Zwift, my journey, my weight and my fitness.

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  • Zwift, my journey, my weight and my fitness.
  • Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Zwift lesson 1.
    Never try and play with your faster mate on the mountain.

    However, I did just knock 5 min off my KOM time!

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Just got mine setup and waiting for Mrs to get back so I can go and get sweaty in the shed.

    What’s a good course to start on to just have a look around?

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Tonight, watopia flat.

    stevious
    Member

    The whole messaging thing – do you do it as you’re riding? When I tried zwift last year I got a few messages through and was too knackered & sweaty to reply. Is that bad form?

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I can’t message when riding. Too busy trying not to die

    stumpy01
    Member

    Yeah, I did find the messaging thing a bit odd – I was only having a trial potter and found it too much of a distraction. Although I didn’t know what I was doing and where to find the messaging stuff so that could have been part of it.

    I can see me using it between mates (not that I have any mates on Zwift) perhaps.

    It’s funny, I’ve sat in the living room this evening almost itching to get out and have another go…

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I’ve barely had a day off since getting into it.

    I’ve ridden 3x my usual miles if not more.

    Tonight I thought, oh my legs are tired I’ll take it easy. Next thing I’m flying up the mountain with my HR at 95% and trying to beat a random bloke. I did in the end. Its very addictive..

    Strava makes it even more so as you can see the times of people you know etc.

    There’s an STW group if you want some friendly competition mate.

    If you email me I’ll send my proper name and you can add me on both strava and zwift.

    STW Group on Strava or Zwift?

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Well that wasn’t too bad. Don’t have a smart trainer so hard to gauge effort sometimes, got a bit lost as well ended up riding the opposite direction to a lot of people for a while.

    Didn’t work out the power up thing until right at the end.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    installed it to have a look – looks like it could be a much more interesting way to turbo (I’ve used my turbo about 3 times in several years; toal riding time is proably under 2hr). Seems mine is listed under the “dumb” list so I might have a bash on the free fortnight – all I need is a dongle as far as I can see

    Was looking around the other day and trying to navigate by clicking on things. Gave what I think was a load of fanboi kudos to several random riders 😆

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    tenacious_doug – Member

    STW Group on Strava or Zwift?

    Strava, but you can then use that to work our Zwifter names too i guess.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    Do people using Zwift in their sheds & garages have pricey gaming laptops? I have a decent desktop PC but would want to use Zwift in the garage not the living room and wouldn’t want to be lugging the PC around all the time. Or do you just use a low spec (£300-500 range) laptop and put up with choppy graphics?

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    There’s no choppy graphics with a £300 laptop, mate bought one at the weekend to start on Zwift and it runs it perfectly well. I think he paid £325 from Tesco.

    zwift has levels of graphic resolution/display you can change. The detail IMO isn’t important, that’s not where the interest comes from. I don’t care about the butterflies when climbing the mountain, or how real the snow is… The realism comes from the bloke 9m behind you, putting out the same w/kg as you and you’re fighting to hold him off and pull a gap on him.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Ran mine quite happily last night on my Lenevo yoga, i3 processor, 4gb ram

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Did seem to take a while to boot up though.

    stumpy01
    Member

    weeksy – email sent. Can you send over details of the STW group too?

    scaredypants – Member

    installed it to have a look – looks like it could be a much more interesting way to turbo (I’ve used my turbo about 3 times in several years; toal riding time is proably under 2hr). Seems mine is listed under the “dumb” list so I might have a bash on the free fortnight – all I need is a dongle as far as I can see

    you need (obvs) a computer, internet connection, turbo trainer, speed/cadence sensor & dongle.
    I also use a HRM, but only because it came with my Edge500…..

    FuzzyWuzzy – Member

    Do people using Zwift in their sheds & garages have pricey gaming laptops?

    I thought this might be the fly in the ointment for me. My laptop is a half decent spec, but almost 6 years old.
    It’s got below the min spec recommended for graphics capability, but it seemed to run fine; it does have a decent processor & RAM, but I don’t think these are as important as the graphics capability.
    Mine is an i5 with 6Gb RAM & integrated Intel HD3000 graphics. The min Zwift recommend if the HD4000 graphics, but like I say mine ran fine…

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Trying mate.. tryin

    weeksy – email sent. Can you send over details of the STW group too?

