Setup for a Newbie. Advice please

Hi all, hope everyone is well. I was after a bit of advice.

I’m looking at joining Zwift in the hope that it helps me get a bit of fitness. I should clarify that (for now) I’m not looking at becoming a pro cyclist or doing massive amounts on the bike a week. Tbh I struggle with motivation so I’m hopeful that this can get me on the bike for say an hour or so, 2/3 times a week to help improve my fitness.

So the advice I’m after is what do I need to get started. As mentioned above it’s very much recreational for me, so I don’t need (or want) to be spending hundreds on the best setup imaginable, I need something that’s going to pair up to the software.

Currently, I have an iPad which I intend to use the app on, and I also have a spin bike which I’m quite happy using. It’s a good quality bike but not a smart bike in any way, so no Bluetooth built in etc.

So I just wanted to clarify exactly what do I need to get started, what additional software/hardware is required to get my bike working with the app.

Many Thanks for any answers you provide.

I am new to Zwift too, but I think you can try using speed and cadence sensors (if they can be fitted on the spin bike), plus an ant+ usb dongle to get started?

If not, then maybe a slightly more expensive option is to install pedal-based, or crank-arm power meters.

A similar question posted on reddit:

You could also use a HR base power meter:

1 Like

what Paul suggested it your cheapest option.

If you put a speed sensor on the spin bike you will be able to ride but it will be complete wrong speed since the program will not know what resistance is set on the bike. You will be better of with a old used bike and a cheap “dumb” trainer and speed sensor.

Hi Guys, I needed to know if I understand it correctly… I have my bike, a Blackburn Trakstand, Garmin 500 with cadence and heart monitor… What else do I need to have? Do I just need to get/buy ANT+ dongle and USB to start? (before getting the app)
Any help is a big help for me… thank you!

The Garmin 500 will not be used in any way with Zwift.

You will need something like this:

Ok, so I only need to buy the ANT+ bundle?

Do you have a Speed sensor?

I only have the Cadence. Isn’t that sufficient enough…

Nope, you need at least a speed sensor.

For zPower/Virtual power (That is what you will be using) your rear wheel speed and the power curve of the trainer selected is converted into watts, with those watts, weight entered, in-game bike used, in-game drafting and virtual elevation changes your in-game speed is determined.

Isn’t the Garmin 500 a speed sensor? What speed sensor can you suggest for me to buy… don’t worry, i will be taking it as a suggestion… thanks again.

The Garmin 500 is a bike computer and cannot be linked to Zwift in anyway.

A Garmin S/C sensor would be a good choice, but the Wahoo Blue S/C in my opinion is a better choice since the newer ones are duel band (both ANT+ and Bluetooth).

If I get/choose a Wahoo Blue S/C , do I still need to get the ANT+ dongle and USB? Hopefully this is my last question… I am trying not to spend that much anymore since I am not sure if Zwift is the way for me to go train myself get my cadence and speed up a little…

That would depend on the device you are running Zwift on. I have found that using an ANT+ dongle with a USB extension is the least hassle free and a more robust connection.

Having a duel band device gives you more flexibility in what devices it can connect to.

You have been very helpful! Thank you so much…

1 Like