Zwift lets you take your indoor workout to the next level by making a game out of it. Can you use a Peloton Bike with Zwift?
While the Peloton app is great to help you through your workout, Zwift’s virtual reality setup makes your indoor cycling that much more entertaining and fun. You can connect Zwift to most stationary bikes, but does that include Peloton?
You can use Zwift with your Peloton, but you’d have to use something called a shift smart trainer. This device will control your resistance knobs and introduce the gears and communication environment. Using this, you can go into Zwift’s virtual training world.
Zwift can be very helpful in making your workout session more interesting, and it doesn’t actually take much effort either. With the shift smart trainer, all it takes is one connection.
You can use your Peloton bike with Zwift, but should you? We went over the benefits of each one and made comparisons to give you a better idea on whether you actually want to replace Peloton with Zwift or not.
How to Connect Your Peloton Bike to Zwift
Connecting your Peloton to Zwift used to be next to impossible in the past, and a massive expense if not. Nowadays though, it’s fairly easy.
The first step is to find the resistance knob on your bike and attach the shift controller. Next, you’d have to take a cadence sensor and attach it to the crank. This is because Peloton’s cadence data is detected through the wires in the bike and sent to the app. If you want to have cadence with Zwift, you’ll have to use a separate sensor. Any standard Bluetooth cadence sensor will do for this.
Now, you have to pair the sensor with the help of your Zwift screen. This way, whatever cadence is detected will be sent to the Zwift app where you can see it.
Next, open the Peloton dial and set the resistance level through the quick calibration cycle. Now all you have to do is connect the bike to Zwift with the shift controller and you’re ready to go.
But while using Zwift with your Peloton bike is a possibility, it is not necessarily the better option.
Should You Replace The Peloton App With Zwift?
Being separate apps with separate functions, there are obviously some differences between the Peloton app and Zwift. While the core purpose of both is to provide indoor training, there may be differences that make one or the other more suited for you.
Let’s look at some of the differences.
If you’re looking for some variety in your workout, then Peloton is the app for you. While we’re mainly comparing Peloton to Zwift in terms of cycling, Peloton also offers real-time and on-demand lessons for other sports as well. This includes yoga and meditation which are also great for your mental health and are focused on the overall body workout.
On the other hand, if you’re focused on cycling and are looking for an app that provides variety in that regard only, Zwift might be your choice. Zwift routes come with varying difficulty levels and can get quite challenging.
Quality of Workout
As mentioned earlier, if you’re focused on one specific kind of workout – perhaps because you want to pursue it professionally – then Zwift is your choice. Since Zwift focuses on certain sports like running and cycling and provides a variety of routes there, the likelihood of improving your skills in these specific sports becomes higher.
You can start easy and go to more and more complex and difficult routes as your body starts getting used to it, and train your body in that sport specifically.
Peloton is great as well, but it’s not the best when it comes to cycling. Peloton offers workouts with the intention of improving your body’s health and fitness overall. This means that it is better for when you want to tone your body, but not for when you want to master a sport.
Peloton is known as a training app, in that it provides training for the users in areas they have trouble with for their respective sport. Peloton has full customer support, and hires trained instructors who guide the users and tell them how they should be working out.
Whether you opt for the real-time videos or the in-demand ones, you are being trained and doing drills under an instructor’s guidance. You can also choose the instructor who works best for you!
On the other hand, Zwift doesn’t have any of these features. The main thing Zwift offers is a platform where you can train on your own without anyone’s help. This means that there are no videos or recorded lectures, and no one to guide you. Zwift operates under the assumption that you know what you’re doing and simply provides goals for you to meet.
Both training programs are good for you if you stick to it and work out regularly. Since the two apps cater to different people, the training they offer will also vary.
If you want a training instructor, Peloton would be your choice, but if you want to work out on your own, Zwift may be better for you.
However, Peloton is a bit more expensive than Zwift. There are greater options and high-quality training. On top of that, Peloton is mostly for toning your body. If you’re looking for a training program to help with your overall fitness and don’t mind investing some money, Peloton is for you.
Peloton is an exercise bike, made for exercising with. This means that the pedals provide resistance, forcing you to put in effort if you want to move them. This is what creates the illusion of cycling on the road, and is what helps with losing weight.
With Zwift, you do not have this feature. Zwift provides a virtual reality setup but it does not have any control over your bike. This means that there is very little resistance in the pedals, and it doesn’t provide the true cycling experience that Peloton does.
There are more options with the Peloton app for training and drills, and naturally this means you’d need more devices. To get the most out of your Peloton, you’d need devices like your earbuds, a TV, speakers, a phone, and all of these should be connectable via Bluetooth.
After connecting them to your Peloton, you’d be able to make the most of its many features, otherwise you’d be missing out. The good thing is that we will almost always have these devices in our homes already.
But Zwift does much better – all you need to work a Zwift is a PC or a laptop to run the virtual reality setting. Since Zwift has limited features, it also has limited hardware requirements.
Again, because of limited functions, Zwift is less expensive than Peloton. However, Peloton does have different subscription plans you can choose from, and is designed to provide suitable subscriptions that work for the whole family.
So, can you use a Peloton bike with Zwift? Yes, you can! All you need is a shift gadget to connect the app to the bike and you’re good to go.
The main concern there then, is whether it is a good idea to use the Peloton bike with Zwift. Since both of these cater to slightly different audiences, whether you would prefer Zwift or Peloton would depend on your priorities.
If you are looking for a general workout and not training, Peloton would be your best bet. Zwift is better at giving you a virtual track to practice on, rather than providing in-depth training.
Based on your requirements, you can choose which of the two is more suited to your needs.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson