New to indoor riding

Hello world,

I’m new to Zwift and indoor cycle training. I need to get fit ASAP after stopping running about two years ago and now knowing I can’t run anymore for fun/fitness.

I ordered everything I need last week and it’s slowly arrived over this week and I should have everything I need so I can set it all up in my garage over the weekend.

Ive downloaded the app on my Apple TV and the companion app on iPhone.

I’d like to set up a training plan while I wait so I can get on it ASAP but assume I can’t do this until I’ve set the trainer up and completed some kind of test to ascertain my current fitness level? Is this right and, if so, how do I do this? I was expecting the app to steer me towards some sort of testing process but it didn’t.

Is there anything else I need to do or consider so I’m ready to start training as soon as the trainer, etc is set up?
TIA, Mark

Hi @MarkT

Welcome to the wonderful world of Zwift.

I would suggest taking a few days (a week) and just ride to get used to how Zwift works and getting used to the indoor riding.

When you are ready you can do a ramp test this is the easies test for new riders.

Zwift have some nice workout plans build in, they all start on a Monday. Try one of the beginner plans.


And don’t forget to select the Everest Challenge as soon as possible - there’s too many beginners out there who don’t know this …

How to earn the Tron Bike


Thanks Gerrie, sounds like a sensible approach. The Kickr arrived today along with a couple more bits so I now have everything to get it all set up.

I’ll have a look for the ramp test later this evening on the ATV app. I’ve read up on FTP and see the ramp test is one way to calculate this.

I guess I’ll do some free riding to figure everything out and, once comfortable, will do the ramp test to get my FTP and then start a workout programme. I’m keen to get going as I’ve not been able to exercise properly for nearly 2 years and I’m running out of clothes that fit me.

Hi Sepp, thanks for the tip re. Everest Challenge. I read up about this after you posted so I’ll add this challenge as soon as I’m up and running so I can start clocking up the uphill miles :+1:t2:

@Eric_Schlange_ZwftIn has written a nice article on top tips for when you’re just starting out Top 13 Tips for Beginner Zwifters | Zwift Insider


Hi Mark,

Welcome to the Zwift community. It sounds like you’ve a got a great handle on all of this. As someone who was previously very active but then somehow let sport drop by the wayside for years (mainly due to work demands and a huge commute), I can tell you that indoor cycling with Zwift has turned things around for me in the almost three years since I bought a KICKR. It’s addictive in all the best ways. :ride_on:

To avoid possible frustration this weekend, I’d recommend you get the practical set up basics sorted out ASAP, meaning making sure that your KICKR connects with Zwift on your ATV and getting all your Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/ANT+ connections ironed out. For some (me included), it all just worked first time, while others hit walls, which can be annoying. There are loads of helpful discussions here on the Forums that can be useful for troubleshooting.

Zwifting is great, especially when you can just switch everything on, kit up and go ride your bike!


Thanks James. I’ve just read through that article (I’m supposed to be working :grimacing:)… it’s got some good info info in there :+1:t2:

Hi Roule,
Thanks for the welcome and advice. It’s encouraging to hear other people (you!) have used Zwift to turn things around and get your fitness back.

I’m in a similar situation in that work demands got in the way but that also coincided with discovering I’m not going to be able to run any longer in a way that will keep me fit hence getting back into riding. I was gutted about this as I’d been able run with my wife, kids and friends so I’m really going to miss out a lot but the way I’m setting things up will allow my wife, kids and any friends that may want to to run along side me whilst I’m riding in the garage.

I have a lot to do this weekend so I’m only expecting to get one quick ride in if I’m lucky. I have gym flooring to lay in the garage which means moving all the equipment out first. Once the floor is down and current equipment back in place I have to replace an old TV and ATV in the house with a new smart TV (no ATV required). I then need to fit TV wall bracket in garage for old TV that I’ll use for Zwifit. Next, I can unbox the Kickr (including swapping the cassette out) HeadWind, QuadLock and ATV. Finally, I can connect it all up plus a HRM. I’ve already downloaded and registered for the Zwift app on ATV and the companion app on iPhone to speed things up a bit.

Hopefully it’ll all work first time but if not, I’ll refer to the forum as you’ve suggested :+1:t2:

I’m not sure there’s anything further I can do until everything in the garage is sorted?

I reckon there’s a days work altogether but it’s going to be interspersed with other commitments hence not sure I’ll get a ride in at all. Fingers crossed though.

Yup, nothing more you can do till then. It’s worth getting the foundations solid, and once it’s set up, there’ll be nothing stopping you (apart from that pesky work).

