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Indoor Training News Training

The Rise of the Great Indoors

Spain – No cycling! Italy – No cycling! France – No cycling!

Words we never thought to see together in our wildest dreams. The Coronavirus Pandemic has forced governments to take drastic measures in order to reduce the spread of the disease. While the decision may be contentious for some, it hasn’t been made lightly. Us Brits are adamant that these strict regulations won’t reach our waters, however, I believe it would be naive to think that our Government won’t follow suit and introduce similar measures to what our European friends are experiencing. While they may differ slightly and be more lenient, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that outdoor activities become limited and potentially banned temporarily. France, for example, is allowing it’s citizens to exercise outside, alone, within a 50-metre radius of their homes. Now, I don’t know about you, but cycling 50m up and down the road doesn’t scream ‘a great ride’ to me.

If the United Kingdom does adopt these measures it would be wise and responsible to adhere to them and not flaunt the rules. ‘But…but how would we cycle?’ you may ask. Spring has only just begun and the weather is starting to look delightful. The urge to jump on your bike and go riding is almost too much to bear. There is, however, a solution. It’s been around for years and its technology has improved a tenfold in the past year or so. Turbo Trainers.

While the indoor cycle ride may not quite replicate the great outdoors with the sun in your face and the wind in your hair, it does keep you from going crazy, not to mention maintain your fitness throughout these troubled times. So let’s look at a few options and what you get out of them:

Tacx Flux S Smart Turbo Trainer

The Flux S Direct Drive Smart Trainer is packed with the latest in modern indoor training innovations to keep your edge during self-isolation. Bluetooth and ANT+(FE-C) connectivity is built into the unit and will sync to your smartphone or tablet, letting you relay your RPMs, BPMs and cadence to your device for immediate analysis. Using third-party apps such as the Tacx Desktop app and Zwift, you can also fully immerse yourself in VR rides, adding as realistic a feel to every run as possible. Alternatively, you can ride in stand-alone mode and burn through your own workout, without virtual assistance. Performance-wise, the Flux S features a redesigned internal setup which has improved the accuracy of its power measurements to within 3%, a 7kg flywheel that provides true-feeling inertia and an almost silent motion and a direct drive, easy-access mounting setup that is compatible with bikes with long cage derailleurs. Powerful, intelligent and precise indoor workouts are assured with this terrific Tacx trainer.

Wahoo Kickr Core Smart Trainer

The Wahoo Kickr Core incorporates Kickr Power in a simple but stable design. The Kickr Core is the latest development in Wahoo’s line up of smart trainer’s. It delivers accurate and realistic indoor training in near silence. This is achieved through the proven flywheel technology and advanced algorithms which Wahoo have used so successfully in their other smart trainers. The Kickr Core is built with the durability to withstand all your indoor training sessions and no other brand of smart trainers has greater software training options or apps that are compatible, including Zwift, Trainer Road and Sufferfest. 
As a bonus when you register your Wahoo Kickr Core in the Wahoo Fitness App, you will receive these awesome offers.

Saris H3 Smart Trainer

This H3 Direct Drive trainer is a modern marvel in the world of turbo trainers. This super-quiet model puts out only 59 decibels of sound at 20mph, which is less noise than is created by a dishwasher. Plus, it features an internal cooling system to keep its electronic resistance working at full power with the utmost accuracy and continues to function until your training session is over, or until your legs have given up. Constructed from a high-quality cast and machined aluminium with its inner workings being calibrated with the utmost precision to accurately measure power, speed and cadence. And, it’s immensely balanced flywheel enables this trainer to handle 2000 watts of power and can replicate a 20% climbing gradient.

We cycle for enjoyment and passion, recreating that in your home is always going to be difficult and takes a certain mindset, however, with the wide variety of options now available it’s easier than ever to get the most out of it. Whether you opt for a smart trainer, like the ones described above, or settle for a cheap and cheerful alternative that keeps your legs spinning, it’s important to keep your spirits high.

News that Zwift rival RGT Cycling is now free to all!

We previously put together a blog post highlighting the benefits of Zwift and how it works which you can read here.

View Hargroves Cycles full range of Turbo Trainers here: https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/turbo-trainers or pop into the shop and speak to our expert staff if you want any advice.

