This post lists the equipment you will need to set up Zwift, the virtual reality training game for cyclists.
If you use your outdoor bike, you will need a “smart” or “classic” indoor trainer. “Smart” trainers are more sophisticated and communicate the power (watts) you produce on the bike to Zwift and automatically vary the resistance to match changing terrain and conditions of the virtual course. This means that if you are climbing a hill on Zwift, the smart trainer will simulate the difficulty of that hill to make it harder for you to pedal.
This real time communication between Zwift and the smart trainer provides the most immersive (i.e., fun and “just like in real life”) Zwift experience. Most smart trainers connect to Zwift wirelessly via ANT+ using a USB ANT+ stick, or through the Zwift Mobile Link app via Bluetooth Smart (BLE).
If your trainer is not on the list below check the official
Zwift Supported Smart Trainer List
Wahoo KICKR Core
Wahoo KICKR SNAP
CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Trainer
CycleOps Powerbeam Pro
Tacx Bushido Smart T2780 (needs ANT+ FE-C update)
Tacx Flow Smart T2240
Tacx Flux S
Tacx Flux T2900
Tacx Genius Smart T2080
Tacx i-Genius Multiplayer Smart T2010
Tacx IRONMAN® Smart T2060
Tacx Neo 2
Tacx Neo Smart T2800
Tacx Vortex Smart T2180 (needs ANT+ FE-C update)
Tacx Vortex Smart T2180 TDF-EditionBkool Classic (needs ANT+ FE-C update)
Bkool Smart Pro (needs ANT+ FE-C update)*
BKOOL Pro 2 (needs ANT+ FE-C update)*
Elite Real wired trainers (most models after ~2006)
Elite Drivo II
Elite Novo Smart
Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+
Elite RealAxiom B+
Elite RealTour B+
Elite Real Turbo Muin B+
Elite Real E-motion Smart B+ rollers
Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ rollers
Elite RealPower USB wired**
Elite RealTour USB wired**
Elite RealAxiom USB wired**
Kinetic Rock and Roll | Smart Control
Kinetic Road Machine | Control
Kinetic Road Machine | Smart Control
Kinetic Smart Control Power Unit
Magnetic Days mde4-25 (ANT+ only)
JetBlack WhisperDrive Smart
Classic trainers typically don’t have any electronics, so you’ll need a separate speed and cadence sensor or a power meter to connect to Zwift. Some manufacturers offer an optional sensor that broadcasts power (watts) directly to Zwift.
Zwift supports numerous classic trainers so we won’t list them out here. You can find the list of Zwift Supported Trainers by navigating to their support page.
Compatible indoor bikes are Body Bike, Cycleops, Realryder, Schwinn, Stages, Wattbike.
Zwift publishes a list of totally unsupported trainers. As of November 2018 here is their list.
Zwift uses industry standard wireless protocols to connect to your devices. You will need a USB ANT+ stick to wirelessly connect your devices to Zwift. Using a USB extension cable to place the ANT+ stick close to your devices prevent signal drops.
In addition, Zwift connects to your Bluetooth enabled devices through the Zwift Mobile Link companion app on your phone (power meters, cadence sensors, and heart rate monitors). Make sure that your phone is on the same Wifi network as your computer.
For the companion app, you will need the iPhone SE, 5S or higher, iPad Air or higher, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 2 or higher, or iPod 6.
You can use Apple and Windows computers, and it is recommended that you use a good graphics card or GPU for better resolution and smoother graphics. Here is what Zwift recommends directly from their Device Requirements Setup page:
|Microsoft® Windows 7 64bit or higher, or macOS® 10.9 or higher||Microsoft® Windows 7 64bit or higher, or macOS® 10.9 or higher||Microsoft® Windows 7 64bit or higher, or macOS® 10.9 or higher|
|CPU||Intel® Core™ 2 Duo||Dual Core Intel® Core™ i5 or AMD||Quad Core Intel® Core™ i7 or AMD|
|1GB dedicated GPU, or embedded Intel® HD 4000 or AMD R5||2GB Radeon™ R9 200 series, or NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 650||2GB Radeon™ R9 290 series, or NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 970|
|Hard Drive||4GB of free space||4GB of free space||4GB of free space|
I have included several helpful videos on how to assemble your Zwift station below. There is also a link to the Zwift unofficial (but very helpful) user manual.