Central Oregon Wheelers

Are you interested in Zwift, but aren't sure of what it takes to use and own a Zwifting rig? Well here we go!

What is Zwift
Zwift is a bike trainer "game" that lets you link your trainer to a computer, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV, letting you ride with other cyclists in a virtual environment, thus alleviating the boredom associated with indoor riding. For example when you draft, or go downhill, things get easier. You can ride with friends or strangers; Individuals or scheduled group rides. It also offers structured fitness programs.

There are a number of different indoor training apps available, but Zwift is arguably the most fully featured, and the most popular – reports suggest that over half a million people have signed up for an account by YE 2020.

Typical COW Zwifter
Most of us have tried and hated - rollers, spin classes, and indoor cycling.  I think all of us have said why would I plop down $1,000+ for something I already spent $200 for and disliked.  Every member of the COWs board is now Zwifting and enjoying it. It is fun. It is social (if you want). And it will make you a stronger rider. 

What it takes
Zwift it the final piece of the puzzle and the most visible. You will need a litany of stuff, including:

  • Space to set up a bike and computer
  • A bike (your road bike in the winter is a good choice)
  • A trainer ( the better, wheel-off variety,  is probably the best answer.  More on this later)
  • A laptop, iPad, Apple TV, smartphone, or a desktop/monitor
  • Fans, mat, ant+ dongle for computers, smartphone holder for your bike, and other niceties over time

Buy a smart, wheel-off trainer like the Wahoo Kickr or the Tacx Neo Smart.  DC Rainmaker has a robust review.

An Apple TV for the "low" end or a low-end desktop gaming computer for the high end. I use my office as my Zwift room. My computer is both my main work computer and my Zwifting rig. I spent $850 on a desktop/monitor combo that does double duty. Here is a bit dated discussion on this topic


Count on around $1,000 for the smart trainer.  $1500 at the high-end and $700 at the lower end (which isn't really the low end, but the mid high-end).  You likely already have a device like an iPad or laptop. Everything else is pretty cheap. Zwift costs $15 per month. 

Zwift On-line Resources


Central Oregon Wheelers is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization.

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