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Zwift on a Budget

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  • onedayeronedayer Posts: 41
    Hey guys, quick update..

    I'm loving Zwift!

    I've done three rides in the past week, one ride for 'fun' (because they've all been fun) one step test and one ftp test. Interestingly the step test and ftp test came out with very similar numbers at 159 and 151 although I wasn't quite fresh for the step and blew up massively on the ftp!!

    Now though, I'm back to the question that I mooted in the last post of how to make the most of my training time. My goals are the same and my riding time is the same too. I'd really like the free 'fun' ride on a weekend which I can interchange with real road riding but I want advice on what to do on the two mid-week rides. Time is an issue but an hour workout is perfect.

    Am I better off just going hard on a free route for an hour or so or doing a structured workout plan? Then if so which one? I want my ftp to raise because it's ridiculously low and I want my real life flat road riding to get quicker, which is the same right? If my ftp goes up then that equals more sustainable power which then equals more speed?
  • MiddleRingerMiddleRinger Posts: 678
    Glad you're loving it! Zwift can be very addictive. I think at your stage just riding more, for longer and harder will see that FTP increase steadily. If there are some Zwift group rides at good times for you (download the Zwift Mobile app if you haven't already) then try a couple of those. Also the races are a total smash fest! They can really push you hard.

    Otherwise just log on and explore the different courses (hilly, flat, etc) to get to know it better. Once you've settled into a good Zwift routine then maybe choose a suitable a workout plan. For now, just enjoy, chase that pixel peloton and keep pushing harder on those pedals! #RideOn
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    onedayer wrote:
    Hey guys, quick update..

    I'm loving Zwift!

    I've done three rides in the past week, one ride for 'fun' (because they've all been fun) one step test and one ftp test. Interestingly the step test and ftp test came out with very similar numbers at 159 and 151 although I wasn't quite fresh for the step and blew up massively on the ftp!!

    Now though, I'm back to the question that I mooted in the last post of how to make the most of my training time. My goals are the same and my riding time is the same too. I'd really like the free 'fun' ride on a weekend which I can interchange with real road riding but I want advice on what to do on the two mid-week rides. Time is an issue but an hour workout is perfect.

    Am I better off just going hard on a free route for an hour or so or doing a structured workout plan? Then if so which one? I want my ftp to raise because it's ridiculously low and I want my real life flat road riding to get quicker, which is the same right? If my ftp goes up then that equals more sustainable power which then equals more speed?

    Have a look at the programs, there'll be something there designed to build FTP. So long as you've the discipline to ignore folks blasting by or sitting on your wheel, they're worth doing. Where they can get annoying is when you're trying to hit the indicated power on intervals and you struggle, due to the delay of Zwift in reading your power, to maintain it within the region specified, resulting in a failed section. In the settings you can alter reading to instant or average power. I found instant helps.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Guys, thanks very ,much for this thread.
    Sole reason I re-activated my Bike Radar account.

    I'm sitting in the doldrums at the moment after a horror crash at Glentress shattered my shoulder.
    I'm putting together my rehab plans ready for when the surgeon will allow me back to exercise.
    Zwift is the basis and was all for the Tacx - now upping the budget a little to go with the overwhelming recommendations on the Elite Qubo.

    Other than bluetooth ? Anything to call between these two models ?
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/elite-qubo-digital-smart-b-fe-c-trainer/
    (Should be back in stock by the time I get paid !)
    and
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/elite-qubo-wireless-digital-trainer

    Definitely want the variable resistance as Doc has asked me to stay off bikes for circa 1yr to allow full recovery.
    Bit of a cheek at that price with no mat and wheel riser tho :/
    Cheers
    Most of my issues are caused by the nut connecting the saddle to the handlebars ;)
  • sh3psh3p Posts: 98
    as above i also plumbed for the tacx 2240 from Halfords in a sale for £180 and although im sure a more expensive trainer would be better, for the price it does the job, connection wise i use an Ipad air with the bar mount, love the workouts as im naff at setting targets and keeping to them ....but having a workout to follow is another matter :)
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,443
    Guys, thanks very ,much for this thread.
    Sole reason I re-activated my Bike Radar account.

    I'm sitting in the doldrums at the moment after a horror crash at Glentress shattered my shoulder.
    I'm putting together my rehab plans ready for when the surgeon will allow me back to exercise.
    Zwift is the basis and was all for the Tacx - now upping the budget a little to go with the overwhelming recommendations on the Elite Qubo.

