The 7 Best Bike Trainers for Zwift from Low to High-End (2024)

Best Bike Trainers for Zwift: A picture from Zwift indoor cycling competition

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This article includes the best bike trainers for Zwift that ensure an immersive training experience during your Zwift rides, workouts, or races.

I included only interactive bike trainers, ensuring you get the most out of Zwift. Additionally, I’ve tested some of them, scored them based on my scoring system, and analyzed hundreds of reviews from Zwifters worldwide, saving you time and effort.

KEY TAKEAWAY

The best bike trainers for indoor cycling apps, such as Zwift, can adjust the resistance depending on the terrain. They are called interactive smart trainers. However, you can also use Zwift with a dumb trainer and cadence + speed sensors.

If I were choosing, I would primarily consider the following:

  • Wahoo KICKR (also available at competitivecyclist.com) as the best bike trainer for Zwift overall. Thanks to its specs, reliability, practicality, and flawless compatibility with Zwift and Wahoo accessories.
  • Zwift Hub One as the best budget bike trainer for Zwift. It provides an excellent price-value ratio thanks to almost high-end-like specs for a mid-range price.
  • Tacx NEO 2T (also available at amazon.com) as the best high-end and most realistic ride feel. It can simulate different surfaces, like gravel or cobblestones, for the most realistic ride feel possible.

Continue reading to find out more about these and other Zwift-compatible trainers. I will also give you tips on helpful Zwift resources.

What Are the Best Bike Trainers for Zwift?

Zwift Hub One smart bike trainer.
Zwift Hub One

Read More

Wahoo KICKR v5 from the right side on a wooden floor.
Wahoo KICKR

Also available at competitivecyclist.com and tredz.co.uk

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Tacx NEO 2T on a wooden floor (right side).
Tacx NEO 2T

Also available at amazon.com, jensonusa.com, and tredz.co.uk

Read More

Skip to the comparison table…

The best bike trainers for Zwift are interactive to change the resistance based on the terrain you ride in Zwift.

They also have to be reliable and provide accurate and consistent data (like your cadence, watts, etc.) in case you are into racing. The other features, like the realistic ride, quiet operation, and high resistance, are a nice plus.

Read my buyer’s guide section to learn more about other features to consider when buying a Zwift-compatible trainer.

Wahoo KICKR (Best Bike Trainer for Zwift Overall)

High-end specs, road-like feel, reliability, and compatibility with Wahoo accessories.

Resistance and Gradient 5/5 | Accuracy 5/5 | Noisiness 4/5 | Power Consumption 4/5 | Ride Feel 4/5 | ERG Mode 4/5 | Ease of Setup 5/5 | Portability 5/5 | OVERALL 4.5/5

Main Features

  • Cassette included: Yes
  • Adjusts resistance via training app: Yes
  • Up to 5 degrees of side-to-side tilt
  • Measures metrics like speed, distance, power, and cadence
  • Sturdy and stable construction
  • Easily portable thanks to carrying handle
  • Easily storable thanks to foldable legs
  • Compatible with Wahoo accessories like HEADWIND or CLIMB

Technical Specs

  • Resistance (type): Up to 2200W (electromagnetic)
  • Accuracy: ±1%
  • Gradient simulation: 20%
  • Automatic calibration: Yes
  • Weight: 46 lb (20.9 kg)
  • Noisiness: 58 dB @ 200W
  • Power Consumption: 6 Wh @ 200W, 10 Wh @ 300W
  • Flywheel: 16 lb (7.3 kg)
  • Connectivity:
    • KICKR v5: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth
    • KICKR v6: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz WiFi

World Tour Teams Using Wahoo KICKR v5

  • BORA – hansgrohe
  • EF Education-EasyPost
  • Trek – Segafredo

KICKR is Wahoo’s iconic trainer and is considered the gold standard by many. Wahoo improves it every two years or so to make it competitive.

Its 5th generation from 2020 has a few improvements compared to the 2018 version.

