Whether you are a Zwift newbie or an experienced campaigner, there are so many options when it comes to setting up your Zwift station. But what is the best way to set up Zwift?
From casual cyclists to professionals, the at home training game has taken the world by storm. Zwift makes indoor training fun... and social! As you can now compete with anyone around the world.
So, what is the best way to set up Zwift? Short answer... Whatever suits your needs, budget and space
Now, that might sound like a cop out answer, but it's true. There's no point in telling you the best way to set up Zwift if you simply don't have the room or funds to do so.
So we've broken it down into two options so you can get an idea of what's best for you. Basic or The Works.
Before we go into these two set ups, a couple of key points to note...
- Zwift is available on both iOS (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV) and Android devices*
- Zwift works on a monthly membership, as of Nov 16 2017 it is $14.99 USD / month ($19.99 AUD)
- You will obviously also need a bike. Make sure it fits with your trainer
- Lastly, the higher speed internet you have the better. You don't want your Zwift session lagging or cutting out while you ride
Oh and WARNING: once you start Zwifting, you're likely to become addicted.
Let's get into it!
THE BASIC ZWIFT SET UP
What you need to get started:
- iPhone or Android (with Quad Lock Mount)
Smart Trainer vs Classic Trainer?
The names kind of give it away. Think of it like a Smart TV verse your standard Digital. They essentially do the same thing, except you need a few add ons for the Classic and if you want the full Zwift experience, we recommend getting the Smart Trainer.
You don't "need" to spend big to get set up on Zwift. Other than your phone and bike, the next biggest expense will be the trainer. But remember, you get what you pay for so sometimes it is worth spending that little bit extra. Especially if you want to feel those hill climbs.
Zwift calculates wattage based on the rear wheel speed and the power curve of the trainer. You will need to connect your trainer to your device so that Zwift can measure your output. There's plenty of options when it comes to trainers so make sure you shop around, get a Smart Trainer so you get that Auto Resistance and feel the burn on those climbs. Smart Trainers also have the Bluetooth and Ant+ built in, meaning you don't have to add a Speed Sensor like you would to a Classic Trainer.
The Tacx bushido is a Smart Trainer. It easily connects to the axle of your bike. Once set up simply start pedalling to connect .
If you already rock a Quad Lock Bike Mount Kit then you're sorted for your screen. With your phone attached to your bike's handlebar simply download the Zwift App, connect it to your trainer via bluetooth (or the speed sensor) and you're ready to go. The advantage of using your phone is you don't need to set up a computer or TV nearby, saving you time, space and money.
Lastly, grab a small fan to cool you down while you Zwift. You're going to sweat... a lot. So probably best to also chuck a towel on the floor beneath you to catch the sweat. If you're not sweating, you're not working hard enough.
If you're really on a budget, check out this video our mate GP Lama put together:
DECK ME OUT WITH THE WORKS
Ok so you're in for some serious Zwifting. Here's what you need:
- iPhone Quad Lock Bike Mount
- Heart Rate Monitor
- TV with Apple TV
- Floor Mat
If you want to get serious, spend up on that trainer. If you're going for those long rides you want to be sure you're measuring the correct output. Also, grab a Heart Rate Monitor to not just measure your output but better understand how you're tracking physically. There are endless options here.
Again, remember you get what you pay for and make sure you shop around to get the best value.
The Zwift App now comes on Apple TV, which means you not only get the benefits of a large screen TV but you can now use your Quad Lock mounted iPhone to access Zwift Companion, an App to navigate your way around, message other riders, switch views whilst you Zwift and more.
Or maybe you simply want your phone close by to control the tunes as you ride. Either the Bike Mount Pro or Out Front Mount are suitable here.
VERY IMPORTANT: Grab a fan to keep your temperature down (even for those short rides) and if you've got some nice wooden floorboards we suggest laying down a yoga mat or something similar to protect your floor. Obviously it will also catch your sweat and as mentioned in The Basic Zwift Set Up, be prepared to sweat!
*Head over to the Zwift website to check out a list of suitable Hardware
Don't forget to grab your Quad Lock Mount if you haven't already