    Other than bluetooth ? Anything to call between these two models ?
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/elite-qubo-digital-smart-b-fe-c-trainer/
    (Should be back in stock by the time I get paid !)
    and
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/elite-qubo-wireless-digital-trainer

    Definitely want the variable resistance as Doc has asked me to stay off bikes for circa 1yr to allow full recovery.
    Bit of a cheek at that price with no mat and wheel riser tho :/
    Cheers

    The bottom one doesn't use an open ANT+ channel and therefore can't be controlled by Zwift etc. It's annoying, I bought one 3 years ago and it's a really good turbo and I'd keep it if it worked with anything else!
  • That's the answer I was looking for - Thanks mate :)
    Just need someone to get them back into stock so I can use my BC discount !

    The more faff setting it up, the less I'm likely to use it.
    Most of my issues are caused by the nut connecting the saddle to the handlebars ;)
  • jet_blackjet_black Posts: 11
    I bought my qubo from here, comes with extra stuff and it's ~£20 cheaper plus currently in stock https://www.athleteshop.co.uk/elite-tra ... avel-block

    Only thing is you need a plug adapter as it's a Euro model.
  • So, Approval given from Surgeon to start training on static equipment.
    Also, just received a bill for a snapped spring and knakered top bearing in the car.
    So - No Qubo for me this month.

    Is there any way to make a McGyver version of Zwift with my old manual resistance trainer and youtube videos ?
    Think the poor man's Zwift, couple levels below Budget !
    Most of my issues are caused by the nut connecting the saddle to the handlebars ;)
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,063
    Youtube video of a TdF stage.
    When the road changes, up the resistance, when they attack you attack.
    Simples.
  • Logging back on I'm glad to see this thread being useful for other people too!

    I'm still very much addicted to Zwift, it just keeps on giving. My FTP has gone from 151w in May to 191w last week (3.1w/kg) Quite a substantial fitness increase. Looking back at my targets the first stage of increasing my numbers has been achieved and more set. I also went up to the dales over the summer and did two rides in two days. Hilly, long, fun.

    Early days was spent just exploring the courses and trying to beat my records on the times sections. Then I found group rides which were a blast. Now I've found the zwift racing scene! Mini Crit leagues which record points totals for finishing places are an absolute blast. Basically an hour at threshold!!

    I'm currently thinking about joining a local cycling club.

    Onwards and upwards!

    @caledonia2k - If you haven't ordered a smart trainer yet and are going for the Qubo make sure you get the right model because there are lots with very similar names.

    EDIT: I was going to mention zwift workouts. Workout mode looks fantastic but it isn't something I've used much of. This was purely my choice of wanting to spend time in group rides and free riding rather than chasing the numbers but I have dabbled in a few which were good fun and tough. In the races though I have highlighted a weakness in climbing. Despite my weight I struggle to do much when the hills start and I'm clinging on to the group rather than being out at the front leaving people behind. GCN have some great hill climbing workouts in the zwift software so I'm going to look to add a few of those into my training time.
  • FAO Philthy3 - did you manage to connect your phone to your Elite turbo trainer via Ant+
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,063
    I recently did the Hill attacks workout and found it far too easy, even though it's set correctly using my FTP.
    10 x 1min intervals at 325w just wasn't bad at all. The thing I struggled with was keeping my cadence to the 90rpm they wanted. I like spinning at around 95/100.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Dannbodge wrote:
    I recently did the Hill attacks workout and found it far too easy, even though it's set correctly using my FTP.
    10 x 1min intervals at 325w just wasn't bad at all. The thing I struggled with was keeping my cadence to the 90rpm they wanted. I like spinning at around 95/100.

    I'll get my coat now then....blowing steam at 95rpm cadence.....must be doing something wrong...

    hitting the high 40's to mid 50 kmh's but cadence is around 70 / 75.....

    ideas ?
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,063
    Dannbodge wrote:
    I recently did the Hill attacks workout and found it far too easy, even though it's set correctly using my FTP.
    10 x 1min intervals at 325w just wasn't bad at all. The thing I struggled with was keeping my cadence to the 90rpm they wanted. I like spinning at around 95/100.

    I'll get my coat now then....blowing steam at 95rpm cadence.....must be doing something wrong...

    hitting the high 40's to mid 50 kmh's but cadence is around 70 / 75.....

    ideas ?

    Depends on your style though. Some people prefer lower cadences, I prefer higher ones.
    My flat riding cadence will be up around 80rpm (my average from my last outdoor ride was 93rpm over 40miles :lol: )
  • Dannbodge wrote:
    I recently did the Hill attacks workout and found it far too easy, even though it's set correctly using my FTP.
    10 x 1min intervals at 325w just wasn't bad at all. The thing I struggled with was keeping my cadence to the 90rpm they wanted. I like spinning at around 95/100.