    Do a search for Singletrackworld Forumites.

    I’ve got too many of your first name lastname to work out which you are so have emailed you. I’ve added you on zwift as you’re the only one.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Right then…..after much refreshing & button pressing, I’ve now managed to stalk follow weeksy & have joined the Strava singletrack group.

    Weirdly, searching ‘singletrackworld’ under clubs wasn’t getting any hits. I had to follow the link invite that weeksy sent me….

    Better do some work now……..skulks off….

    heds
    Member

    Another Zwifter here.

    I bought a dumb trainer 2 years ago with the intention of using it when it was cold, dark and wet but instead the thought of staring at a wall while on a turbo filled me with dread so I never used it and went out instead and got cold and wet.

    Fast forward two years and I gave Zwift a go. I’m now getting up at 6am to get a quick hour in before work and I am addicted. In the last 7 weeks I’ve seen my FTP go up, lost weight, my body shape has changed and I’m faster on the real life climbs (even have a couple of Top 10 Strava cups which pre-Zwift I would have thought were impossible).

    I love Zwift. It drives you to work harder. It’s not just the lap times or the Sprints or KOM’s but the other riders from around the world who you are either chasing down or trying to catch up. The races are so much fun and tactics play such an important part with drafting and breakaways. Nothing has my HR bouncing off the top of Z4 and into Z5 like a race and you can race at pretty much any time of the day or night as there is always one organised.

    For race comms look into either Teamspeak or Discord (which people seem to be moving over towards) so you can discuss with your team mates and coordinate the breakaways. So much fun, esp hearing their pain over the internet.

    I originally used an old Wahoo Blue SC with the spoke magnet sensor and this worked fine via my iPhone to the app on my Mac. This was a cheap (£15 for the Blue SC) way of getting into Zwift. I have since upgraded to the Tacx T2240 which you can get from Halfords for £180 if you have a British Cycling membership and an ANT+ dongle (and anyone will do as they all use the same protocol). This is a smart turbo in that it adjusts the resistance based on the in-game terrain and really helps with the immersion.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I’m still waiting for an invite into a team…. My riding mate is TFC i think. Despite my marvellous victory in a D race followed by a 3rd in D, no job offer has been forthcoming 🙁

    I don’t do teamspeak though anyway as i like having music on whilst riding.

    jamiep
    Member

    heds – Member
    I have since upgraded to the Tacx T2240

    What is the noise like? I need something quiet, lifting in a flat. I might have to go for the Vortex with electro resistance

    stumpy01
    Member

    GAH! Just been looking at the ‘smart’ Tacx trainers. Didn’t realise you could get one for less than £200!!

    The flow Smart looks good, but just wondering how good having one that can replicate up to 6% gradient will actually be…? Probably be better to save the pennies & get one that can cope with a wider gradient range?
    The Vortex Smart is just over £300 & on the Tacx website it’s a bit contradictory. The spec says it has a max slope of 7%, but a banner further up the page says ‘True Road Feel. Max power 950W Max Slope 10%’.

    Going for one that can do 10% gradient sounds more the ticket, even if it costs a bit more. But, the specs only reckon on 7% further down the page…..hmmmm.

    andeh
    Member

    You guys are stressing me out, I’m due a turbo for Christmas from Mrs A, but want to get going now! Is it bad form to just buy it myself? 😳

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    You guys are stressing me out, I’m due a turbo for Christmas, but want to get going now! Is it bad form to just buy it myself?

    nah, i always buy myself the best xmas presents.

    actually considering selling my kurt kinetic road machine + inride sensor to get a smart turbo.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Apparently Zwift can do 6% too, so a turbo that can do 6% is actually 12%

    crispyrice
    Member

    So i got my turbo setup and tried out Zwift, its not easy – i skipped the spin down setup of the turbo, so maybe this is the cause. But the resistance built up so much that i couldn’t pedal at all, then couldn’t get started. I will try again this evening…

    heds
    Member

    What is the noise like? I need something quiet, lifting in a flat. I might have to go for the Vortex with electro resistance

    It’s pretty quiet, my turbo bike cost me £30 and makes more noise than the turbo. If you stick a proper trainer tyre on as well it helps cut down on the noise. I bought some interlocking foam mats from Halfords at the same time as the turbo which would help you as it reduces any hum/vibration.

