Trainer Advice - What Do I Need To Buy

(Rob Snyder) #1

So much confusion!  I am just about to purchase a trainer and I want to be able to have Zwift dynamically control my resistance so I know I need  “smart trainer”.  Seems like the Wahoo Kickr Snap would be ready to go, but quite pricey.  I was also looking at the Kinetic Road Machine/Smart T2700 and the Tacx Vortex T2180 Smart.  Do all of these connect the same?  I dont own any speed sensors or heart rate monitors, but what I really want most is the “automatic” resistance control.  Can you help me understand what I need to purchase?  Thanks in advance!


(Stuart Davis) #2

I know several people who use the Tacx Vortex and it is great.

Whether you’re riding in Zwift or doing a training session, the Vortex plus a HR monitor, something like a Garmin HR strap and a PC USB Ant+ dongle from ebay is all you’ll need.

(Bob Venturi) #3

I have a Tacx Vortex Smart and yes, it controls your resistance in Zwift without using a speed/cadence sensor.  I have had many Tacx trainers over the years, and the Vortex Smart is a good value.  You will also need to purchase a USB ANT+ sensor for your PC and if you want heart rate, an ANT+ compatible chest strap separately.  

(Rob Snyder) #4

Thanks for the advice guys - what about if I want to use a iPad instead of a laptop.  Does that work without having to buy the USB ANT+ sensor?

(Stuart Davis) #5

you can’t use Zwift with just an iPad, you 'll need a PC or Mac; you can probably run the iOS Zwift app on your iPad, for controlling settings during the game.

You’ll definitely need a USB Ant+ dongle. They’re cheap, less than a tenner.

(Rob Snyder) #6

Is this what I need?  I would think of a Dongle as a cable, but guessing this is it:


(Stuart Davis) #7

Yes that would be fine.

So would this, quite a bit cheaper 

(Mark Fluss) #8

I have a Tacx Bushido T2780 and it works great.  If you are going to use Zwift, you only buy the unit and a dongle.  There is no need to buy the Tacx Upgrade Smart.  The Upgrade Smart is just a Tacx dongle/cable and the version 4 Tacx software.  The Bushido was probably overkill, and given how it behaves by being able to simulate a 15 percent grade with correct speed, I would have gone with the Vortex.  I don’t like having to shift the front derail when on the trainer, so I adjusted the slider bar in Zwift that controls how the trainer behaves on hills.  It now goes into a virtual speed, just like a Vortex.  But the Bushido is self powering, so I can take it to races for warm up if needed.

(j m. (mgcc)) #9

I would also have a look at DCRainmakers post on trainers: