Please help a beginner

Hello everybody,

i just found out about Zwift and i really want to get onboard, but i am overwhelmed with so much information and new things that i don’t know what to do and what to buy.

I have a bicycle giant defy 5 and i don’t know if i should use it or by a stationary bike instead.

If i should use the current bike, what do i need to buy to enjoy Zwift? Please provide a budget solution.

I just want to ride for fun with my friends, i’m not hardcore or professional.

I would use the Defy and put it on a trainer, a stationary bike is not advised with Zwift. You will need at least a Speed and Cadence sensor. As far as computer goes you will need a Windows, Mac, or iOS device.

Here are a couple link that will help you out:

What is your budget as far as getting Zwift to work?

Hi Paul,

thanks for your answer.

I had checked the site, and that’s when i got lost, too many offers, i have no idea what to chose. (smart or classic? which one?)

I have the bike, pc and android devices. I know i need a trainer but dont know which one, and i would like to have hearth rate monitored as well.

I dont want to spend much money as i will do this for fun mainly, but i also dont want to buy a cheap thing that will brake or give me problems.

I watched some videos, one said that the price is not a direct indicator of quality, so it’s really a lottery for me at this moment.

If you can give me two suggestions per item that i need, one good budget, and one a bit better, i can then check prices online.

Thank you so much for your help.

I just posted this a short while ago:

DC Rainmaker is where I go to compare trainers:

You could also get a single-sided power meter like a

I own a and have been using it for over a year without issue. I did move to a 4iiii power meter a few months ago, but I still use the trainer.

As far as HRM, I would recommend the Wahoo Tickr:


I have never had a regular HRM work for me, but I a few months ago found the Scosche Rhythm+ which uses an optical sensor.

That works perfectly for me 100% of the time and never misses a single beat. I can put in anywhere on my arm, upper, lower, leg… anywhere.

I would recommend that over any of the regular HRMs. It works instantly, no warm up, no EKG paste…

Hi guys,


i like the Scosche Rhythm+, i think i’ll go for that one.

Regarding the trainer i have no idea which one to get, as there are so many options and i know nothing about the business, so i’ll list some i can buy in a store, please let me know if they are good and the price is also ok for the unit.

200e TACX Booster T2500
240e TACX Satori Smart T2400
250e TACX Flow Smart T2240
400e TACX i-Vortex Smart T2180 PACK
250e ELITE Qubo Power Mag
340e ELITE Qubo Digital Smart B+ PACK
400e ELITE Turbo Roteo Smart B+

Or maybe you could tell me what are the best models around 300 euros, and i can then try to find a seller for them.

Thank you so much.




I have had a Tacx i-Flow T2270 (which I think is likely the same as the new Flow). I never had a problem with it. I also before that had one of the original green i-Magic Tacx units. I had to give up on that as it got left behind software-wise, but I used that trainer for years and years and never had a single problem with it.


The main thing to remember is that the wheel on trainers, in my experience, work best with a dedicated trainer tire.

I used the blue Tacx trainer tires for a long time and always had slippage problems and then swapped to the Continental trainer tires and the Continentals were 1000 times better. I never had slip even with a light clamping to the Conti trainer tires.

If your bike can fit it, the wide version (32?) of the Conti trainers are ideal. I used a wide Conti trainer with a Tacx Bushido for a long time and it let me get the most out of the Bushido with no slippage at all.

I think the most important thing you can do for any of those trainers is to use the Conti trainer tire - that made more difference to me than changing from i-Flow to Bushido.

Thanks for the input Porthos,

That is new to me, i had no idea i needed to change the tyre, and that is something disappointing to me, as i don’t want to keep changing the tyre of the bike, i want something practical.

Is there any trainer that does not require a special tyre?

Thank you for helping.


If you want a trainer you don’t want to change the tire to use you would need a Direct Drive trainer. On a direct drive trainer you remove the rear wheel and connect the bike directly to the trainer. It has it’s own cassette so there is no rear wheel needed. A direct drive trainer is more expensive, most being over $1000. 

Another option for you is to go to your local bike shop and get a used wheel that has the same cassette you have and just swap wheels as needed. A use wheel should not cost much and swapping wheels takes little time, 

oh boy, this is getting very complicated, it started with just being putting a bike in a roller and ride, in my head at least.

The direct drive seems even worse solution, having a spare wheel/tyre should be no problem, but i have no experience replacing wheels and the simple idea i had on my mind now looks very complicated.

I thought this would be much simpler and straight forward, something like plug-and-play, guess i have to consider everything again.


Changing a rear wheel is very simple, here is a good video on how to do it:

GCN, has a lot of good cycling video on everything to do with cycling.

Just so you know, you can use the same tire that you are using on the road on the trainer, it will just wear out faster and you may get slippage.

I will start using the same wheel and tire, and see how it goes.

i need to decide which model to buy now, there are the ones i could buy:

200e TACX Booster T2500
240e TACX Satori Smart T2400
250e TACX Flow Smart T2240
400e TACX i-Vortex Smart T2180 PACK
250e ELITE Qubo Power Mag
340e ELITE Qubo Digital Smart B+ PACK
400e ELITE Turbo Roteo Smart B+


is there any direct advantage spending 400 instead of 200? what would i gain spending double the money on a trainer?

Under 300 euros, what would be the best model to buy? considering durability and overall quality?

Thank you so much for your help.

You don’t need to change your wheel or tire. If you decide you like Zwift you can decide later. Some of use the trainer so much that we like to get a cheap wheel with an old tire on it to use just for the trainer, and save our more expensive tire for the road. To quote someone else: “I train everyday on the stock wheels and tires that came with the bike.  Just normal tires and normal wheels.  In fact, I don’t even bother to swap out for a separate trainer tire.  Why?  Well, my thinking is that I spend 3+ days a week on a trainer, and the last thing I want to deal with is swapping tires or wheels every time I go inside to outside or the inverse (I’m kinda lazy that way).”

I can’t help you much with a specific trainer choice. There are plenty that work. The pointer to the DC Rainmaker blog is the best reference: .  At the premium of the “low end,” he likes the Tacx Satori Smart at 225EUR. I’d read that article – and realize that he’s focused on “smart” trainers. There are many good fluid or magnetic trainers that give a good workout. Many (most?) Zwift users favor smart trainers out of the belief that they give more reliable and accurate results in Zwift.

By the way, the quote about not having special trainer tires comes from the DC Rainmaker page. It’s worth reading the whole thing, headline through the comments.

And the previous link to other DC Rainmaker trainer articles is good too. This one, for instance, covers more of the “dumb” (non-electronic) trainers: .

use your bike…you will need…

trainer tyre and preferably a spare rear wheel with the cassette £80.if you want the full experience you will also need a smart trainer(alters resistance for you)the tacx vortex smart is brilliant for £300.a cadence sensor and heart monitor if you really go for it probably another £80