Its nearly that time of the year when indoor training takes centre stage. Zwift is now the most talked about app that riders use during the Winter. Just riding, racing, a solo workout or ride as a group. It does them all and I’m a big fan. My son has his Xbox. I have Zwift. A bit of escapism. I can switch off and immerse myself in its virtual worlds and ride my bike aytime I want, day or night.
I used to use Rouvy and ride VR videos but I now prefer Zwift and the racing it offers
I’m lucky enough to have a permanent space where my bike and computer are setup. My Man Cave. This is my Zwift setup.
My trainer is probably one of the first ‘smart’ trainers. My Cycleops Powersync has been and remains a solid piece of kit that has never missed a beat. It’ll happily simulate gradients upto 10%. Its a bit outdated these days with apps like the Sufferfest not supporting its proprietry protocol unlike FE-C which is the standard theses days. Luckily Zwift supports it and it still works faultlessly. I calibrate it before every Zwift race in Rouvy app.
When I had my cycle shop, my training bike was a carbon Forme Axe Edge sport which now sits permanently on my turbo. Forme is a UK brand I used to sell. I’ve stripped it down a bit so now it has no brakes. I used to have a really basic, cheap rear wheel but I switched the trainer tyre onto a decent set of American Classic Aero 420’s and I gained some watts because the bearings were cartridge and smoother. It has 46/34t QRings with a 12-25 rear cassette. I cover the bars with a towel. I don’t like those v-shaped sweat thongs.
I have a basic Dell PC with a small footprint paired with a 42″ 1080p HDTV screen. I upgraded the video card to a GeForce 1050 which has made my Zwift graphics way better with outstanding speed and smoothness. Zwift looks great on a big screen. The card will do 4K UltraHD too, so I may upgrade at some point. I bought a very simple 1080p HD webcam for streaming and I use Youtube with OBS Studio to stream myself in Zwift. I ran a Zwift log through Zwiftalizer and found I was expriencing ANT+ dropouts so now I run my ANT+ dongle on an extension lead out of a front USB port so its closer to the trainer and its ANT+ signal.
Fan, Mat & Riser Block
A fan is an essential piece of kit for any indoor training. I have a pedestal fan which I sit to my side and run on the lowest or middle setting while I’m riding. Its not too loud either which is a bonus. My mat catches any excess sweat and dulls the sound the trainer would make on my laminate flooring and my Cycleops riser block keeps the bike level so I don’t slip forward.
As my desk is lower than my bike I built a fold away table I can pop my keyboard, mouse and a drink on while I ride. It makes typing and calibrating my trainer so much easier. It folds away easily too, just held up against the wall with a magnetic latch. It only cost a couple of pounds as I bought an offcut from a local DIY store.