How to Start Cycling on Zwift

Most of us enjoy cycling outdoors during summertime, but what happens when the weather turns bad? Riding a bike in the cold and rain is not a lot of fun. That’s when a home trainer and Zwift subscription can help.

What is Zwift?

Zwift is a gamified version of cycling. It’s an MMO game. You still have to ride your bike to take part, but your bike is on an indoor trainer rather than outside on the cold road. Once you’ve connected to Zwift, your avatar represents you on whatever screen you’re using, and in whatever virtual Zwift “world” you’ve chosen to ride in.

Watopia is Zwift’s showcase fictional cycling world, inspired by Pacific Islands. It has 41.64 km of road and offers many possible routes for you to follow.

Zwift Gamification

Gamification is one of the things that sets Zwift apart from other indoor training platforms. You’ll earn experience points (XPs) and bonuses in the form of gear and special bikes as you progress through levels.

What Gear Do You Need?

There are a few basic items you need to get started on Zwift. Once you’re set-up, you can continue reaping the benefits of cycling throughout the winter months.

The Bike

You can use your regular road bike or an old/secondhand road bike to use Zwift. Bear in mind that Zwift doesn’t care about expensive parts or lightness.

Turbo trainer –

An indoor trainer can be “dumb” or “smart”. A smart trainer allows Zwift to control resistance for a more realistic riding experience and will have a power meter built-in.

Computer or Smartphone

Zwift is available through multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Apple TV, phone or tablet. Enthusiasts might use a gaming PC, but many settle for less.

A recent MacBook, iPhone or iPad from would work for Zwift. You can attach a smartphone, which you may already have, to your handlebar in a budget Zwift setup.

Power Meter or Speed Sensor

Zwift needs to know how fast you’re going, which means you’ll need a power meter or speed sensor attached to the bike or turbo trainer. Smart trainers have a power meter built-in. Otherwise, you can use your own.

Bluetooth or Ant+ Dongle

Your laptop, PC or phone will need either Bluetooth or Ant+ connectivity to receive speed or power data.


A large fan is almost obligatory for Zwift, as you’ll get very hot riding a bike without moving. A towel is also useful.

Training & Racing

Zwift offers superb training and racing facilities, which includes anything from a friendly “no-drop” group ride to racing other riders at your fitness level. Give it a go!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *