Cool, windy, winter conditions

There was no fall this year. There was no period of nice autumn group rides sadly this season. But what was there anyway? 

Now, as it is getting cold, windy and rainy I did setup my Tacx Neo at home. Small movements in my apartment and now I am ready to reach new levels in Zwift.

And now I show you #fromWhereIZwift this winter and where I prep my 2021 season. Enjoy.

Setting up my trainer

Last seasons i focused on having cooling and fresh air during my sessions on the trainer indoor. Thus the first investment, a birthday present actually from friends, was a second fan. This was my first investment into the Winter training season. So now I have two fans standing around me. One is placed in front of me, the other will be placed slightly behind me and will cool down my back and butt. This and drinking more to regain electro hydrates and carbohydrates should make training even more effective.

My trainer stands in between two shelves. The front shelf contains one of the fans. In the back I will place the second fan. A further investment investment would be a fan that can be managed remotely. So I will look forward to Black Friday and might take a look at the Wahoo Headwind. Heard that it should be very good.

The trainer is based on some washing machine pads. This should absorb the few vibrations coming from the Neo. Sadly the floor in my flat is a little bumpy. I cut one pad into pieces and put two layers below the right and one layer below the left stand of the trainer. Cause just a few millimetres of difference shift your bike noticeable to one side. To prevent any uneven strain I fixed this.

The gadgets for riding online

At home I have many devices to make riding indoors more enjoy-able. First and best investment – next to the direct drive trainer with ERG mode – was Zwift. The gamification and the levels, the workouts and the routes: Addiction potential for me. My coach really has to set rules, like my parents did for gaming, when I am allowed to Zwift.

I run Zwift on an IPad Mini that is placed on a music stand or the shelf in front of me. Depends on how often I want to touch Zwift during the ride. Many interactions = music stand, few to none (especially during hard sets) on the shelf. The Ipad connects with bluetooth to my hearth rate monitor (tried Garmin, Wahoo and Polar so far – Wahoo and Polar have bluetooth) and the trainer. So no ANT+ adapter needed; which I also tried for the Garmin hearth rate monitor.

Besides the Ipad I love to listen to some playlists I put together on Spotify for training. Hence I have to have something I can use for the music. I will always connect ear buds or my boom box to my phone. I really recommend sweat proof ear buds, because it is indoor, there is less wind and you will sweat at some point in time. Do not fool yourself, as I did last year. On-Ear headset was and still is no solution for me. First because of sweating and second that I sometimes just want one ear with music.
And (!) connect the music to another device then the one running Zwift. This is because you do not want to have drop outs of your power or ERG mode during a workout. I have noticed music drop outs and power drop outs if I connect everything to one device. The more bluetooth is connected to one device, the more interference is there.

And a short side note: I usually do not have a head unit on while riding indoors. I think Zwift does do a perfect job for me and I do not need to see NP or avg watt spent in the last interval. The ERG mode does solve all of this for me. Only if I do free rides with intervals I might fire up the head unit, but not upload it afterwards. Just seeing the numbers during the interval-phases, that is it.

There is more? Headbands, socks and towels.

Now I wonder on how I did write that much about my indoor setup already. But there is more. Headbands are a must. I have serval headbands that I use for riding. Always only for one ride. Even during the rides I have to wring out the headband. The more watts, the more I have to wring the headband.

Also for sweat protection I always ride with socks. Cause the socks still keep some of the sweat away from my shoes. This makes the shoes last longer and smell less. I think this is important, if you want to use your shoes outdoor again. I do not have dedicated indoor shoes. Only thing dedicated to indoor are two bib shorts, that are a bit old and worn out. They are perfect for indoor usage.

Last but not least point is towels. I always wrap a towel around the handlebars, so that I have something to dry my hands, chest and head during the rides. And I have seen pictures of handlebar-tape that was so worn out, cause of sweat. Replacing this would not be fun.

And in the end I just have one thing that I did not make up my mind yet: With or without trikot? That is something I still have to decide.

#rideon, have a great winter at your place, happy training Tom

Tom Hohenadl