There are four basic components you need to get riding:
- A bicycle trainer or rollers, and an ANT+ or BLE power meter/speed and cadence sensor
- A bike
- A PC/Mac computer or compatible iOS device
- A bridge/receiver for the ANT+/BLE signal
How does it work?
As you pedal on your bike, the trainer allows your bike to spin in place while your sensors send that data to your computer via the ANT+/BLE. Zwift then connects over the Internet to let you ride with other Zwifters around the world!
What gear do I need?
The first step is determining whether you're going to be riding with a smart trainer, a combination of a power meter/speed sensor and rollers/a classic trainer, or an indoor bike.
Trainer and Sensors
A smart trainer transmits power data and has the ability to change the resistance based on the course, so as you go up and down hills in Zwift, you'll feel those changes on your bike.
A power meter + any trainer/rollers
A power meter can be the most accurate way to measure your effort; and in Zwift, it also allows you to ride any trainer - including rollers.
Classic trainer + speed sensor
"zPower" is our name for a supported classic trainer + speed sensor setup. With this setup, Zwift calculates your watts (i.e. power) based on the speed of your rear wheel. It's a good entry level choice.
Some indoor bikes have built-in sensors that transmit power. If you have one of these, you don't need any other sensors. If your bike isn't on the list, you may be able to make it compatible by adding one of our supported power meters.
Our full list of compatible trainers is listed in our knowledge base so you can look into which one will work for you.
You'll need something to pedal on, and a bicycle is your best bet. Most will work with Zwift (yes, even the old one in your garage) as long as it fits on your trainer properly.
Computer or iOS Device
Zwift relies more on the graphics capability (GPU) of your computer than anything else. If you have a PC or Mac built within the last three years, it should run Zwift without too much trouble.
Our minimum computer requirements are right here.
If that doesn't sound like the kind of computer you have and you're looking to get a new computer, or you just want to be able to run Zwift out of the box, you can get an Alienware computer bundle.
Zwift also works on iOS! Any newer iOS device (with an A7 or higher CPU) will work. The full list of compatible devices is in the sidebar on the App Store download page.
ANT+/BLE Bridge or Receiver
If you're on a PC or Mac, you may need a bridge to translate the ANT+ or BLE signal to your computer.
- If you're using ANT+, you'll need an ANT+ USB dongle.
- If you're on a PC using BLE, you only need your mobile device and the Zwift Mobile Link app.
- If you're on a Mac, you can either use the Mobile Link app as a bridge or connect via native BLE.
Currently iOS only supports Bluetooth, but we plan on implementing ANT+ support (via an external adapter) early in 2017.