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Virtual Smart Trainer Setup

Old 10-24-18, 07:37 PM
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jefnvk
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Virtual Smart Trainer Setup

I am curious, for those of you who have smart trainers, what apps and electronics are you using with them? I picked up a Wahoo Kickr earlier this year, and while I have played with the Wahoo app a bit, I'd like to get into something like Zwift or similar. Is it worth the $15 a month? Is there a cheaper/free alternative that works well? Any recommendations on which one/how to rig up a tablet to control it and display the app?
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Old 10-26-18, 12:57 AM
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Old 10-26-18, 04:09 AM
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I've been using Zwift for 2 years now with my Wahoo smart trainer - I think it is definitely worth the $$.

A competitor to Zwift is Virtugo, currently in beta testing so it is free. It has a few routes and several training plans you can ride. Definitely not even close to Zwift in depth/breadth, but you get a very similar riding experience to Zwift. It won't be free forever.

If you are a racer, there is Sufferfest and TrainerRoad.

Biking to videos never worked for me, YMMV.
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Old 10-26-18, 07:33 AM
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Old 10-26-18, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
I've been using Zwift for 2 years now with my Wahoo smart trainer - I think it is definitely worth the $$.

A competitor to Zwift is Virtugo, currently in beta testing so it is free. It has a few routes and several training plans you can ride. Definitely not even close to Zwift in depth/breadth, but you get a very similar riding experience to Zwift. It won't be free forever.

If you are a racer, there is Sufferfest and TrainerRoad.

Biking to videos never worked for me, YMMV.
Same here, on all counts. I run zwift on my desk top and have a 25 foot HDMI cable running to the 49 inch 4k TV that's about 4 feet in front of my bike. Before that, I just ran it on a laptop in front of my bike... it's less "immersive" but you still get the gist of it.
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Old 10-26-18, 02:56 PM
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Zwift for me. Apple MacBook HDMI to a TV and ANT+ connection. I've been using it since it was in its beta infancy. It is more like an animated game but I like it. Lots of events with other riders, workouts and easy to design your own. I have used RoadGrandTours app which is cool because it is a real road vid game but the vid was kind of jerky and that bothers me. I think Rouvy looks interesting as well, tho I've not tried it.
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Old 10-26-18, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I am curious, for those of you who have smart trainers, what apps and electronics are you using with them? I picked up a Wahoo Kickr earlier this year, and while I have played with the Wahoo app a bit, I'd like to get into something like Zwift or similar. Is it worth the $15 a month? Is there a cheaper/free alternative that works well? Any recommendations on which one/how to rig up a tablet to control it and display the app?
The Road Cycling subforum is the place for you this time of year, e.g. Can someone tell me what I need to connect to Zwift?

As far as Zwift goes, you can try it out for free (they give you a 7 day trial then 25km free monthly, I think) to see if it's for you. I like it but find some of the courses sometimes boring (ahem, London, Central Park). If you just want to ride, I find Zwift to be as entertaining as cycling videos on Youtube (hey, France!)/music videos/TV shows. I use Zwift mostly for the stats, fake GPS track they produce, and the live wattage estimate. Doesn't break the bank for me at $10/mo (for now).
If you want to do structured training/workouts, then you're definitely better off with Zwift or TrainerRoad/Sufferfest/etc.
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Old 10-26-18, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
I use Zwift mostly for the stats, fake GPS track they produce, and the live wattage estimate. Doesn't break the bank for me at $10/mo (for now).
You might be able to get most of this from GoldenCheetah (for free), as well.
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Old 10-26-18, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
it's less "immersive" but you still get the gist of it.
Yeah, this is actually going to be stored in the gym at our winter office location, so an "immersive" setup is out of the cards. Gotta drop my iRacing from a large TV three feet in front of me to a laptop screen too

Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
The Road Cycling subforum is the place for you this time of year, e.g. Can someone tell me what I need to connect to Zwift?
...
If you want to do structured training/workouts, then you're definitely better off with Zwift or TrainerRoad/Sufferfest/etc.
Ah, that is where they are hiding! I looked through Electronics and Training, didn't see anything there.

I figured if I got something with the more interactive features like races and such, I'd be more encouraged to actually use it regularly.
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Old 10-26-18, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I am curious, for those of you who have smart trainers, what apps and electronics are you using with them? I picked up a Wahoo Kickr earlier this year, and while I have played with the Wahoo app a bit, I'd like to get into something like Zwift or similar. Is it worth the $15 a month? Is there a cheaper/free alternative that works well? Any recommendations on which one/how to rig up a tablet to control it and display the app?
I was sceptical about Zwift for a long time, but then joined this winter when Rowan was in hospital recovering from his accident. I wanted to do something to stay in shape and also burn stress, but I'd visit him after work, and by the time I got home, it was cold and dark and the last thing I wanted to do was to go outside.

One of my coworkers uses Zwift a lot and has told me quite a bit about it. So in early May, I asked him what I needed to set it up, he told me, I got it, and started riding with Zwift.

It was great! Exactly what I needed.

Then, when Rowan was discharged in early July, I set him up too and he rode Zwift with me as part of his rehab. We can actually ride together on Zwift!

Now that spring is here, we've been riding outside, but we plan to use it again.



Edit: I used to do commercial intervals, which were all right ... but it's fun to ride with people.
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