How to use Zwift in 6 steps - The best guide
Cyclists, triathletes, runners and other confined athletes. Much is said these days about Zwiftcomputers ANT + devices, Bluetooth, cycling training rollers and other indoor alternatives to maintain fitness.
Do not panic. The Corridor Stock Exchange team comes to the rescue once again to calm the situation. If you are tired of hearing about the Zwift, of seeing everyone on the networks doing the hamster with the bicycle and you are still unable to configure and pair your roller with Zwift account pay close attention to what's next.
Leave out the "experts" in Whats App groups and follow our letter to the letter guide to use Zwift in 6 steps. From now on, your Zwift, Strava, Training Peaks account, your workouts and your Garmin device will go hand in hand on this journey.
How to use Zwift in 6 single steps
Step 1: Choose roller
Although it is obvious, there is no sense to start with all this if you are not in possession of a bicycle and a cycling roller.
Ideally, you would have a road bike, but you can use Zwift and ride the roller with a mountain bike, a goat, a cyclocross bike, or even a touring bike.
As for rollers, the variety is enormous. As we will see later, the full functionality will be achieved with a smart roller or "smart"However, Zwift also allows synchronization with roller rollers with traditional fixing rollers (those that you regulate the intensity) or even with some stationary bikes. The so-called Smart Bikes. Here you have the complete list of rollers and models compatible with Zwift.
Step 2: Download and create your Zwift account
Enter the Zwift website and download the program through the following link. Create your user account quickly, intuitively and take the opportunity to enter your personal data. Remember that the more accurate you provide information on weight, height, heart rate or power zones, the more realistic the program estimate will be. The download is available for both Windows and Mac. Also remember in case you don't have a computer you can use Zwift with your mobile (Android or IOS). The download of the program is somewhat slow but the user registration will not take more than 2-3 minutes.
My recommendation is that in this step you also take advantage of sync your Zwift account with Strava and / or other applications such as Training Peaks or Garmin Connect. You can do it from your user profile in the "Connections" section. The process does not have any difficulty as long as you have previously accessed your personal accounts from the applications.
Zwift costs 14.99 euros a month but you have available a free version of 25 kilometers (in case of using mobile) and one of 7 days without limit mileage for the computer version.
Step 3: Pair Roller with Zwift by ANT + or Bluetooth.
The most important point comes and the one that has generated the most debate by far. How to pair my roller with Zwift? What do I need to use Zwift?.
Well, you should know that there are only two ways to use Zwift. Device pairing can only be done via ANT + or via Bluetooth.
ANT + connection
The first one is the most reliable and the one I recommend if you can choose. The ANT + connection is much more accurate and is not used to presenting any signal problem.
To be able to pair Zwift through ANT + it is necessary that on the one hand your roller and your sensors release this type of signal and that on the other the computer is capable of capturing it. For this you will need a ANT + USB dongle.
He USB ANT + it is simply a small pendrive that allows the computer to capture the frequency of the signal. most of Smart rollers They already come with this accessory, but in case you are not in possession of one or it has broken, you have some USB ANT + models available on Amazon for less than 20 euros. They are compatible with Garmin and Suunto.
The timing of heart rate, cadence or potentiometer sensors It can also be done through ANT + connection. Very common connection in Garmin and in most leading brands on the market. You can monitor all the previous data both on the Zwift screen and on the screen of your cycle computer.
The second connection system that Zwift presents is through Bluetooth. A mechanism perhaps somewhat less reliable but increasingly effective.
The bluetooth connection can be used both with your PC, in case it picks up the signal, and with your Smartphone. All current mobile devices have bluetooth and pairing will take no more than 1 minute.
Zwift's own application is in charge of "search for nearby devices”So if you have done it correctly you will have the entire application paired in just a few seconds.
Step 4: roller resistance
Here comes another important topic of debate that we are going to solve quickly. As you well know, there are several types of roller. The ones with curlers, the magnetic ones, the Smart ones, the ones with direct transmission…. What a roll, right?
As well, Zwift will only differentiate between two types of roller. On the one hand the rollers that are intelligent and therefore capable of self-regulating the resistance depending on the slope of the path, and on the other the rollers that are not intelligent.
The former are ideal for you to take advantage of all the functions of zwift. Most of these rollers also incorporate an internal power meter and together with a heart rate band will help you compete in Zwift races. They are the most expensive but obviously they are perfect for practicing indoor cycling. Most of them are also from direct drive.
As an alternative to use Zwift we find the roller rollers or the classic fixing rollers. These rollers are not smart and therefore cannot simulate the slope of the application. You will be able to use zwift perfectly and even get to participate in group events but you must be very clear that the force will be the same at all times.
With this type of rollers the only advance resistance you will have to overcome will be the one you decide. Hence, the controversial debate of the competitions in Zwift has recently been opened. Cheating with the roller and with the power-to-weight ratio is within everyone's reach. I advise you to be legal and respectful if you do not want to take "sticks" from the Zwifters community.
Step 5: select the route or the Work Out
Once you have paired the roller and the different sensors it is time to configure and choose the activity. In Zwift you have different options available.
To start you always have the possibility of roll alone and your ball. Nobody will bother you and you can roll for as long as you want at the intensity you want. The option "Just ride" is the one that takes you to this mode.
On the other hand, you have available the possibility of participating in group events. These include group races and outings. The races are very fast and I advise you to initially go to level D or E. Group outings are usually specific exercises programmed so that you can improve a certain quality (sprint, strength, cadence, explosiveness, etc.).
Finally you have to explore the universe of workouts. Workouts are super specific training sessions that you must personalize, either with the data from an FTP test, or with the personalization section following the instructions and watts of your coach. The section of Workouts it is the one that you will use to do what is popularly known as “series”. In case of selecting a workout and activating the “ergo” system of your roller, the unevenness and the slope will take second place. The program will focus on offering adequate pedaling resistance so that you can complete the workout successfully.
Step 6: Ride on!
If you have reached this point without any incident (I hope it is) you are in a position to start enjoying Zwift. Once you have everything paired and you have clear what route you are going to do or with which friends you are going to roll, all you have to do is hit the "Ride on" and start melting the connecting rods!
Do not be surprised that at first you are a little lost. It is absolutely normal. Zwift is still a kind of video game that requires time and some dedication.
There are more features than what I mentioned above. As you can see for yourself you can play with the keyboard keys to activate or deactivate different functions, you will have the possibility of customize your bike and your avatar, You can chat with other participants and you can even benefit from “Powerups” during the tour to make things harder for your pursuers.
The Zwift universe is huge so take it easy and start getting acquainted with the largest indoor cycling platform in the world. I already anticipate that this will go further and that the national championships will become small when the UCI officially announces the creation of a World Cup.