  • The calibration is automatic and doesn’t require a spindown.
  • The accuracy increased from ±2% to ±1%.
  • Wahoo added wired connectivity with accessories.
  • Up to 5 degrees of side-to-side movement thanks to rubber dampeners.
    Read my Wahoo KICKR v5 review for more info.

KICKR v6 adds WiFi connectivity, an ERG Easy Ramp feature, and an odometer. You can read my article comparing KICKR v5 and v6 for more details.

I like KICKR’s road-like ride feel. Its flywheel does a great job, so with up to 20% gradient simulation, you will feel great pain climbing the Alp Du Zwift.

The trainer itself is quiet so that the most noise will be made by your bike’s drive train. You don’t have to use headphones and won’t disturb your family members in other rooms.

One of the KICKR’s benefits is its compatibility with Wahoo accessories like KICKR Climb or Headwind, which will take your indoor training to a new level. Non-Wahoo trainers don’t have this compatibility.

KICKR doesn’t have many disadvantages, honestly. It’s only a shame that the side-to-side tilt of its AXIS legs isn’t very effective.

If the specs of KICKR are insufficient for you, check out the Tacx NEO 2T. It offers higher gradient simulation (up to 25%), more resistance (2200W), and other perks, like different road surface simulations.

Check out the best bike trainer accessories to upgrade your training cave and improve your indoor training experience.

Zwift Hub One (Best Budget Bike Trainer for Zwift)

Mid-to-high-range specs for a low-end price.

Zwift Hub One smart bike trainer with orange  background.
Zwift Hub One

Main Features

  • Adjusts resistance via training app: Yes
  • Measures speed, power, and cadence
  • Easy to set up
  • Virtual shifting, race mode
  • Unmatched specifications in this price range

Technical Specs

  • Resistance (type): Up to 1800W (electromagnetic)
  • Accuracy: ±2.5%
  • Gradient simulation: 16%
  • Auto calibration: Yes
  • Weight: 33 lb (15 kg)
  • Flywheel: 10.3 lb (4.7 kg)
  • Connectivity: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth

The Zwift Hub One is the successor of the discontinued Zwift Hub Classic, which became a hit almost immediately after its introduction. This is mainly thanks to its affordable price and mid-to-high-range specifications. They are both based on the Jetblack Volt trainer.

In addition to the great specs, Zwift also focused on ease of installation and use. The package includes simple instructions on what adapters to use. You also don’t have to deal with a cassette because Zwift Hub One has a Zwift Cog that makes it compatible with 8-12-speed bikes.

Additionally, it has a race mode for more frequent power data and virtual shifting for a better riding experience.

Honestly, it’s hard to find any major flaws with this trainer. But I did find two. The first is the lack of a handle for easier carrying (for people without a permanent training area).

The second is the inability to fold it up like other trainers (like the Wahoo KICKR), making it less storable. So you’ll have to completely disassemble it after the season.

One final thought. Currently, Zwift Hub One is compatible with third-party apps. However, there is a theoretical chance that Zwift could restrict it to ‘Zwift-only.’ Thus, you would not be able to use it with competing apps. I also recommend reading my comparison of Zwift Hub One with Wahoo KICKR Core. Both of these trainers now cost the same.

Tacx NEO 2T (Best High-End Bike Trainer for Zwift)

High-end direct-drive trainer for the most demanding riders that can simulate gravel, cobblestones, descents, and more.

