What type of bike is ‘best’ for using in Zwift? Does it matter? (I’m assuming it does, either for comfort on long rides, or for performance/speed maybe?). I do want to eventually be able to hold my own in zwift and be able to keep with a group of people once I’m in better shape.
I’m just getting into cycling, mostly because it’s a great way to get/stay in shape - but also riding in Zwift I find very motivating and fun. My regular outdoor bike is just a mountain bike, and for now I’ve connected that one to the Wahoo Kickr trainer but the end goal is to put a different bike on the trainer that will be there “permanently”. Then maybe eventually I get a similar bike for outdoors too when I can afford it if I find I no longer like my mtb for outdoor riding.
For the indoor bike, I’m going to look for a used bike. I don’t want to spend a lot, but I don’t know what I ideally should look for.
One thing - I do have a hand-me-down here but I’m not sure it’s worth fixing… it’s a Specialized en14764. It was kept at an oceanfront property in a covered garage, so most of the parts are rusted. I also don’t like the foot pedals, so betweel replacing those and putting new parts I’m not sure it’s worth investing in, unless it happens to be a very ideal bike for the trainer.
Otherwise I’m thinking of just checking local Craigslist for a decent bike to keep on the trainer, and looking for some brand name/styles or types of bikes you recommend?
For a used bike that will just stay on the trainer, I’m hoping to spend a few hundred dollars, if there’s anything good in that price range. I see used bikes over $2k but that def is not in my budget.
Thanks in advance for any advice, recommendations or guidance.
Look for a modern geometry aluminum frame with Shimano 105 components on it.
This is hard question to answer.
I would say the cheapest used bike that fits you is best.
If you know how to assemble and repair bikes, you can take several old thrown out bikes and put together a nice rig for free.
Remember, you won’t need brakes, brake levers, front derailleur , front shifter, and those small chain rings.
There’s nothing wrong with steel.
I run a standard bike that will never go on the road. My only regret is it has got a 2x9 and not a 2x11 shimano but I still enjoy it.
PS : also as a Kickr user, don’t forget to put the trainer difficulty to 100
bikes over 2k will be full carbon etc.
you dont need that for zwift.
getting a cheap 2nd hand road bike should be fine. weight doesn’t matter for now
you ideally want a road bike so you can start getting used to the riding position & gearing in case you want to take up riding outdoors later on.
specialized “allez” is the entry level model specialized road bike, can prolly find an older one for couple hundred. just make sure you give it a ride before handing over the dollar and make sure all the gears work ok, maybe give the handlebars a twist from side to side and make sure it feels smooth etc. (sure there are tonnes of guides online for what to look for when buying 2nd hand).
If you have Decathlon (idk where you live), have a look at the Triban RC 520 used. It has a shimano 105 2x11 and is a good bike for any starter (or home trainer)
I can’t decide if you are kidding around or not I think it defaults to 50 right? Which is the most realistic to being outside on the road?
Thanks Federico, I’m not familiar with the term ‘modern geometry’, do you have any examples? Also should I be looking for a women’s bike since I’m female?
Most realistic is 100.
If your trainer can take up to 20% climbs, put it on 100%.
That means when you will go a 12% hill, your trainer will simulate a 12% climb. Whereas if you are on 50%, it will simulate a 6% climb.
So no, 50 isn’t realistic. It’s the “easy way”.
I read this somewhere, but if you are gonna pay a trainer 1000 bucks, the trainer difficulty you set it at is what the trainer is worth for you…
You can do well with even Tiagra level or lower. It all depends on how many gears you want.
Something comfortable that fits you well is plenty. Weight has no impact on the trainer after all.
Thanks for explaining Enzo!
Thanks Alex, as for “how many gears do I want”, being a noob to bikes, is the more the better? Is it so you can fine-tune to a greater degree or so you can climb higher hills?
Yes, this is exactly what it means. Although you can also mitigate this by adjusting the “Trainer difficulty” setting in Zwift, which is a really misleading name for the setting. Basically what matters is how much power you put in.
What is achieved with 100% trainer difficulty is more realism because you have to switch gears more often. However it also limits you going uphill because at some point you might actually run out of gears - even in the lowest gears it would be too difficult to keep climbing.
Thanks Ales, so ideally what should I look for in a used bike, 21 speed?
A friend suggested this to me, any feedback if possible:
Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c
(it won’t let me post links here so replace _ with dots in the URL or just search that bike on Amazon)
This will do the job. The easiest gears are plenty easy, but there’ll be even more shifting because it’s a 3x7 (3 gears in front, 7 at the back). Buy I don’t think this should be a deterrent.
I don’t have experience with the Tourney product line but properly serviced it should perform well enough.
If you’re a beginner you should really try a bike I think. In a reputable shop that can help you with a good first fit.
A proper fit is very important as it truly prevents injury (repetitive movements) and makes riding much more enjoyable and efficient.
IMO you might be better off with a 2x10 or 2x11 gearing. The 7-cog you linked will work but can take some fiddling to get it adjusted correctly. If you are mechanically-minded…never mind. Great Bike!
Also never mind the above if you are looking at a wheel on trainer. Makes no difference then.
Also, do not be afraid to adjust the trainer setting below 100%. If you are 120 lbs, probably no issue. But for some of us larger, “young” men who grind…the trainer can overheat. Mine has shut down on the tower road due to heat (13-17%) when I was at 100%. Now I happily live in the 50-60% region of the trainer setting.
I would look for something with 10 or 11 cogs on the rear cassette, that would be more likely compatible with the Kickr. What version Kickr do you have? The brand new V5 comes with an 11 speed cassette.
Hi Mike, I have the newest Kickr trainer (axis feet, etc). For now the bike shop swapped the stock cassette out so that I can use my mountain bike (which is 8-speed if I understood correctly), but they can switch it back to the 11-speed cassette after I get a new bike.
When I’m searching for used bikes I just don’t know what to look for, as far as what speed bike (21-speed, etc) translates to a 10 or 11 cog. Enzo in an earlier reply said he regrets getting 2x9 and not a 2x11 shimano, and I just don’t know what that means
I have a 9 speed (different trainer) and think it is fine.
Since you have a direct drive trainer, it may be easier to stick with a 9 speed + rear wheel and gears because there will be less fiddling and spacers needed.
Of course, a cheap old steel frame can be spread to fit anything 6 to 12 gears but you will need shifters.
Steel is the real deal!
2x9 means two big cogs (gears) up front where the pedals are and 9 cogs (gears) in the rear, that would also be called an 18 speed (2 x 9 =18). Most modern road bikes will have 11 gears in the back and two up front, but we don’t call them 22 speeds.
Getting a modern road bike with 11 gears on the rear cassette will be the best option and give you plenty of choices to find the most comfortable gearing with the ability to climb easy and sprint hard for the finish.