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How much will a smart turbo setup cost?

andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
What's the cheapest package to
Set up on something like zwift? Need a smart trainer, mainly so the gradients matches, along with the software program ideally a freebie even computer generated vertial race doesn't have be real people I'm with.
As the pc is in the house and the set up in shed with WiFi/internet I need a way to hook an extra screen up?. Any ideas how I can do this or do you laptop and tablets or phone's?

With a busy home life I don't get much free time to be too far away from the house.i do like gym Spin classes but again don't always have time on Sunday or Friday.
I'm tempted to .use part of a shed or garden as a man cave.

Thanks Andy

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  • Tacx Flow T2240 Smart trainer is about the cheapest at under £200. You need ant+ speed and cadence sensors and an Ant+ dongle and extension lead (amazon) hooked up to a lap top or similar. A zwift subscription is about £15 a month.

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/turbo- ... bo-trainer

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  • tyke999tyke999 Posts: 50
    you can also use free training software - TACX do a free package (at the moment ) which isn't too bad..

    Just check your PC can run the software from TACX ....My TACX Vortex Smart works better on the bluetooth connection. The Zwift software is memory hungry and needs a good / fast processor to run it...

    You may also need an ANT+ USB Dongle to pair up any heart monitor / power meter / cadence sensors. ( I use ant+ cadence and heart instead of the in built cadence settings on the Tacx )

    as for screens to view it on...I have a MacBook which ''beams'' onto large screen via Apple TV.

    I would check your computer system first before signing up to Zwift to make sure it will run it...

    Go to your local bike shop and try one out first ...Ours is a TACX dealer and it really helped me set mine up.
  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    What does the ant+ dongle do? Is it WiFi or Bluetooth?
    The pc is upstairs and I want to set up the turbo in the garden.
    I can remote access into the PC from my phone or tablet. I have also extended the network out in to the garden. Could I connect the dongle into the network like a network printer?
  • tyke999tyke999 Posts: 50
    andyh01 wrote:
    What does the ant+ dongle do? Is it WiFi or Bluetooth?
    The pc is upstairs and I want to set up the turbo in the garden.
    I can remote access into the PC from my phone or tablet. I have also extended the network out in to the garden. Could I connect the dongle into the network like a network printer?

    best way is to google ANT+ rather than me blabbering on about them...

    The ANT+ has rather a short range so I doubt it would get a signal from your sensors if your pc is upstairs and you are outside...Have you got a LAPTOP ?
    The ANT+ plugs into a USB socket on the computer and ''talks'' to your heart rate / cadence / power meters...
    Bluetooth links your trainer to the computer in order to run the smart bit of the trainer with Zwift etc ..

    my advice as before is to go to a local dealer who sells smart Trainers and see how it all connects up BEFORE buying one...
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,591
    andyh01 wrote:
    What does the ant+ dongle do? Is it WiFi or Bluetooth?
    The pc is upstairs and I want to set up the turbo in the garden.
    I can remote access into the PC from my phone or tablet. I have also extended the network out in to the garden. Could I connect the dongle into the network like a network printer?

    You don't need a PC but you will need, at the bike, internet access (decent wifi is fine) and a screen on which to see the graphics from the training programme. This could be a phone or tablet or laptop. Zwift is not yet fully enabled for Android but is, I understand, for IOS. If you use another training programme such as trainer road you might want another screen for entertainment as watching a blue line and a green ball for 45 mins of more is a tad tedious.

    You will need as a minimum:

    Turbo Trainer - allow £200 or more
    Phone - you probably have one. Many modern phones have Ant+ as well as Bluetooth so dongles may not be needed.
    Mount for the phone - £20
    Fan - £20
    Training software £10-15/month

    I use a tablet for Trainer Road but have an old flat screen TV on the garage wall with a Chromecast and I watch, mostly, rock videos from YouTube. The TV is connected to an old PC sound system with sub-woofer so it has a bit of oomph.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    My set up is the Tacx T2240, IPad connected via Bluetooth and the Tacx software.
    There are loads of different types of workouts on the Tacx app plus you have the option to create your own with no yearly fees or internet connection needed.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    andyh01 wrote:
    What's the cheapest package to
    Set up on something like zwift? Need a smart trainer, mainly so the gradients matches, along with the software program ideally a freebie even computer generated vertial race doesn't have be real people I'm with.
    As the pc is in the house and the set up in shed with WiFi/internet I need a way to hook an extra screen up?. Any ideas how I can do this or do you laptop and tablets or phone's?

