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Zwift setup or winter bike?

hello my dears
I have been riding as an adult for about 2 years.
I have a Via nirone7 and no zwift equipment ie trainer or ipad and I've never experienced zwift.
I am saving up either for a trainer/ipad or a winter bike, so what does a good winter bike need for uk conditions, ans is zwift as fun/rewarding as road riding?

thanks for any input

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,300
    For winter riding you need mudguards, lights, decent waterproof / windproof, overshoes and sense of humour at times. I have rollers and a dumb trainer bike but tend to just ride outdoors. If zwifting or similar you'll need a smart trainer of some sort and space etc.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • me-109me-109 Posts: 1,168
    A good winter bike needs clearance for full lifeguards, not flimsy strap-on things. Be wary that many bikes have mudguard or pannier mounts but very little clearance, especially with bigger/wider tyres. Also, there are road disc bikes that are still at the sporty end of the spectrum that won't fit the bill either.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,147
    A winter bike used to be your old summer bike fitted with mudguards.

    As has been said. Full proper guards are best and clearances for bigger tyres. Also a cheaper groupset for the crappier weather.

    Zwift is great but you have to be keen to use it. There's thousands of turbos that get very little use.

    You might be able to pick up a bargain after lockdown is relaxed.
  • wotnoshoesehwotnoshoeseh Posts: 489
    Get a winter bike - I tried Zwift, albeit on a dumb trainer, and thought it rubbish.

    I have one of those "thousands of turbos" that fenix refers to above.

    Real roads, real miles in real weather - there's no substitute.
    I don't think the VN7 will take full guards though....if you are going to go that way.
    GT Series 4 2010
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  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,027
    tokenvelo said:

    hello my dears
    I have been riding as an adult for about 2 years.
    I have a Via nirone7 and no zwift equipment ie trainer or ipad and I've never experienced zwift.
    I am saving up either for a trainer/ipad or a winter bike, so what does a good winter bike need for uk conditions, ans is zwift as fun/rewarding as road riding?

    thanks for any input

    A winter bike will need a set of lights and will be better with full mudguards. You will also want more/better weather appropriate clothing, water resistant, full gloves, overshoes.....
    Zwift will not be as fun or rewarding as being out on the road. On the other hand on those days when it is lashing down or blowing a gale then Zwift is better, and that happens year round. IMO.
    Only you can choose. Ultimately it is better to have both.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,381
    I would guess that a high proportion of the above mentioned little used turbos are of the dumb variety. Spending much time on one of those is absolute purgatory.

    A proper modern smart trainer set up is very different and makes regular turbo use a lot more tolerable, perhaps even fun.

    That said, the answer to your question is obviously you need both!
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,309
    I have both and if I'm honest, the winter bike gets rather little use these days..

    Depending on where you live it's only really a few weeks either side of Christmas when the roads are *always* wet... The rest of the time, alternating between outdoor rides when it's dry and indoor Zwift sessions when it's wet is a really good way to keep motivated and mix things up - short and intense indoors, longer rides outdoors.

    But you do need the whole smart trainer, decent IT/screen setup etc to get the full experience.
  • Darius_JedburghDarius_Jedburgh Posts: 596
    A question about any of the training programmes....is it possible to add one of my own rides into the programmes and re ride that? I know there would be no video, but I could get some measure of my effort by comparing with a known ride/route of my own.

    Is it possible to add a gpx file to any of the software programmes available, or are the preloaded ones the only routes you can follow?
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,381

    A question about any of the training programmes....is it possible to add one of my own rides into the programmes and re ride that? I know there would be no video, but I could get some measure of my effort by comparing with a known ride/route of my own.

    Is it possible to add a gpx file to any of the software programmes available, or are the preloaded ones the only routes you can follow?

    Yes. You can do that. I believe you can do it on Rouvy and probably some of the other apps.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,027

    A question about any of the training programmes....is it possible to add one of my own rides into the programmes and re ride that? I know there would be no video, but I could get some measure of my effort by comparing with a known ride/route of my own.

    Is it possible to add a gpx file to any of the software programmes available, or are the preloaded ones the only routes you can follow?

    You can definitely do it using Tacx Premium, and you get a Google Maps progress kind of video. I used the trial period to do just that as a test since the Neo2 was so much harder than my previous turbo.
    It stacked up fairly accurate to my PB which is understandable when you don't have to worry about junctions and potholes/ gravel etc. 😉

    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Darius_JedburghDarius_Jedburgh Posts: 596
    That's good news. Thanks guys.

