The more you ride indoors, the more you’ll feel the need for certain accessories that aren’t necessary outdoors: fans, sweat towels, desks, etc. These aren’t major purchases, but they still pay off big in helping you train your best.
This is the first post in a series covering recommended accessories for new Zwifters. Today, we’re talking about the first accessory any Zwifter needs: a fan! Why is a fan so important? Because without one you’ll overheat, causing your body to throttle down your power so you can’t perform at your best.
Simply put, if you want to push to your maximum potential on Zwift, you need good airflow around your body. Because sweating isn’t the goal… power to the pedals is!
For more on this, read How Much Fan Do You Need When Riding Indoors?
Here’s our short list of recommended fans for Zwifters.
Small Budget/Small Space: Honeywell HT-900
If you don’t have much money to spend on a fan and/or the fan needs to fit in a very tiny space, the Honeywell HT-900 Super Turbo Table Fan is your answer. It’s small, but punches above its weight by moving more air than other budget desk fans.
Pro tip: don’t be tempted to save a few bucks by purchasing the Amazon Basics version of this fan. Honeywell’s moves more air and is built better!
- Low price
- Small footprint
- Moves less air than big fans
- No remote (see “WiFi Smart Power” section below for help with that)
Headwind On a Budget: Vacmaster AM201R
Want to feel a lot of wind in your face, but don’t want to pay the premium price of the Wahoo Headwind (below)? The Vacmaster AM201R Portable Air Mover with Remote Control moves a similar amount of air (Vacmaster claims “air speeds up to 32mph”) for a much lower cost.
The biggest downside vs the Headwind is the shape of the airflow, which is wider than the Headwind’s but not nearly as tall. Depending on how you set it up, you’ll probably end up getting coverage across the full width of your body (and then some), but not the full height.
Still, this seems like a fan made for indoor riding. Tilt this beauty at 45 degrees, attach the remote to your handlebars, and Ride On.
Budget trimming tip: if you don’t care about having a remote, the Lasko U12104 moves a similar amount of air in a similar pattern, for 25% less cash.
- Low price vs Headwind
- Super strong airflow
- Handlebar-mountable remote
- Air “shape” isn’t ideal
Big Air: Lasko H20660
You’ll need a big fan to move a lot of air in a wide “shape”. Lasko’s H20660 Metal Commercial Grade Electric High Velocity Floor/Wall Fan ticks all the boxes: it’s built better than slightly cheaper models like Lasko’s Wind Machine, includes a remote, and moves a pile of air (3460 CFM). Just don’t expect it to be quiet at high speeds!
- Wide coverage gets your whole body
- Includes remote
- Moves lots of air
- Large size
- Noisy at high speeds
Premium Cool: Wahoo Headwind
Wahoo’s Headwind is head and shoulders above the rest, both in features and price.
Premium features include the ability to automatically change fan speed based on your trainer speed or heart rate – something you won’t find in any other fan. The Headwind can also be controlled via the Wahoo app, letting you easily set the fan to whatever speed you’d like.
The “shape” of the fan’s air also matches the shape of your body, so you get full coverage simulating speeds of over 30 mph.
The only complaint, apart from price, is that many setups require the front of the headwind to be raised. It would be nice if the front legs were height-adjustable, but in lieu of that you can always buy the ANGL’R kit from Traxxion Dynamics.
- Automatic control based on HR or speed
- Controllable via phone app
- Strong, properly-shaped airflow
- High price
- Front legs aren’t height-adjustable
Bonus Tip: Wifi Smart Power
Looking for a way to power on your fan remotely? Want to easily turn off your trainer and accessories when you’re finished? Setting up your Pain Cave with WiFi smart power is the way to go, since it lets your turn on individual power plugs easily using a phone app or even Alexa. “Alexa! Turn off my fan!”
Here are three options that represent the different form factors for smart plugs: a power strip (if you need power closer to your bike/trainer), an outlet extender (to add additional plugs and smart capabilities to your wall outlet), and an outlet replacement (for a clean look).
Smart strip with a longer chord (6′) and surge protection.
GHome Smart Plug Outlet Extender
Mounts into existing outlets to give you surge-protected smart plugs.
Amazon Basics Smart In-Wall Outlet
Clean, smart, affordable. Just takes a bit of work to install. Does not include USB ports.
Questions or Comments?
Do you use any of the fans above? What’s your favorite Pain Cave air mover? Share below!
