School me on Zwift

I’m a confessed technophobe (or should that be ‘techno-simple’) and find that all the zwift articles are you need X but if you have Y do Z, or maybe even ZxY=B etc.

I just want to use it for my own training sessions. It’s the physical side of getting it all going that I need help with.

So, I’m interested in using zwift.
Things I have that I may need to use:

  • a newish smart tv - ideally I want to watch it on this. It has wifi.
  • a mac lap top, a cable to plug this into the tv if needed.
  • an iphone
  • vector pedals (and garmin watch)
  • elite direct drive turbo trainer that doesn’t give me any digital output and isn’t erg.


  1. I need to join zwift. (I can probably get this bit right)
  2. I need to link the pedals to zwift.
  3. I need to be able to watch it on the tv
  4. I presume I have to change settings/press buttons while riding. Not sure how I do that.

Help with 2, 3 and 4 would be really appreciated.

Thank you :slight_smile:

What do you mean by your own training sessions? If it’s Erg mode so you can do 5min at X power etc then that can be done in Golden Cheetah or Veloreality without any subscription.
I don’t use Zwift but I think it’s the community element you’re paying for, riding with others, races etc.

Piece of p!ss, as even I can do it. As a minimum, given what you have, all you actually need is the following:

  • Bike with PM pedals (use these rather than your current trainer imho)
  • ANT+ dongle on laptop (for pedals) or BLE for Mac?
  • HRM
  • HDMI cable Laptop>TV
  • Companion App on your phone (for dashboard/texting) tbh I never use this.

Set-up on Zwift will guide you through connecting the sensors, just make sure they can communicate with your Mac using ANT+/BLE)

I’ve tried to keep my turbo/Zwift set up as simple as possible.

Use the Zwift app on my iPad - you could link to your tv through Apple TV or as you say your laptop with a cable

Wahoo heart rate monitor and PowerTap pedals connect to iPad with Bluetooth - presumably Vectors are Bluetooth also?!

Button pressing while you’re up and riding is kept to a minimum - just the odd ride on. You can also change direction and do u turns - I don’t really bother with this though

EDIT - what Jorgan said!

Thanks @Jorgan @Adam

So I simply need and ANT+ dongle if I’ve got this right?
Dongle to laptop, laptop to tv . Zwift will connect to my pedals through the dongle, and off I go.

@JaRok2300 I don’t want erg mode, I want something to stare at while riding other than the wall. :slight_smile:

Yes, should be that simple. If the Vectors & Wahoo Tickr have BLE (sure they do) would might not need the ANT+ dongle to talk to the Mac.

I use a 7 year old Laptop, hence the Dongle.

I didn’t like it.
Much prefer a WattBike or TrainerRoad/Sufferfest.
The whole VR thing is a nonsense and seems like a gimmick, albeit a very monetised one.

PSA Strava are giving away a free month of Zwift if you complete the WC challenge, 170 miles in the 2 week challenge period.

Unfortunately not available to current subscribers.

Completely get that. I just find it more interesting than staring at the wall or the interface of trainer road. Generally only do workouts or easy z1/2 hour spins on it

From what perspective?
I follow my own workouts, but normally staring out the window at the garden. Room rearrangement has put the kibosh on that so I’m staring at a wall.
I can’t watch tv as I can’t concentrate but I thought pedalling through a computer game might pass the time.

If you download the iPhone app, you can connect via Bluetooth to your pedals and won’t need an ant+ cable. As long as Zwift on the computer and your iPhone are on the same Wifi network

I much prefer focusing on that number in front of me and the graph showing where I am.

I found Zwift far too “busy” and it didn’t really motivate me at all.

WattBike is by far and away my favourite method of indoor training.
I’m happy to stare at a dot on a wall.
Most of the time I can barely see due to the sweat anyhow.

Rule #9

Pretty sure Rule#9 involves riding outdoors :wink:

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That’s similar to me. I used Bkool for a couple of winters (as I got a free subscription with the turbo) but I realised I never really looked at the video, I was generally focussing on the power figures and gradient etc. display at the bottom of the screen.
When the free subscription ran I out I switched to the free options I mentioned earlier which work great for interval workouts either in Erg mode on the turbo or slope(?) mode on the rollers which is a very focusing experience :scream:


What Jorgan said, depending on the age of your MacBook, you may need a dongle. I need one as my MacBook is 2011 but it works fine otherwise.

I have an iPad Mini that connects to Zwift directly on BT with no issue at all. I tried using the companion a grand total of twice, hated and never used since.

I’m with Poet on this in general. But I do see some appeal to zwift. However that would only be to “ride the actual terrain”. And for that you need a smart trainer.

I wouldn’t see the point in riding around a VR world, going “uphill” on screen but in a workout recovery valley. I’d rather just watch some TV. But the “racing” or group riding does seem fairly intriguing

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I use it purely for races; it’s the easiest way to get 30-60 mins balls-out riding in, without actually doing a race. No traffic lights, or indeed traffic.

I cancelled my subscription as I just founnd it a bit dull. I quite liked the climbing but you can’t do that every ride and doing the z2 stuff on there just bored me and I have no interest in the virtual racing. I found myself just riding watching youtube and IM races on facebook. I might go back to sufferfest as I always quite enjoyed that or try trainerroad once the bad weather and darkness is back.

Well I’ll give it a try, I can’t knock it until I’ve done that.

I’m almost 100% I’ll need a dongle as my HR strap is def not bt.

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