If you’re interested in buying a smart trainer, there’s every chance you’ve come across the Zwift Hub One.
It features in our buyer’s guide to the best smart trainers, and we even crowned it the Best Value model (alongside the Kickr Core for reasons we’ll get into shortly) praising its impressive spec sheet, ease of use, and excellent price.
As of today, that excellent price is getting even better, because we’ve managed to blag a code from Zwift that’ll get our readers an extra 10% off.
The code is FUTURE10 (as in… Future Publishing; you might find our sister site Cycling Weekly talking about it too) and it’s valid in the UK, EU and USA until Tuesday the 6th of February.
If you’re already sold, then you can head straight to Zwift here to redeem it. If not, read on to find out whether the Zwift Hub One is – or isn’t – right for you.
Of course, as an editor here at Cyclingnews, I’m not here to tell you to buy anything, rather help guide you in your search, help you to decide which product is right for you, and help you find the best price when you’ve decided. To that end, here is a brief overview of the Hub One, and a few reasons for and against buying it.
The Zwift Hub One explained
The Hub One is best described as a budget smart trainer, but with decent enough specs that it won’t leave you wanting more (higher resistance, better accuracy, more inertia and so on).
With 1800 watts of resistance, gradient simulation up to 16%, and power meter accuracy to within an error of 2.5%, it’s more than enough to provide a solid workout to anyone, amateur or professional. It will connect to Zwift via Bluetooth or ANT+, as well as pretty much all other popular indoor cycling apps (with a caveat relating to gears which I’ll explain momentarily). It will automatically calibrate so that you don’t need to worry about the accuracy being off, and the 5.4kg flywheel is heavy enough that it maintains a good amount of inertia, which is key for that ‘real ride’ feel.
It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the top tier smart trainers. For example, the Wahoo Kickr V6 offers 2200 watts of resistance, 20% gradients and accuracy within 1% error. It also has a heavier flywheel for better inertia, WiFi connectivity on top of the Bluetooth and ANT+, plus flexible feet that offer some side to side movement. Those features are nice to have, but the price is roughly double (depending on your locale).
The big difference between the Hub One and its competitors
The Zwift Hub One’s biggest point of difference is that it comes with the Zwift Click and Zwift Cog instead of a cassette. These, for want of a better description, are a duo of products that combine to replace your bike’s gears.
The Zwift Cog is a single sprocket gear that replaces the cassette. Either side of the sprocket are plastic ramps which essentially stop the chain from falling off. Although it will make a noise if you select the very smallest or largest sprockets, so you’ll want to make sure you choose the right gear on your derailleur. The Cog is compatible with all groupsets from 8 to 12 speed, meaning easy bike swaps if you have multiple Zwift users in your home.
The Zwift Click is a duo of electronic gear shift buttons. Rather than changing the gear on your bike using the derailleur to shift the chain to a smaller or bigger sprocket, Click simply adjusts the resistance of your trainer, mimicking gear changes in the same way the best smart bikes do. The benefit of this is that it’s totally silent, and it reduces wear on your cassette. The Click buttons attach with rubber O rings and can be placed wherever you like: your hoods, your drops, or even your down tube if you want to go full retro.
The one major downside to this is that the Zwift Click only currently works in the Zwift app so if you try to use it in Rouvy or MyWhoosh, you’ll be left in one gear only. That’s not really a problem if you only ever ride in Erg mode for workouts, but if you want to free ride or race, you’ll need to return to your bike’s actual gears. Luckily, the Zwift Cog fits onto an 11-speed Shimano freehub, so you can easily remove it and swap in a compatible cassette, but it does rely on you running a compatible groupset on your bike.
Zwift Hub One vs Wahoo Kickr Core
The two are remarkably similar – I won’t waste too much time on the patent infringement court case – but with their very similar form and function, and the exact same price (discount code aside), the main differentiator is that the Wahoo Kickr Core comes with a traditional cassette.
It’s for that reason they share the ‘Best Value’ award in our buyer’s guide.
If you don’t intend on using the Click and Cog at all, you’re usually better off buying the Wahoo Kickr Core. Although at the reduced price – £55 / $60 / €60 lower with our code – there’s an argument for buying the Zwift Hub One and a spare cassette with the leftover cash, but that’s up to you.
Hopefully that has helped steer you a little. Remember, there’s a whole load more information in our Zwift Hub review, our Kickr Core review, as well as our buyers guide to the best smart trainers. And here’s a bit more quickfire advice to help you decide.
Should I buy the Zwift Hub One?
Buy it if:
- You want a well-specced smart trainer from a reputable brand.
- You are conscious of price.
- You ride exclusively on Zwift, or only ride elsewhere in ERG mode (For example, lots of users will free ride in Zwift and perform workouts in ERG mode on TrainerRoad). You can remove the Cog and swap with a cassette if needed.
- You don’t need folding legs and a carry handle. At 15kg it’s pretty weighty, but not too difficult to carry.
- You don’t need WiFi connectivity
- You are happy to forego the added features such as side to side movement and detailed pedalling technique analysis
- You have multiple people in your household who will use the same trainer, or you will want to use more than one of your own bikes on the trainer. The Zwift Cog is compatible with all groupsets between 8 and 12 speed.
Don’t buy it if:
- You regularly freeride in other apps beyond Zwift. The virtual shifting won’t work, so you’ll either be stuck in one gear (well, probably two as you’ll still have your front chainset, but that’s besides the point) or you’ll have to spend time swapping in a cassette before you ride.
- You prefer the feel of proper gears. They clunk with much more tactility, that’s true, but it’s noisier.
- You want WiFi connectivity. This can benefit those in apartment blocks where Bluetooth interference can be high.
- You want it to be compatible with Kickr Climb. This is a feature exclusive to Wahoo devices.
- You want added movement in the feet. The left-right and more recent fore-aft movement can help with fatigue, but it’s definitely a nice-to-have feature rather than a must-have.
- You need folding feet or a carry handle. There is no getting around this, the Zwift Hub One is a simple unit with no folding legs and no carry handle. If you need to store it away in a cupboard after use, this makes it more difficult. At 15kg, it’s not light, but in our review, simply holding the legs and carrying it upside down negated the lack of a carry handle.
- You need to adhere to Zwift’s rules for top-tier competition, which stipulates a maximum accuracy error of 2%. If you’re good enough to worry about this, congratulations. It’s a rarity, but those in the upper echelons of Zwift’s competitions might be hampered by the Zwift Hub One’s 2.5% margin for error.
Buy it now?
After what feels like three hundred and twelve days, January is finally nearly drawing to a close, and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, that means Winter is slowly beginning to fade. Praise be.
But of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of bad weather. Looking out of the window here in Bath, UK, there are beautiful blue skies right now, but I know it won’t last. If you’ve not already jumped onto the indoor cycling bandwagon (where have you been?) this discount code means that now isn’t a bad time to do it.
Buyers will get a full serving of Zwift’s warranty, in line with local rules: two years in the UK and EU; one year in the USA. Despite a seemingly burgeoning partnership with Wahoo, Zwift has vowed to continue to support the Hub with firmware updates too.
Terms: Codes are redeemable on Zwift.com in US, UK and EU, 10% off Zwift Hub One with 1-Year Zwift Membership, 1 use per customer, Valid while supplies last, Expires Feb 6th, 2024, can not be combined with other discounts.