Very frustrating experience with Zwift as new user

So I set up the Wahoo sensors, download the iPad app, get them paired up including my Polar HRM. All good right?

I start the trial ride. The avatar doesn’t move!?!

So I Google around. I find out the 7-day trial is actually just 25 km per month. I can do that ride in a fraction of a typical ride. Whatever. I have spent 40+ minutes so far and no joy. I still can’t even try the 25 km ride. Ugh!

I am giving up and posting this rant. How could Zwift make the first time user experience so bad?

You misread the terms and conditions of Zwift trial. You do not need to Google around for this information, you should go to Zwift web site. Once you subscribed to Zwift trial (i.e., created your user name and password) and your avatar started moving for the first time, you have 7 days of full unlimited functionality. After 7 days, unless you subscribed, Zwift switches to a free mode in which you only can ride 25 km per month. Your user account and all your rides and badges are preserved in Zwift even if you cancel your subscription.

If you avatar does not move, it most likely means you did not get your power meter connected and Zwift does not know that you are moving. Do you have a bike trainer? Does it have a power meter? Sorry, it is not listed in your description of the gear which you got. If you a runner, you also need some gear - either a Footpod, or a treadmill, or better yet, both. But for runners, Zwift is free.

If you do not have a power meter but can only measure speed, you need to configure zPower in Zwift to calculate it.

If you post a snapshot of your Zwift connections screen, this community would be able to help you even more.

But since you are giving up, it looks like you are not looking for advice. Sorry to hear it did not work out for you.

@Andrei_Istratov I am still here…retracing how a Silicon Valley high-tech dude missed a step (user error, right?) to get in this mess. I checked for email from Zwift…maybe I missed something? Need to click a link to activate the trial? Or even input my credit card? I can’t find anything.

It’s a let down and disappointment to be excited about Zwift and be stopped cold. Yes, I’m in my Lycra shorts and my bike shoes in my garage. LOL.

Thanks for responding. It helps ease my frustration at Zwift…

Glad to have you back and ready to fix the issue!

Two things.

  1. You do not have a controllable connected. For Zwift, ideally, you need a bike trainer. Wahoo KICKR is a good example. If you have one of those smart trainers, you need to connect it as a controllable. I see you have Fluid2 as a speed sensor, is it Tacx Fluid 2? If the answer is yes, you need to
    a) disconnect your Wahoo cadence sensor, you do not need it (I mean, click on “connected” button underneath Speed Sensor tile to disconnect it)
    b) connect your Tacx Fluid 2, using the same name “Fluid 2”, as Speed Sensor, Cadence, and Controllable.

If you ask why do you not need a speed sensor, your very smart trainer will determine your cadence from small variations of torque when pedals go through 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock position. It will determine it accurately regardless of which gear you are in.

  1. It is really strange that Zwift shows that you have 25 km remaining. This does not sound right, because this is how it should be after expiration of the trial. It is crazy to even ask, but are you sure that you have never activated Zwift with the same e-mail that you are using? Activating means connecting a trainer of any kind and starting moving. Just creation of an account does not activate the trial by itself. If not, it is a mystery, but who cares - you may simply create a new account with a different e-mail. You have nothing to lose because you have no rides saved under this current login name as of yet. You still can continue your testing, though, because these 25 km still can be used :slight_smile:

This is free trial FAQ

This is a good getting started guide, including detailed instructions how to start a trial

and this is a little dated but still valuable user manual

Actually, you could go to

Login with the same login name and password that you use to open Zwift application

It will tell you what it has in the system about your trial and your membership - perhaps it will help to understand why it shows that you have only 25 km left.


Oh… Did you say iPAD? Did you also mean to say applePAY?

Then this is for you - it has your answer! Apple owners get a special treatment - there is one more button to press.

Cool people use a PC and do not use applePay :slight_smile:

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My trial was activated tonight on Feb. 8, 2021. And the website advertised that there was a 7-day free trial (no mention of 25 km limit). It really doesn’t matter 7 day or 25 km limit. Zwift just did not work (Do you know what Steve Jobs used to say? It just works). And the confusing billing stuff adds to the frustration…

Yaps… Just added a comment to the previous post… Hope it helps…

It is all Steve Jobs’s fault :slight_smile: Or perhaps it is just an extra safety feature, to make sure you do not accidentally activate subscription. So, with apple pay, people say you need to activate zwift also somewhere in apple pay, but you should know better. I have no Apple devices.

For silicon valley folks, Zwift must be super fun. Not only it is fun, but there is a lot to discover by way how it works and (and sometimes why it does not work as intended) and discover hidden features.

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Time to go to bed, hope you will make it work now. But be forewarned: it is addictive.

@Andrei_Istratov and anyone else having trouble with the Wahoo sensors. It’s a known problem. Both the iOS and PC using Bluetooth 4.0 or higher have issues with Wahoo. Why don’t they tell their customers? Instead, I had to Google and search their forums.

Anyhow, you gotta use the Ant+ dongle for the PC. Other frustrated users say the BLE interface freaks out with multiple sensors.

Like you mentioned earlier, I switched to PC. I have no clue how iOS will work with Wahoo sensors. My advice…don’t use Wahoo with iOS especially you got another sensor like Polar HRM.

P.S. Yes, the trial is limited to 25 km…not a free-for-all 7-day trial. Trust me, I just finished my ride at 25 km (i.e. stopped).

James, thank you for sharing! When I started with Zwift in July last year, I had no problems with duration of the trial. I read that users say that if you are on a PC, you get 7 days automatically, but on iOS with Apple Pay you need to click an extra button in Apple Pay interface to truly activate the trial, i.e., to get your 7 days. As I am not an Apple user, I cannot speak to it myself.

Are you saying that you do not get 7 days on a PC either? Maybe you still need to click that button in ApplePay, if this is how you configured your trial. People say, you can get 7 free days even if you started with 25 free km before clicking on it.

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There are two “free trials” one before you sign up that is limited to 25k. Once you join and sign up properly and put in your payment details etc you then get 7days free so that if you joined now on 10/2 you would not start paying until 17/2. I presume if you cancel before the end of the 7 days you would not pay. Connectivity is really dependent on how good your equipment and internet connection are. I use a Windows 7 computer with a £12 blutooth dongle which connects to my Iphone 6 running Zwift Companion which connects to a Kickr Core and that works really well unless there is an internet problem. You do need to read all the screens carefully and Google what you dont know though.+

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