Zwift, HRM, HR2VP App

You are not going to be fighting with somebody, you are going to be DQd in most races. Your numbers cannot be exact, no way - there is no “general number” FTP.

Try Zwift with this “setup” - but please do not race.

Your point is still valid. But to buy a trainer and bike, then not fall in love with Zwift becomes an expensive test.

But Im going into it with eyes open. Im treating this as driving on a racing sim with a controller … not ideal. But if I enjoy it then I know I will love it with a steering wheel and pedals (true story).

Hi. DQd for what reason?

Id rather be a bit slower on Zwift and have to work a bit harder just cos one aim is fitness.

If that means being at the back with others (when in reality Id be mid pack) then thats ok whilst Im in this cheap setup phase.
I will still end up at the end of a race with someone to compete with … which motivates me.

Spin classes wouldnt.

Sorry, I was at Zwiftpower - the most race organisers demand exact power numbers (powermeter). There is no DQ by Zwift.
Your numbers cannot be exact, you will probably spoil the races for the others.

I will definitely try to make sure my power in-game is equal or lower to what it should be.

I have no interest in winning races by having inflated power. But every interest in having close racing with any pack Im in.

If that means in a race there are 200 riders, Id rather be battling for 150th place legitimately than battling for 10th place because Im gaming the system.

This next 6 months for me is about seeing if the competitive side keeps me coming back for more.

Right now you can enter nearly every race but a lot will DQ riders post race that are using non-smart trainers (zpower)

Zwift have been trialling pen enforcement to prevent zpower riders entering so you could find as things progress less races are available for non-smart trainers.

If i were you i’d get the heart race monitor and give HR2VP a try as a first step but as you already know a smart trainer is going to give the best experience longer term

Back after a couple of test runs. Thought I’d post my findings for anyone with similar questions.

Have to say - difference between using wahoo speed & cadence sensor to HR2VP and heart monitor is night and day. So much better with the heart rate monitor (more accurate and no power limit). But I am keeping the Wahoo cadence sensor - explained later

On my own, I felt connected to the world. Pedalling faster raised heart rate, which made me go faster.
Slow down, heart rate drops, bike goes slower. Yes, it takes 5-10s to start adjusting your power after the HR begins to rise, but didnt feel like a huge issue for someone who just wants to sweat, keep fit and race (but with no major emphasis on winning, just riding and fighting for whoever I end up with at the end of a race).

Using HR2VP does take a bit of self management.

For example, I hit an hill then turned up my bike resistance. Problem was, my heart rate hadn’t risen yet so therefore I slowed on the hill till my heart rate increased (say about 10s). Once it did, I was going up fine. Trick here is to anticipate the hill and increase resistance 5-10s before, likewise when at the peak.
What is great is that, to quickly get my heart rate up, the best thing to do is crank up the resistance - which in turn mimics the hill.

Riding in a group: Found it difficult to keep at a pace with my group ride, using heart rate figure. I’d pedal a bit faster but then would go past them by 2-3s as rate kept rising for a few secs, so I slowed pedalling to get heart rate down and then I’d drop back by 2-3s as my HR would keep dropping. Not easy to know exactly where HR will be - once it starts rising will it go up 5bpm or 10 bpm - makes a difference to overall power.
Trick I found was to watch my RPMs (hence keeping my Wahoo cadence sensor) rather than heart rate. If I kept (on the flat) at 85-88rpm then I stayed with them nicely. If I went a little ahead then easy to ease off a tiny bit and do 82-85rpm. If they went quicker, then go up to 88-95rpm and see if that caught me up

So the clear downside is that there is a bit of number watching, but I found I was generally cycling away, watching the cyclists infront of me, pedalled a bit faster to catch them and glanced at rpm to see what figure I should hold it at.

If anyone shows an interest, happy to post more findings as I go along. I do agree that for a true experience its going to have to be a smart trainer. But, for anyone like me, unsure how far they want to take this hobby … so far … this feels a pretty damn good introduction.

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Thanks Karl for your feedback, I am the developer of the app. I don’t know if you have already tried this option but if you need more control, you can connect your cadence sensor to HR2VP and enable power modulation. With this option active, the power output will be the same in average but you will be able to modulate your wattage in the short term according to your cadence.

However, if I take your example of hitting a hill, it would be better just to pedal faster to increase your power output a little bit but without increasing the resistance, because in this case, you will tend to pedal slower which will reduce power. I fully agree with you: modulation with cadence is much easier than with heart rate and this is possible with HR2VP.