Resistance and Gradient 5/5 | Accuracy 3/5 | Noisiness 5/5 | Power Consumption 5/5 | Ride Feel 5/5 | ERG Mode 4/5 | Ease of Setup 4/5 | Portability 2/5 | OVERALL 4.1/5

Main Features

  • Cassette included: No
  • Adjusts resistance via training app: Yes
  • Measures speed, cadence, power, left/right leg power balance
  • Very quiet
  • The most realistic ride feel of all trainers thanks to the virtual flywheel
  • Can simulate different surfaces (gravel, cobblestones, etc.) and downhill
  • Foldable but without a carry handle
  • Front wheel block included

Technical Specs

  • Resistance (type): Up to 2200W (electromagnetic)
  • Accuracy: ±1%
  • Gradient simulation: 25%
  • Automatic calibration: Yes
  • Weight: 47.3 lb (21.5 kg)
  • Noisiness: ~55.5 dB @ 200W
  • Power Consumption: ~0 Wh @ 200W, ~0 Wh @ 300W, 44 Wh when freewheeling motor operates
  • Connectivity: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth
  • Power required: No

World Tour Teams Using Tacx NEO 2T

  • Astana Qazaqstan Team
  • INEOS Grenadiers
  • Lotto Soudal
  • Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
  • Team BikeExchange – Jayco
  • Team Jumbo-Visma

The NEO 2T is Tacx’s top direct-drive trainer, featuring improved internals for a quieter, more accurate (±1% vs. ±2.5%), and more reliable performance.

With the largest virtual flywheel on the market, weighing up to 276 lb (125 kg), the NEO 2T provides an enhanced road-like riding experience.

One standout feature is its ability to simulate multiple road surfaces, like cobbles and gravel, which sets it apart from other bike trainers. I really enjoyed this one!

Cyclists, including pros, love the Tacx NEO 2T for its accuracy and durability. It can even measure your L/R leg balance.

The foldability is convenient for storage during summer months, but the trainer lacks a handle, making it challenging to move around with a mounted bike. Therefore, a dedicated training area is a must.

However, there are drawbacks, such as its high price and the need to purchase a cassette separately. I also find its ERG mode too aggressive, and it took me some time to get used to.

Another thing to note is that the virtual flywheel can make pedaling feel “difficult,” as if the trainer is pulling your legs.

So, is the price justifiable? If you prioritize the most realistic ride feel, then yes. For more in-depth information, check out my Tacx NEO 2T review.

I included its two alternatives in this selection. Both are more affordable but offer similarly good specs:

Also available at amazon.com, jensonusa.com, and tredz.co.uk

PRO TIP: Take your zwifting to the next level. Choose one of these best cycling rocker plates to improve your riding comfort thanks to the swing motion, add more realism, and engage your core muscles.

Tacx Flow (Most Affordable Interactive Bike Trainer for Zwift)

One of the most affordable interactive smart trainers on the market.

Resistance and Gradient 2/5 | Accuracy 1/5 | Noisiness 3/5 | Power Consumption 4/5 | Ride Feel 3/5 | ERG Mode 3/5 | Ease of Setup 4/5 | Portability 4/5 | OVERALL 3.0/5

Main Features

  • Adjusts resistance via training app: Yes
  • Measures speed, power, and cadence
  • Front wheel block included
  • Easily portable thanks to low weight

Technical Specs

  • Resistance (type): Up to 800W (electromagnetic)
  • Accuracy: ±5%
  • Gradient simulation: 6%
  • Auto calibration: No
  • Weight: 20.7 lb (9.4 kg)
  • Noisiness: ~62.3 dB @ 200W
  • Power Consumption: ~7 Wh @ 200W, ~3 Wh @ 300W
  • Flywheel: 3.5 lb (1.6 kg)
  • Connectivity: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth

Garmin’s Tacx Flow is one of the cheapest smart interactive bike trainers. It can adjust the resistance based on the virtual world of your favorite training app. This makes your riding more engaging and road-like.

While the 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) flywheel is silent, the nature of this trainer (wheel-on) means that the tire will make more noise than a direct-drive trainer. But it’s relatively quiet compared to other wheel-on trainers I tested (like the Elite Novo Force). I recommend using a trainer tire to reduce the noisiness.

The Tacx Flow is also portable and easy to set up, making it a great option for those with limited space.

Its biggest downsides are the low maximum resistance and gradient simulation compared to other trainers in this price range and lower accuracy.

