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Best Zwift-compatible turbo trainers

is the interactive online cycling tool sweeping the world of turbo training, making the once boredom-inducing (for many) slog a distant memory. We’ve selected some of the best Zwift-compatible turbo trainers to make the most of the platform.

With most models of turbo trainer supported, including smart and classic trainers – you should be up and running in no time.

Zwift translates your real world effort into speed in the digital one. Your power, measured by the watts you produce, propels you through the digital landscape.

Just like the real world, your speed is adjusted for your height, weight and the road gradient. We even give you credit for drafting. Zwift

Wondering what’s the best trainer to use with Zwift? Below we have detailed some of our top picks; we have a range of direct drive and wheel-on turbo trainers;

  • Direct Drive: these trainers require you to remove the rear wheel and connect the bike to the trainer via a cassette. Usually present a higher accuracy in terms of power measurements than wheel on turbo trainers. The biggest down side to these is the weight and price for the more feature rich turbo trainers.
  • Wheel-On: the classic turbo trainer allows you to clamp the axle of the rear wheel on your bike to the trainer as it rests on a roller drum. As you pedal the drum provides resistance which can cause wear to your tyres very quickly. Normally cheaper and lighter in weight but may not feature as many gizmos as direct drive.

The best Zwift-compatible turbo trainers in 2021

🚨 Due to the unprecedented demand for indoor trainers, the below selection might not be available. 🚨

This link will take you to the models that are in stock right now.

LifeLine Xplova NOZA S Smart Trainer

Simple to set up and offering a good ride feel, the NOZA S is almost half the price of the high-end units but packs an impressive performance punch. A top-value choice.

  • Connectivity: ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Data
  • Max resistance: 2500 watts
  • Power accuracy: +/- 2.5%
  • Maximum simulated slope: 18%
  • Type: Direct Drive (Shimano/SRAM 8-11 speed)

Tacx Flux S Direct Drive Smart Trainer

A top value introduction into the world of smart turbo trainers, the Flux S has plenty of interactive features for most people’s needs. It’s easy to set up and offers great ride feel too.

  • Connectivity: ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Open
  • Max Resistance: 1500 watts
  • Power Accuracy: within 3%
  • Maximum Simulated Slope: 10%
  • Type: Direct Drive (Shimano & SRAM 8-11 speed)

Elite Direto Smart Trainer 

For a good ride feel, accurate power measurement and affordability, this is an excellent choice. It connects wirelessly to training apps offering a smooth workout whether you’re just riding or racing.

  • Connectivity: ANT+/Bluetooth
  • Max Resistance: Up to 2200 watts
  • Power Accuracy: +/- 2%
  • Maximum Simulated Slope: 14%
  • Type: Direct Drive (Shimano 9/10/11 speed)

Tacx Neo 2 Smart Trainer

Immersive, innovative and super-silent, the Neo 2 Smart takes all of the tech and spec of its predecessor and ramps up the efficiency and performance to create ultimate indoor training experience.

  • Connectivity: ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Open
  • Max Resistance: 2200 watts
  • Power Accuracy: +/- 1%
  • Maximum Simulated Slope: 25%
  • Type: Direct Drive (Shimano & SRAM 8-11 speed)

Wahoo KICKR Smart Turbo Trainer

One of the benchmark direct drive smart trainers out there, the KICKR is simple to set up with accurate power measurement and an excellent ride feel, the KICKR’s ability to fold away for storage is a neat feature too.

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+ FE-C
  • Max Resistance: 2200 watts
  • Power Accuracy: +/- 1%
  • Maximum Simulated Slope: 20%
  • Type: Direct Drive (SRAM 11 speed/Shimano 11-28T (included))

The best budget turbo trainers to use with Zwift

For Zwift you don’t have to purchase an expensive smart trainer, using a turbo trainer you can add a handful of gizmo’s to make your turbo compatible with Zwift.

Read our ‘How to’ guide on setting up your turbo for Zwift below:

You’ll need a speed and cadence sensor or a power meter to connect to Zwift if you’re using this type of trainer.

Note: new Zwift iOS app only communicates with your iOS device via Bluetooth, not Ant+.

Our top picks of non-smart turbos for getting up and running with Zwift:

LifeLine TT-02 Fluid Trainer

The best budget fluid turbo trainer on the market, the TT-02 is an excellent model for those dipping their toes into the world of indoor training. It offers a smooth ride feel and folds easily for storage.

  • Type: Wheel-On

Elite Qubo Power Fluid ElastoGel

Easy to put together and quiet in use, the Qubo offers a superbly smooth, natural ride feel. Initial set-up is fast with this one – the roller pressure is set automatically by rider weight so no calibration is required.

  • Type: Wheel-On

Tacx Boost Turbo Trainer Bundle

The Tacx Boost offers a realistic, immersive and efficient indoor training experience with its quiet magnetic brake that provides resistance up to 1,050 watts of power. The bundle incudes a speed sensor so you can accurately record your riding data and performance output – and use it with online apps like Zwift.

  • Type: Wheel-On

Essential Zwift turbo training accessories

LifeLine Trainer Table

The LifeLine Trainer Table is height adjustable and will comfortably support your training device, refreshments and nutrition as you tackle your stationary workout. Perfect for all setups.

Sweat Cover

Indoor training sessions are inherently warm and sweaty due to the lack of air circulation when compared to the great outdoors. Let a Sweat Net catch the corrosive sweat to keep your frame and bar tape in tip-top shape. Perfect for all setups.

Tacx USB ANT+ Antenna For PC

This USB dongle connects wirelessly to Android devices and PCs, relaying all the data from your speed, cadence, and power sensors to your training platform. Perfect for all ANT+ compatible devices.

Speed and Cadence Sensor

Data is the key to improvement and your gateway to online training. Most Speed and Cadence Sensors are compatible with ANT+ receivers and mount discretely on your chainstay, cranks, and spokes. Great for all set ups, will be required for budget turbo trainer setup.

🚨 Due to the unprecedented demand for indoor trainers, the below selection might not be available. 🚨

This link will take you to the models that are in stock right now.

Tom Adams

Tom is a bike enthusiast! Originally a mountain biker, Tom enjoys going fast on two wheels, whether it's on the road or on the gravel, mountain bike or commuting! Tom has been riding bikes for almost 18 years and loves nothing more than getting out on the roads or trails and testing out the newest and most innovative things on the Chain Reaction website!

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