    It’s me that makes the most noise. My riding friend is also a physio and he has recently also joined Zwift after having used the Tacx software for years. He will often bring his turbo round and we train together in the garage. My wife said she could hear me from inside the house as I grunted in pain going up the Epic KOM climb. Did manage to get it down to 28 minutes (from 55 minutes 5 weeks prior) so was pleased with that. If you are unsure, buy the turbo and try it out. If it isn’t suitable Halfords are very reasonable with their returns.

    weeksy – Member
    I’m still waiting for an invite into a team…. My riding mate is TFC i think. Despite my marvellous victory in a D race followed by a 3rd in D, no job offer has been forthcoming

    My W/Kg puts me right at the top of Cat C. In my first Cat C race I came 4th so thought I “should” ride in Cat B instead.

    Well that didn’t go well! It is hard hard work. Was Z4 for most of the race but managed to come mid-pack so was pleased. My brother and I will often team up so we can work together and draft if we get dropped or want to breakaway from a group. I also ride with techno/D&B but can still hear the chat/grunts of pain over Discord.

    As you said in your first post. Zwift not only helps you with your fitness but gives you the metrics and data to know how hard you can push and for how long. I now know that I can sit “happily” at 174BPM on a climb but anything over that and I’m into Z5 and will blow within minutes.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I stuck in the Epic KOM time for myself last night at 34.25 this is the full 9.5Km one, not the short one, you have to find on hidden segments.

    I’m sitting borderline D/C at the moment. I came into Zwift 6 weeks ago at about 1.9w/kg and am averaging 2.5w/kg now, so quite an increase i feel.

    I’m out at Swinley tomorrow so not riding indoors, but Friday i may actually try a C race and see if i can beat anyone at all. 🙂

    dh
    Member

    This is all new to me, I don’t have a turbo but this looks like great fun and could satisfy my inner geek.

    Can anyone tell me what the cheapest smart trainer is that would meet the requirements?

    heds
    Member

    stumpy01 – Member
    GAH! Just been looking at the ‘smart’ Tacx trainers. Didn’t realise you could get one for less than £200!!

    The flow Smart looks good, but just wondering how good having one that can replicate up to 6% gradient will actually be…? Probably be better to save the pennies & get one that can cope with a wider gradient range?
    The Vortex Smart is just over £300 & on the Tacx website it’s a bit contradictory. The spec says it has a max slope of 7%, but a banner further up the page says ‘True Road Feel. Max power 950W Max Slope 10%’.

    Going for one that can do 10% gradient sounds more the ticket, even if it costs a bit more. But, the specs only reckon on 7% further down the page…..hmmmm.

    Zwift has a “diffficulty” setting which is by default set to 50% so your 6% on the turbo is 12% in game.

    I’ve changed the difficulty to be more like 65-75% for my set up as my bike (a cheap Halfords touring bike) doesn’t have very high gearing so I am always in the big ring and top gear even on the Epic KOM. This doesn’t make me any faster in the game or give me any advantage, it is a virtual way of upping your gearing and adding a bigger cog so I now have to change down a little more often on the climbs. It does though reduce the hill effect a little but I haven’t noticed.

    In addition to this. My friend went from a Smart Tacx Bushido (didn’t use ANT+ so could only talk to Tacx software) which has a max grade of 15% to the T2240 and hasn’t once mentioned the lack of feel on the gradient.

    Personally I and 4 other friends who all bought the T2240 can’t complain.

    Hope this helps.

    hjghg5
    Member

    Is anyone going to the Leeds event tonight? I registered but wasn’t sure, then I found out there was free beer so I may stop in…

    I used Zwift a lot last winter but pretty much stopped over summer. I’m just about getting back into it now. I’ve done a few group rides but not races as they don’t really fit my training plan. I now have a power meter so I can train with power outside so I’m not doing quite as much zwift stuff, whereas before I only had power on the turbo so used it for most of my sessions.