Some users have also reported connectivity issues, which can be solved with an ANT+ receiver. I didn’t experience them.

Tacx Flow lacks in terms of specs, but considering its price, it offers great value for the money. If you want a better wheel-on trainer for Zwift, check out Wahoo KICKR Snap.

Also available at jensonusa.com

Saris H3

An iconic US-made trainer with one of the best ERG modes on the market.

Resistance and Gradient 5/5 | Accuracy 4/5 | Noisiness 4/5 | Power Consumption 4/5 | Ride Feel 4/5 | ERG Mode 5/5 | Ease of Setup 4/5 | Portability 3/5 | OVERALL 4.1/5

Main Features

  • Cassette included: No
  • Adjusts resistance via training app: Yes
  • Measures speed, cadence, power
  • Precise and responsive ERG mode (ideal for TrainerRoad)
  • Well built

Technical Specs

  • Resistance (type): Up to 2000W (electromagnetic)
  • Accuracy: ±2%
  • Gradient simulation: 20%
  • Auto calibration: No
  • Weight: 47 lb (21.3 kg)
  • Noisiness: ~58.7 dB @ 200W
  • Power Consumption: ~8.8 Wh @ 200W, ~11.7 Wh @ 300W
  • Flywheel: 20 lb (9.1 kg)
  • Connectivity: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth

Saris (formerly CycleOps) is a US brand producing bike trainers and racks. The H3 is one of their most popular bike trainers. It is an improved CycleOps Hammer. So, what can you expect from it?

It’s quiet, well-built, and stable. According to Saris, it has a noisiness level of 59dB at 20mph. This is a level of normal conversation.

H3 offers up to 2000W and 20% gradient simulation – enough for advanced, even pro cyclists.

Probably the best feature of H3 is its precise ERG mode. This makes this trainer ideal not only for Zwift but also for TrainerRoad and other apps.

Saris H3 will provide a great road-like feel to make your Zwift rides as high-quality as possible.

One of the main downsides of Saris H3 is that it sometimes has an inaccurate cadence sensor and the cassette is not included.

The main alternatives for H3 are Wahoo KICKR and Tacx NEO 2T. Both these trainers are a little bit more expensive.

Learn more details in my Saris H3 review or:

Also available at amazon.com

Wahoo KICKR Snap

A wheel-on trainer on steroids.

Wahoo KICKR Snap direct-drive smart trainer on a KICKR trainer mat and a mounted road bike
Wahoo KICKR Snap | Source: wahoofitness.com

Main Features

  • Adjusts resistance via training app: Yes
  • Measures speed, distance, and power
  • Front wheel block included
  • Very portable

Technical Specs

  • Resistance (type): Up to 1500W (electromagnetic)
  • Accuracy: ±3%
  • Gradient simulation: 12%
  • Auto calibration: No
  • Weight: 38 lb (17.2 kg)
  • Flywheel: 10.5 lb (4.8 kg)
  • Connectivity: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth

Snap is the most affordable bike trainer from Wahoo. It is great for Zwift, although it is a wheel-on trainer. Let me explain why.

Wahoo took advantage of its experience with bike trainers. The electromagnetic resistance unit and 10.5 lb (4.8 kg) flywheel create a good riding experience. Naturally, it is not as great as direct-drive trainers.

Snap has much better specs than its closest alternative, Tacx Flow:

  • Resistance: 800W vs. 1500W
  • Accuracy: ±5% vs. ±3%
  • Gradient simulation: 6% vs. 12%

To take your indoor training setup to the next level, you can pair it with a Wahoo Headwind fan and a Wahoo KICKR Climb gradient simulator. The fan will keep you cool, and the simulator adjusts the position based on the terrain in Zwift (or any other training app).

The main disadvantage of Wahoo KICKR Snap is its price compared to Tacx Flow.

Also available at competitivecyclist.com and tredz.co.uk

Tacx Flux S

A mid-range direct-drive trainer combining great value for the money.

