Hi everyone, I’m fairly new to the Zwift community, and must say it’s been a great way to get back into fitness. I’ve been working out on Zwift nearly every day for the last month, and lost around 5kg along the way (goes without saying that diet control was needed to achieve the calorie deficit). I’m sure there are many who are in the same situation as me - looking to get started on Zwift for the fitness, not necessarily interested in actual road cycling, and don’t wish to invest heavily on hardware until they are certain Zwift is right for them.
So long story short, I’ve been doing some research on the exercise and spin bikes that offer a more complete Zwift experience (with controllable resistance), without having to shell out several thousands for the likes of a Tacx Neo Bike, Wattbike Atom, Stages SB20 or Wahoo Kickr Bike. I’m aware that there’s an official compatibility list, so that’s the first stop for most people. And the second stop should be a combination of actual bikes and smart trainers. The list below is really only for those who feel that budget indoor bikes are the only option they’ll consider at this point, and don’t mind using hardware that are not officially supported. In fact, some technical workarounds might even be needed to achieve Zwift compatibility.
(Edit: I’m prohibited from posting links as a new user. Will post the links to the product websites in future replies once I’m able to do so.)
Renpho AI-Powered Bike
Current Price: USD549 after discount and free shipping
Remarks: This indoor bike claims to have out of the box compatibility with Zwift, and the electronically adjusted resistance with 80 steps would be rather useful for ERG mode. The low entry price is also only a fraction of the Big 4 bikes. Renpho is a relatively unknown brand, but at least there’s a number of reviews available for this bike on YouTube so check them out to find out more.
Magene Onelap Spin Bike G801
Current Price: USD899 before shipping
Remarks: The community is probably more familiar with Magene’s line of sensors and smart trainers, but they do manufacture their own indoor bikes under the Onelap brand. To be honest, I’ve not heard of anyone using this bike for Zwift and reviews on YouTube are scarce as well. That said, it does claim to be Zwift compatible and offers automatic resistance too. If anyone has this bike, do leave a reply below and share your experience with it.
Nexgim AI Bike
Current Price: HKD2,998 (~USD390)
Remarks: Nexgim is a sister brand of Renpho’s, and it focuses on the Asian market, so this bike will be harder to get outside of Asia. Nevertheless, it’s probably the cheapest indoor bike that one can get with Zwift compatibility out of the box. That said, it’s really more of an upright fitness bike, and not meant for hard riding, or even standing while riding.
Bikes supported by qdomyos-zwift app
Current Price: BYO supported bikes + USD3.99 for the app
Supported Bikes: Echelon EX3/EX5, Proform, NordicTrack, Domyos E-Connected bikes, etc.
Remarks: This probably isn’t new to the community as well. Roberto (the developer) has come up with an almost magical app that allows unsupported indoor bikes to connect to Zwift and Peloton. The app basically serves as a bridge that reads in the proprietary data transmitted by the bikes and rebroadcasts it in a format recognised by Zwift. In doing so, many bikes that were previously unsupported can now run Zwift flawlessly. This is also the option I opted for, and I’m happily using Zwift on a Domyos Exercise Bike 500 with this app.
That’s it for now. If you’re aware of other budget indoor bikes that support Zwift, do feel free to reply below. Again, the bikes above would not make sense for the majority of Zwift users who wish to get into cycling more seriously. But hopefully this thread provides a space for us to discuss the various options available for budget indoor bikes and also our experience in using them.