Zwift

Stick to training related posts.

Moderators: Dux, seeahill

Post Reply
User avatar
Alfred_E._Neuman
Sgt. Major
Posts: 4961
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:13 am
Location: The Usual Gang of Idiots

Zwift

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:29 pm

My palm finally healed up enough from surgery to ride a bike again, which is good because it's my sport of choice for training and racing.
But it's been a rainy pile of shit winter here in the Southeast and the only reliable place I have to ride in Atlanta without dodging city traffic is Stone Mountain park, which is a MASSIVE piece of volcanic rock that drains onto the loop roads for days after any rain. So that's off the table unless I want to be wet and cold for hours at a stretch.

Enter Zwift. We picked up a "smart" trainer for the bikes for Christmas and it came with a free month of the app. Zwift if a virtual cycling world with tons of different courses and it links up to the smart trainer so your avatar rides at the speed you're riding. The trainer measures your wattage and adjusts the speed of your online dude to match the power you're putting out. Zwift also controls the resistance of the trainer so it gets harder to pedal when the road goes up hill and easier when it goes down, so you have to shift gears on your bike just like out on the roads or trails. Also gets easier when you draft someone, etc. There's group meet-ups for big rides, on line races, training plans, and I can even direct message friends that have moved away and we can "ride" together when we can both break away from life for a bit. The training plans let you plug in your Threshold Power (similar to the way you'd plug a 1RM into a lifting plan) and boom - the program sets your trainer to make you ride at the appropriate watts for the given intervals. Crazy simple and no distractions or dangers.

Was totally skeptical of the thing until I tried it. My usual tolerance for inside training is down around zero, but with this "game" I rode nearly 2 hours yesterday and it felt like no big deal. I can see how people get so used to training with this thing that it becomes their main method of training. You can lay down power for as long as your plan or desire calls for, in absolutely safety. Gritting out hard intervals on the roads around here is nearly impossible due to the city, and the group rides here are lethal.

If you ride any king of bike and you fancy a bit of indoor training over the shit weather season, this will make it damn near enjoyable and definitely way more tolerable. And you'll be much fitter when you do get out on the trails or roads.
I don't have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor's dog.

motherjuggs&speed
Gunny
Posts: 646
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:08 am

Re: Zwift

Post by motherjuggs&speed » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:09 pm

Okay, you got me to look into it. What, if anything, sucks about it, or at least makes it not a good choice for some people?

User avatar
nafod
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 12367
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:01 pm
Location: Looking in your window

Re: Zwift

Post by nafod » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:49 pm

Is there a sex doll analog to it?
Don’t believe everything you think.

User avatar
Alfred_E._Neuman
Sgt. Major
Posts: 4961
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:13 am
Location: The Usual Gang of Idiots

Re: Zwift

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:54 pm

No sex doll yet. You might have to unlock that upgrade. I'll let you know when I reach god status.
I don't have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor's dog.

User avatar
Alfred_E._Neuman
Sgt. Major
Posts: 4961
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:13 am
Location: The Usual Gang of Idiots

Re: Zwift

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:07 pm

motherjuggs&speed wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:09 pm
Okay, you got me to look into it. What, if anything, sucks about it, or at least makes it not a good choice for some people?
I think it comes down to your real world cycling experience and what you're looking to get out of it.
As far as I can tell, there are 2 types of indoor home cycling experiences.
First is the Peloton/Nordic track model. These try to duplicate a studio spin class at home. Their bikes (for right now) lock you into their program that streams instructor led workouts almost exactly like what you'd get in a spin class. IMO this would be geared more toward the typical gym goer who just wants a way to have a class experience at home.
Second are the apps like Zwift and Rouvy, with Zwift being by far the most popular. These apps use either your own bike fitted up to a smart trainer or a dedicated indoor bike from a cycling product specific company like Stages, Wahoo, or WattBike, and they're geared toward someone who's probably already a cyclist who'd rather train indoors but get as real of a feel as possible. There's also the video game aspect of Zwift that lets you gain experience points and level up to unlock better bikes/wheels/kits and other shit. That little dopamine hit goes a long way. And if you're competitive, you can jump into pretty intense group rides and even legit races without the fear of taking half your skin off sliding down the road.
Being a cyclist myself, I'm the second type.
Downside would be the cost of entry. If you already have a bike, a good smart trainer is going to set you back a grand or so. I get the bro deal since I was a shop manager and still have connections. We're looking at getting a Stages home bike just for that reason.
And you're riding indoors, which is either a huge plus or a negative depending on how you view it.
I don't have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor's dog.

