Zwift questions

DeVlaeminck
DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,760
I used to do a fair bit of turboing in the garage in Winter but last two years I've been seduced into a gym membership and wattbiking with a few weights and core exercises for afters.

This Winter thinking of going back in the garage and trying zwift - but being totally non-techy not aure of the best route.

First off my wifi barely reaches my garage - but I do have power in there. I think I'm right that I can run my wifi through the plug sockets because my son does it for his PS4 - but he plugs it straight into the PS4. Is this a goer with zwift and does it limit my choice of set up? I could get te position of my wifi router altered which might make a difference but my garage is till going to be 15 metres from my house (currently it's in the far corner from the garage).

I've got a choice of a smart turbo or a power meter? Any pros and cons given I don't have either as things stand and I don't really want to get both! I have an oldish laptop, an ipad a few years old and no TV in the garage.

Apologies if I'm repeating old questions .
[Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]

Comments

  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Zwift needs a decent network connection, be that wifi or Ethernet cable, otherwise you start getting dropouts and other riders keep disappearing .. assuming that is it starts up.

    Now you might not think its too much of an issue .... it is ... the absolute last thing you want to do is get kitted out, go to the garage for a 1.5hr workout and spend 45 mins diagnosing network issues before you can start.

    The device your son is using a Powerline adaptor which uses your electric circuit to pass tcp/ip over .... they transmit at worst 100Mbs which is easily enough for zwift, you need to run a cable from your router, to the plug, then from the other plug to either your laptop or another router/wifi ..... you can either buy some that have a wifi point at the other end, I have one its quite unreliable.

    They work as long as your garage AND your hub are on the same electric circuit.

    As for laptop/ipad ... ipad is on Beta I don't know when its open fully what spec ipad you will need ... but check out the zwift sites for laptop specs.

    And smart trainer vs power meter ......... the smart trainer will be more fun as the game will control the resistance, so as you hit hills the resistance changes appropriately ...... a power meter, will just send power data to the game which will work out the speed based on gradient and that power .... if you want to simulate hills you will need to change the resistance accordingly ... there is no advantage to either other than the smart meter is more fun .... the power meter you could use on the road and will be more accurate at a guess
  • First off my wifi barely reaches my garage - but I do have power in there. I think I'm right that I can run my wifi through the plug sockets because my son does it for his PS4 - but he plugs it straight into the PS4. Is this a goer with zwift and does it limit my choice of set up? I could get te position of my wifi router altered which might make a difference but my garage is till going to be 15 metres from my house (currently it's in the far corner from the garage).

    Look up Devolo home plugs, he presumably has something similar. What you can do is plug a wire from the plug in there directly into a PC/laptop, or you can get wifi homeplugs which will let you use the likes of an iPad - once that's available.
    I've got a choice of a smart turbo or a power meter? Any pros and cons given I don't have either as things stand and I don't really want to get both! I have an oldish laptop, an ipad a few years old and no TV in the garage.

    That's a massive question. A power meter means you can use it outside too, but, you lose the ability to simulate hill climbs which IMO is the best part about Zwift, plus you'll still need a turbo. Whereas the likes of the Tacx Flow from Halfords for £200 will do all that.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,760
    fat daddy wrote:
    The device your son is using a Powerline adaptor which uses your electric circuit to pass tcp/ip over .... they transmit at worst 100Mbs which is easily enough for zwift, you need to run a cable from your router, to the plug, then from the other plug to either your laptop or another router/wifi ..... you can either buy some that have a wifi point at the other end, I have one its quite unreliable.

    They work as long as your garage AND your hub are on the same electric circuit.

    Right OK cheers both of you - sounds like it's possible then as the garage is connected to the house power supply.

    Tacx Flow at £200 sounds good - my mate spent a grand on a Wahoo Kickr thingy which was probably more than I wanted to spend but would go to sort of £500ish.

    Current trainer is a Tacx Grand Excel which is at least 10 years old and has had plenty of use - it does measure power etc but I doubt it's compatible with anything made recently.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    you can get the kick snap for £500 which is a wheel on version of the kickr, its not as accurate, but you do get a nice belt driven flywheel on it, so it feels like road resistance rather than that mechanical feeling from the direct motor units ....... it really does depend on what you like the feel of and how much you want to spend.

    I gave myself £1000 to spend and for that got the kick snap a laptop, new hub for the garage and a couple of trainer tires one for the mtb and one for the road bike and a cheap spare wheel for the road bike
  • mpatts
    mpatts Posts: 1,010
    Zwift is mostly amazing. My setup:

    Quarq elsa RS on the race bike
    Turbo
    Garage sale TV
    Ebay recon aming PC
    Powerline networkign thing so I can plug an ethernet cable into the PC

    I toyed with a smart trainer, and if I didn't how a power meter already I'm sure I woudl have gone for the £200 halfords job, with BC discount.

    I absolutely love zwift. I'm amazed at how motivating it is - it fits in so well with my lifestyle (young family) when I can hop on for a quick race. Fantastic.
    Insert bike here:
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    Using a Stages pm with Cycleops Fluid .
    I am not noticing any lack of hurt when it comes to the hill sections in races.
    I only use Zwift for the races or chain gangs like Zsun in a bit.
    I am commuting a lot at the moment so dont need or desire bashing out intervals but twice a week , just keep the upper rev counter going which the A B races certainly do. I may do a more structured training phase come the new year... most of my racing fraternity either race cross or just disappear off to Mallorca for months.... me I'm still stuck earning a crust.
  • On the wifi front, just get a wifi repeater. Gadget that you plug in, tell it what wifi network you want to extend, done. I use 2 in my house so we get strong wifi throughout the house and garage.
  • izza
    izza Posts: 1,561
    On the wifi front, just get a wifi repeater. Gadget that you plug in, tell it what wifi network you want to extend, done. I use 2 in my house so we get strong wifi throughout the house and garage.

    If you go that route then I'd recommend an Apple Express - has earphone jack to PC speakers to give instant sound/music.