Nice article. I found that where you position the fan and the angle of the fan really matter. For me, I place a 20″industrial fan like the Lasko on the floor about 16″ ahead of my front tire. The fan is angled pointing up so that it hits my upper torso and head. It actually covers a wider area but this is where I feel it the most. I never drip on my equipment but do need to towel wipe occasionally. I tried smaller fans directly in front of me and a 16″stand fan parallel with my body but nothing… Read more »
my set up is two (yes two) lasko HV-pro airblowers – one at face, one at torso, close range. and two of those lasko minifans that you have listed as the first option positioned next to me on either side aimed at legs. A/C full blast.
i ride in a tornado.
The planet thanks you.
I like to have one fan off to the side. When things really get sweaty at least the sweat is blown away from the bike.
I do have a smaller fan head on so I can mix and match depending on how I’m working and how warm it is.
Both on full settings but with an on off remote.
I‘m using the Xiaomi Mi Smart Standing Fan 2. You can control the speed with your mobile – which is nice if you don’t need full power the whole time.
The Wahoo fan was a complete game changer for me. It seemed ridiculous spending so much money on a Wahoo branded fan but I had 3 smaller fans and was basically drowning in my own sweat and rotting the bike on my trainer in the process. The Wahoo fan is crazy powerful, I even wear a vest now on the trainer and hardly sweat at all when it’s on. It makes such a difference to indoor workouts. It’s true that the feet could be more adjustable but I just prop up the front on a book, it’s not exactly the… Read more »
I totally agree with all your comments. Like you, the only draw back for me is the lack of remote control.
Have to agree 100%. It’s expensive but it simply works in the background and you never have to think twice about it. That’s what I enjoy – jumping on the trainer, getting Zwift to loadup, and the fan to cool me off just does it without any fiddling or throwing a fit in the middle of a race that it didn’t turn on. The airflow goes exactly where you need to. No curtains blowing or papers flying around in the room because of a fan that doesn’t direct the air where it truly needs to be.
yeah, best fan ever. I echo exact same sentiments. Game changer for indoor training for sure. Plus, it looks nice so my wife doesn’t bug me about it being in the basement.
nice. bet that honeywell fan will sell out fast 😀
If you are on a budget it can be easier to find the standard vacmaster air blower 2nd hand and then pair it with a remote socket (with it’s own remote, not an app). You can’t control the speed, but normally you just want it on max anyway!
I haven’t found a single fan that covers everything but if I had to choose only one, the industrial carpet fans like the Vacmaster are my choice. I have a headwind/Vornado setup for my primary Zwift setup and a Vacmaster for my other one and the Vacmaster is absolutely superior. Better airflow and easier to control than having to navigate to the Wahoo app mid ride.
Oh that Lasko does the job, it ain’t quiet but that’s what my new Melomania +1s are for!
If you have recommendations on headphones, I’m all ears, excuse the pun 😉
I have the very same Honeywell fan. It worked fine for about 3 months and then just stopped working.
Hmph. So in your case, it was more of a “HoneyNotSoWell”, eh?
im using one, and have done for years with no issues.
ive gotten use to riding in high heat tho, as my room is regularly in the 80-90’sF and the small fan is enough for some relief.
Love my Vacmaster.
Vacmaster is the best fan out there and a must have for everyone who’s racing on Zwift. I race pretty much on Zwift and I barely go beyond speed setting 1. I also love the remote.
I have the headwind, and it is not good enough in itself. I also use a Kickr climbr and like to be cooled when I’m climbing. If I increase the distance so it covers that, the airflow is not enough.
For that I need a secondary fan, but one type of fans which I really like is the Stanley (which I use myself) or Lasko type blower fan. Those have a more horizontal airflow, but the airflow is great. Not in itself, but as a supplement.
I bought a Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Pivoting Utility Fan, It’s now about $97 on Amazon, it was about $10 cheaper when I bought it. It’s a great fan, I find low is adequate for most days. It doesn’t;t have a remote but I don’t find that a problem
I have the Lasko sitting right in front of my front tire. It does a great job hitting my legs and torso. I also have 2 Honeywell pedestal fans…one on each side of me aimed at my shoulders/head. Each of the 3 fans has a remote and three speed settings. If I’m doing Z2 or recovery, I can get by at speed 1 or 2 on the side fans without the Lasko going. If it’s a race, it’s speed setting 3 on all 3. I still use a sweat net and have a floor mat, and as I mention in… Read more »
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Previously I used two fans of the Lasko style at full power. Now one (dewalt) fan of the vacmaster cools so well on its lowest setting that I need to wear a jersey. It is also much quieter
We all have a different fan set up, Eric I’d love an article just on fans, how to position and get the most out of what we might already have and any ideas for upgrades. eg Is a rear fan sensible? Do several fans clash and negate one another? Is a front fan better or is a side one better as it hits a larger surface area. I need the thoughts of Eric please.