    Creg
    Member

    Looking at giving this a go as well. Need something to get me into some regular turbo use over the winter.

    I’ve got an Elite Supercrono Inertial Elastogel turbo one where the more effort you put in the harder it gets but it looks like its not supported so it’s time for some turbo shopping I think.

    dh
    Member

    thankyou weeksy and heds. that is not as expensive as I thought.

    canopy
    Member

    so total cost of entry is what?

    – trainer
    – donor bike (or use existing)
    – existing laptop/PC
    – monthly payment to zwift

    is that the cheapest it can be done? (i have spare PCs and a spare HT I could modify..)

    that halfords trainer is 200 quid.. however i’ve seen that any ANT+ capable trainer can be used if you have a ANT+ usb stick.. that brings the total cost down to about 50 quid? perhaps you lose dynamic resistance changes?

    i heard about zwift a while ago, the virtual island/strava linkup thing is a fantastic idea.

    very very tempted. midweek i’m currently using a cheap exercise bike which i change the resistance on every 10 mins or so between easy/hard. I already set up in front of a TV and tend to watch documentaries or MTB vids while riding it..

    alp_girl
    Member

    I’m also changing my Christmas list to put a turbo on the top of it 😀 Will I still need a dongle for the TT240? Someone up thread seemed to suggest it? Any chance some of the higher spec smart tacx trainers will be in the Black Friday sale or are they not a typical special sale item…..

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I’m also changing my Christmas list to put a turbo on the top of it Will I still need a dongle for the TT240? Someone up thread seemed to suggest it?

    Sorry… Yes… you will… or BLuetooth.

    the donlge is £18 on amazon Suunoto

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    however i’ve seen that any ANT+ capable trainer can be used if you have a ANT+ usb stick.. that brings the total cost down to about 50 quid? perhaps you lose dynamic resistance changes?

    If you remove the Smart trainer you need a standard trainer and a speed/cadence sensor kit instead.

    Yes, it then won’t do dymanic resistance and unless it’s on their approved list, may not be entirely accurate.

    stumpy01
    Member

    heds – Member

    Personally I and 4 other friends who all bought the T2240 can’t complain.

    Hope this helps.

    Yep a great help, thanks. I did read up a bit on the ‘difficulty setting’ on the settings dashboard. Sounds like that £200 would do the job perfectly, then!

    alp_girl – Member

    I’m also changing my Christmas list to put a turbo on the top of it Will I still need a dongle for the TT240? Someone up thread seemed to suggest it?

    Yeah, you will still need the dongle because that’s what allows your computer to talk to the trainer (and heart rate monitor etc. if you have one). It’s just plug & play….
    The one I bought from Amazon was only £12 (seems to be cheaper now!).

    This one:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anself-Compatible-Garmin-Forerunner-011-02209-00/dp/B00LIIMHP4/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479214479&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=anself+ant%2B+usb+dongle

    I think delivery time is a bit long depending on the seller so best to have a look at that before committing.

    You might also need a USB extension lead to place the dongle closer to the actual ANT+ sensors on the trainer so it picks up the signal. I risked not bothering with that (for my cadence/speed sensor & HRM) and it seemed to work fine when I tried it the other day.

    heds
    Member

    My original Spec:

    Dumb Turbo: £60
    Wahoo Blue SC (Secondhand £15) – linked to Zwift via iPhone Bluetooth
    Bike: £30

    Now:
    Tacx T2240: £180
    ANT+ Dongle: £15

    Same £30 bike
    Same £8 per month fee to Zwift.
    Garmin HRM from my Garmin 520 although the Aldi Crane Creek one also works fine

    Any ANT+ dongle will work with any ANT+ turbo as it is an open source protocol. The original Tacx ANT wasn’t hence why you had to buy a Tacx turbo and use Tacx software so just make sure it has the + on it.

    My dongle is on a USB extension but my friends isn’t (http://tinyurl.com/he9yom4) and he has no problems. But seeing as an extension cable is a couple of £ it makes sense.

    I can’t speak highly enough of Zwift. I have only been using it for a few months now but I have seen huge improvements in my times. The fact it also automatically uploads to Strava with a map, segments and photo just adds to it.

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