motherjuggs&speed
Gunny
Posts: 646
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:08 am

Re: Zwift

Post by motherjuggs&speed » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:30 am

Cool, thanks. I have ridden a lot, not competitively but I know I like to ride, or used to anyway. I actually don't have a bike now and am not really looking to ride trails again any time soon. If I'm starting from scratch, what would you recommend as the way to go to start doing this type of indoor riding? I'm definitely not the first type you mentioned, in fact I'm baffled that anyone wants that. I also don't really care about how real it feels, just how comfortable it feels. The one exercise bike I've had was a Weslo recumbent but I need a better riding experience than that if I'm going to do meaningful workouts.

User avatar
newguy
Sgt. Major
Posts: 2521
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:32 am

Re: Zwift

Post by newguy » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:27 pm

I wonder how soon (if it hasn't already happened yet) that VR tech will get incorporated into this. I think that would be a nifty thing...to ride not just in front the screen but in the scene.

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 21100
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Zwift

Post by Turdacious » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:46 am

So basically, at the $1k price point, for a tool a dedicated cyclist would use maybe 3 months a year (winter weather plus really rainy days-- assuming a preference for riding outside as often as feasibly possible), it's worth about $160 a month (assuming a two year payback period)?
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

User avatar
Alfred_E._Neuman
Sgt. Major
Posts: 4961
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:13 am
Location: The Usual Gang of Idiots

Re: Zwift

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:59 am

motherjuggs&speed wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:30 am
Cool, thanks. I have ridden a lot, not competitively but I know I like to ride, or used to anyway. I actually don't have a bike now and am not really looking to ride trails again any time soon. If I'm starting from scratch, what would you recommend as the way to go to start doing this type of indoor riding? I'm definitely not the first type you mentioned, in fact I'm baffled that anyone wants that. I also don't really care about how real it feels, just how comfortable it feels. The one exercise bike I've had was a Weslo recumbent but I need a better riding experience than that if I'm going to do meaningful workouts.
A used bike that fits you well and a smart trainer is all you'd need to get started. You can probably snag the trainer used locally as well. I'd imagine it's like any other piece of gear - people buy them and then don't use it and pass it along.
You should go hit up a local bike shop. A lot of them have a Zwift setup going in store so you can try it out.
I don't have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor's dog.

User avatar
Alfred_E._Neuman
Sgt. Major
Posts: 4961
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:13 am
Location: The Usual Gang of Idiots

Re: Zwift

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:07 am

Turdacious wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:46 am
So basically, at the $1k price point, for a tool a dedicated cyclist would use maybe 3 months a year (winter weather plus really rainy days-- assuming a preference for riding outside as often as feasibly possible), it's worth about $160 a month (assuming a two year payback period)?
You'd be surprised how much training is moving indoors for cyclists, even at the pretty elite levels. And the vast majority of fast amateurs who train and race while working full time are moving inside just because of how efficient, convenient, and safe it is. Training programs like Sufferfest (another training app that's geared toward improving race/event performance) dial you into the exact power numbers to drive improvement, and doing it inside on a trainer or bike that holds that power is probably an order of magnitude more effective than trying to duplicate those same intervals on the road.

