Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dueling Bike Trainers

After using CycleOps Virtual Training (CVT) on-line bicycle training application and then a month later the Zwift version of the same I've decided to expand my horizons. I purchased a 6 month CVT subscription only a few months ago so I have several more months until I have to renew. My Zwift subscription is month to month. I'm on my third and second month of use for these Apps, respectively.

With both subscriptions in force I decided to use them both. That's good because my CVT subscription has been idle since I found Zwift. My plan was to setup myself on Zwift, which I've done, and setup my wife on CVT. Here's how I did it.

I have two Windows laptop computers. One is about 2 years newer and subsequently more powerful than the other. I use it to run the Zwift application. The older laptop runs the CVT application. I've found that it's too slow to run Zwift. If I wanted to run two iterations of Zwift I'd have to buy a new laptop to replace the old unit. Both laptops have ANT+ dongles installed. Both bikes have ANT+ speed and cadence sensors. My wife and I both have our own ANT+ heart-rate monitors as well. Both bikes are mounted to CycleOps JetFluid Pro classic (dumb) trainers. Lastly, we have one 52" television using two HDMI inputs. The first HDMI input is for the Roku streaming video player so we can watch movies, etc. The second HDMI input is for Zwift application running on my laptop which I can switch to once my wife decides she's had enough. Movies then Sprints and KOM! That's two of everything except only one television. Each laptop displays the particulars for whatever application it is running.

My avatar isn't the only on with love handles
The only additional setup was to ensure the sensors were associated with the correct bike and rider. To do that I added my wife's bike to the list of bikes in the CVT application I had created for myself. I made sure that the correct sensors were associated with her bike and then I wrote them down so we can check them, if needed. I also replaced my profile specifics in CVT with her information; i.e. date of birth, weight, and Functional Performance Threshold (FTP). I had guessed at her FTP because she hasn't taken an FTP test. My own FTP tests results on Zwift were 226 and 194, respectively. For some reason I'm getting worse. In my defense and to counter the change in my FTP results, I haven't adjusted my weight at all and I'm pretty sure I've lost a few pounds in the past few weeks.

I set my wife's FTP to 150 for her initial ride. I changed her FTP to 100 for the second ride. Since CVT and Zwift are both adaptive applications a lower FTP makes it easier for a rider to progress through the course, or something like that. I did some of the same things for my bike which I'd already been riding on Zwift. I even wrote the sensor number on my heart-rate monitor strap in permanent marker so I wouldn't make a mistake when starting the application. I also created a Strava account for my wife and changed the CVT cloud account information so any rides my wife completed on CVT would upload automatically to her Strava account and not mine.

Our first test was Tuesday morning and everything went well except my wife's cadence sensor moved half way through her workout and stopped working. I've since fixed that and we're ready for another ride. Her ride doesn't include a map because she rode the FREE RIDE option and not one of the 1000's of virtual maps.

When my CVT subscription expires we'll have to reevaluate our indoor cycling training plans. It will be spring in Georgia by then and we'll probably want to spend more time outside. That said, you can't discount the time efficiency of indoor training or the added safety of not dealing with distracted motorists. What might be more fun is letting the CVT subscription expire and creating a new account for my wife. That way we'd be able to ride together physically, in the same room, and virtually, on the same course. We would also need to invest in a new laptop.

Thanks for reading and Ride On!