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Do I need a physical brake to Zwift?

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Do I need a physical brake to Zwift?

Old 06-10-19, 11:10 AM
  #1  
pennpaul
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Do I need a physical brake to Zwift?

I'm going to do a simple Zwift setup (Tacx dumb trainer and adding speed/cadence sensors to my bike) but tonight realized my spare rear wheel is missing the disc brake lock ring because it's on my main rear wheel.

So do I really need to have working brakes for a Zwift setup? I guess if I don't, I need to be vigilant not to use the brakes so I don't actuate the calipers against nothing.

I am going to order a lockring but because of where I am, it's really expensive locally and ordering one online is going to take another week and I want to start Zwifting ASAP.
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Old 06-10-19, 12:13 PM
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caloso
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I have never used the brakes on Zwift.
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Old 06-10-19, 12:15 PM
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No, you don't need a brake unless you want to use it. Now, as far as wearing a helmet to Zwift... that's a conversation for another thread.
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Old 06-10-19, 01:42 PM
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Wilfred Laurier
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There are little plastic inserts that are usually included with sets of hydraulic disc brakes. They are just flat bits to keep the pads from being clamped onto nothing, requiring an annoying pry-apart activity. If you don't have any of these thingys, your LBS almost certainly does. If you have hydraulic brakes you should consider them while on the trainer.
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Old 06-10-19, 01:52 PM
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Just cut a few old credit cards in half and stack/tape them together and insert between your disc pads....or use something similar. It's not hard to press the pistons in if you have to. You just don't want to actuate the brake without a disc so much that it causes the pistons to break the seal from the caliper, which means you need to bleed the system.
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Old 06-10-19, 08:33 PM
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Have fun. Make sure you put it on a big screen TV - it's better that way.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:04 PM
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Remember to turn your rear light on.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:25 PM
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My trainer wheel, complete with red Vittoria trainer tire, doesn't even have the brake rotor on it. As soon as you stop pedaling, the "bike" starts slowing down.

If there's any upside to being trapped on a trainer, it's the things you don't need: brakes, helmet, shirt etc.
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Old 06-10-19, 11:41 PM
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pennpaul
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Just cut a few old credit cards in half and stack/tape them together and insert between your disc pads....or use something similar. It's not hard to press the pistons in if you have to. You just don't want to actuate the brake without a disc so much that it causes the pistons to break the seal from the caliper, which means you need to bleed the system.
Yes, of course! KISS!

Thanks for all the responses. I hope I do enjoy Zwift. I am also anxious to find out how I do in the FTP test.

Paul
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Old 06-11-19, 08:49 AM
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sdmc530
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
No, you don't need a brake unless you want to use it. Now, as far as wearing a helmet to Zwift... that's a conversation for another thread.
I have been an off season zwifter for 3 years and have never applied a brake ever.


The helmet would be terrible while zwifting! the heat would be unbearable in a helmet even with fans......I never ride any other time without a helmet.

Just like DrI said, its a pretty minimalistic riding situation. I wear bibs, socks and shoes...nothing else needed!
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Old 06-11-19, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I have been an off season zwifter for 3 years and have never applied a brake ever.


The helmet would be terrible while zwifting! the heat would be unbearable in a helmet even with fans......I never ride any other time without a helmet.

Just like DrI said, its a pretty minimalistic riding situation. I wear bibs, socks and shoes...nothing else needed!
I recommend a sweat band for your head and a sweat shield for your bike. You can make one out of an old towel.
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Old 06-11-19, 10:04 AM
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Some bikes used for Zwift don't even have a rear wheel!
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