I used to do long-distance running, but had endless joint and foot problems. Did a lot of cycling in my 20s and 30s (some duathlon stuff, also long-distance self-supported touring). I’m confident that thanks to indoor cycling I’m fitter now at age 49 than I was back then, and I’m cycling pain-free about ten-or-so hours a week. Definitely miss the freedom and simplicity of running, but this more than makes up for it for me.

Good choice on the HeadWind, by the way. Had mine for a few years and don’t regret the expense compared to other less-costly, powerful fans. Having the air intakes on the sides is really practical if it has to be pushed back up against a wall, like in my space. I really like the fact that the intensity can be adjusted from zero to 100% with a slider in the Wahoo iPhone app (also on a QuadLock :+1:), flipping between it and Companion during rides as required. Some people prefer being able to control the HeadWind with their HRM, but I found the manual control useful, when wanting a sudden increase in airflow. I don’t think I’ve ever had to push it above 70%, it’s that strong.

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Glad you wrote that about the HeadWind. I was in two minds about it mainly because my wife is going to go nuts if/when she finds out what I’ve spent on the Kickr and HeadWind. I also wasn’t sure if it was gimmicky or really worked better than a cheap fan. I’ve watched a few positive reviews on YouTube you never know if they’re completely unbiased.

Fully understood! Yes, you’ve got some premium equipment there, but it’s a good example of investing in solid infrastructure that will last a long time. Using a direct-drive smart trainer like the KICKR is like day versus night when compared with a dumb trainer, like I used in the 90s.

Regarding expense, apart from upgrading some components on the the bike that I use indoors – not necessary, just nice-to-haves – the most expensive part of Zwift for me for the last few years has been the subscription. I reckon that it more than pays for itself in helping me get better sleep (when I’m otherwise working from home and moving little), improving mood, keeping me healthier in general, etc.

I did buy and use a KICKR Climb a while back, but it failed on me during a ride and I didn’t replace it. Some people love it, but I really don’t miss it. Not a great design, in my opinion and certainly not necessary for enjoying the immersive nature of Zwift.

Good luck with your long to-do list this weekend and hope you get a ride in after all that. :ride_on:

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Depending on the work, you can combine the two. I have a colleague who attends Teams meetings while he’s on Zwift. :rofl:


a couple things that i think are super valuable but easy to overlook:

  • get a mat for under your bike. i know you said you’re putting down gym floor, but get something that’s easy to wipe up. it gets gross under there.
  • in fact, probably want some old towels – one should go under your bike and get washed often.
  • extra fans. i run 2.
  • get a “sweat net” for your bike. in fact get at least 2 so you can rotate and wash them.
  • extra HRM strap. again, it gets gross, and you’ll want to wash it.
  • good bike shorts. chaffing is a much bigger problem (for me) indoors than out.
  • chamois cream. again, chaffing sucks!
  • water bottles. have you noticed all the sweat-related stuff?

sweat is really really really corrosive. it’s gross. it’s something you need to deal with :slight_smile:

most of this stuff you can add as you realize you need it, but thought a list might be helpful.

Thanks again @Roule_Thoune. Yep, fingers crossed I get to have a ride after all the hard work. I’m going to make a start tonight so that’ll help. Have a great weekend. Maybe “see” you in Watopia sometime in the future :+1:t2:

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@Daren OMG! Really?!?! I absolutely couldn’t do that both because I probably wouldn’t be able to talk and ride and because it would likely end my career :laughing:

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Hehehe, yeah, really. He only does relatively gentle rides while in meetings I think. No FTP tests. :smiley:

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Thanks @Dan_Dube. Yes, these lists and suggestions will help to make my experience better/easier and get me exercising quicker and on the road to better health :+1:t2:

I did wonder about the mat because the gym flooring seems like it’ll be hard to clean so I’d imagine it will become really smelly in time. I’ll get one ordered tonight.

I have some old towels that I can use for me and under the bike :+1:t2:

I’ll see how I get on with the HeadWind before ordering anymore fans. I expect it’ll be fine for now but once the weather heats up I’ll be wanting another. Luckily, the garage has a rear door so I can open that and one of the garage doors to create a breeze but on really hot days that’s not going to help much I’d guess.

I have seen the sweat net things but I was going to try the Muc-Off Sweat Protect that’s made specifically for indoor training. Apparently it lasts 3 months and can be used all over the bike. They also do an antibac spray for equipment and chamois cream for my butt.

I already have a couple pairs of bike shorts with build in padding so will see how I get on with those. I’m expecting a lot of pain until I get used to long rides.

Have a great weekend, Mark

There may be professions where heavy breathing during Zoom meetings are acceptable or even encouraged…

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