After much refining and testing, Zwifter Chad McNeese has released detailed plans and a tutorial video showing how to build a trainer rocking plate. He has dubbed his design the “Rockit Launcher.”
What is a Rocking Plate?
The vast majority of trainers on the market (with the exception of the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll) hold your bike in a rigid upright position which is quite unnatural compared to outdoor riding. This is especially noticeable during hard seated efforts or when riding out of the saddle.
A rocking plate is a hinged platform placed beneath your trainer which allows the trainer (and by extension your bike and body) to move side to side in a natural motion. This reduces stress on your frame, reinforces proper riding technique, and makes the Zwift experience even more immersive.
Build a Rockit Launcher
Chad has furnished Zwifters with a helpful ~15 minute tutorial video, which I recommend watching first. This outlines everything you need to know to complete your own Rockit Launcher.
If you have questions on specific measurements or materials, Chad has also created a very detailed set of assembly plans:
Spring Setup and Riding Tips
Chad was kind enough to put together a video tutorial showing how to set up the Rockit Launcher’s springs. He also includes information on proper riding technique (hint: it’s the same as what you would do outdoors!)
Comparison: Rockit Launcher vs CoPlate
You may recall that BikeAcces.com‘s “CoPlate” rocking plate has been on the market for a couple years now. I actually have two of them in my garage for our Zwift setup, and they work well!
CoPlate may be a bit more polished in appearance than a DIY Rockit Launcher assembly. But CoPlate is also quite expensive, especially when you factor in shipping to the US. Additionally, they have been a bit difficult to order due to a lack of automated checkout and some inventory challenges.
Chad’s DIY approach produces similar results as the CoPlate, but at a fraction of the cost (provided you are willing to put in some elbow grease.) Well done, Chad!
What about you? Do you use a rocking plate? Have you designed your own? Perhaps you’ve built one based on Chad’s design? Share below!