New to Zwift, Direct Drive or Regular Turbo?

(Simon Richards TCC) #1



I am new to Zwift, have been using rollers up to now. looking at getting a Smart Trainer to use with Zwift. The question is do I go for something like a Tacx Vortex Smart trainer or what are the benefits of going for a direct drive trainer like the Elite Muin 11 Smart B+. I am unsure if the Elite automatically adjusts the resistance when going up hill?


Appreciate any feedback.

(Juan Ferres [BRT]) #2

If you are serious about trainning, direct drive trainers  are the way to go. All your power go to the trainer and is much nicer for your legs. The system is more stable, you dont waste rear wheel and -at least- Turbo Muin is crazy silent (classic trainers are realle noisy for your neighbourds).

Elite Muin II Smart B+ dont have controllable power resistance.

Real turbo Muin B+ is the one with controllable power but is twice as expensive. 

I absolutely love my Elite Turbo Muin (i own the first model and added the Elite ANT+ cadende and speed sensor).  The B+ model is better because have the integrated power meter and you don’t need external speed/cadence sensors. 

Elite Turbo Muin clasic is working great on Zwift. But remember that Turbo Muin fluid system is quite unique: the harder you push the harder it gets! In order to be silent, you can’t really go with high gears and high cadence unless you are Mark Cavendish. Turbo Muin allow you a maximum of 1200w but even small time i can’t get 800w! 

Whatever you do, don’t buy not direct drive trainers




(Noel Nunkovich *USMES*) #3

Pretty much any of the smart trainers should be controllable by Zwift and allow Zwift to change resistance for workouts and to simulate climbs, descents, and flats. I can’t comment specifically to the various Elite models, but if it’s not capable of having it’s resistance controlled by software I question whether it’s really a trainer that can be considered “smart.”

During my time with Zwift I’ve gone from using power meter and “dumb” trainer (Kurt Kinetic Road Machine) to a basic smart trainer (Tacx Vortex) to a high-end, direct-drive smart trainer (Tacx Neo). My advice is that if the cost of the direct-drive trainer isn’t prohibitive in your case that’s definitely the way to go. My Vortex was nice but the higher the power output got the more inaccurate it got as compared to my power meter. Whereas my Neo and my power meter are generally within 10 watts of each other, and frequently +/- 5 watts, my Vortex could be off by 40 or more watts when I was up above 200 watts.

Also, if you have a true power meter, Zwift won’t currently let you use Erg mode for workouts if the power meter is paired. That meant I was reduced to either relying on the much less accurate power from the Vortex or not using Erg mode during workouts, which in my opinion is one of the greatest benefits of a smart trainer. I’m sure that issue is temporary but for now it still exists.

Power questions aside, and speaking entirely to the Vortex/Neo comparison, the Neo is much, much quieter and smoother as well. Plus no worries about tire pressure and tire wear. The direct drive is more of a hassle since you have to remove the wheel to put the bike on the trainer but in my case I had a wheel I used specifically for trainer work so I was always swapping wheels when the bike came on or off the trainer anyway.

So, in summary, a non-direct-drive trainer is definitely an improvement and, in my opinion very worthwhile, but if you don’t mind spending the money a direct-drive trainer is the way to go.

(Neil Barnes PACK) #4

I also have an Elite Turbo Muin 2 Smart B+. When I purchased it I was under the impression it was a ‘smart’ trainer. However even though it pairs up as a controllable trainer when I log in to Zwift it is not a controllable trainer and therefore in my opinion not a ‘smart’ trainer.


I’m loving Zwift but a bit annoyed the Elite trainer in my opinion is mis sold.