another person (perhaps your wife) then the adjustability of a stationary bike is appealing.

You can get accurate numbers on a stationary bike, by either getting one designed for Zwift (Stages SB20, Wattbike Atom, Wahoo Kickr bike) or by adding power meter pedals to an existing spin bike. Keep in mind fitness bikes with power meter pedals still won’t have automatic resistance like the ones designed for use with Zwift.

Personally I have a Keiser M3 I bought used and put power meter pedals on. It has served me well, and I use it with the Peloton app as well. But for folks who are serious cyclists it’s a pretty far cry from a serious setup. I have to manually adjust the resistance with a little lever. I’ve got my eye on an SB20 as a reward for myself down the line.

The reason I’m not interested in a trainer for my bicycle is that for me the hassle of taking it on/off the trainer is enough to deter me from riding (in or out, wherever the bike isn’t). Especially when I’m going through a slump I need to make it as easy as possible to hop on, and when I was using a wheel-on trainer it was just enough friction to keep me on the couch.

Saris H3 is currently 900 GBP at Wiggle (it’s a shame Saris doesn’t seem to deliver to the UK, there’s a discount code you can use on the Saris site that drops the price to 420 GBP). If you can go to that 1500 mark, you can find a solid used bike for 600 to use with the H3. I can’t find a rider weight limit in Saris documentation about the H3, but you could contact the company and ask. I’d echo above what people are saying about going this route–bike + direct drive trainer. That allows a bike upgrade later, or your wife to put her bike on the same trainer, etc. Also IMO much easier to move out of the way if you don’t have a dedicated bike trainer space. If company is coming over, stick the H3 in a closet and roll the bike out to the garage. Easier than lugging a huge spin bike somewhere. :slight_smile:

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There’s lots of H3 deals in the UK right now, no idea if it’s the cheapest, but Saris H3 Smart Trainer | ProBikeKit UK is £470, or buy it with their fancy rocker plate for £825 Saris H3 & MP1 Turbo Trainer Bundle | ProBikeKit UK

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To underscore what’s been written in this thread:

HARD NO to spin bikes or even a Concept2 BikeErg.

The single most correlative factor to whether or not a user will continue to use Zwift after their trial period: SMART CONTROL. (meaning the trainer resistance can be controlled by apps)

Your baseline is a used Tacx Flow Smart (wheel on) trainer. Used, they can be had for about 250 of whatever currency you do business in.

The next step up is the forthcoming Zwift Hub direct drive trainer at about 500€/450£.

In either case: you put whatever bike fits you on it - something you already own, something from a bike shop, or your local used market.

Once again, for the people in the cheap seats:

Do. Not. Buy. A. Spin. Bike.

See this link: The Smart Trainer Recommendations Guide: Winter 2020-2021 | DC Rainmaker

Gonna be hard to beat the Zwift Hub at 500€/450£. (the Saris H3 at 470£ with a coupon would be great though)

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I have both a spin bike (ICG IC6) and a smart trainer (Direto XR). The spin bike was a compromise with my wife after my original kickr died. She rode the bike maybe 5 times and about 6 months later I couldn’t take it and picked up the Direto XR.

I tried racing with the spin bike, but it just wasn’t as fun. It was perfect for doing structured workouts and intervals, just adjust and hold the power.

I’ve been debating on selling the spin bike to get the Elite Rizer or both to get a smart bike. (SB20 or Tacx Bike)

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The Renpho AI Smart Bike is a good entry level exercise bike which both broadcasts power / cadence over Bluetooth FTMS and has auto resistance + ERG mode for <USD500.

There are compromises such as no flywheel and power accuracy to =< 10% but it’s well built, safe around kids / pets and I’ve been going through Zwift academy fine with it.