Tacx Flux S direct-drive smart trainer
Tacx Flux S

Main Features

  • Cassette included: No
  • Adjusts resistance via training app: Yes
  • Measures power, speed, and cadence
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Great price-value ratio
  • Bad storability and portability

Technical Specs

  • Resistance (type): Up to 1500W (electromagnetic)
  • Accuracy: ±3%
  • Gradient simulation: 10%
  • Auto calibration: No
  • Weight: 52 lb (23.6 kg)
  • Flywheel: 15.4 lbs (7.0 kg)
  • Connectivity: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth

Tacx Flux S is an affordable direct-drive trainer with decent specs. If you don’t need the specs of a high-end trainer, Flux S is a great option for Zwift.

Let’s be honest. The specifications of Flux S will be sufficient for most riders. It can generate resistance of up to 1500W, gradient simulation of 10%, and accuracy is ±3%.

As is common with direct-drive trainers, the Flux S provides a good riding experience that is slightly worse than high-end direct-drive trainers.

It is sturdy and stable, so you can push into the pedals hard while being confident you won’t lose balance or overturn it when sprinting.

The only main issue is that it doesn’t have foldable legs, so it is not ideal for people with limited space. No carry handle that would ease its manipulation makes it ideal for people with a dedicated training cave.

Also available at rei.com, competitivecyclist.com, and tredz.co.uk


Smart TrainerTypeResistanceAccuracyGradient SimulationBuyResistance
and Gradient
AccuracyNoisinessPower ConsumptionRide FeelERG ModeEase of
Setup
PortabilityOverall Score
Wahoo KICKR v6Direct‑drive2200W±1%20%Check Price
Check Price (tredz.co.uk)
554444534.5
Zwift Hub OneDirect‑drive1800W±2.5%16%Check Price4n/an/an/an/an/a554.0
Tacx NEO 2TDirect‑drive2200W±1%25%Check Price
Check Price (amazon.com)
535554434.1
Tacx FlowWheel‑on800W±5%6%Check Price
Check Price (rei.com)
213433453.0
Saris H3Direct‑drive2000W±2%20%Check Price
Check Price (amazon.com)
544445444.1
Wahoo KICKR SnapWheel‑on1500W±3%12%Check Price
Check Price (competitivecyclist.com)
43n/an/an/an/a443.5
Tacx Flux S Direct‑drive1500W±3%10%Check Price
Check Price (competitivecyclist.com)
43n/an/an/an/a343.0
List of the best bike trainers for Zwift with info about the type, resistance, accuracy, and gradient simulation. type and recommended temperature. The trainers are scored based on this bike trainers scoring.

My Verdict

The best bike trainers for Zwift are ANT+ FE-C compatible, meaning they can transmit your ride data to Zwift. They should also be interactive so Zwift can change the trainer’s resistance based on the gradient.

I don’t recommend non-interactive bike trainers for Zwift because you won’t be able to use them to their full potential, and your rides won’t be as engaging.

Based on these and other criteria (more about them in the How to Choose the Best Bike Trainer for Zwift part), I selected the following three bike trainers:

  1. The best budget bike trainer for Zwift is Zwift Hub One. This direct-drive trainer provides one of the best price-value ratios of all smart trainers.
  2. The best bike trainer for Zwift overall is Wahoo KICKR (also available at competitivecyclist.com). KICKR direct-drive trainer offers an excellent ride feel, sufficient specs even for demanding riders and pros, and is compatible with accessories from Wahoo’s ecosystem.
  3. The best high-end bike trainer for Zwift is Tacx NEO 2T (also available at tredz.co.uk). It is a direct-drive bike trainer used by pros for pre-race warm-ups, post-race cool down, and training. NEO 2T is among the most advanced bike trainers in all specs. It stands out from the rest thanks to the virtual flywheel that can simulate gravel, cobblestones, and more.

*See the full list of considered bike trainers (on request only).


