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Dumb question about smart trainers

Having finally moved somewhere I actually have the space to set one up, I am considering buying a turbo trainer. Ideally I would like to use it with Zwift etc. But if I buy a smart trainer, is it also possible to use it as an old-school 'dumb' trainer? Or is it effectively useless unless I pay to connect it to one of the digital training platforms?       

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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