Zwift, my journey, my weight and my fitness.

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  • Zwift, my journey, my weight and my fitness.
  • mav12
    Member

    thanks weeksy that’s what I am planning I have a tacx as well just waiting for the ant dongle to arrive.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Jason – Member

    I think I have used Zwift with a broadband speed of as low as 3Mbps, and it has worked fine. It doesn’t transfer loads of information, and the processing is done on your local machine. What is important is a stable connection, as if the signal drops other riders with vanish from your screeen.

    You can test to see if Zwift works on your computer with your broadband speed before commiting to buy anything extra. Install the software, and choose ‘Just Watch’ to see if everything works okay.

    Great info, thanks!!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Oh my word that was hard!

    Spent first 2 laps in lead group but me and a fella called Smith got dropped. We then spent 2 laps swapping places and hanging on for 4th and 5th until he gapped me on a climb at 45 min in, I almost quit as I was destroyed but hung on for 5th.

    Psplat
    Member

    A quick question, I have an old Taxc Satori.

    So do I just need to buy a bluetooth speed/cadence sensor, ( as above ) then connect it to the computer, and am I good to go?

    As i understand it it would make it the same as the halfords one.

    Premier Icon madhouse
    Subscriber

    Well done on your training and weight loss.

    I was Zwift curious once, have a dumb trainer but speed and cadence sensors for the Garmin anyway so it would only have needed a dongle ……. and then I checked the system requirements 😯

    Is it me or does it just run on your graphics card? I’ve a decent laptop but never had a requirement for kick-ass graphics so didn’t bother with one, now that’s become a significant barrier to giving Zwift a go.

    Maybe when this laptop gives up the ghost I’ll give it a go, until then I’ll keep putting on the winter gear and hitting the trails & roads.

    blader1611
    Member

    Madhouse – exactly the same here, it seems you need a pretty up to date and powerful graphics card to use it. It will be coming to ios device late nov-early december if that is any good for you.
    Can anyone explain why it does need a powerful graphics card if it doesnt use much data to run?

    Teifiterror
    Member

    I use my old desktop which has a 7 year old graphics card, it doesnt need to be too beefy but it needs to be dedicated graphics I would suggest. DOnt think any built into intels core processors that could handle it.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Mine works fine on my work laptop which is only a generic 2 year old dell thing. 8Gb Ram. I doubt it’s anything special.

    fifeandy
    Member

    OS: Windows 7 x64 bit, OSX 10.8
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory: 4GB
    Graphics: 1GB dedicated GPU, or embedded Intel HD 4000/AMD R5
    Hard Drive: 4GB of free space

    A modern integrated gfx will do the job according to Zwift’s website

    blader1611
    Member

    I have an intel hd graphics card in my laptop and zwift told me that is not compatible. I tried it with the latest updated drivers and it failed and i have never tried since (12 months ago at least).

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Mine is the Intel HD 4000 after checking in device manager.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    BTW, due to 3 of the riders ahead of me being bumped to Cat C and one bloke being DQ’d for being 32kg on his profile.. i won the race 🙂 hahahahaha.

    That’s my 2nd win this week…. although i’m not convinced either really count as wins in honesty.

    edit… now i’ve been bumped back to 3rd hahaha. 2 of them got re-instated.

    Another Zwift convert here. We had a newborn a year ago so I was consigned to most of my riding last winter being on the turbo, then discovered Zwift and never looked back. Even continued to use it during the summer as it makes it easy to get another ride a week in as I’ll tend to use it on the evenings my wife is out and I’m looking after the kids.

    It’s been a revelation in my fitness too, I could always plod along all day but never had a huge amount of power over shorter efforts, a winter on Zwift, and specifically the KISS races has totally transformed the balance of my fitness.