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Featured Indoor Training News

What is Zwift?

Looking for a way to make those indoor training sessions more engaging? Feel like time stands still when putting in the winter hours? Or simply looking for a year round training platform that will give you extra motivation to go the extra mile? Zwift was created to tackle all of these issues. Here is everything you need to know if you are thinking of giving Zwift a go.

So What’s it All About?

Zwift is an online interactive training and racing platform that links your turbo trainer up to your computer (PC or Mac), iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or an Android smartphone or Tablet. This allows you to ride with others cyclist in multiple virtual worlds often based on real life places. As well as just riding with others you can also complete specific training sessions that have been designed by professional coaches. These can be completed on your own but also with others. This is done by signing up to group workouts via the app or the companion app. The benefits of this over completing these sessions outdoors is there are no external factors that will impact your session. For example, weather, traffic and the terrain around you. It is also great for those that have time constraints as you can get in a high impact session in a small amount on time.

There are seven different worlds to ride with two worlds available to ride each day. The worlds available to ride depend on what day of the week it is and is published on a calendar each month by Zwift.

For those looking for some competition, there are also races you can enter over varying distances and terrain to suit the length of session you want to do and the time that you have available. These are split in to categories based on your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) in w/kg (Watts per Kilogram), so you will always be able to find a race and level that suits you.

There are multiple gamified elements to Zwift which include unlocking bikes and clothing to encourage you to ride for longer and harder and over hillier terrain. There are also challenges often based around total distance ridden and metres climbed which give you access to some of the fastest equipment in the game once completed.

How does Zwift work?

Zwift uses ANT+ or Bluetooth to connect to your devices. These can be either a power meter, a smart turbo trainer (such as the Wahoo KICKR and Tacx Neo 2T) or just a speed/cadence sensor as well as heart rate monitors. To connect via ANT+ you will need to purchase an ANT+ dongle for your computer so the information can be sent between your devices and the computer. For Apple TV and other phone/tablet based devices connection is via Bluetooth which is usually built in. This data is then used by Zwift which is translated in to speed on the virtual course. It takes in to account your weight, power or calculated power, the road gradient and the draft, or lack of, from other riders.

Below is more on the various ways you can get started on Zwift.

  • A dedicated indoor trainer bike, such as the Tacx Neo Bike and Wahoo KICKR Bike – this is the most expensive option and one for those really committed (and have the cash lying around).
  • A smart trainer – these require you to use your existing bike and can be wheel on (Wahoo KICKR Snap) using the resistance of your rear wheel on a drive unit or a wheel off trainer (Wahoo KICKR/Tacx Neo 2T) that require you to remove your rear wheel and place your bike on to the trainer. These measure power and sometimes cadence and transmit this directly to Zwift.
  • A power meter – with a power meter you can use any indoor trainer or rollers and data will be taken from your power meter and transmitted to Zwift. With this option you won’t get the simulated gradient changes and controlled workouts that you get with the indoor training bike or smart trainer.
  • A speed/cadence sensor – this is the most basic option and allows you to use a regular bike with no power meter and a standard wheel on trainer. Zwift will then use the numbers (cadence and wheel speed) to estimate your power. This is not the most accurate or realistic option but it is the cheapest and is a great way to get started on Zwift.

How much does Zwift cost?

Some indoor trainers come with a free trail period, for example 30-days, for Zwift so you can give it a go without having to commit to start with. You do get a free 7-day trial when you first sign up for Zwift if you haven’t got a longer trial period with a trainer purchase. After the free trail it costs £12.99 a month but you can cancel and re-join anytime and you will keep your progress and unlocks that you have achieved so far.

How do I get started?

To get started first you need to sign up for an account. On a Mac or PC you can do it online at Here On a phone or tablet device you can download the Zwift app from the relevant app store and sign up through there.

If you are using a computer or Apple TV to use Zwift it is highly recommended to download the Zwift Companion app. This adds a number of convenient features such as being able to message other Zwifters, enter events and changing the direction of your avatar.

Once this has been done you just need to pair your devices and choose the world you want to ride in. You are then ready to experience next level indoor training!