Zwift on Spin Bike?

Apologies if this has been asked before.

Requirement is to setup a bike with Zwift.
I was planning on getting a spin bike… is this a good idea?

Can some one please point out what the best budget setup would be to get a zwift setup up and running?


Hello! What do you want in a setup? By “best,” are you asking for cheapest, most engaging/interactive (won’t be cheapest), or a mixture of the two? Also, do you have a bicycle already (seems likely, but have to ask)?


Nope… have nothing at the moment. Was actually going to purchase a spin bike today but held off as I want the zwift experience.

Ideally would like resistance control.
What would be the cheapest way to achieve this?
Bike + a smart trainer?

Don’t buy a spin bike


I figured… that’s why I held back :smiley:

Could I get any cheap bike and a turbo trainer?

For resistance, yes—bike + smart trainer. Of
course that’s only the beginning of the discussion, since there are a lot of smart trainers available at a wide range of prices.

Do you intend to start riding outside, too? I only ask because if not, you don’t need anything fancy in terms of a bike (wouldn’t for outside either, but some people like that kind of thing). Think about it, depending on the trainer, you wouldn’t even need a rear wheel, you don’t need brakes, etc. So…

  1. used bike (ebay?)
  2. smart trainer (have to decide on which one)

You also need a system (computer, Apple TV, tablet, etc) Do you have any of these already?

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Outside cycling - not really… maybe the odd occasion however until the end of year atleast it will be indoor training.

Again excuse the lack of knowledge in this area but is there anything specific I need to look out on a bike?

Smart trainer > Kickr, tacx, elite… which one is the cheapest that would do resistance?

Already have computer, apple tv, tables etc so that is sorted.

What kind of figure should I be looking at to achieve me goal?

My reply on the same question on DCRainmaker(dot)com…:

Fluid trainer such as a Saris Fluid2 or Kurt Kinetic Fluid and a speed sensor. Depending on where you are these are found used for ~$150. Get fluid…do not mess around with magnetic. Other option is to check Zwift for compatible trainers. Somewhere on their website. Compatible means they have a Speed vs resistance curve for the trainer and Fluid trainers are reasonably repeatable.

Next Best:
A much experience can be had with a wheel on SMART trainer such as Wahoo Kickr Snap or Saris M1/M2. Search around and you should be able find one used unless you are in the woods. Wheel on means it will work with just about any bike. If you have a road bike get a trainer wheel…$30 on Amazon or wherever. If a mountain/hybrid, get a slick with a solid casing and not a glue on tread. The glue will melt from the heat. Elite and TACX have their versions and are probably more available in Europe.

Much better:
Direct drive but if you have less than 7-8 speeds, might not be possible. Or at the least, difficult/PITA.

Money to burn:
Get a bike: Wahoo Kickr, Tacx, Watt bike (although some issues with Watt bike per Zwift forums) and Stages. DO NOT GET A REGULAR SPIN BIKE WHERE YOU MANUALLY CONTROL RESISTANCE…SCHWINN IC4/8, PELOTON, ETC. It will become an exercise in frustration.

If you find something and are not sure…ASK before purchasing. Just because the device claims Zwift compatibility does not necessarily mean it is so…SCHWINN…Here or on Zwift forums people will readily help you out.

Good luck…it can be addictive…it got me to climb the Zwift Alp and I have weight, age, and inability to breathe working against me.

Thank you!

Do all 3 of these options have the ability to change resistance automatically?

Was looking to spend up to £400/500 for both bike and trainer. As mentioned earlier the bike can be basic. Mountain or road bike? just have a look at used ones and not sure on sizes etc.

No, a basic wheel on fluid trainer, also known as a dumb trainer, will not automatically change resistance.

Something like the Wahoo Kickr Snap will change resistance and is also a wheel on “smart” trainer. Smart usually only means that it will broadcast your power or watts via BLE or ANT+, not necessarily that it will change resistance, so be careful and read the description, do your research first. A good place to find reviews is DC Rainmaker’s website. He has an entire buyers guide for trainers ranging from the high end to the low end.

I would suggest a road bike because the gearing will be better suited for Zwift. With a mountain bike you might find that the biggest gear isn’t powerful enough and you will "spin out’ on the flats. Look for a road bike with 10 or 11 cogs on the rear cassette. And as you mention, size is important. You want it to be the right fit for you or it will be uncomfortable. I would suggest going to your local bike shop (LBS) and ask them if they have any used bikes and they may help find something that will fit your size.

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I’m fairly new to Zwift but can tell you that it connects flawlessly to a Concept2 Bikeerg right out of the box. Other than the Bikeerg and its PM5, I have a tablet attached with the C2 tablet mount, a Wahoo TICKR FIT heart monitor, and that’s all. Since I don’t own a regular bike none of the smart trainers make sense for me. If you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to ride, the Bikeerg is around $1K for everything you need and works great. Concept2 is a great company with great support and you have to try pretty hard to break their stuff. I don’t see any real drawbacks and will stick with this set up until I’m ready to shell out for something like a Wahoo kickr bike.

My wife would also be using this setup.
I am 6ft 2"
She is 5ft 6"

What kind of bike would be compatible to be used on a smart direct trainer? unisex? I don’t fancy purchasing 2 bikes!