Total noob whether it's abt Zwift or even cycling

Hello there,

I’ll be straight, I’m a total noob, never done any proper cycling. I’m a 21yo male and after loosing weight on a big diet that was highly needed, I need to get into some sports.

I hate running outside, or doing bodybuilding in my garage without anyone else. Due to current Covid, gyms are mostly closed and I will say I’m quite happy abt it… I hate that atmosphere where people look at you like wtf are you doing here stupid noob (flex muscles).

Zwift is really tempting but I have no clue how it works.
The website doesn’t explain at all what I need and so on. I want a cheap setup since I will just use it maybe 1hr a day.
Has anyone got clues on where to start? What to buy?
All I own is a bike and a fitbit watch (not sure if they can link up).

PS : I live in France so Amazon US isn’t great for me.

HI @Enzo_Bartolomei

Welcome to the forum.

Zwift has a few videos on you tube that may help.

what bike do you have?

2 Likes

Thank you. I will have a look.
Well I don’t have any bike. I have no treadmill.

All I own when it comes to physical activity is a pair of trainers and two body building benches cos when you are a kid, you think it’s cool to have big muscles but it actually takes years to come.

I want to get into a physically activity quickly, but as I said I hate doing it outdoor. I like the fact where if I’m on a Zwift running or riding my bike and it gets simply impossible and everything hurts, I can step out my bike and be straight here in my home.

If Running Zwift is actually better/cheaper, I’m well interested into looking at it but I need to work out a budget on where to start, what to buy, etc

Also do I need a high end bike, since I’ll never use it outdoor? I’m supposing all those carbon and titan bikes are just lighter for a better hill climb but will it change anything virtually?

Have a watch of this:

So what I need is

  • a bike
  • an apple TV (I already own a gaming screen)
  • a Wahoo Kickr

that’s all really?
Sorry for all those questions. I’m not native english, so probably did not understand everything in the video

1 Like

Hi Enzo and welcome!
A lot of people on Zwift will recommend expensive high-end gear, but you can get started really cheaply. A Wahoo Kickr and Apple TV would be a brilliant setup, but I can recommend a simpler “start-up” option if that’s what you’d like.

All you need is:

  • A computer device. This can be a laptop, a desktop computer, a tablet or an Apple TV.
  • A bike. This can be just about any bike, the age and quality makes no difference. Many people use old bikes on Zwift.
  • A smart trainer. This can be wheel-off (which is the more expensive and accurate option) or wheel-on (which are cheaper and great for beginners and need a road bike, not mountain bike)

I got started with a second-hand Tacx Smart Flow trainer which I bought on Facebook marketplace for £110. I paired it with my laptop and ride a donated, worn out old touring bike. For me that was ideal - I got started cheaply, got a flavour for Zwift, and really love it and use it loads. I recommend this as a starter setup. Do make sure you choose a bike which fits you well, as that will make a big difference to your comfort leve.

Now I can justify the cost, I’m looking to upgrade to a wheel-off trainer and am taking my time based on what’s most important to me. One example is there’s no point me paying for a trainer which can measure 1200 Watts of power, when I struggle to produce 600W.

I wouldn’t recommend you buy a “non-smart” turbo trainer, as I think feeling the resistance change is a fundamental part of what makes Zwift fun, and the Tacx Smart Flow does this at a really low cost.

3 Likes

That’s an awesome reply.
I am glad you could help without telling me I need to buy a great bike and spend 1k in a turbo trainer!!

One last terribly noob question and I think that will be it for me, if I buy an Apple TV set, connect it to my screen, do I need still a computer to make it work or does it all work from the Apple TV app installed?

Also, if I use a Smart Android TV, will it work?

Thank you!

1 Like

Your smart trainer talks directly to the Apple TV, you don’t need anything else.

Unfortunately Android TV is not supported yet, but many Android phones and tablets can run the game (this would be instead of Apple TV).

Note that the Companion app runs on either iPhone or Android, it doesn’t matter.

2 Likes

Thank you - glad I could help!

I haven’t got the experience of using Apple TV or another smart TV to guide you on that I’m afraid. Here are a couple of links which may help you on that:

Apple TV:
https://youtu.be/zaPsZVFAzH0

Android (which seems to be just screen sharing your phone or tablet with the TV):
https://youtu.be/1PdCEmw3ub8

1 Like

i would NOT get the wahoo kickr if i were you, it’s too much to start with – especially if you aren’t even sure if you like indoor cycling.

you COULD consider the kickr snap, though, if you wanted wahoo. here it is brand new:

i imagine you could get one used for $200-300.

random search on ebay reveals cheap bikes like this one to get you started (it’s probably better to check your local bike shop first, but here’s a price check):

1 Like

Wow you guys are amazing! Thank you for all the input.
I will start looking into this from now on! And hope within a few weeks have a good setup and get going!

I am also relatively new to all of this and love my Wahoo Kickr Snap, which is the wheel-on trainer. That means that you put your whole bike into the trainer without removing the back wheel. When I bought mine it was a cheaper and easier option. When I started, I just used my laptop and it worked fine. I also recommend the YouTube channel: Shane Miller - GPLama . He has some great information on setting up your indoor area. A very important thing is a powerful fan. It gets very hot riding indoors and you really need a fan to keep cool (I now have 2.). Good luck! Zwift and indoor riding are really fun!

2 Likes

Hello,
Just to let you know, I have decided to go with a Wahoo snap and a new road bike from a local shop.
Really happy abt my buying and I try to do 1hr a day average.
It’s now been a little over 1 week I have all the stuff and hope on this Saturday to make a 100km ride! :slight_smile:

1 Like

I know you already have your stuff for set up but I wanted to add…
I generally use my laptop with an Ant+ dongle.
On a few occasions , I will use my android phone to run Zwift and I cast or mirror the android screen to a big screen TV with an Amazon Fire stick.
I’ve used this set up as a "portable setup’ when I wanted to take my bike to a real life Zwift party.
I just take my trainer, the bike my phone and the fire stick. I use an extra TV at my friends house or I can take mine if needed.
We have been having Zwift meetings on Zoom and that is fun too.