Cycling outdoors can be difficult during winter months and it can also be difficult to get the time to get out and sometimes you may not have anyone to ride with which also plays a very important part in creating the right environment for a good ride.
Zwift aims to bridge this gap to enable you to have a stimulating ride indoors. While this is aimed to make it accessible to cycle with others, it isn’t for everyone you need a bicycle, a trainer to connect it to and a smartphone, tablet or computer. Once you have all this and then buy the Swift app and kit you can race against other riders from all over the world inside a Virtual Reality game.
The game is based on your pedal power (watt output) and this is then used to ride you around several courses across the world including London and other famous courses. If you own a smart trainer which your bike is connected to you will feel when you hit a climb and the workout will get a lot harder as you hit an ascent.
You can also select specific training sessions via the workouts mode, so instead of racing other people’s avatars, you will be racing yourself around. The interaction with other riders is great. You can choose to ride near other riders when you get started and you can also use Zwift’s Facebook page to see what group rides and races are available.
In addition to these great features, you’re also able to set up general settings such as deciding what your avatar looks like, what they will wear and so on. Remember that this will work best if you’re using one of the smart trainers, this will enable it to give you the best experience of hills, accelerations and drafting behind other riders. Zwift has a list of the best smart trainers available on their page. If you do not have smart trainer you will need a speed/cadence sensor from Zwift’s approved list (so no cheating!). The idea is that Zwift will calibrate your power output and your race experience will all be based around this!
Once you’re fully set up you can ask to join any active rides or just start on your own. Then you just start riding. You will get audio cues as you go along but in general, it is up to you to put the effort in! Then you can chase sprint or king of the mountain jerseys for your particular race. So versus riding on your own on a cold Sunday morning, this is definitely a bonus.
In order to get all the features on Zwift you have to pay a monthly fee of $14.99.