Indoor trainers and Zwift - Page 2
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Thread: Indoor trainers and Zwift

  1. #9


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Squier 5 string P-bass
    Rig: Mark V

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    My bad. Magnetic trainers offer resistance settings, and a couple of fluids, but you don't want one. I'm too lazy to explain why, but to sum it up, they are shitty.

    This is what you want: https://www.kurtkinetic.com/trainers...c-road-machine

    I have a wheel-on smart trainer, this one: https://www.wahoofitness.com/devices...p-bike-trainer

    Drew has the direct drive Kickr. Both are great, but as above - I'd get a good inexpensive one first to see how you like it.

    I use a Kurt trainer tire, and just have a separate rear wheel that I leave on for the winter when my road bike gets retired to the inside. It's not 100% mandatory though, I use my regular road tires here and there during the regular season when it's just a rainy day and I'm too lazy to switch. A few seasons ago I didn't bother, and I put 1000+ trainer miles on my regular road tire/wheel each year. It's less than ideal but not the end of the world, the tire flattens out a hair on the trainer but after a few miles on pavement it rolls back out.

    Don't worry about it hurting your bike, my road bike is hilariously expensive (carbon frame/wheels/everything else) and it's fine. Good trainers are made for it.
    Only two things I'll add to this -

    1) adjustable resistance trainers can be used with Zwift... But only in a particular resistance setting. Switching out of that fucks up the power output estimation alogrythm, which is driven by wheel speed.

    2) I still have my old alloy Allez... and I STILL use my Tarmac (and occasionally my Diverge) on the trainer. I wouldn't worry about it at all. My brother worries a little that his sweat may have corroded through the clear on his own Felt from all the time he spent on the trainer just dripping on the thing, but he's not positive and either way I'd just make a point of wiping your bike down when you get off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    If you're actually tracking mileage, it's kind of a double-edged sword. It does tally up your annual miles, but you'll definitely be faster on the trainer than you are outside. I know tons of guys who regularly put up 20mph+ Zwifts (myself included) who have never once put up a 20+ mph real world ride (myself included, lol). That's really the only sniggle that I have with it, and it's more of a trainer thing than a Zwift thing really.
    IMO, Zwift actually isn't far off... It's definitely slightly fast compared to real life riding, but I'd say within ~1-1.5mph as far as the actual modeling goes. I think, IMO, the bigger difference is the fact that on Zwift you never, ever, ever have to stop or hit your brakes, while in real life that's never the case.

    The fastest ride I've ever done in real life was just shy of 21mph:

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1812815337

    ...on a bike path with almost no one on it and only a few crossing points. Without those (and the couple meandering in the middle of the trail paying no mind to anyone that brought me to a dead stop as I reached them just as I was passing two other riders), I'd have been in the 21-21.5mph range.

    This isn't my fastest Zwift ride, meanwhile, but it's close, and the most comparable (the faster ones were generally shorter, in a group even where I was benefitting from drafting, or both - the Tour of New York stage 5, for example, was a 32 minute, 12.6 mile sufferfest where I averaged 23mph):

    https://www.strava.com/activities/866721999

    ...which was 22.3mph, though to be fair with a lower relative effort score. I don't think I could quite hit that if it was a real course, and if I was flat out I might be able to get that closer to 23 on Zwift... but I'm pretty confident that in real life I could get that into the mid-21s.

    As far as the impact on mileage, If you're riding an average of 23 instead of 21.5, then you're covering an extra 1.5 miles every hour, or about 7% more distance. I've had a 3,000 mile target for the past several years, so that comes out to 210 miles against my annual target, or of the ~2,200 miles I've logged since I joined Zwift, that's probably overstated by about 150 miles, across... three years? Four years?

    It's not immaterial, and just because I held 23mph in a Zwift event for 30 minutes doesn't make me think I'm a 23mph cyclist... But I do think a large part of the impact is that you never need to slow down or stop, so your average isn't getting pulled down as you're decelerating nor are you burning proverbial matches as you get back up to speed after stopping. It's close enough that I don't really lose any sleep over it.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

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  3. #10


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    Rig: Axe-Fx II / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    You don't have wind resistance to deal with on Zwift dude. That's more detrimental to overall speed than a couple of stop signs on a 20-30 mile route.

    It's splitting hairs either way and yeah - close enough that nobody gives a shit.

  4. #11


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Squier 5 string P-bass
    Rig: Mark V

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    You don't have wind resistance to deal with on Zwift dude. That's more detrimental to overall speed than a couple of stop signs on a 20-30 mile route.

    It's splitting hairs either way and yeah - close enough that nobody gives a shit.
    They model it (else drafting and the draft boost bonus wouldn't be a thing), but they model neutral wind conditions, whereas it seems every time I ride I have a constant headwind no matter which way I turn.

    Oddly, the draft effect is actually less in Zwift than in real life, evidently - they initially tried to model it accurately, then cut it in half to make it less important in races since you couldn't exactly manuever into position or tap the brakes to get in someone's slip-stream:

    https://zwiftinsider.com/double-draft/

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  6. #12


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    Rig: Axe-Fx II / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Drafting works like shit anyway. one extra RPM and you either pass them or get righteously dropped.

  7. #13


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Squier 5 string P-bass
    Rig: Mark V

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Drafting works like shit anyway. one extra RPM and you either pass them or get righteously dropped.
    I know, it drives me crazy. It's pointless unless you're inside a huge pack.

  8. #14


    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: Wisconsin
    ME: Schecter Loomis
    MA: Ibanez classical
    MB: Ibanez SR400QM
    Rig: Fenders

    iTrader: 0

    I can't comment on Zwift and smart trainers (as I don't have them). I do have a Kurt Kinetic trainer. It works great for what it is but, all by itself, it's BORING.

    What I do is just get our tablet (that we got "free" (yeah, right) when we upgraded our phones), get onto YouTube and look up fat bike races that people Go-Pro'd. Then I ride while watching that. It at least tricks my mind a little bit that I'm not sitting in one stationary location the entire time.

    And yeah, a fan is a MUST.

    As far as bikes - my road bike has thru-axles and I couldn't figure out a way to connect it to the trainer. So I started with my mountain bike (that I bought street tires/slicks for) locked into it. It has quick-release skewers so I was able to use that. But since I like using my mountain bike, that didn't work for long. So since my wife hasn't ridden a bike in over 20 years and says she has no intention of starting, I took her old 1994 mountain bike, got a trainer tire for it and I keep that locked into the trainer 24/7/365.

    I would LOVE the idea of Zwift and a smart trainer. I'm the type of person that could get caught up in the sensation/idea that I actually am riding with the people on the screen. I'm assuming it is somewhat realistic, where you can pass people if you go faster or they can pass you for the same reason. That really appeals to me. Also, with the smart trainers that have the incline/decline feature for the front wheel - that looks great to me also.

    Problem for me - I mentioned it to my better half and got a VERY quick "NO", so I use the trainer when I can't get outside but try to ride outside when I can, for my sanity.

  9. #15


    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: Wisconsin
    ME: Schecter Loomis
    MA: Ibanez classical
    MB: Ibanez SR400QM
    Rig: Fenders

    iTrader: 0

    Actually just looked and saw I could get a converter-type thing for my thru-axle, so I think I'm going to try that.

  10. #16


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    Rig: Axe-Fx II / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Yep, just about every good trainer has a thru-axle adapter now. I used to run one on my Kurt, both my road bikes are t/a.

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