Smart Trainer advice for a novice


I’ve recently brought a road bike to hook up to a smart trainer. I have little interest cycling outdoors so would like to get some advice/support with smart trainers.

As a total novice I’m getting quite confused about which entry level smart trainer would be best suited (ease of use/ setup etc) I have looked at kickr core, elite suito and tacx flux smart trainers. How would I know what cassette I’d have to purchase to hook my bike up and which smart trainers would best suit the bike I’ve purchased?

The bike I’ve purchased has a shimano 105 set I believe. I intend on cycling indoor on Zwift for fitness improvements.

I really any support/advice given.

OK, If you never plan on riding outdoors you can remove, or have a shop remove, the cassette that came with your bike and put that on your trainer. If not then buy another cassette to match the one you have on your bike.

You mention 3 direct drive trainers and the differentiators are usually accuracy of power, % grade it can replicate (change in resistance to match hill), and weight of flywheel. And of course price and availability. If you don’t intend to race then accuracy is of lesser concern, % grade is usually within a % or 2 and as long as the trainer can do greater than 13% you’re fine, and flywheel weight equates to road feel, meaning the heavier the flywheel the better the coasting and the more it feels like riding on the road but don’t expect your trainer to come even close to what riding outside feels like.
Of course you can always go for the less expensive option and go for a wheel on “smart trainer”. It’s still controllable by Zwift but you give up road feel and accuracy and save some cost. The least expensive option is a wheel on :“dumb trainer” (cycleops fluid) and use a speed sensor on your rear wheel. You won’t feel hills or any change in resistance but you can do all the rides and see your power and speed.
I hope some of this helps. Google around there a lots of trainer comparisons.

Thanks so much for your help.

Would you recommend a Wahoo Kickr snap?

@Liam_Upton: The exhaustive post on choosing a smart trainer is here:

I’d recommend a wheel-off trainer if you can afford it. Any of the recommended wheel-off, direct-drive trainers are a major step up from wheel-on trainers and “dumb” trainers.

Shimano 105 moved to 11 speed in 2014 with the 5800 group set. If your new bike is newer than 2014 / 5800 or newer, it’ll work with zero adjustments on current smart wheel-off, direct drive trainers.