Spin bike advice

Hi there,
I usually use Zwift for running but due to injury I am looking to buy a Spin bike.
Any advice on what Bike to get (preferably under 400 pounds) & what I need to connect to Zwift would be much appreciated.

Thanks :slight_smile:

A Spin bike would suck for Zwift because you manually adjust the resistance and you would need to add sensors to get it to work.
If you already have a regular bicycle get a Kickr Snap or the Elite/Tacx (since you are in Europe) equivalent. Has to be “Smart”, i.e., controllable by the app.
If you do not have a bicycle, buy used…bike and trainer. You might be able to hit your price range.
A Smart Spinbike (Stages, Tacx, Wahoo, Watt) will set you back 2000 pounds or more.

Ok thanks, I had heard that spin/smart bikes work pretty well with Zwift… I have a hybrid bike so I guess I could use that with a smart turbo trainer.

Hello, these videos may be helpful https://zwift.com/video/how-to-cycling I agree with Chris that a spin bike is probably not the best way to go, but you do not need a “smart” trainer or smartbike. You can Zwift happily on any turbo trainer (wheel on, direct drive) or rollers if you prefer.

Wheel on trainers tend to be a tad cheaper (starting at around £100 new). This is a helpful explanation of different turbos GCN did few years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulhpwTRvAfo The models may have changed and brands other than Elite exist (the Muin - direct drive - they feature is silent & smooth feeling but wildly inaccurate)

You don’t have to have a trainer that is ‘smart’ and can report power data to Zwift, or that can simulate terrain - this is a choice and the more they do the more expensive they are. Instead you could choose to have a power meter (in-wheel, crank, pedals) but this is an additional cost. Of course, you may choose to just use Zwift virtual power. It over-inflates what you are doing but its there to help people get started and make the platform more accessible.

Options cheapest to most expensive:

  1. bike, non-smart trainer (from c. £100) and cadence sensor (few quid) - uses virtual power
  2. bike, non-smart trainer and power meter (can get some new 4iii from £225 no idea how good they are)
  3. bike, smart trainer (Kickr Core for example is circa £700)
  4. bike, smart trainer and power meter (dual recording - required for top level races)
  5. smart bike c. £3k (and power meter if want to race top level)

Thanks for the advice Helen, much appreciated.
Maybe I’ll need to spend a bit more to get a decent experience from it.

You need a speed sensor, not a cadence sensor, to use Zwift. Cadence is nice to have, but the speed sensor on a classic “dumb” trainer is what Zwift needs to convert the wheel speed to zPower (virtual power). This tends to be inaccurate as stated above and can be over or under reporting your actual power.

Don’t forget you also need a device to run the game, a PC or MAC, iPhone/Android, iPad or other supported tablet, Apple TV, etc… Zwiftinsider has a great guide to get started. https://zwiftinsider.com/getting-started-classic-trainer/

If you choose the smart trainer route (a much better experience and certainly worth the added expense if you plan to use it a lot) then check out this guide: https://zwiftinsider.com/getting-started-smart-trainer/



Thanks for correcting the sensor!

(In an emperors new clothes moment: IMO don’t think any of the (7) smart trainers I have used were worth the extra £££ compared to my non-smart direct-drive which was just as smooth, quieter and more reliable but then I had a power meter and don’t care specially for sim/erg…anyway I’ll close the curtains before the red lazer dot finds me)