    How many other KISS racers here, other than Weeksy?

    winrya
    Member

    I’ve been using it for the past 2 weeks and I think it’s an incredible training tool. I spent most of last winter on a normal turbo using YouTube GCN training videos to keep me going. Did a good job and really Helped me kickstart my fitness this year

    A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a thread about zwift and it sounded like a much more interesting way to spend the winter training. Bought a smart turbo, hooked my MacBook up to the 32″ tv in my turbo room and been having an absolute blast ever since. It hooks up to my ant+ heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and uploads to Strava when finished. It’s interesting analysing the data as my heart rate average, max, cadence and average speeds pretty much match my proper road rides perfectly so getting a great work out.

    For reference it runs on my early 2015 MacBook pro in 1080 with no frame rate issues so doesn’t need to be too cutting edge

    stumpy01
    Member

    First job then seems to be install the software & see if my (almost 6 year old) laptop is compatible. If not, then forget it.

    If that works, check internet in garage & sort out if it’s not adequate.

    Then get ant+ dongle.

    Start Zwifting…..

    monde
    Member

    Jumped from trainer road to zwift over a year ago and saw my fitness levels increase purely because of the competitive nature of the racing. Use the ride calendar http://www.zwiftcalendar.com to find events and this website for results.
    http://www.zwiftpower.com/v2/race.php

    Even my partner uses it who is a social cyclist but finds it entertaining and has lost a stone this last month!

    acidtest
    Member

    So tempted to sort out a zwift setup but I just know it’d be the end of me, either over trained or dead. Strava is bad enough, but at least I have to go out to try and kill myself.

    b1gf00t
    Member

    Another Zwift rider here, previously on Trainerroad and Sufferfest. I have cut my Zwift racing down to just one a week now, but still use it for interval sessions.

    The numbers in the races have grown in the last month from just over a 100 to 200 this week. I have yet to try the Wednesday evening TT, Tuesday’s race usually takes a while to get over. I used to finish just outside the top 10 but with the bigger fields I am now struggling to finish in the top 20 A cats but am never beaten by anyone older than me. The best listing of Zwift events is on the mobile app.

    All done on a Tacx Flow Smart £180 from Halfords.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Balls. My laptop has got Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics. The minimum spec on the website is HD 4000.

    I assume you have to sign up & start your trial to download the program?
    I don’t want to download it, find it runs & then have to buy an ANT+ dongle…because I’ll lose a load of trial time waiting for it to turn up.
    But then there’s no point buying a dongle in advance & then seeing if the program works in case it doesn’t run & I have to send the dongle back.

    No way I’m buying a new computer just to run this….

    mav12
    Member

    you can download and run the program without paying, you can watch you get two weeks or 30 miles free ,starts as soon as it detects you are cycling

    wilburt
    Member

    Went through a similar experience as the op with Zwift last winter. I went from a laptop try out to a full on gaming pc and 50inch TV within a few weeks and IMO its a new genre of cycling.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I tried zwift in the early days. Im temted to go back and have a go tomorrow seeing as a monsoon arrives in the morning so I wont be outside.

    Im a comitted Trainer road user – are there plenty of training plans now?

    stumpy01
    Member

    mav12 – Member

    you can download and run the program without paying, you can watch you get two weeks or 30 miles free ,starts as soon as it detects you are cycling

    Ah, so the trial doesn’t start until it detects you are cycling. Thanks for that. I did wonder if it was the case. I’ll download it tonight & see what happens!!
    I’m trying to work out how I can sneak a dedicated PC into the garage linked up to a 40″ TV on the back of the garage door!!

    stumpy01
    Member

    Right then – just downloaded it & it runs fine on my (almost) 6 year old laptop.

    If anyone is thinking of having a go, my laptop specs are:

    i5 processor 2.3GHz
    6Gb RAM
    Intel HD3000 integrated graphics

    – the minimum recommended graphics is HD4000, so this is the bit I was worried about. I turned the resolution up to 1080p in the setting and it seemed fine.

