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.

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Everything you need to know and probably more:


One more useful link for those researching a new smart trainer purchase: Zwift Insider’s new Smart Trainer Index has the web’s largest database of smart trainer reviews, specs, and recommendations.

We’ve even put together short lists of the best trainers at three budget levels:

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