Zwift indoor virtual reality trainer

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  • Hello,

    Has anyone here used Zwift the virtual reality bike training computer software?

    It allows the cyclist to experience simulated riding conditions on their computer screen visually and to race against other riders.

    Zwift came to my attention after seeing the GCN boys racing against Jens Voight on Youtube via the application. Apparently you don't need a full on digital turbo-trainer just any ANT+ devices like speed sensor or power meter, i'm not sure if a smart-phone to control it is required however.

    I downloaded Zwift but my computer OS is a bit out of date so haven't tried tinkering with it yet. If it functions as i envisage then home training will become a whole lot more enjoyable.

  • Just featured on the Cycle Show. Having it upload to Strava seems massively naff, but no harm done I guess.

    Still, I don't reckon it's as hard as the CEO guy makes out to get out of central London and onto some proper roads. See massive list of forum rides.

  • Its going to be bigger than Elvis

  • upload to Strava

    No Facebook or Instagram?

    I'm >>>>>>>>>

  • CEO's don't have time to waste on navigating through traffic, time is money...

  • Zwift looks pretty cool but I'm guessing you need some crazy expensive turbo trainer that can set the resistance for you?

  • so saw this on the cycling show and thought I'd give it a go.

    I have a fairly basic set up with a standard turbo but I do have a power meter without which I think it might be a little pointless.

    I gave it a quick spin yesterday and then had it on while I did a proper training sessions this morning.

    Essentially it uses an ANT dongle to connect to the software and takes your power and any other data you choose to share (HR/Cadence/Speed) and applies relatively realistic real world speeds over the 9.5km loop of road they have created, if you have a smart trainer, it increases resistance but without this, it applies your power to the gradient and gives you a resulting speed.

    all the time there are the other users on the course, as well as a number of "bots" you can ride with (you do get a benefit from drafting) and against.

    there are a number of live segments on the course including a short hill (about 2.5 minutes climb) and short sprint section (about 30 seconds) and the whole 9.5km loop.

    interestingly when you upload the file to strava it says you have been riding the loop in the Solomon Islands and gives a real world set of statistics for the ride including elevation, speed, etc etc.

    the good
    it adds an interactive element to riding the turbo
    you earn points as you ride which I believe allow you to upgrade your bike etc
    you can ride with mates and make it even more interesting that way

    the bad
    its a bit distracting, I ended up getting sucked into sprinting the sprints and putting in extra efforts in the climb rather than doing the session exactly as I had planned
    there is only one 9.5km route so it is fairly limited, although you can ride it in both directions - I guess larger customisable courses are some where in the future.
    there are some nutters on there who give you kudos afterwards and others who are riding 400km in one go!

    Overall not a bad addition to the armoury, and once I get over the distraction bit, gives some better context to my turbo sessions which I find are better for the type of racing I do (TTs and Triathlons) and the occasional bit of fun/competitiveness.

    I think there are other programmes out there that are better simulation wise, but worse social interfaces, so I guess I need to look at those.

  • I tried it while its in beta back in the winter and it is okay. I found it more interesting/motivating following a trainneroad graph.

    Will be interesting if you can just buy it or if it will be a subscription. If it is a subscription I am out. Everythings a fucking subscription these days.

  • Have ordered my Dongle and plan to give it a go when it turns up. I'm just assuming I will enjoy pretending I'm riding around somewhere rather than just staring at my wall.

  • @Kat_Balou I managed 3 hours on the turbo this weekend with a combo of random selections on amazon prime and Zwift, managed 105km in that time which is a little more than I could managed in that time on a road bike on the actual road, but I put that down to having an inexhaustible supply of energy gels and water, more than any fault in the software..

  • I'm keen to try Zwift out, but confused as hell. I have a Tacx Satori... what else do I need? Power meters are £££.

  • A speed and possibly cadence sensor and a usb ant+ stick. Zwift has settings for the tacx satori aka blue motion and will calculate virtual power.

  • Yeah I'm just using a basic Cycleops mag trainer, garmin speed and cadence and a eBay special USB Ant+ stuck, works surprisingly well!

  • Did my first ride today with the Real Turbo Muin B+... couldn't be happier to see the result of mixing videogames and sports for real :). Winter is going to be awesome! Also really nice the integration with Strava.

  • Any more people on here using Zwift yet? Quite keen to give their free trial a go.

  • I've been messing around on their a bit, but am not sure it's for me to be honest. My turbo work is all structured workouts, whereas I feel Zwift's strengths lie in virtual racing/group rides.
    When I have done structured work on Zwift, I've found myself getting distracted by the other riders and the extraneous data (like KOM's/sprints).
    It has a workout mode now, but I think Trainerroad is better for this in terms of design and their huge library of workouts. Zwift's will improve though, I have no doubt.

    I think where it's really good is if you own an ergo trainer, which means that resistance changes based on virtual gradient and even by drafting.

  • Cheers! I think I might mess about with the free trial during December; then begin a more structured TrainerRoad plan in January.

    Can always suspend my TR account ( which I haven't even used for the past 4 weeks ).

  • or you know .. mince pies.

  • Having ridden a brief 30 minutes on this yesterday, I suspect it might be keeper, as that half an hour seemed to fly by. Will try a proper workout tomorrow and see if I get distracted by passing riders* again.

    *of which there were many.

  • For a variety of boring reasons my ability to ride outside is limited at the moment, so I've used Zwift a couple of times to replace longer rides (100k) and I must admit it's made spending 2/12-3 hrs on the turbo fairly enjoyable. I wouldn't want to do it often, but occasionally it's ok.

    Chasing down riders and forming mini groups certainly helps the time pass more quickly.

    I stand by my earlier comments that it's not great for structured work though.

  • I do enjoy the shorter, structured workouts on TrainerRoad, but anything beyond 90 minutes gets a bit grim, so I'm hoping to use this for either longer indoor rides, or when I'm not feeling focussed enough to follow a set routine.

  • Interesting email just now.

    "Hey Pete,

    You asked for it*, you got it. Our long awaited Workout Editor is here! Workout Editor allows you to quickly create your own structured workout using an easy drag and drop interface."

    *It wasn't actually me.

    I enjoyed using the 'custom workout' feature on TrainerRoad, so look forward to trying out the Zwift version.

  • Yeah, saw this too. I've built a few workouts which I'll try over the next week.

    The one feature I'd love to see now is the ability to hide all other riders. If I'm doing steady threshold work, my legs will sometimes subconsciously push on to catch a rider down the road. One thing I've found that helps is to ride the course in reverse where possible. That way there are very few riders to distract you.

  • If I'm doing steady threshold work, my legs will sometimes subconsciously push on to catch a rider down the road

    I'd like to see a 'pacing' rider for this. A very obvious bot that rides along at your ideal pace, as that would be more interesting than simply trying to match numbers.

    Invisible modes would help here, to save confusion with other riders :-)

  • That's a great idea.

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Zwift indoor virtual reality trainer

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