Yes, got cadence sensor connected in the app now. Doing a 17km ride tonight so will see how the hills go.

So far, tend to find I have to get my heart rate up fast to maintain pace uphill. Pedalling faster doesn’t get my HR up as quickly as pedalling harder through resistance (which in turn is good as it simulates the strain of a hill anyway). But will try both methods tonight.

Did my race. Tried some hills by pedalling harder. It helped to get up the hill but just “felt” wrong - in the sense that I was pedalling very fast, but on-screen was going slower.

Tried adjusting resistance for rest of my race. Seemed to keep a similar speed, but “felt” correct. My legs pushing against the resistance of my spin bike, which in turn raised heart rate and made me feel like I was on a hill.

Doing either of the above tended to keep a similar speed up the hill … my advice would be to try both and see which works for you. For me, getting my heart rate up to a decent level (mine was around 130bpm) meant that any resistance adjustments were quicker to take effect.

Tip: Before starting a race, get your heart rate up to your “pace” speed. Mine was around 110bpm when race started and I was slow. I should have started race with heart rate around 130bpm to be “up to speed” via HR2VP and Zwift.

Don’t do races with HR2VP…it’s even worse than Zpower. Your HR is always behind your effort (at least 10sec) For free ride it can be OK because you are by yourself.

Its not going to be perfectly accurate, but its not bad at all for a cheap, decent way into Zwift.

Did a race and finished close to last. I could have pushed harder in the first part, but cycling is new to me so paced myself. That said, got 33m 51s over an 17.7km race. 10km runs I get around 55-58m depending on course.

So taking the 1:3 ratio (if I can do 10km in 1 hour, then roughly speaking I can do 10k in 20m on a bike) it seems close.

Doing the same race tomorrow, I know I can push harder in the first half so will be interesting to see how much time I knock off. But expecting it will still show I’m a D category rider, but a decent one rather than almost last.

So long as I try to play fair and its putting me in the right category then seems acceptable. I never know, I may be against at 17stone guy who has a Kickr Core but entered his weight as 10stone. So accuracy is only as good as the honesty of each rider I guess.

I understand your point - and would agree if I felt my stats were completely wrong (as they were when I first tried with a Wahoo speed & cadence sensor). But the HR2VP app with HR strap (and I use cadence sensor too) has really impressed me.

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If you don’t know what your true FTP is, your stats will be completely wrong.


So, did my second race - the official Zwift Stages event (Stage 2).

Knew I could push a bit more than last week.

HR2VP set up with Wahoo HR strap and cadence sensor. Got HR up by cycling 2 mins before race started.

Felt really good. Was only of the slowest in my race (is this because HR2VP is holding me back vs a smart trainer - no idea). But what I do know is that I cycled, worked hard, adjusted resistance on spin bike to mimic the hills I was cycling up and it all felt very connected.

Whilst the dev suggested, that for hills, cycling faster was better for power accuracy I find that off-putting. I’m sprinting on my bike but going slowly up an hill. So, for me personally, I adjust the resistance to mimic the gradient of the hill. 1% is half turn on my spin bike, so for 4% I do 4 half turns. May not be the most accurate way to do it, but tends to feel about right and, as my peddling slows and becomes a slog this is reflected on my TV screen with the climb

So… for me, this feels like a really good way to try out Zwift and get involved. Especially if you have a spin bike already - just get a cadence sensor (Wahoo about £30) and an HR strap (I went for Wahoo at £40). Then the HR2VP app at something like £2.99 per month.
Its a very cheap method, and, if you try it out for 2 weeks (3 10-20km rides per week plus short tests) and don’t like it just return the sensor and HR strap (assuming you can like with Amazon)

And Amazon throws it away, like anything coming back… Hundreds, thousands, hundreds thousands people live this way, clothing, electronics, everything you can imagine.

Our throwaway society is sick.


I assume returned items go to a second hand market.
Returning something isnt throwing it away. If a company throws it then thats on them.

In this particular case, its likely people will be happy with the cheap entry into Zwift.

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No, Amazon say the logistics is too expensive.

And I am sure Zwift also want the cheapest option for people to use Zwift, that is why they spend all the time to include Appel and android phones. They would like to lower the barrier to entry.

If it bothers people, then obviously borrow a sensor from a friend first and try it out or don’t bother.
For me, felt it was worth trying out given a few reviews I’d seen, and has been good so far.