    Is it just gpx, or do I have to convert to .fit or.kml? Simple enough to do but just another step to consider.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,027
    I can't remember the steps exactly but is was a fairly simple upload from one of my Strava recorded rides and wait on it doing it's processing thing, then go.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Darius_JedburghDarius_Jedburgh Posts: 596
    Lovely. I like simple.
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,652
    edited 26 May
    OP it sounds like you don't even have a turbo trainer? Get or borrow a cheap one, and see how you get on with it. That's the first thing. Try watching tv or videos on an iPad, Laptop or TV while you're doing it. If you don't like it, then going for a full on Zwift setup could be an expensive waste of money if you mean one of the high end turbo trainers.

    In the end, if you use Zwift it's still going to be you pedalling in the house when it comes to basics, and Zwift doesn't fool everyone into some kind of involving experience, some people who don't like being on a turbo in the house will not be converted by Zwift into doing it.

    (Same goes for all-weather winter riding, some people just don't take to it).
  • tokenvelotokenvelo Posts: 7
    ok thanks for all the replies, there's still summer to come so I won't be making any premature decisions, think i will just keep saving up.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,300
    Just keep an eye open for the bargains from people who decide cycling is not for them. Expect a few bargains coming up, bikes and trainers I suspect.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,390
    In February I would have said winter bike but after this lockdown business I’m a turbo convert.

    I bought a discounted smart turbo and a used iPad and I’ve been on zwift or RGT 5-6 days a week for the last 9 weeks. I love it.

    Zwift racing has been the competitive outlet I’ve been craving for years but haven’t had the time or money to do anything about. I’ve not been this fit for years.

    I’ve done a couple of 2 hour+ rides on zwift and only stopped because I had other stuff to do, no way I could have done that on a dumb trainer, But time flies on a nice virtual route.

    I’m not sure I’ll ever ride out in the dark and cold again, but I do have to caveat that all of my riding is done between 5am and 9am so I’d you’re the type of person who waits until a sensible time to ride at the weekend you might not find it as much of a revelation as I did.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
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  • andyracandyrac Posts: 433

    Get a winter bike - I tried Zwift, albeit on a dumb trainer, and thought it rubbish.

    I have one of those "thousands of turbos" that fenix refers to above.

    Real roads, real miles in real weather - there's no substitute.

    I tried Zwift for a 7 day trial on an Elite dumb trainer; and didn't bother subscribing. I found 45 mins was more than enough, and harder work (and less enjoyable) than a 45 min road ride. I wonder whether a smart trainer would make a difference - and I could be tempted, especially for the days when it's wet & windy, which tend to be numerous here in the North West.

    Saying that, although I use my Crockett for the winter, I'm tempted by either a steel or titanium bike for winter.
    " He's flown down the Mountain like a missile...."




    Trek Crockett 4
    Canyon Grand Canyon 8.0
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 64
    Zwift? Winter bike?
    Just get outside and ride regardless.
    Unless where you live suffers from monsoon season or 6 months of snow there's no substitute to the great outdoors regardless of the weather.
    Sure, a Zwift session could give you a workout, let you hit your training stats, but it's not everything that being outside is all about. Where's the crosswind? Potholes? Errant drivers? All the things that sharpen your mind and improve your bike handling skills. Zwift sounds great in theory, but doesn't harden you to real cycling, whatever the weather. IMO it trains you to be soft, gives you an out when the conditions aren't right. How's that going to help you in a club race or training ride when the conditions are changeable.
    As for a winter bike, as long as you can fashion fixings for full length mudguards any bike can be winterised. There's plenty of bodges out there.
    Keep it real, cycle outside as often as possible. Anything else is not moving you forward to your potential.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,230
    Some winters are better for a winter bike, other winters are better for a turbo trainer. Last winter was very wet and I spent equal time riding and cleaning, despite the mudguards... but at least there was very little in the way of ice... ideally you need both... of course the turbo is a more bombproof solution
  • ibr17xviiibr17xvii Posts: 280
    Cargobike said:

    Zwift? Winter bike?
    Just get outside and ride regardless.
    Unless where you live suffers from monsoon season or 6 months of snow there's no substitute to the great outdoors regardless of the weather.
    Sure, a Zwift session could give you a workout, let you hit your training stats, but it's not everything that being outside is all about. Where's the crosswind? Potholes? Errant drivers? All the things that sharpen your mind and improve your bike handling skills. Zwift sounds great in theory, but doesn't harden you to real cycling, whatever the weather. IMO it trains you to be soft, gives you an out when the conditions aren't right. How's that going to help you in a club race or training ride when the conditions are changeable.
    As for a winter bike, as long as you can fashion fixings for full length mudguards any bike can be winterised. There's plenty of bodges out there.
    Keep it real, cycle outside as often as possible. Anything else is not moving you forward to your potential.


    What utter nonsense.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,300
    I actually agree pretty much with cargobike. Decent mudguards, tyres,lights and clothing allow you to ride pretty much 365 days of the year. I commute most of the time 13 miles each way for 12hr shifts and only cop out if to much to carry, ice or 25mph winds. I'm not a lover of turbos and tend to use rollers as more realistic.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • ibr17xviiibr17xvii Posts: 280
    oxoman said:

    I actually agree pretty much with cargobike. Decent mudguards, tyres,lights and clothing allow you to ride pretty much 365 days of the year. I commute most of the time 13 miles each way for 12hr shifts and only cop out if to much to carry, ice or 25mph winds. I'm not a lover of turbos and tend to use rollers as more realistic.


    Each to their own but to say indoor riding trains you to be soft is absolute nonsense.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,309
    Different type of "soft" and "hard".. Certainly you'll develop a type of stoicism going for long rides in horizontal sleet, but equally 2x20min FTP intervals, 5x5min VO2 max, or even regular threshhold efforts up Alpe du Zwift will unsoften you too ;-)
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,230
    I don't use a trainer... the problem with modern smart trainers is that... well, they are too smart. In the past we used to have numb trainers and rollers and we looked forward to spring, so we could get out of the smelly garage... now with virtual races, training sessions, virtual social rides, virtual time trials, it becomes quite tempting to increase the turbo season well into the spring and some people simply don't go out on their bike anymore, as it's difficult to replicate the same level of excitement and the same number of "happenings" outdoors.

    In terms of power training, they are probably better than riding outdoors, as you can do more work in less time, more structured intervals, without the distraction of road junctions, traffic, potholes and temperamental terrain, but of course I am dubious about what they do for your mental health, compared to being outdoors for a few hours. It's not just about the watts, sport outdoor is beneficial in a number of ways that virtual cannot replicate.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,300
    Try riding against the wind gusting or otherwise and hold to a steady cadence or watts. Dead easy on swift or other smart training platform, but in real life as described above very hard.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367
    I bought my first smart trainer the day lockdown was announced. On the few bad weather days we have had, its been a revelation. I've gritted my teeth into Scottish winter headwinds for years now and there's just a point where there is just no fun.

    And Zwift is so time efficient.

    But you do need a winter/commuting bike as well. It is great to have something with cheaper bits on it, that already looks like hell, but rides okay.
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 1,859
    Cargobike said:

    Zwift? Winter bike?
    Just get outside and ride regardless.
    Unless where you live suffers from monsoon season or 6 months of snow there's no substitute to the great outdoors regardless of the weather.
    Sure, a Zwift session could give you a workout, let you hit your training stats, but it's not everything that being outside is all about. Where's the crosswind? Potholes? Errant drivers? All the things that sharpen your mind and improve your bike handling skills. Zwift sounds great in theory, but doesn't harden you to real cycling, whatever the weather. IMO it trains you to be soft, gives you an out when the conditions aren't right. How's that going to help you in a club race or training ride when the conditions are changeable.
    As for a winter bike, as long as you can fashion fixings for full length mudguards any bike can be winterised. There's plenty of bodges out there.
    Keep it real, cycle outside as often as possible. Anything else is not moving you forward to your potential.

    I don't think anyone is claiming zwift makes you better at dodging potholes or cars. You're thinking of frogger.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,587
    I haven't got zwift but it's harder to do top end training on the road in Winter. Hard chain gangs in the dark can be more dangerous. The days when people just ticked over or did base miles over Winter are gone so I can see why zwift is popular. I've done hard intervals on a dumb trainer in the garage and it takes some motivation - on the road on a cold night the same.
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