    Just need to check out the wi-fi connection in the garage, clear out some of the crap so I can actually get the turbo trainer set-up & get a ANT+ dongle.

    wilburt
    Member

    If your ordering an ant dongle on Amazon get their usb extension at the same time the dongle needs to be between your pedals wheel and hr strap.
    That’s a pretty good laptop so it may be ok but races with lots of other riders and there will be lots of other riders push the computer harder than just going for a ride or doing a workout.

    I also found sending some cat5 wire into my garage was more reliable than wifi depends on how your house is though.

    Try a workout of two, try a race KISS on Tuesday’s or a SUB2 to start with, there FB page gives tips etc on getting to the start on time. Once your into it and everything working fine do your FTP then just do whatever you fancy.

    Sometimes now I just go for a ride, top of the mountain is quite good and if you have a big TV coming now is a proper buzz.

    wilburt
    Member

    Btw. I used a newish but modest laptop to begin with, then a Mac then had a top spec gaming machine built, they all worked but I had to set the graphics option accordingly, so a lower detail with the laptop and the frames per seconds was very low on the laptop especially when it got busy still usable but nothing like the same experience.

    Premier Icon beej
    Subscriber

    Good on ya, Weeksy.

    I started on Zwift in January, and took out a Trainer Road subscription at the same time. I find Zwift perfect for a couple of things – easy/moderate rides where it’s less dull than just using the turbo, and then “smash myself” rides that could be a couple of hours working hard on all the hills. I’ve done 100km rides on there and “the ultimate prezel” route – the full mountains course done in both directions. On the 100km I rode about 60km of it with another rider – we were going similar pace and ended up naturally riding together and swapping turns (the drafting effect is noticeable).

    Last winter it was mildly fun to see people I knew/knew of on there – a couple of Newbury RC riders, a random Google+ contact from the US, some ex-workmates. Oh, and on one memorable occasion I beat Warren Barguil in a sprint*.

    TrainerRoad is still better for structured interval work, I couldn’t see myself doing those on Zwift due to wanting to catch other riders.

    *Verified Pros get a special badge so you know it’s them (or their account at least). He was coming back from injury and is more of a climber than a sprinter but I’ll take every little victory. I think he was 4th on the sprint leader board and I got 3rd.

    Joe
    Member

    Wow you guys have me excited now… beyond the garmin USB key… would a Tacx Flow 2240 mean I need anything else on the bike to get a decent power/speed reading on Zwift?

    If so I might order one tonight!

    b1gf00t
    Member

    The Smart Flow can use Ant+ or Bluetooth so could be used without an Ant+ USB stick

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Massive thanks to Rubber_Buccaneer who drove to swinley today to give me a Turbo for my riding buddy and wouldn’t accept a couple of beers. Top man!

    stumpy01
    Member

    Well, ordered a cheap any+ dongle yesterday and signed up for an Amazon Prime trial so it was delivered here today for free.

    Tried using the tp-link wi-fi extender thing and seemed to get good signal on the tablet in the garage.
    Tried the laptop and seemed even better. As I was doing this, the dongle arrived so shot into the house to get my HRM and had it paired along with the speed/cadence sensor within minutes….

    Didn’t have my old Tacx trainer listed so just chose one of the other Tacx ones.

    This all seems to be going too smoothly. Am going to actually use it tomorrow and see what happens! It’s all going so smoothly I am surely due a spanner in the works!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Yeah, your heart and legs!

    Along with your face when someone comes past like you’ve stopped and you think “how?”

    stumpy01
    Member

    Ha ha. Well, given that I have barely ridden since last September (perhaps 300 miles) I won’t stress about it too much! Just wanna get something set up to let me make the most of the short bits of time I have to try and regain some fitness!!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Sounds ideal then. Let us know either in here or your own thread how it all goes

    stumpy01
    Member

    Well, I did a quick session earlier.

    I was very impressed. Only did about 35 mins, but it was great. I can see me getting well into it given the time.

    It was amazing how suckered in you get to chase people or speed up a hill when the challenge notification thing pops up.

