What’s New with Zwift

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Zwift has exploded on to the cycling scene. What started with a few virtual courses and several hundred users, has quickly expanded into an entire virtual cycling world with thousands of users from around the globe. There are now several racing events each day, missions to complete, in-person Zwift meet ups around the world, more cycling courses, more group rides, an extensive array of training programs, and goals for unlocking virtual gear such as badges, bikes, jerseys and more. There’s even a brand new website with a plethora of more information.

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The Zwift Game

Zwift is the fitness platform born from gaming.  It is designed to make indoor training more fun, more social and more time efficient. People today increasingly find themselves time crunched, so training indoors is an effective way to get a quality, structured workout into a short space of time – you don’t need to travel, and there is very little kitting up needed – you can do it from the comfort of your home.
There are three maps to experience in Zwift, the Prudential RideLondon course, based on the Olympic Road Race Course from London 2012, the UCI World Championship Course from 2015 in Richmond, and of course, Zwift Watopia.  Watopia is a virtual world that allows you to do things you could only do in a game, such as riding in volcanoes or in under water tunnels.  Watopia is the biggest, most varied, and most popular map in Zwift.
Zwift is a platform for everyone with a goal, whether you are training to win the Paris Roubaix like Mat Hayman, looking to train for a specific event like L’Etape, or simply looking to improve fitness and loose weight.  There are experiences to be had for all. You can simply ride in the game, complete structured workouts, or for a more social experience, take part in one of the many events such as a group ride, an eFondo, a group workout, or a race.

New Developments in Zwift

Zwift continues to add new and different ways to stay connected with fellow Zwifters. To name a few, there are new courses, a minimap, the Zwift Academy, and even celebrity athletes that you can stumble upon in your race or group ride. Yes, it’s the actual pro-athlete competing against you, but experiencing that can be as rare as seeing a unicorn.

New Courses, Challenges, and More

Courses have been steadily added to Zwift, and we’re told another is coming to Watopia! Earlier this year, 3 new courses that wind around a volcano near Watopia were added. About mid-year another 5 courses were added; 4 that expanded ground in London, and 1 that was added to Watopia. One of the London courses is the infamous London Pretzel, which utilizes all roads in both directions. This month, a volcano climb to Watopia was added right before the sprint to finish.

In addition to the new courses, more riding events and visuals have been included. One new visual includes a mini-map where you can see your place and the place of others around you in the game.

Collecting special edition gear, customizing your avatar, changing up different bike components, and then showing them off on rides has become a popular motivator in the Zwift game.

Group workouts are also a welcomed addition to Zwift. They can be found on the Zwift Events Pages, and they allow you to complete structured workouts with other cyclists from around the world. Performance even has its own group rides on Zwift. The Performance Bicycle Great Ride Series takes place every Wednesday at 7:30pm est on the Zwift app and is great if you’re just starting out or need a refresher to get started with Zwift.

 

Zwift Academy

Zwift Academy might be my favorite new addition.

Created to discover new hidden talent within the vast world of cycling, Zwift Academy is a 6 week training course designed by elite cycling coaches. After setting your own goals, you’ll enjoy group rides, races, and structured workouts at every ability level. The Zwift Academy is a huge confidence and skill builder, and is full of camaraderie. In addition to building fitness and friendships, you’ll also be giving back. Zwift Academy has partnered with Qhubeka, a non-profit organization that donates bikes to South Africa. Zwift has pledged to donate 500 bikes to Qhubeka. The more Zwifters who graduate from Zwift Academy, the more bikes they’ll donate to this wonderful cause.

Oh, and there’s more. The top Canyon//SRAM(women) and U23(men) graduates earn a pro contract on Team Dimension Data’s Continental Squad. The semi finalists are set to be announced on October 20th, 2017.

 

Zwift Mobile Link

Another new addition has been an update to Zwift Mobile Link.  Zwift mobile link can be downloaded to your Android or iOS device and unlocks a load of cool features.  From the Zwift Mobile Link you are able to control things on screen (as long as your device and computer/iPad are connected on the same WiFi connection).  You can chat with other riders, give Ride On’s, take screen grabs, see where you are on the map, use it to display speed, power etc, and much more.  Zwift Mobile Link is definitely worth trying!

Everyone’s Using Zwift

The range of riders within the world of Zwift is impressive, and membership has been climbing steadily for 12 months. Everyone from beginners to pro-athletes enjoy the challenge of Zwift. There are even celebrity athletes, recognizable by their verified usernames, who you could be racing against at any given time. We were really excited to find that triathletes who competed in Kona used Zwift to train.

Upcoming Zwift growth

There are a lot of new exciting things coming up this winter.  Watopia is set to get bigger with a new area, Zwift Academy is moving to the semi-final stages, and Apple TV is set to make connecting to a big screen that much simpler.


Links we enjoyed while writing this:

https://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/buyers-guides/bicycle-trainers/introduction-to-zwift

https://blog.performancebike.com/2016/10/19/riding-indoors-a-fundamental-rethink/

https://zwift.com/

https://community.zwift.com/

https://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/product-reviews/bicycle-trainers/CycleOps%20Magnus%20and%20Hammer%20Trainers

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeOCqLG5Wy65aiENWfuFzUQ

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