Have you ever watched a 10-year-old fall off a bike? Assuming it's not a terrible fall, they usually just pop back up and keep riding. Kids are pretty fearless.
Unfortunately, I'm not a 10-year-old and don't share the same disregard for potential peril. In other words, falling off a road bike as an adult is pretty scary — and for me, it's happened several times.
Video of the Day
Don't think this is an indication of my cycling skills because I'm actually pretty decent. No, several of my more brutal falls (disregarding the first few as I learned to clip in and out) are a direct reflection of Los Angeles drivers.
Most recently, a haphazardly-opened car door had me swerving into moving traffic and knocked onto the pavement. And after a shaky, grease-covered car ride home with my boyfriend — bless him for being up at dawn, too — I was a little traumatized. I haven't really been on my bike since, if I'm being honest. That is, until my Zwift Hub Trainer arrived in the mail.
Functionality and Features
I'd thought about testing a trainer for a while (basically, it's a machine that attaches to the back of your bicycle and turns it into a stationary bike), but the price was just a little too steep. After all, road bikes are pretty expensive as is and another $800-plus investment was out of the question.
But when a fellow cyclist at my gym suggested I look into Zwift's new trainer (the Hub), I was intrigued. I'd already heard about the Zwift app, which is basically an online cycling community where you can go on realistic virtual rides with other app users (or solo). After learning more about the app, though, I went from intrigued to hooked.
Cycling is a pretty exclusive sport with a high barrier to entry — bikes can cost thousands of dollars and the gear (you need plenty of bike shorts) burns a hole in your wallet, too. Cycling is also just really complicated. Fixing bike issues and setting up cycling equipment isn't easy. But Zwift aims to make the sport more approachable to all.
That became pretty apparent as soon as I received my Hub in the mail. The thought of putting the machine together was daunting. I hate instruction manuals an own zero tools (the pictures in my room were hung using a chunky heel as a hammer). But all I had to do was scan a QR code on the box and follow the instructions and tutorials on my phone. Plus, all the tools I needed were already included in the box.
Signing up on the app and connecting my Hub was painless, too — all together, getting everything ready took about an hour. And then when I started my first ride, I was even more impressed. The visual design of the course combined with the trainer's varying resistance really felt like I was riding outside (with no cars threatening to throw me off).
And although I'm not really one to share stats publicly or compare to other riders, the numbers do give me the opportunity to gauge my progress and set some future goals.
Another thing I love about the Hub? It's actually not super big and bulky, which is a big priority for my small apartment. And the super-quiet construction leaves my roommate undisturbed during her work calls.
Get Your Own Zwift Hub
Especially as the seasons change and the weather gets more unpredictable, riding indoors is a pretty nice option. All you have to do is figure out which cassette style you need (Zwift has a guide you can use) and order your own.
Buy it: Zwift.com; Price: $499