It is easier to get Zwift to work with some stationary bikes than others. Can you use Zwift with a Kaiser spin bike?
There is no exact list of bikes that are compatible with the Zwift virtual world. Instead, it is easier to make it work with some bikes and harder with others. Is it easy with a Kaiser?
Thankfully, Kaiser spin bikes work very well with Zwift, so it won't be a hassle to set it up. Kaiser spin bikes use BlueTooth technology to send data to fitness apps on your phone, tablet, or computer. Bluetooth technology works very well with Zwift.
If you are using a regular exercise bike or a smart bike with built-in exercise classes (such as a Peloton bike), it is harder to use Zwift. You may have to use third-party applications or buy sensors to get it to work with some other bikes. With a Kaiser bike, you don't have to download any programs or buy any sensors.
I have been using Zwift on my Kaiser spin bike for the last year. I used to have a Peloton bike, and while it was possible to get it to connect to Zwift, it was a technical hassle that required two different phones. With a Kaiser spin bike, it is easy - you log into Zwift and find your bike on a list of connections.
What is Zwift?
Zwift is quite different from other online platforms for people who train with stationary bikes. Most online platforms allow people to watch videos and attend live classes while riding their bikes with others. Zwift is very different from that - a virtual world for cyclists, with artificial environments to explore.
Zwift is a world of virtual islands, some of them invented by Zwift's developers and others based on real cities. You see a virtual world on a screen, like in a video game, but you use your stationary bike to move around. You can meet people and race in these virtual environments.
What Do You Need to Get Zwift to Work?
As well as a bike and a Zwift account, which requires a monthly fee, you sometimes need a couple of other things to make Zwift work on your bike. You can run the Zwift program on any of the following:
- A laptop
- An iPhone or Android phone
- An iPad or Android tablet
With a Kaiser spin bike, you won't need to buy sensors for your bike, because a Kaiser bike can send information to a computer or smartphone using built-in sensors. If you don't have a smart bike with these sensors, you will need to buy the following for your exercise bike:
- A speed sensor that uses BlueTooth or ANT+
- A receiver that uses BlueTooth or ANT+ (must use the same as the speed sensor)
What are Spin Bikes?
Spin bikes are an alternative to regular stationary exercise bikes. They are shaped differently and have advantages and disadvantages. You do not ride a spin bike upright; but closer to the handlebars, which works different muscles.
Do Spin Bikes Work With the Zwift Virtual World?
Yes, Zwift works with many different indoor bikes, including spin bikes. Any of the following spin bikes work well with Zwift:
- Keiser M3i
- Stages SC3
- Tacx Neo
- Concept 2 BikeErg
- BodyBike Connect
- Schwinn IC8
- Wahoo Kickr
- WattBike Atom
That is not a complete list of bikes that work well with Zwift - many others may. With less compatible bikes, you may need to buy sensors. If you put an outdoor bike on a trainer for indoor use, you can use it with Zwift.
If you have sensors, you can make Zwift work with road bikes, tri bikes, hybrid bikes, and mountain bikes. Certain bikes work better with Zwift than others, but any bike will do as long as you can attach compatible sensors.
Does Zwift Work With a Kaiser Spin Bike?
Yes, your Kaiser spin bike will work very well with Zwift. Again, Kaiser bikes are a good choice because you won't have to buy separate sensors or receivers. Kaiser bikes are designed to send information to a computer/phone/tablet, and they can send this information to the Zwift virtual world.
Kaiser spin bikes also don't have any built-in programs for you to use. You need to find these workout programs for your tablet before you can use the Kaiser bike to its fullest. I find Zwift much more interesting than a regular exercise app with training videos and classes.
Why Are Kaiser Bikes a Good Fit for Zwift?
It is harder to connect something like a Peloton bike to Zwift than to connect a Kaiser bike to Zwift. A Peloton bike has a screen and is designed for built-in programs, not whatever you install on a separate phone or tablet.
To get a Peloton bike to send information to Zwift, you will need to use a third-party app to connect the two, and it's somewhat of a hassle to get it to work. If you use a regular exercise bike, you will have to buy sensors and receivers to use Zwift.
With a Kaiser bike, this is all much easier. The Kaiser bike is designed to send data to whatever fitness app you choose, not to work with a specific program for Kaiser bikes. If you use Zwift with a Kaiser bike, you are using a Kaiser bike as the company intends and won't run into technical hassles.
How Do You Get the Bike to Work With Zwift?
Once you have a Zwift account and a phone/tablet/computer that uses ANT+ or Bluetooth, you are ready to start. Turn your tablet on and log in to Zwift, plus get your Kaiser spin bike ready. If you have any other fitness apps running, close them, plus close any other apps that can connect to your bike and interfere with Zwift.
While in Zwift, tap/click on search and look for devices to pair to the Zwift app. Your Kaiser bike will be available to connect Zwift to. Click on "pair" after Zwift finds your bike, and it will connect.
After you connect it, Zwift should be ready to go, and you should be able to ride around in the Zwift world. Your speed on the Kaiser bike will determine your speed in the Zwift world.
How Much Does Zwift Cost?
Zwift costs $14.99 per month and has a limited free version. The first seven days are free no matter how much you ride. After the first seven days, you can only ride 25KM per month without the monthly fee.
Can You Make Zwift Work Without a Speed Sensor?
There has to be some way for your bike to transmit information about how fast you are going. If you don't have a speed sensor, you can also use a power meter to transmit information about how fast you are going to Zwift.
Why Exercise Inside?
While exercising inside is less fun in some ways, it is also safer. A lot of cyclists are killed every year. It may also not be easy to get to a good place for cyclists in your area.
It can also be easier to feel motivated to cycle if you can do it from in your home. Some people who find it hard to go to the gym often enough find it easier once they have their own equipment. The same goes for cycling equipment.
You can also use your indoor bike regardless of the weather, and can easily meet people to train with online.
Is Riding On a Stationary Bike Indoors Harder?
Sometimes, riding an exercise bike can seem more difficult than riding on an open road. It is probably actually easier for most people - you might ride more often if you have a stationary bike.
However, it can seem harder if you aren't used to it. If you are used to riding in an outdoor environment, riding indoors is different enough that you might have less motivation.
Depending on where you ride outdoors, you might run into things that slow you down. There are no obstacles on a stationary bike, so you might get tired out quicker than you do outdoors. In the long run, it is usually easier to train more often if you do so indoors or sometimes do so indoors.
Should You Ride Your Kaiser Bike With Zwift Every Day?
Riding around in the Zwift world every day without rest isn't a good idea, not even if you are training competitively. Even if you want to train hard and get really fit, you should still take rest days. Train hard on some days, train lightly or not at all on others.
Put it this way: does a professional athlete train daily with no rest periods? Of course not! Even professional athletes including professional cyclists have days when they don't train.
It is also not good to train for as long as possible unless you aim to complete endurance races. Shorter but more intense workouts are usually a better way of getting in shape. Of course, marathoners and endurance cyclists need to do longer and not shorter and more intense training sessions.
You Will Get Fit Faster if You Don't Use Zwift Every Day
Again, rest days are for professional athletes, so they are not "for the weak." Taking some rest days will make your heart, lungs, and muscles get stronger faster, not slower. Not taking rest days, even if it doesn't end up hurting you, may slow your progress.
If you want to train harder, do more on the days you train. If you raise your training intensity, you will probably feel like you need rest days. Don't aim to use your Kaiser bike every day; make your rides more challenging instead.
Rest days are when your body builds muscle. On days when you train, old muscles break down, and on rest days, they grow back stronger than before.
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