How to Choose the Best Bike Trainer for Zwift?

When choosing a bike trainer for Zwift, you should consider the following features:

Below, I explain why these features are important and what you can expect from bike trainers available on the market.

To learn more about all types of bike trainers, read my fully dedicated guide on choosing a bike trainer.

Type of a Bike Trainer

In this guide, I focus on two basic types of trainers: wheel-on and direct-drive.

Example of a wheel-on bike trainer (Wahoo KICKR SNAP)
Wheel-on bike trainer (Wahoo KICKR SNAP) | Product picture source: wahoofitness.com
Example of a direct-drive bike trainer (Wahoo KICKR)
Direct-drive bike trainer (Wahoo KICKR) | Product picture source: wahoofitness.com

Wheel-on Trainers

Wheel-on trainers are more affordable because they are simpler than direct-drive trainers. The rear wheel of your bike is set against the roller, which provides resistance.

This resistance is usually (electro)magnetic. There are also wheel-on trainers with fluid or air resistance, but these, except for a few exceptions, are unsuitable for Zwift because training apps cannot adjust their resistance.

Here is a beginner’s guide on how you set up a trainer.

Direct-drive Trainers

Direct-drive or wheel-off trainers require you to take off the rear wheel and mount your bike directly in the trainer.

These trainers use electromagnetic resistance that training apps like Zwift can control. They also offer better riding characteristics and are more accurate than wheel-on trainers.

Check out the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of bike trainers.

Trainer TypeProsConsRecommended for
Wheel-on• More affordable than direct-drive trainers
• Compatible with many types of bikes
• Take up less space than direct-drive trainers and are more portable
• Worse riding characteristics than direct-drive trainers
• Less stable than direct-drive trainers
• Low-end models may be smart but can't adjust the resistance
• Usually noisier than direct-drive trainers
Beginners, people with a limited budget
Direct-drive• Better riding characteristics than wheel-on trainers
• More stable than wheel-on trainers
• Can adjust the resistance based on training apps
• Very quiet
• More expensive than wheel-on trainers
• Take up more space than wheel-on trainers
• They require accessories like a cassette
• They may not be compatible with every bike
Advanced riders, pros
Pros & Cons of wheel-on and direct-drive bike trainers, and their recommended use

Connectivity

If you want to use a trainer directly with Zwift, you can choose from the following three options:

  1. Interactive (smart) bike trainers can communicate with your devices, such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or computer*, via ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, or Bluetooth protocols. These trainers can adjust the resistance based on Zwift, and they are the most convenient for zwifting.
  2. Noninteractive smart bike trainers can also communicate with your mobile devices (via ANT+ or Bluetooth), but they can’t adjust the resistance. This means that Zwift cannot adjust the resistance when you start climbing, e.g., Alp Du Zwift, resulting in a worse, less engaging riding experience.
  3. Dumb trainers cannot transmit any data. This type of trainer is the least suitable for Zwift. You can use it for zwifting, but you either need a power meter OR a speed + cadence sensor. They also cannot adjust the resistance based on Zwift.

Smart (interactive) trainers use protocols like ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, or Bluetooth to connect with mobile devices or a computer (you can read more about this topic on the DC Rainmaker website).

*To ensure your computer’s connectivity with a bike trainer, you will need an ANT+ USB adapter.

Resistance & Resistance Type

The overall bike trainer resistance is given in watts. You don’t need a trainer with 2000W resistance unless you are a really powerful rider. 1000W or 1500W is enough for most riders.

Electromagnetic is the best resistance type for a trainer you want to use with Zwift (or any other indoor cycling app). These trainers can adjust the resistance based on a training app.

As I explained, you can also use magnetic, fluid, or even air resistance trainers for zwifting. However, your overall riding experience will worsen and require additional sensors.

Gradient Simulation

Gradient simulation is a handy feature popular among interactive trainers. It means that the trainer can slow your pedal stroke when you start climbing in a training app. This simulates real-life conditions where you have to down-shift to keep a similar cadence.

