Testing out Zwift

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DavidT
Posts: 1182
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:03 pm

Testing out Zwift

Postby DavidT » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:52 am

Hi there

I got a 7 day trial of Zwift https://zwift.com/ and I have been asked about it, so thought I'd share how I got on with it.

zwift20180116.jpg
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Zwift is an online application for using with a turbo trainer - it turns the turbo trainer into an interactive video game, of sorts. You get to ride with/against riders from all over the world, on various courses.

You've a number of options within Zwift in terms of what you want to do, whether it's a training plan, a race, group ride or just go for a spin, which is what I did. On the trial version, you ride the course that's chosen for that day, which lately was London's road race loop, with extensions.

In terms of what you need to get started - a computer running min Windows 7 64-bit and a speed sensor connected to the computer via ANT+ or bluetooth.
I used a Garmin ANT+ USB stick and one of the club's powertap wheels, but an ANT+ stick and a speed sensor would've been similar - zwift will estimate power for you.

A full setup would include a smart turbo trainer with power meter - Zwift can change the tension on some smart turbo trainers, so it gets harder when you're going uphill. Also, you benefit from drafting with this setup, as Zwift will lessen the tension when you're drafting, making it easier to maintain a speed, as it is on the road. The cheapest compatible smart turbo trainer I came across was 250.
For all I'd use of it, a 20 euro speed sensor is more my budget, as I'm getting out on the mountain bike most weeks.

As you'd expect, Zwift integrates with Strava and Garmin Connect.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1358397353

There's also a phone app, so you can interact with Zwift without getting off the bike.

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Zwift costs $14.99 per month after the initial 7 days. I'm not subscribing just yet, as after today I won't have the powertap wheel or a speed sensor, but 14.99 mightn't be a bad option for a couple of months at the beginning of the year to get on the road bike..

There's some good videos on Zwift here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8fArWR-CsE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4AFRL5lraY

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