    If that workout was using ERG mode, where Zwift sets 325W for those intervals to an interactive turbo, the hill gradient and extra resistance you would feel in "free ride" mode is neutralised. It is not made harder by doing that workout on the Watopia "Epic KOM" route compared to say London Flat.

    I forgot this when I did a very short trial of "The Wringer" workout last night using the Surrey Hills route, I wasn't virtually climbing a hill at all, it was fake virtual elevation gain... If I understand things correctly.
    ================
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  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,063
    Dannbodge wrote:
    I recently did the Hill attacks workout and found it far too easy, even though it's set correctly using my FTP.
    10 x 1min intervals at 325w just wasn't bad at all. The thing I struggled with was keeping my cadence to the 90rpm they wanted. I like spinning at around 95/100.

    If that workout was using ERG mode, where Zwift sets 325W for those intervals to an interactive turbo, the hill gradient and extra resistance you would feel in "free ride" mode is neutralised. It is not made harder by doing that workout on the Watopia "Epic KOM" route compared to say London Flat.

    I forgot this when I did a very short trial of "The Wringer" workout last night using the Surrey Hills route, I wasn't virtually climbing a hill at all, it was fake virtual elevation gain... If I understand things correctly.

    Yeah that was on ERG mode on my Tacx Flux (I understand how ERG works etc)

    I still count it as climbing as it's all based on wattage anyway. 50w is 50w regardless of gradient, same as 300w on 2% gradient is the same as 300w on 20%. You may need a difference cadence and gear selection to do it but it's still the same wattage.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    angusrose wrote:
    FAO Philthy3 - did you manage to connect your phone to your Elite turbo trainer via Ant+

    I managed to connect the Direto to the Wahoo without problem and to Sufferfest, TrainerRoad, Zwift and My E Training via the phone. The phone connection is Bluetooth though (Apple). I can't say what it connected to the Elemnt with though, as it uses both protocols and isn't restricted as to how many connections it makes with Bluetooth unlike most other trainers.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    I've done it on the cheap and works for me, I bought the Tacx Blue Matic Smart trainer from Halfords for £99, and use my iphone, zwift subscription for £13 pcm and that's it. Have only had it a month but really enjoying it and is nice to not have to force myself to go out in the wind and rain, perfect tool for winter riding. The Blue Matic is as basic as it comes, it doesn't adjust the gradient but Zwift just slows your avatar on the hills anyway so if you want to go faster you just pedal harder. It has 10 difficulty settings but it's made to be kept on setting 3 which feels about right.

    Whilst on the subject of Zwift, does anyone know of any unlock codes for socks etc, I've seen unlock codes for jerseys but not much else, I don't really want any unlock codes for bikes/wheels etc as want to earn that, but a lot of the jerseys etc can't be earned, only through codes.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,063
    Vulva65 wrote:
    I've done it on the cheap and works for me, I bought the Tacx Blue Matic Smart trainer from Halfords for £99, and use my iphone, zwift subscription for £13 pcm and that's it. Have only had it a month but really enjoying it and is nice to not have to force myself to go out in the wind and rain, perfect tool for winter riding. The Blue Matic is as basic as it comes, it doesn't adjust the gradient but Zwift just slows your avatar on the hills anyway so if you want to go faster you just pedal harder. It has 10 difficulty settings but it's made to be kept on setting 3 which feels about right.

    Whilst on the subject of Zwift, does anyone know of any unlock codes for socks etc, I've seen unlock codes for jerseys but not much else, I don't really want any unlock codes for bikes/wheels etc as want to earn that, but a lot of the jerseys etc can't be earned, only through codes.

    The unlock codes are only for jerseys.
    There aren't any for socks, bikes or wheels.
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    Dannbodge wrote:
    Vulva65 wrote:
    I've done it on the cheap and works for me, I bought the Tacx Blue Matic Smart trainer from Halfords for £99, and use my iphone, zwift subscription for £13 pcm and that's it. Have only had it a month but really enjoying it and is nice to not have to force myself to go out in the wind and rain, perfect tool for winter riding. The Blue Matic is as basic as it comes, it doesn't adjust the gradient but Zwift just slows your avatar on the hills anyway so if you want to go faster you just pedal harder. It has 10 difficulty settings but it's made to be kept on setting 3 which feels about right.

    Whilst on the subject of Zwift, does anyone know of any unlock codes for socks etc, I've seen unlock codes for jerseys but not much else, I don't really want any unlock codes for bikes/wheels etc as want to earn that, but a lot of the jerseys etc can't be earned, only through codes.

    The unlock codes are only for jerseys.
    There aren't any for socks, bikes or wheels.

    Ahhh okay, thanks for letting me know bud.
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