New to Zwift - clueless please help

Hi :wave:
I’m new to Zwift, and cycling really for that matter, and have an Elite Novo Smart Trainer.
I’m a 29 year old female, a little overweight (okay a lot) at 107kg. And wanted to get into cycling. I did some cycling on a road bike a few years ago and suffered a crash which knocked my confidence to go on the bike outside again.
So I thought I would give Zwift a go!

But I’m clueless… I set up my trainer and bike. My watts was 13 for a while and I thought my trainer wasn’t set up properly but then after trying again I got it up to about 45-50. Is this normal to be low? I’m not as active as I used to be when I was younger but aiming to get active again.

Also the FTP is set at 0, is this correct? Or do I do the FTP test I’ve read about on other forums? Or the FTP course? - it’s a lot and I’m finding this whole process a little bit overwhelming but I want to make this Zwift journey work!

Any help would be so appreciated! Thank you!

That Wattage does sound low. Wheel-on trainers require careful adjustment and attention to tire pressure, as well as frequent calibration. For the best accuracy you’ll need to install a trainer tire, make sure the tension is adjusted and tire inflated according to the manual, and do the calibration in the Elite app before riding. If you use Facebook you might find some kindred spirits in the Zwift Beginners group.

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Regarding the FTP setting, I think it will update automatically after a few rides, or you can do a ramp test. FTP really only matters if you’re doing a workout, though, as the zones are based on a percentage of FTP.

Good luck on your journey, and please be sure to come back to the Forum with any other questions you have.

Paul’s advice is good.

I’d also recommend getting involved with a cycling club, some of them have beginner groups to help people gain confidence on the bike. You also merry some cool people.

Best wishes and good luck!

Hi Paul
Thank you for this. I have ordered a trainee tyre so hopefully that helps.
By the time I set everything up it was late last night so I shall have a more in-depth look and try again today.

if you are brand new, don’t worry about FTP too much as it will improve fairly rapidly at the start (first month or so) so no point measuring it til you hit a bit of a plateau later. (it’s also not very fun unless ur a bit of a masochist, cos it’s a max effort test :3)

with wheel-on trainers, it is very important that you calibrate the trainer before every ride. do this via MyETraining app for Elite trainers. 45-50w sounds kind of low so maybe not set up quite right just yet (maybe check here for tips: Elite Novo Smart review - BikeRadar ). first thing to check is calibration. then it’s time to spin 2 win.

best thing for now is just to jump on, pick a random route, and go for a free-ride exploring Zwift at your own pace! (use this for inspiration: Printable List of Zwift Routes by Difficulty | Zwift Insider )

once you can hold a steady pace for 20-30mins - think about joining “pace partner” rides - here you can practice staying with a group of other riders which involves reacting to increases/decreases in speed/effort to stay with the group. (if you get dropped at any point just simply rejoin and go again).

once you’ve done a month or so of steady training, then it might be worth thinking about doing a FTP test - but buckle up and be prepared to give it your all! - after which you can try out some tailored workouts including the popular “build me up” training plan.

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Now called Robo Pacers and found on the home screen under the “24/7 group ride” row of tiles. They have names like Taylor, Miquel, Maria, etc… and each have a different avg. pace. One will be in Watopia and one in Makuri, they change routes each week and will be either on a more flat route or a hilly route so choose carefully.


As others wrote… calibrate, then ride and enjoy without thinking about your numbers.

It’s way more important to have fun and a good time. Once you dropped a few kilos and gained some watts, then you can start looking into improving your numbers.
IMO that’s the “path” that will keep you motivated.

And you’ll probably want a direct drive trainer pretty soon, if you get “hooked” :blush: