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zwift users

jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 4,752Member Member Posts: 4,752Member Member
I'm thinking (again) about taking a stab at Zwift this winter.

My options are my bike on a dumb trainer with speed and cadence sensors, or a stationary bike at my gym that can measure speed/cadence/power. But in both cases, Zwift won't be able to control resistance.

So when I'm riding, I will have to manually adjust resistance based on whatever Zwift is showing me, right? In that sense, aside from the community aspect, it's no different than following along to a DVD or some other program/workout, is it?

Or am I completely missing something?

Replies

  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,126Member Member Posts: 3,126Member Member
    Zwift will only show you a power target if you're in workout mode (or whatever they call it) or if you're doing a group workout. They base it off of a percentage of your FTP. In both of your scenarios you'll have to adjust the resistance/gear ratio/how much power you're putting through the pedals to meet that goal. So yeah, no different than following a DVD.

    Theres no target if you're just riding around zwift though and given your set up, you won't feel the simulated hills.
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 4,752Member Member Posts: 4,752Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    Zwift will only show you a power target if you're in workout mode (or whatever they call it) or if you're doing a group workout. They base it off of a percentage of your FTP. In both of your scenarios you'll have to adjust the resistance/gear ratio/how much power you're putting through the pedals to meet that goal. So yeah, no different than following a DVD.

    Theres no target if you're just riding around zwift though and given your set up, you won't feel the simulated hills.

    Then am I also correct in this assumption...

    If I bought a smart trainer that Zwift could control... Zwift would control the resistance at the wheel to simulate hills and such? I would then shift and/or adjust cadence/power/etc based on whatever I was trying to accomplish that ride?
    edited November 5
  • heytimslaheytimsla Posts: 300Member Member Posts: 300Member Member
    In erg life it’ll adjust for you basically just keep your cadence where you want it
    If you shift it’ll just adjust to that shortly after.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,126Member Member Posts: 3,126Member Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    Zwift will only show you a power target if you're in workout mode (or whatever they call it) or if you're doing a group workout. They base it off of a percentage of your FTP. In both of your scenarios you'll have to adjust the resistance/gear ratio/how much power you're putting through the pedals to meet that goal. So yeah, no different than following a DVD.

    Theres no target if you're just riding around zwift though and given your set up, you won't feel the simulated hills.

    Then am I also correct in this assumption...

    If I bought a smart trainer that Zwift could control... Zwift would control the resistance at the wheel to simulate hills and such? I would then shift and/or adjust cadence/power/etc based on whatever I was trying to accomplish that ride?

    Like heytimsla said, if you have your smart trainer on erg mode* (which I suspect most people do) while you're in a workout, it will try to keep you within the range of power it is telling you to be in. It won't simulate the gradient and I'm honestly not sure that you can set it so that it will simulate the gradient of the roads within a workout. I'm almost positive you can't. It basically removes an element of thinking and a control from you which I think a lot of people probably like. Physically you're working just as hard, you just don't have to think about shifting gears or changing your cadence.

    * I sometimes sigh at this becuase this is the one time I use the word "erg" in a context other than rowing
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 4,752Member Member Posts: 4,752Member Member
    OK, thanks.

    There's a piece of this I'm missing somewhere... I think just need to try Zwift somewhere and see WTF it's all about.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,126Member Member Posts: 3,126Member Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    OK, thanks.

    There's a piece of this I'm missing somewhere... I think just need to try Zwift somewhere and see WTF it's all about.

    I don't have time to find a link right this second, but Shane Miller and DC Rainmaker should both have intro videos about Zwift. I'd check Shane's youtube channel first as he has far more videos about Zwift than Ray Maker does. Another thing that the sensors on your bike/trainer/spin bike need to be able to broadcast in ANT+ or bluetooth and you need to have a sensor (built in or a dongle) that can accept those signals.

    But yeah, I would suggest just trying it. Zwift has a free trial of I don't remember how many km that resets once a month so you don't have to invest in a subscription just yet.
  • helen_goldthorpehelen_goldthorpe Posts: 15Member Member Posts: 15Member Member
    Yes, give it a go. Even with a smart trainer I sometimes do workouts with erg mode off, just controlling my effort with gears. Mainly sprint efforts where erg either reacts too slow or gets me into the cadence spiral of doom. The smart turbo has benefits if you want erg mode or if you are riding round the worlds out of workout mode and want to feel the hills. It works with a dumb turbo, but if you get hooked you may find yourself wanting to upgrade.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,381Member Member Posts: 9,381Member Member
    Some shops have a Zwift setup for customers to try/play with, because it helps them sell smart trainers.
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 4,752Member Member Posts: 4,752Member Member
    One more question...

    Can I Zwift right on my android phone/tablet, or do I really NEED a computer/apple TV? The app makes it sound like I can, but the Zwift website make it sound like I can't...
    edited November 7
  • helen_goldthorpehelen_goldthorpe Posts: 15Member Member Posts: 15Member Member
    I haven't tried the Android app but I think that it depends what device you have - it works with some but not everything. There are two apps - the main one and the companion. You use companion alongside another device (I run zwift on a PC and have companion on my phone on the bars to make turns etc).
  • heytimslaheytimsla Posts: 300Member Member Posts: 300Member Member
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,126Member Member Posts: 3,126Member Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    One more question...

    Can I Zwift right on my android phone/tablet, or do I really NEED a computer/apple TV? The app makes it sound like I can, but the Zwift website make it sound like I can't...

    You can use it on your phone, yes. If your phone has an ANT+ sensor then that won't work (which I'm not sure they're going to enable), but if you're connecting sensors over bluetooth, then yes, you can use your android phone. You'll want to download the main app for that, not Zwift companion.
  • heytimslaheytimsla Posts: 300Member Member Posts: 300Member Member
    Also worth nothing is that there is a Bluetooth limit on Apple TV which is kind of a pain if you use say a wahoo hr strap, 4iii power meter, and and Garmin cadence sensor.
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 4,752Member Member Posts: 4,752Member Member
    Did about an hour tonight with my dumb, unsupported trainer, speed/cadence sensors, and my phone mirrored to my tv. Took me most of that time to figure out the interface, data, etc... but it worked.

    I didn't love it enough to run it and buy a new, expensive trainer, but I think i did like it enough to sign up for a month of the paid service.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,381Member Member Posts: 9,381Member Member
    heytimsla wrote: »
    Also worth nothing is that there is a Bluetooth limit on Apple TV which is kind of a pain if you use say a wahoo hr strap, 4iii power meter, and and Garmin cadence sensor.

    Your 4iii doesn't give you cadence?
  • kcjchangkcjchang Posts: 662Member Member Posts: 662Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    while you're in a workout,... I'm honestly not sure that you can set it so that it will simulate the gradient of the roads within a workout.
    If the interval block is coded as an erg segment, you can turn the block into simulation mode by turning off "erg" in the game setting. The % increment, % of FTP in erg, will become set resistance level. How well that "level" correspond to a slope depends on your trainer and coder at Zwift. On my Elite Drivo, the resistance is uniform so not very realistic. If you want to do hill repeats, it's best to use the game terrain with a "freeride" block with Flatroad tag turn off.
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