How To Make a Steering Turntable for Zwift

How To Make a Steering Turntable for Zwift

Yesterday I was feeling handy, and decided to build a device to place beneath my front wheel so I could steer smoothly while riding Zwift’s FutureWorks:Steering course.

Luckily I’m in the middle of a home remodel, so I’ve got construction scraps and various tools sitting around just begging to be used. I only purchased one item for this project: the turntable.

For less than $7 shipped to my door (thanks Amazon Prime), it was a smoking deal.

What You’ll Need

Materials Used:

Tools:

  • Miter saw
  • Nailgun
  • Drill

Location, Location, Location

The most challenging part of these steering devices is getting the angle right. You can simply place the turntable on the floor under your front wheel, but the results won’t be ideal. You will see your trainer’s legs wanting to “walk” forward as you steer, making it obvious that your steering is putting a lot of stress on your frame.

Your bike behaves this way because your front wheel does not pivot where it contacts the ground. Instead, it pivots at a point several inches ahead of that contact point–where your forks would hit your wheel if they kept extending out.

So your turntable needs to be centered on that pivot point. And although it doesn’t have to be perfect, the closer you get the less frame stress/trainer “walking” you’ll see.

The Build

So I started by measuring my fork angle with my iPhone’s “Measure” app. It said 25 degrees–easy enough. So my steering platform would need to be tipped up at a 25 degree angle.

Then I went outside to figure out how I’d build it. Quickly enough I devised a rough plan–use some stiff, thin leftover laminate flooring for the platform, cut angled boards for the sides so it’s tilted at the correct angle, then attach my turntable to the platform.

Once I got to work it took all of 20 minutes to piece together. I added an extra scrap to the end for stability, glued it all together, and the end result (before putting the top of the turntable on) looked like this:

Ugly, but functional.

Those extra scraps of laminate flooring are there to shim the turntable’s arms so they didn’t bend (and perhaps break) when screwed into the platform. I also cut a hole in the middle of the laminate so I could remove the turntable in the future without destroying it.

You’ll have to figure out how to best attach whatever turntable you purchase.

Here’s the finished product in my under-construction office/pain cave. (And yes, I know my tire is flat…)

I was curious whether there would be an issue with the platform sliding forward as I applied downward pressure, but so far it has stayed put. And the steering feels great!

Thanks for Reading

Hope this helps you out if you’re looking to build a simple steering platform.

Got other ideas for how this could be done? Share them below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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David Mauro
David Mauro
1 year ago

Eric: Excellent solution to the Zwift steering issue. I took your idea and simplified it slightly in that you don’t need the 25 degree slope on the turntable. What I did was purchase a similar sturdy lazy Susan turntable on Amazon for $15. I purchase a sold black Plastic 12” Disc that has the bearings on the outer circumference rather than in the centre part of the disc. I made sure that the diameter was sufficiently large enough so that the wheel rests on the outer portion of the lazy Susan, back about four or five inches from the centre… Read more »

Steven Branfman
Steven Branfman (@sbranfpots)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Mauro

I’d love to see pictures.

Dioris Lopez
Dioris Lopez
9 months ago
Reply to  David Mauro

Hi could you send me pictures? I would like to make one as simple as possible and have no clue

Wouter
Wouter
7 months ago
Reply to  David Mauro

I would love to see a few pictures. Sounds like an easy setup

Luis Doriocourt
Luis Doriocourt
10 months ago

I wonder about steering in Zwift if it would lead to add form on the road. I know that I lean and countr steer. Am I over thinking?

Luis Doriocourt
Luis Doriocourt
10 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Yeah, that’s true.I am fairly new to Zwift and find that I can actually ride stationary without grinding my teeth after 20 minutes and quitting altogether at 45. A friend told me about your site. A big thank you. He sent me a link to the plans for the plywood rocker plate. I started thinking about how to build it for our smart trainers, NEO Tacx 2s. I figured out how to securely mount the trainer. The springs are problematic. Anyway that is completely off topic. Back to the original question I find myself leaning into turns even though it’s… Read more »

Tobias
Tobias
3 months ago

I couldn’t order the thing from Amazon, so I found an Ikea alternative for 7 euro’s: the Snudda Lazy Susan. It has decent bearings and it comes with a big wooden plateau making it super easy to drill a couple of screws in. It has been holding up great so far and the steering feels good.

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