Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Need a wheel-on trainer with Zwift compatibility and resistance adj.

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Need a wheel-on trainer with Zwift compatibility and resistance adj.

Old 04-12-22, 02:38 PM
  #1  
schwim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
schwim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Coastal VA, US
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 19 Posts
Need a wheel-on trainer with Zwift compatibility and resistance adj.

Hello there, everyone!

I'm struggling to dig my way out of a poor physical condition and would like to ride more than I can right now. I've always hated just sitting on a stationary bike and staring into space for an hour or so and my brother is using something that I thought was pretty cool-Zwift. The issue I have is that I need to get into it as inexpensively as possible. I'd like a wheel on trainer due to it's simplicity and being able to just mount whatever bike is handy to use.

What I can't seem to figure out is if there's a wheel-on trainer that supports the ability to change resistance as you're riding. I'm reading Amazon reviews and specifications and it keeps mentioning that a model can "with a speed sensor" which is where I get stuck.

Can anyone tell me the least expensive method of getting into a Zwift-compatible trainer that can handle changing the resistance based on the Zwift ride?

Thanks for your time!
schwim is offline  
Old 04-12-22, 03:00 PM
  #2  
Mad Honk 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 2,002

Bikes: Schwinn Paramounts, Othon Ochsner, Masi, Faggin

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 836 Post(s)
Liked 893 Times in 611 Posts
Easiest and cheapest is to find a wind trainer and use the different gears on the bike to increase or decrease resistance. Smiles, MH
Mad Honk is offline  
Likes For Mad Honk:
Old 04-12-22, 03:01 PM
  #3  
philbob57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chicago North Shore
Posts: 2,115

Bikes: frankenbike based on MKM frame

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
Liked 451 Times in 282 Posts
Kurt Kinetics' Road Machine Control will do that; it's on sale for $349. It looks like they're closing them out in favor of their wheel-off trainer that starts at $349.
philbob57 is offline  
Likes For philbob57:
Old 04-12-22, 04:05 PM
  #4  
tempocyclist
Full Member
 
tempocyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 481

Bikes: 2002 Trek 5200 (US POSTAL), 2020 Canyon Aeroad SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Liked 355 Times in 184 Posts
Wahoo KICKR Snap. Not the cheapest, but it's well built, very reliable and accurate. Gives a great "road feel" with automatic resistance control. It's one of the best wheel-on smart trainers you can buy.

If that's in your price range then you will not be disappointed.
tempocyclist is offline  
Likes For tempocyclist:
Old 04-12-22, 04:51 PM
  #5  
Viich
Hack
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,108

Bikes: TrueNorth CX bike, 88 Bianchi Strada (currently Sturmey'd), 90's Giant Innova (now with drop bars), FMF Race BMX, Redline Proline Pro24 Cruiser

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 295 Post(s)
Liked 107 Times in 80 Posts
Originally Posted by schwim View Post
Hello there, everyone!

I'm struggling to dig my way out of a poor physical condition and would like to ride more than I can right now. I've always hated just sitting on a stationary bike and staring into space for an hour or so and my brother is using something that I thought was pretty cool-Zwift. The issue I have is that I need to get into it as inexpensively as possible. I'd like a wheel on trainer due to it's simplicity and being able to just mount whatever bike is handy to use.

What I can't seem to figure out is if there's a wheel-on trainer that supports the ability to change resistance as you're riding. I'm reading Amazon reviews and specifications and it keeps mentioning that a model can "with a speed sensor" which is where I get stuck.

Can anyone tell me the least expensive method of getting into a Zwift-compatible trainer that can handle changing the resistance based on the Zwift ride?

Thanks for your time!
There are a few very good wheel-on trainers that do have controllable resistance. I used a Kickr Snap for several years. I'm not sure it's the absolute cheapest, but it's less expensive than direct-drive options and is very solidly built.

I will say though - I know it seems now like a wheel-on trainer is easier - it's actually as easy and faster to install a bike on a direct-drive trainer than a wheel on.
Viich is offline  
Likes For Viich:
Old 04-12-22, 05:39 PM
  #6  
genejockey 
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 11,836

Bikes: Litespeed Ultimate, Ultegra; Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6553 Post(s)
Liked 6,895 Times in 3,532 Posts
Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
Wahoo KICKR Snap. Not the cheapest, but it's well built, very reliable and accurate. Gives a great "road feel" with automatic resistance control. It's one of the best wheel-on smart trainers you can buy.

If that's in your price range then you will not be disappointed.
Totally agree. If you don't want to/can't afford to buy one new, you might find one on Craigs List or FB Marketplace for a lot less. I've had one for a year and some, and it's great! When I used to try to keep fit through the winter with a stationary trainer, I had a hell of a time riding more than about 40 minutes at a time and I ended up so dreading the sessions that after a few weeks I'd give up altogether. With Zwift, I'll do 3-4 sessions of an hour plus through the winter, plus a long ride on Sundays if weather allows, so I don't start in Spring with no fitness.

I have used a "dumb trainer" on Zwift, with 'Zpower', which is Zwift's way of calculating power output, using the resistance profile of a number of models they've tested, plus your cadence, and the input from a speed sensor on your rear wheel. Resistance doesn't change, so you have to change gears to make it harder or easier with terrain. And of course you're changing gears the opposite to how you do it on the road - going to a smaller cogs when you reach a hill, instead of larger, for example. And it's pretty optimistic, which is why they don't let riders using zPower to win races.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."

"Everybody's gotta be somewhere." - Eccles
genejockey is online now  
Likes For genejockey:
Old 04-12-22, 08:10 PM
  #7  
RChung
Perceptual Dullard
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,968
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked 634 Times in 260 Posts
Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Totally agree. If you don't want to/can't afford to buy one new, you might find one on Craigs List or FB Marketplace for a lot less. I've had one for a year and some, and it's great! When I used to try to keep fit through the winter with a stationary trainer, I had a hell of a time riding more than about 40 minutes at a time and I ended up so dreading the sessions that after a few weeks I'd give up altogether. With Zwift, I'll do 3-4 sessions of an hour plus through the winter, plus a long ride on Sundays if weather allows, so I don't start in Spring with no fitness.

I have used a "dumb trainer" on Zwift, with 'Zpower', which is Zwift's way of calculating power output, using the resistance profile of a number of models they've tested, plus your cadence, and the input from a speed sensor on your rear wheel. Resistance doesn't change, so you have to change gears to make it harder or easier with terrain. And of course you're changing gears the opposite to how you do it on the road - going to a smaller cogs when you reach a hill, instead of larger, for example. And it's pretty optimistic, which is why they don't let riders using zPower to win races.
This is good advice.

If your budget is really limited and you're unsure if you really want to get into it, you can often find a dumb wheel-on trainer on Craigslist or Ebay for under $50 (or better yet, perhaps you can borrow one from a friend for a couple of weeks), then get a Bluetooth speed sensor for your rear wheel for $20. Then sign up for Zwift's free 30-day trial. It's not as nice as something like the Wahoo Kickr Snap because you have to shift gears to change the resistance but it will give you an idea of whether you'd like it. You'll probably also want a big ass box fan.
RChung is offline  
Likes For RChung:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.