Do your hard training sessions inside in a controlled environment at any time of day that works for you, then do your fun rides outside with friends. Race on the weekends.

edit: Cycling Weekly just posted a video on this exact subject
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZiWey6YanM
I don't have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor's dog.

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 21100
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Zwift

Post by Turdacious » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:24 pm

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:07 am
Turdacious wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:46 am
So basically, at the $1k price point, for a tool a dedicated cyclist would use maybe 3 months a year (winter weather plus really rainy days-- assuming a preference for riding outside as often as feasibly possible), it's worth about $160 a month (assuming a two year payback period)?
You'd be surprised how much training is moving indoors for cyclists, even at the pretty elite levels. And the vast majority of fast amateurs who train and race while working full time are moving inside just because of how efficient, convenient, and safe it is. Training programs like Sufferfest (another training app that's geared toward improving race/event performance) dial you into the exact power numbers to drive improvement, and doing it inside on a trainer or bike that holds that power is probably an order of magnitude more effective than trying to duplicate those same intervals on the road.

Do your hard training sessions inside in a controlled environment at any time of day that works for you, then do your fun rides outside with friends. Race on the weekends.

edit: Cycling Weekly just posted a video on this exact subject
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZiWey6YanM
That makes sense. Thanks!
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

User avatar
Kirk
Gunny
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:16 am

Re: Zwift

Post by Kirk » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:51 pm

I bought a tacx vortex trainer new for $300 (shipped from the uk) and have been using it on zwift since dec. It works great. I liked it so much that I bought one for one of my daughters too.

It's been such a mild winter it's mostly optional but I can see doing workouts on it even in nice weather and when there's more daylight.

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 21100
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Zwift

Post by Turdacious » Sun May 31, 2020 11:16 pm

So what would make sense as a good entry level smart trainer set up? Specifically the trainer and the mat-- priorities are good experience and reasonable noise levels.
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

User avatar
Alfred_E._Neuman
Sgt. Major
Posts: 4961
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:13 am
Location: The Usual Gang of Idiots

Re: Zwift

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sun May 31, 2020 11:32 pm

If you've already got a bike, then all you really need is a Wahoo Kicker Core if you're wanting a direct drive smart trainer and you're good to go.
The regular Kicker is the next step up, and is widely considered the best direct drive smart trainer. We keep one of my wife's bikes permanently mounted to a Kicker.
Both of the above are much quieter than the old trainers I used back in the day.
The next step down from the Core would be something like the Wahoo Kicker Snap, which is a wheel-on smart trainer. I'm not sure of noise level on this one, but would imagine it's louder than the direct drive ones.
I got a Stages indoor smart bike as an early release because I'm friends with the Stages rep. That thing is amazing, but couldn't justify it unless you're REALLY into indoor riding or you're switching between two users regularly. Moving a couple knobs to adjust saddle/bar position beats the living hell out of moving bikes on and off a direct drive trainer.
Here's the Whaoo trainers, other good brands are Saris, Trax, and Kinetic:
https://www.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-trainers

On a side note, I've pretty much gone all-in on indoor riding since the virus lockdown, a rainy spring, heading into a hot summer, and now an iffy situation with the protests here. I haven't been this strong on a bicycle in at least a decade.
I don't have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor's dog.

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 21100
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Zwift

Post by Turdacious » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:01 am

Cool. Maybe long run if I decide to make this a permanent part of my training that will be the way I go. It looks like I will have the opportunity to work from home two or three days a week even after things open up. At this point I’m looking a way to get zone one and two miles in on during lunch and right after calling it a day— with the more intense stuff outside. I’m still probably a month or maybe two from getting to the point I do decent speed at low intensity. So I’m thinking more around the $3-400 range and wanted a general idea what to look for and tips to keep the noise down.

You’ve definitely reminded me how much I miss spending time in the saddle, and this seems like something I will regularly do to keep me consistent during lunch breaks and awful weather.
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

Post Reply