    A couple of people sent me messages. Just a winking smiley or whatever, but I couldn’t get work out how to reply for the life of me. Not that i intend to use it for social purposes, but it would be nice to be polite and reply….

    Tonight I forgot to take a towel in with me so it turned into a bit of a sweatfest which wasn’t helped by the naive assumption that it was a cold enough evening Not to require the fan….had to stop to turn that on!

    Tech wise, I had no issues. Wi-fi fine, laptop fine and ant+ dongle fine….I went for the Anself one from Amazon for around £12.
    I think I’ll be subscribing and seeing how it goes over the winter….

    Premier Icon Bregante
    Subscriber

    Easiest way to acknowledge other riders (and do other stuff like different camera angles and stuff) is via the phone app (Android or iOS)

    stumpy01
    Member

    Yeah, got the phone app but could only see how to send a group message….
    Actually, thinking about it, if I selected the rider from the list, then it gives the option to send a msg…I guess this is how it’s done?
    But no way I could see to direct reply to a message received…not a biggie though.
    Will have to remember next time to get some tunes going…

    Premier Icon LittleNose
    Subscriber

    I’ve just started with Zwift too – I’m one of those that has had the turbo sitting there but not enough incentive to get on it – now it is fun and comparing with your Strava mates is cool too.

    Living near Dorking, I like the 15km London loop which includes Boxhill – seems so much tougher in the VR world 😯

    stumpy01
    Member

    The missus won’t be happy – she was asking me what I was looking at on the tablet last night…..oh, just seeing how much a new turbo trainer is gonna cost…. 😆

    Mine isn’t listed, so I chose one of the Tacx ones listed that looked closest to what I have & set the resistance to the same level.
    But, I was catching & passing more people than I expected, while my virtual power thingy seemed a bit optimistic.
    It’s hard to know as I’ve never used anything like that before, or tracked power output but given how little I’ve ridden recently & the fact that I feel quite run down with a sore throat….I know it doesn’t matter in the scheme of things but it would be nice to feel that I’m on a level playing field.

    I can really see how one of those smart trainers would make it feel much more realistic, but can’t see me being able to justify one of those for the foreseeable. Perhaps if I get on really well with it over the winter, I will start trawling ebay in the spring for all those people who are getting rid of unused turbos early next year 😉

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    The power thing is really hard to get right i’ve found.

    We spent about 2 hours on Sat trying to get the Elite one i got from an STWer correct.

    Even now, i’m not convinced it’s correct.

    Using the settings from Zwift, we were doing side by side testing with my turbo and i was getting 2.1w/kg on his bike/setup and 2.5w/kg on mine, for the same sort of level of effort/cadence.

    So it wouldn’t be too hard to get it completely the opposite too.

    It could be that you’re faster/fitter than you thought i guess 🙂

    I was lucky that the guy i’ve borrowed my smart turbo from had all his rough figures, along with a power meter to compare to so we know the one i have is pretty damn close to a calibrated power meter.

    In some ways, it doesn’t matter of course. Sunday morning i was riding the Watopia mountain, a couple of guys ahead and a couple closing, when they got closer i uppped my pace to pull back ahead. It doesn’t actually matter if theirs was correct, if mine was correct, or somewhere inbetween, it still gave me the push to get a decent workout 🙂

    But, if you’re sticking out 4.0w/kg and are not already pretty damn fit and fast, then you can bet it’s likely your config is wrong… But without knowing you and how you ride, it’s impossible to say.

    Gauge it off Strava possibly to an extent… work out where you are comparable to other riders etc.

    Me, say on a run i know and like locally i’m 56th out of 118 riders on a trail. On a Watopia ride i’m 17403 /42406

    Which if you work out is just better than 50% on both i guess. Meaning in the real world i’m probably not a million miles away on both disciplines.
    They’re only 2 quick examples i pulled out, but the rest is likely quite comparable.

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