Equipment

After a fair bit of research, I settled on a Wahoo Kickr Snap mainly because of the larger flywheel. There are pros and cons to this, which I’ll discuss in more detail in my next post, but personally I knew I’d like the smoother feel of a larger flywheel and it also suited my purposes (which I’ll discuss soon in a separate post) perfectly.

While I knew I’d eventually want to track heart rate within Zwift, my plan was to use my Fitbit first until I could research a smart HR monitor. Cadence could wait as well.

For the Zwift software, my plan was to use my old Alienware box with a GTX760 which seemed to run the app nicely, at least in “watch only” mode.

Since my PC had neither, the next decision I needed to make was ANT+ vs Bluetooth. To keep the IOS option open (at the time not knowing about crossover doohickeys) and because my gut told me that it would be more user friendly and cable-free out of the box, I decided to go with Bluetooth. The ~$17 didn’t set me back that far so it wasn’t exactly a life or death decision, especially since I was planning to invest in sensors at this point.

The first issue I had was Fitbit losing my HR during exercise and, after discovering others had the same problem, decided to shelf the Fitbit for anything other than resting HR tracking.

The next issue I had was PC instability. Sadly, it appeared that my restore disks were lost in the basement flood so, at a minimum, I was looking at a headache finding restore disks, buying a copy of Windows 7, or whatever I was going to have to do to solve that problem.

Having already begun my Zwift trial period, I decided to try to use an iPad at least for now. Turns out my iPad is too old, my daughter’s iPad could not see the Kickr for some reason, Xmas was coming so should I buy myself an iPad as a platform? I struggled with this until the Holy Grail revealed itself to me. The Apple TV 4K! At $179, I raced to the Apple Store and was up and running in seconds on Zwift out of the box. Nice.

I also went ahead and ordered a Wahoo Tickr and RPM which both work great along with the Mobile Link app which is required because ATV only supports two Bluetooth devices.

So my setup is complete and working well so far.

Next post will be my intitial Zwift impressions.

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How I discovered Zwift

My Computrainer was damaged when my basement flooded this September. Since Computrainers are no longer made I decided to replace it with a Wahoo Kickr Snap ; a decision I’ll cover in the next post about equipment. It was during the research on smart trainers that I learned about Zwift and the rest is history.

While Zwift is new to me, smart trainers are not as I founded and operated performancecentral.net for several years in the early 2000s. Performancecentral.net offered a large catalog of virtual courses and performance files to race against for Computrainer users. It also hosted “asynchronous” time trial series where users uploaded their performance files with the winner of the series being the rider with the lowest overall time.

Good times those were!

Anyway, I left virtual cycling for many years after becoming addicted to sim (auto) racing but now I’m back and am starting this blog to mainly document my adventures in getting back into cycling and fitness in case others find it useful in some way.

Next post will be on my equipment and initial experiences with Zwift.