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Budgeting for Indoor Virtual Trainer - how much $?

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Budgeting for Indoor Virtual Trainer - how much $?

Old 03-25-20, 10:08 AM
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sultanofsuede
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Budgeting for Indoor Virtual Trainer - how much $?

i've been wanting to set one of these up at home for a couple years, and now that i can't really go to the gym, i think my wife will be OK if i shift the gym membership $ to an decent home setup. had some questions on what i really need to make it a nice experience at home.

is wahoo the way to go? i see there are a couple models? can't really tell the difference.

what other wahoo 'stuff' should i figure need to be purchased?

thinking zwift is the way to go. i need that right? or does some kind of subscription come with the wahoo purchase? (or any other trainer?)

how much is zwift? (or other suggested services)

can i use my phone for my rides? do i need to buy an ipad (my old one is owned by my kids now)? would any ol' cheaper tablet work?

can i hook up to a larger TV? if so, does it have to be a smart TV? or would a chrome or roku stick work?

knowing that i would typically use this in the cooler months, are there things i need to update or repurchase every year to stay up to date?

what else? any options you folks have found that are cool hacks to save a few bucks but still have a choice setup?

thanks - hope we're all outside riding more soon!
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Old 03-25-20, 02:55 PM
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Marylander
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There are some trainer deals out there:
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/sports-deals-edition

You can also use that site to read reviews of the different options.

I've got a tacx vortex which works just fine with zwift.
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Old 03-25-20, 07:32 PM
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Joe G
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Wow lots of questions sultanofsuede...;-)...It's good to ask before you commit.

is wahoo the way to go?
All of the trainers have their strengths and weaknesses. Whenever I buy something I always look at what people are buying and then I look at the support. If there is not support then I pass. Check out what the support is like in your area for Wahoo. I opted to buy used and picked up a Kickr. I'm very happy with it.

what other wahoo 'stuff' should i figure need to be purchased?
There's really no other Wahoo stuff you need, if all you want to do is train. You can get other items in the Wahoo ecosystem to make the experience more immersive, but they are not required to train.



thinking zwift is the way to go. i need that right?
Zwift is very popular, because of its training & social aspect. If you want to train there are all kinds of other training apps for Smart Trainers. They all offer Free Trial periods, so you can check them out.

how much is zwift? (or other suggested services)
The Smart Trainer apps vary from $7 - $25.

can i use my phone for my rides? do i need to buy an ipad (my old one is owned by my kids now)? would any ol' cheaper tablet work?
This question is tricky. It's dependent on the app and what devices they want to support. The apps generally support IOS(Apple), Android & Wiindows operating systems. They apps work on phones, tablets and desktop/laptop computers. Again check out what works for you with the free trial period.

can i hook up to a larger TV? if so, does it have to be a smart TV? or would a chrome or roku stick work?
You can hook up to a large TV, but it all depends on what operating system you use and the device you use the app on.

knowing that i would typically use this in the cooler months, are there things i need to update or repurchase every year to stay up to date?
The only thing you need to repurchase is your subscription to the training app.

what else? any options you folks have found that are cool hacks to save a few bucks but still have a choice setup?

I made a Youtube video about stuff I had to contend with after I bought my Smart Trainer. Check it out it may help answer some more of your questions. Link is below.

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Old 04-02-20, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede View Post
i've been wanting to set one of these up at home for a couple years, and now that i can't really go to the gym, i think my wife will be OK if i shift the gym membership $ to an decent home setup. had some questions on what i really need to make it a nice experience at home.

is wahoo the way to go? i see there are a couple models? can't really tell the difference.

what other wahoo 'stuff' should i figure need to be purchased?

--A large fan. I prefer larger fans that can move lots of air at lower speeds. I have an 18" Patton. It's excellent.

thinking zwift is the way to go. i need that right? or does some kind of subscription come with the wahoo purchase? (or any other trainer?)

--There are other services, like Rouvy, but Zwift is the most complete (IMO).

how much is zwift? (or other suggested services)

--About $15/month.

can i use my phone for my rides? do i need to buy an ipad (my old one is owned by my kids now)? would any ol' cheaper tablet work?

--You can use your phone, but you'll get frustrated quickly. A tablet is better. But BE SURE to check Zwift's compatibility list FIRST!

can i hook up to a larger TV? if so, does it have to be a smart TV? or would a chrome or roku stick work?

--Zwift works on newer Apple TV devices. If you can use a PC with a large screen. If you're in the Apple ecosystem you can "AirPlay" to an Apple TV, as well.

knowing that i would typically use this in the cooler months, are there things i need to update or repurchase every year to stay up to date?

--No

what else? any options you folks have found that are cool hacks to save a few bucks but still have a choice setup?

--Keep it basic to start, and respond to your own needs. There are some ver elaborate "pain caves" out there, but all you really need is the bike, trainer, and a device to view Zwift on.

thanks - hope we're all outside riding more soon!
No Kidding!
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Old 04-03-20, 05:17 AM
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I have the Wahoo kickr snap, the wheel-on trainer. I kind of wish I had a direct-drive, but the Price difference when I bought was significant. There are direct drive cheaper than the Kickr now, there weren't then. If I was buying now and could get my hands on one, I'd consider the 4iiii Fliiiight trainer - wheel on but contactless.

All I have is the trainer, HR monitor (Garmin strap that came with my Edge), cadence sensor (came with Edge) and I use Zwift. Zwift is free to try for up to 25km per month. Road Grand Tours, or RGT cycling I think they call themselves now, are free for now. DCRainmaker just did an app review.
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Old 04-03-20, 11:03 AM
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sultanofsuede
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awesome input - thanks, good people!
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Old 04-03-20, 11:31 AM
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My current low-budget setup...
- Blackburn wind trainer (probably from about 1995)
- Wahoo speed/cadence/HR sensors
- iPad Mini
- Zwift subscription.




$15/mo for Zwift was the only additional cost to get myself going. This setup works. It's not interactive as far as feeling increased/decreased resistance, but it allows me to use the app in a reasonable fashion, and maintain/improve my fitness.

A few things I found out...
- My older iPad doesn't have enough memory, and won't update to the latest version of iOS. It won't work for the Zwift app.
- My wind trainer doesn't show up in the Zwift list of supported trainers, so I started with the generic "classic" trainer setting. The power curve was WAY off, and I could barely maintain a displayed measure of 120W (I'm not THAT far out of shape). I changed the trainer selection to "Cyclops Fluid 2", and it's much more realistic. I'm not sure it's exactly accurate, but it's close enough to make the app usable and enjoyable.

I'm in the process of upgrading my display size using a couple of other things I already have - 20" computer monitor, and Apple TV.
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