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How to Turn a CycleOps Yellow Bike Trainer into a Zwift-Ready Machine

Unlock a new way to train on a yellow bike trainer with Zwift.

When it comes to off-season training, every athlete has their own preference in what bike they ride, when they hop on the saddle and which type of bike trainer to use indoors. That’s why we manufacture bicycle trainers that range from the basic, entry-level trainers to the smart units trusted by professional triathletes and pro teams like Trek-Segafredo.

Equipment preferences aside, there’s a new common ground: the desire to ride with a virtual training application.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to get a basic yellow bike trainer set up and riding with Zwift.

What is Zwift?

Riding in Zwift
Zwift is an immersive game that makes indoor training fun and rewarding for everyone. Your real-world efforts power your avatar across beautiful landscapes. Ride with thousands of athletes of all levels in real-time.”

– Zwift.com

Sounds pretty sweet, right? This game-influenced cycling application has revolutionized the way athletes train during the off-season.

Plus, Zwift is open to all levels of riders who train with a variety of equipment - including our classic, yellow indoor bike trainers, the Fluid and Mag.

What is a “Yellow Trainer”?

A yellow trainer defines the two newer additions to our line of classic (non-smart) indoor bicycle trainers. They’re painted an eye-catching yellow and are made with two types of resistance units, for which they’re named: Fluid and Mag.

The Fluid and Mag are basic, wheel-on trainers that’ll turn your outdoor bike into an indoor stationary bike. While the yellow trainers are not “smart” enabled, they can still be used in conjunction with Zwift.

Yellow Fluid trainer

Yellow Mag trainer

If I Use a Classic Trainer in Zwift, What Can I Expect?

From classic (aka: basic) to smart, Zwift is set up to support a wide range of bike trainers. The main differences between using a smart trainer and a basic trainer with Zwift are:

  • In-Game Resistance

    Since the yellow classic trainers are not a “smart” enabled, your resistance will not exactly mirror the terrain in Zwift. Instead you will notice a drop in your in-game speed when climbing, forcing you to work harder to get up the hills.

  • Power Readings

    Based on your speed, Zwift will use its formula to assign you an estimated power output versus pulling power data from a smart trainer.

Your Gear Checklist

Here’s what you’ll need to get your bike, device and training space set up. The step-by-step process below is for connecting via ANT+. A general guide for connecting by Bluetooth can be found in our virtual training setup guide.

For Your Bike Set Up

  • Your Bike.
  • CycleOps Fluid or Mag Yellow Bicycle Trainer.
  • Riser Block. (Optional, but recommended.)

For Your Tech Set Up

For Your Training Space

  • Lots and lots of fans! When riding inside you don’t have airflow to keep you cool, so we recommend strategically placing a couple of fans around you to prevent overheating.
  • A towel for both you and your bike - sweat is corrosive after all.
  • Somewhere to place your Zwift device so you can watch the action; such as a desk, tablet stand, etc.
Riding in Zwift

How to Set Up Your Yellow Bicycle Trainer with Zwift

Remove trainer frame and resistance unit from the box Install bike on trainer Plug ANT stick into computer use a dongle extension Magnetless speed or cadence sensor inflate your tire Set the bike on a riser block Remove trainer frame and resistance unit from the box select search under Speed Sensor + Classic Trainer select your tire size and speed sensor click Other Not Listed Riding a bike in Zwift

Step 1


Need help? Refer to the user manual.

Step 2


Get step-by-step direction in the user manual.

Step 3


Plug ANT+ stick into computer.

Step 4

Recommended: use a dongle extension.

This extension helps bring the connection closer to the sensor and helps prevent signal drops within Zwift and reduces interference with signals with other devices in your home.

Step 5

Install your speed sensor.

We used the PowerTap Magnetless Speed or Cadence Sensor.

To set up this device as a speed sensor, watch the video here.

Step 6

Inflate your tire.

Inflate tire to the PSI (pounds per square inch) listed on the tire wall.

Step 7

Optional: Use a riser block.

Optional, but recommended: Set the bike’s front tire on a riser block.

Step 8


Visit the Zwift download page, where you can download Zwift for your Windows, Mac or iOS device.

Step 9


At the Paired Devices screen, select “Search” under Speed Sensor + Classic Trainer.

Step 10

Select your Tire Size and Speed sensor.

This is the width of your tire. Most road bikes come with the standard 700x25, with some exceptions. Look for the tire size marking on the tire wall, or check with your local bike shop if you are unsure.

Note: Your speed sensor will not have the same 5 digit number after “Speed.”

Step 11

Choose "Other Not Listed."

Scroll to the bottom of the Select your Trainer Page and click "Other Not Listed."

Note: You will see a listing for CycleOps Mag and CycleOps Fluid2. These listings are for other basic trainers in our product line, not for the yellow units.

Step 12

Ride On!

You're all set. Go ride!

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Join in the hundreds of Zwift riders repping the CycleOps colors and unlock a custom Zwift kit for your avatar. Simply, hit “P” in-game and enter the unlock code: GOCYCLEOPS.

Join in the hundreds of Zwift riders repping the CycleOps colors

Other Applications

If Zwift isn’t your thing, there are other virtual training applications out there to fit any type of rider. Take Rouvy, a virtual training platform with real videos of real routes from across the globe.

Rouvy Set Up How-To.