High-end trainers can simulate up to 25% gradients, mid-range around 15%, and low-end around 5%. But does this matter? Well, yes, it does. Let me explain.

The higher the gradient simulation, the faster the trainer can slow down your pedal stroke. GPLama (Shane Miller) explains it perfectly in his video.

Indoor Smart Trainers - Unlocking True Gradient Simulation // Tacx Neo Demo
Bike trainers’ gradient simulation explained

Remember to double-check and adjust the trainer difficulty settings in Zwift. It halves it by default.

Accuracy

The accuracy indicates what the power deviation at a certain power is. It is important not only to get the exact idea of how many watts you put out but also if you don’t have a power meter and plan to buy one (here is how to choose it). Let me explain this in more detail.

Let’s say the trainer will have an accuracy of ±5%. So, if you pedal at 250W, your real power output can vary between 237.5-262.5W. Imagine buying a power meter with ±2% accuracy (245-255W). Do you see the issue?

The more accurate the trainer, the better power data you get. Greater inaccuracy can be, for example, the difference between riding in zones 3 and 4. If you take cycling seriously, you want to avoid this.

Check out the power deviations at different power outputs and the trainer’s accuracy levels in the table below.

Accuracy250W500W1000W2000W
1%247.5-252.5495-505990-10101980-2020
2%245-255490-510980-10201960-2040
3%242.5-257.5485-515970-10301940-2060
4%240-260480-520960-10401920-2080
5%237.5-262.5475-525950-10501900-2100
Bike trainer accuracy for specific accuracy rate (1%, 2%...) and power output (250W, 500W, 1000W, 2000W)

Noisiness

The noise level of a bike trainer is important to make your training more convenient and pleasant. Furthermore, you won’t disturb your family members or neighbors if you don’t have a dedicated training space.

Manufacturers try to make their trainers quiet. Mid-range and high-end trainers are often so quiet that your bike’s drivetrain makes more noise than the trainer itself.

The quietest bike trainers reach noisiness levels of around 55 dB. This is even less than the level of a normal conversation, which is 60 dB. Expect noise levels of around 70dB on budget wheel-on trainers.

TIP: Here is how to Make your bike trainer quieter.

Other Features to Consider

  • Bike compatibility – direct-drive trainers may not be compatible with every bike. Make sure to double-check the compatibility to avoid an unpleasant surprise when setting up your bike.
  • Weight – heavier trainers tend to be more stable but less portable. If you are limited by space and need to hide the trainer often, I recommend choosing a more compact and lighter trainer.
  • Flywheel weight – flywheel is one of the most important parts of a bike trainer. Together with the resistance unit, it creates resistance. Remember, the heavier flywheel doesn’t necessarily mean a better, more road-like ride feel. If you can’t try the trainer in person, check out reviews of other customers.
  • Side-to-side movement – is suitable when riding from the saddle and during sprints. The overall feeling of riding a trainer with this feature is closer to riding a bike outside.
  • Portability – does the trainer have foldable legs and a carry handle? If so, its manipulation and storage will be easier and more convenient than with trainers without them.

BONUS: Useful Zwift Resources

Below, I’ve included a few useful sources to help you get started with Zwift, choose the best purchasing strategy, find races, and more.

  • Zwift Hub – includes everything you need to know about Zwift worlds, routes, achievements, etc.
  • Zwift Insider – tracks Zwift updates and provides tips, tricks, and guides on squeezing the maximum potential out of Zwift.
  • What’s on Zwift – is a database of worlds and workouts on Zwift.
  • Zwift Compatible Trainers – an official list of trainers (including rollers and smart bikes) compatible with Zwift.
  • Zwift Power – find Zwift races, dig into the results of others, othe r compare power data from multiple sources.

Bike Trainers for Zwift FAQ

More bike trainers FAQs answered.

Preview picture source: Zwift

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