    Thanks Andy

    Firstly, you'll need a higher end smart trainer if you want to match all the gradients in the various software programs. If a trainer only replicates up to 10 or 12%, a 17% gradient is still only going to feel like the maximum your trainer can do and will just slow your speed to represent the higher gradient.

    Wifi can be hit and miss, depending on where your router is, if there's a spare outlet for ethernet, you'd be better off making a long ethernet cable to reach your shed and control device or a wifi booster. Presumably you have power to your shed in order to power a TV/monitor? If so, you just need a HDMI cable to connect your phone, iPad or Apple TV to it. You will need an adapter to plug into the phone or iPad in order to connect the HDMI lead.

    My internet comes into the house in the most unhelpful of locations on an outside wall making spreading the ethernet difficult. WiFi is non-existent once you're out of the room. My turbo set up is in the integral garage. I took a telephone extension lead which allowed me to move the router to an internal wall. I installed ethernet sockets and took a cable to the garage where I have an ethernet switch. That then allows me to take ethernet upstairs to the study PC, printer and a WiFi booster. It also gives me a line to two outlets for Apple TV and a PC in the garage. I have 2 x large screen TVs set up so I can either watch something while training or my daughter can be training alongside me. I use an iPad and BTE connection for my NEO and an HDMI lead linking it to one screen, while she uses an ANT+ signal to connect to the PC. So anything is just about possible, but it isn't necessarily cheap.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    Hmmm yeah I need to.understand this more.
    I would like something that looks like I'm cycling a nice route either individually or group, as I say doesn't have to be real people. Ideally with no subscription. Without this might as well be on a non smart turbo. Along with some automatic gradient adjustment so I know I'm in a similar gear. No point unrealistically sprinting up a mountain.

    I have made a few 50+meter Ethernet cables coupled up to routers configured to extend the network.
    Internet comes in from the front to the upstairs office, cable from office to back bedroom into router, piggy back out from this router by cable to the summer house at the far end of the garden. With the shed some n the middle. As both routers also pump out wifi, I have WiFi from house to summer house. I could also install a router in the shed to plug other bits in if needs be.
    So I'd need a monitor 0device with hdmi input, my android phone or tablet doesn't have these. Can you get hdmi to scart converters?

    Could I plug an ethernet cable into the smart trainer and a monitor via hdmi into the smart trainer alongg with HRM and use the speed/cadence sensor already attached to my bike?
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 906
    andyh01 wrote:
    Could I plug an ethernet cable into the smart trainer and a monitor via hdmi into the smart trainer alongg with HRM and use the speed/cadence sensor already attached to my bike?
    Nope. Smart trainers don't have network ports or HDMI ports. You need a computer/tablet/phone running suitable software that controls the smart trainer (via Bluetooth or ANT+ depending on the software/trainer/sensors used). The network access is required for the trainer control software, unless you have some that works offline but all the ones where you ride with other people (virtual or not) require internet access.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    One of these just plugs into your Android device allowing you to connect it to a large screen monitor/TV.

    I think you'll struggle to find any software of decent quality that is free. You'll get free trials from 7 days to 1 month, but after that, you need to pay the subscription.

    Smart trainers can only replicate the gradient within their limit. Once you hit gradients over that, you won't feel any further increased resistance, but your speed on screen will slow down.

    If you want a direct drive smart trainer, they're more expensive, but the Elite Qubo is a cheap but very good wheel on smart trainer, but has only a 6% maximum gradient representation.

    https://www.gearbest.com/cables-connect ... gLzOvD_BwE
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
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