Noob needs advice

I am a fairly new cyclist. I wish to ride in the winter indoors. I have been looking at equipment. It is a bit overwhelming. I am considering the Wahoo Snap as my first trainer. I hear people talk about the Whoo Kickr Snap or just Kickr Snap, are these the same? What are the thoughts about the Snap vs the Saris M2? I read that they are pretty similar but the M2 is noisy?

As for the other part, the software, what else do I need to make the Snap a great experience? I do not have a power meter or anything else. All I use is my bike with MapMyRide. Should I get a power meter? I read that the power values are inaccurate and need calibration with this trainer?

It is my understanding that the Snap will communicate with Zwift and if I ride a predetermined course, the resistance will change with the terrain?

I also have never heard of ANT+? If my laptop and phone both have bluetooth, do I need to get an ANT+ adapter? If I want the video of riding on a course, can I stream it to a TV if there is a Roku/FireTV/Chromecast device in the TV or does it have to be connected to a laptop via HDMI?

Sorry for all the noob questions. I tried searching for the answers, but was not terribly successful.

MK

Check DC Rainmaker for trainer recommendations and reviews:

You will not need a separate power meter if you get a smart trainer, all trainers and power meters have some sort of accuracy issues. The Kickr snap is +/- 3% according to Wahoo’s website, which is ok. The top of the line meters and trainers will be +/- 1%.

Welcome to the Zwift forum.

Lets try to answer a few of your questions:

No: the trainer has a power meter with 3% accuracy. That is very good for a starter trainer.

Most trainers need “calibration”, with wheel on trainers it is a simple spind down after the trainer is warm, not a big deal.

Yes, zwift will change resistance based on terrain.

In my opinion ANT+ is far more reliable than Bluetooth. ANT+ is a comunication protocol developed for data transmission of sporting equipment.

I would suggest a HDMI cable to the TV.

Here are some great Zwift videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ2uC4n4VoY&t=2s
This may be helpful: https://zwiftinsider.com/getting-started-smart-trainer/

three other things to add to make it a great experience would be a heart-rate monitor (HRM), a water bottle and at least one big fan.

you can do without HRM, but i find it extremely useful. before i had one, i would “blow up” a lot on zwift because i pushed too hard and didn’t realize how close i was to redline for heart rate.

fan and water bottle is pretty self-explanatory – it gets hot!

i have been riding the kickr snap for a bit over 2 years, and it’s been awesome. my usual routine is:

  • make sure i have a water bottle full on my bike!
  • fill up the tire to 110psi
  • ride for 10 mins
  • stop and turn my fans on, and then do a spin down (in zwift pairing screen) once my wheel has stopped
  • carry on from there!

one final note – use the wahoo app on your phone to do a spin down when you first set up the kickr snap. you should focus on getting the spin down time somewhere around 14-15 seconds – you don’t get that readout in the zwift spin down. if your spindown is > 15 seconds, you need to TIGHTEN the knob. if it’s less, then loosen it. keep doing this until you get 14-15 second time. i put a mark on my knob so that i could tell how many times roughly it takes to crank it down to the right range.

After reading the link from Mike_Rowe_KZOO.velo, I think I learned that some trainers can even reproduce an outdoor ride? Does that mean that if I record a ride in the summer, then I can do that ride in the winter? Do I record it using Zwift? is that how I can reproduce it? Is this feature specific to the trainer or the software (zwift)?

Thanks to everyone that has already responded.

Now after reading I am starting to wonder if I should add the Elite Suito to the short list? It is $300 more than the Snap, but is it worth if for a beginner? I don’t want to outgrow the trainer too soon. The one nice thing about the zwift is the extra Kickr Climb. Can that be used with any unit or only the Kickr/Kickr Core?

Thanks for the link. Lots of good information.

As I read more, I have more questions, sorry…

In the summer months, can I use Zwift to replace MapMyRide? I am thinking of getting a HRM (Wahoo Tickr) and it doesn’t list mapmyride as a compatible app.

MK

I wouldn’t suggest it, it will kill your battery. You could use the wahoo app, that will track your outdoor rides too and should be compatible with their HRM. I have a wahoo element so it tracks all my outdoor rides, and can connect to my off brand HRM, can also control my Kickr core, etc… then auto uploads to strava.

I used an old wheel on fluid “dumb” trainer for an entire year before upgrading to a kickr core. I highly suggest going the direct drive route if you can afford it. Lots of users are reporting power issues with the elite suito, so be warned. The Kickr Core is a little bit more and doesn’t include a cassette, but my local bike shop hooked me up with a sweet deal so it was about the same price.

You can turn an outdoor ride into a workout on this website: whatsonzwift.com gpx to Zwift.

I paid a visit to a “local” bike shop (25 miles away). They sell the Kurt Kinetics Rock and Roll. The proprietor claims it works great with Zwift. Based on what I read here that is not the case. He also suggested that I would prefer the Fluid trainer vs a magnetic trainer. I have another shop to visit a bit farther away. I would like to support a brick-n-mortar shop, but I also want the most compatible and simplest setup I can get. Suggestions?

Fluid trainers do work great… to a point. You won’t have variable resistance with terrain (which racers on Zwift often wind right back) or the much vaunted accuracy (a subject in itself) of a smart trainer.
If you have ambitions… You may not be allowed to race on dumb trainer with zpower and you will need a power meter.
I would suggest a power meter on a dumb trainer as a better alternative anyway if you are budget limited and ride a bike in real life.

Personally, I prefer a fluid trainer. Rock simple, no expensive consumer grade electronics to burn out, no built in redundancy.

Thanks for the input. In the end, I went to another local bike shop I didn’t even know existed. They sell Wahoo and I tried one out. I purchased the Snap with the cadence and HR sensors. I left my bike for a tuneup and will pick everything up sometime soon. Can’t wait to get on and ride.

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