Tried zwift on dumb trainer no luck, looking to buy smart trainer. Need some expert advice

Well i will be running zwift on a gaming pc , setting up on an Android phone . My bike is an 8 speed so i cant get a direct drive trainer cause it needs 10 speed cassete , correct ???
So my options are wahoo kickr snap , cycleops m2 , or tacx vortex. wheel on trainer
I have been reading some terrible problems with the wahoo , Like they break right after warranty etc… , less on the cycleops.
So right now i am thinking the cycleops m2 . Will i also need ant+ i do have it . Or should i add bluetoothe to my pc ?

any help would be great , just dont want experience i had with dumb trainer.

Hi J,
its also worth looking at the Elite Rampa, (wheel on trainer).
It had very good reviews when it came out.
A mate of mine is very happy with his. Not used one myself but DC Rainmaker,
and Shane Miller gave it good reviews.

Worth a look I think.
“Ride On”

Sounds to me like this is a great excuse to just buy a new bike, too! You can get one that goes to 11!

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I am about to spend over $600 on a trainer and u want me to also buy a new bike for $1600 ? Dam , lol
are direct drives that much better ? sell my bike , etc . a new 10 or 11 speed will run atleast 1500 . You buy my old specialized for 800 and ill do it ! :grinning:

I think your 8 speed cassette will work no problem. Just use a typical 10 speed spacer.
Then the direct drive trainers ARE worth the jump!


Mark is right. You can use 7, 8, 9, or 10 speed bikes on modern smart trainers – wheel off, direct drive.

You just use a simple adapter and an 8 speed cassette will work fine on an 11 speed trainer. We’ve used an 8 speed and then a 7 speed on the 2014 Wahoo KICKR for several years. You’ll have to supply the 8 speed cassette to install on the trainer because the trainer box won’t have an 8 speed cassette in it.

The spacer/adapter will look something like this:

Really ? This is good news for me . !! Now i will have to look into the direct drives , thanks so much for that info . Any advice on a direct drive trainer ?

The answer to this question may depend on how much money you want to spend. I’m only a few months into the smart, wheel-off, trainer game, but I love it. I started with a Wahoo Kickr Core for a few weeks, but just didn’t like the feel of it. (Something about the belt connection to the flywheel just always felt like it was slipping a bit.) I took that back and got a Tacx Neo 2 and I love it. There are plenty of folks, though, that do seem to love the Kickr Core (and regular Kickr). If there is a shop in your area that has all of these set up in a trainer room, or something like that, I would recommend going in and taking at least a short spin on all of them (maybe even the wheel-on trainers) just to see what works for you.

Here’s a video showing the installation of a 10 speed cassette on an 11 speed trainer hub. The same ~1.85mm spacer that adjusts for 10 speed cassettes will also work for 8 speed cassettes (“Simply put - 8, 9, 10 speed cassettes all fit on the same hub”; 7 speed cassettes require a little more adjustment.)

I bought a neo2 on memorial day sale for $999 plus $40 shipping… It has adapters for more bikes now … My work offers a $600 fitness benefit for equipment so I got setup for $400 as I already had tools and other parts I needed on my existing commuter bike Norco XFR 4 2011 24 spd…

I already have a PC that eats this game up so that not a factor… I had to plug it into the 65" tv to try it out and yes… That beats a computer monitor any day

… Wife threw me out of the living room so alas it’s back to garage with my 27" … Still it’s fun


thanx steve , i am still researching the trainers . I got ocd so this may take a while , lol .

I can confirm what you’re being told. I have a 10 speed cassette on my kickr as I’m using an older 10 speed bike on it permanently.

It works fine.

Everything you need to know and probably more: