I recently bought myself a Smart Turbo Trainer with the aim of using Zwift to train at home. This post explains some of the considerations and thoughts.
Part 1: Pre-requisites
To use Zwift fully you need the following:
1. Smart Trainer that supports ANT FEC-C that allows it to adjust the intensity remotely
2. Cadence Sensor – A lot of Smart Trainers don’t offer Cadence, this little gem attaches to the crank arm (the bit the pedal attaches to and shows how many revolutions per minute you are hitting
3. Heart Rate Transmission – my Forerunner 235 allows me to broadcast Heart Rate
4. ANT+ sensor to collate the Cadence and Heart Rate
5. 3 metre USB extension cable – so the ANT+ dongle is closer to the trainer
6. Computer running Zwift
Part 2. Software Install and Account Setup
1. Download Zwift from their site
2. Enter your name and email adress to register with Zwift
3. I signed up to Strava using my Google details
4. Link Zwift with Strava, this way activities are uploaded to Strava
5. Optional. I use tapriik to sync between Strava and Garmin (which is my prime source of my workouts)
Part 3. Setup Hardware
1. Follow your trainer instructions for me it was a case of following this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mgqD3jm_ak
2. Calibrate Trainer – once again you need to refer to your trainer instructions but I used an app provided by Tacx, you cycle to 30 kph and it measures calibration based on how long it takes the wheel to stop spinning.
3. Watch and follow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg0IDDmSStw
A picture of my setup is below:
Part 4. Ride
1. I logged in and selected Random ride – it picked a London route, As I was only testing it, I stopped at two miles. OK I admit it, I got tired.
The output is this:
Summary and closing thoughts:
1. It wasn’t as noisy as I thought
2. I think Zwift is over egging my speed, I am not sure if I cycled at 18 mph
3. I now have cadence and power figures, which sounds Pro even if I don’t know what it means
4. I got hot, I need a fan or something
5. It was quite a detached feeling – I was expecting a VR scenerio that replicated the real world – I don’t think I got that
Tomorrow I will try a longer ride.