The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

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AUbicycles
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The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:49 pm

News out today, Zwift is rebranding and has rolled out a fat Z logo and corporate identity. Actually, they call it Big Zee. I asked Zwift if it is just a refresh or more.

If you are not familiar with Zwift, it is a massively popular 'system' for enhancing indoor training. Often seen as a boring chore, Zwift adds gamification and you get a 3D view of the road ahead, can see other riders and virtually ride, train and race with others while all of the data (speed, watts) is taken from your indoor trainer to give you an accurate translation of your effort.

With the rebranding, Zwift are trying to appeal to more people from the competitive or aspirational cyclists who have been an important audience to people looking (for example) to lose weight - so a fitness rather than sport component.

The system will continue to evolve with brand updates and soon a few new features are coming:
Group Workouts - A structured workout as part of a group which means that people of different ability remain together (so a lower wattage won't send you off the back) but you still get a workout better suited to you while riding in the group.

Zwift Mobile Link App: this takes the gamification a step further as an extension so you can see where you are in the course relative to others and interact with others via direct message.

Also, Tasmanian ex-pro Wesley Sulzberger is with Zwift now and looking after Australia and New Zealand so we can expect to see him in focus and leading the local drive for Zwift.

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Christopher

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andrewjcw
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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby andrewjcw » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:49 am

Zwift is getting better very slowly, in many ways it's still a beta. I'm sure doing a 'rebranding' keeps some suits happy somewhere so that's important I guess. By far the main obstacle to smart indoor training is improving the hardware. The only units that have any reliability and accuracy start at $1,500 AUD. Even then, plenty of those units break or get sent back as it is. Signing up 100,000 casual fitness riders that want to lose weight on $150 dumb trainers is nice for Zwift's bottom line, but it undermines the entire social premise of the program when the power numbers don't mean anything. The Elite Direto looks a step in the right direction, but it's going to take many more steps and probably 5+ years of better trainers and smart bikes before smart trainers become accessible. By that stage maybe group leaders will have control over their rides and you will be able to change courses without restarting the program in Zwift, who knows.
Last edited by andrewjcw on Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tomee
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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby tomee » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:35 am

I was part of the original Beta.
i like how even if you dont subscribe to their monthly fee they still allow you 25km free a month for those that are not regular on indoor training.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby march83 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:39 am

Getting to the core issues - I think it's going to take me a few more rides to get used to the new font.

Also, I just upgraded my Zwift computer with a circa 2009 top of the line CPU and a 2013 video card and it runs quite nicely in ultra HD until a racing bunch comes past.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby RichB » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:04 am

I like the idea of the platform and use it several times a week. Updates so far seem cosmetic only, yes the map is a good-ish idea I suppose, but it's not like there's that many routes anyway. After a few months/year you know most courses pretty thoroughly and where you are at any point in time, and where to make a move 8)

There remains the fundamental problem of not having any consistency in devices used as mentioned above, and the ability of users to elect their weights. Still, I generally do the same races and end up racing against the same people, so there's that consistency. It's when you get someone obviously edoping that flies past at 4.5w/kg and you see on strava afterwards they are so out of shape that it's just impossible. I think the community is getting better, and I've seen several of them now reported and dq'd for life, without further ZADA verification.

Maybe the technology and smart trainers will enable some sort of objective verification of users profiles and details, with racing categories developed on that basis.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby fat and old » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:10 pm

I shouldn't be surprised but edoping? Is that a thing? Wow...

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby biker jk » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:28 pm

fat and old wrote:I shouldn't be surprised but edoping? Is that a thing? Wow...


Yes, there's a web site called Digital EPO that allows you to cut your Strava times. Then with Zwift, users can understate their weight or not properly calibrate their power meters.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby g-boaf » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:17 pm

fat and old wrote:I shouldn't be surprised but edoping? Is that a thing? Wow...


Not really that. It's just that 90kg rider can put his weight in Zwift at 60kg. Nothing like what you are thinking of.

Yeah, there are some really suspiciously quick people on Zwift, but some of them are actually really fast riders in real life too. You never know who might be on Zwift. All that said, I'm not totally sold on it. I've used it some times but I think there are quicker ways to get the same benefits.

As for trainer calibrations, if you aren't calibrating it properly then okay, you might be going 'quicker' than someone else, but you are really just cheating yourself.
Last edited by g-boaf on Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby eeksll » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:58 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Group Workouts - A structured workout as part of a group which means that people of different ability remain together (so a lower wattage won't send you off the back) but you still get a workout better suited to you while riding in the group.


for zwift users, does this make a difference? If you are on the back of someone does it mentally urge you to go that little harder like it does in the real world? I wouldn't have thought all the senses are that involved to produce that kind of response (i have never used it).

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby RichB » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:59 pm

I've never been in a real bicycle road race, but a few motorcycle races, and yes it gets competitive and the red mist may or may not descend and you might do silly things that come back to bite you 30s later :lol: There's all sorts of racecraft you can employ which makes it interesting. They've done a good job on the graphics, even the ascents can be mentally taxing, I wouldn't have thought it, sometimes its better to look away from the screen. But overall it's fun, and worth doing the free trial if you have a compatible trainer, but don't just tootle around, join a few races and have a go.

The new app sucks btw, the previous version was good being able to swipe left and right to different screens when riding, now you have to go back through a drop down menu, select the screen, then press the button. Some buttons on the ribbon are off the screen and you need to scroll across to find them. In the middle of a workout or race, that's BS and a rookie error on their part.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:07 am

For group workouts, I think it can equate to indoor cycle training which is big business. But the 'buy in' is serious as had been suggested. A relatively techy resistance trainer makes sense, plus a bike and for a novice it is a big step. But for the Mamil who is a weekend warrior and 'takes it easy', it could be an option to take the health up a notch if there is no chance of leaving the screw-top on the bottle of red.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby RobertL » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:33 am

You never know who might be on Zwift.


A woman I know raced against Mark Cavendish a few weeks ago on Zwift. It was his first bike ride since crashing at the TdF.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby andrewjcw » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:54 am

I imagine the way the group workouts work is a speed boost or drain depending on your ftp. Basically the group should stick together if everyone works at 75%, 90%, 120% of their own ftp for the designated periods, no matter if the individual ftp is 180w or 250w or 340w. But you still will get dropped from the group if you can't maintain 120% of ftp for 20 seconds as required. Will be interesting to see.

Intentional cheating is much less of an issue than just negligence or poor equipment. The difference between calibration when warm or not can easily be the difference between a D grade local racer and state champion racer. I think the only way they will solve this (considering Zwift appears to have no interest in making it fair and competitive themselves) is have community run leagues and give people the ability to admin them themselves. Ones that are run well and fairly will get a reputation and become popular. It's pretty easy to tell who's legit or not from a Strava profile.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:31 pm

On the group training, I was told that riders don't get dropped. So it make it inclusive irrespective of individual performance which nay work well if it is about digital connectability.

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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby sir_camel » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:24 am

I used Zwift a bit last year when I had space to set up a set and forget trainer. I quite enjoyed it. Regarding eDoping and people cheating, i dont really care as for me it's a personal training tool rather than something to beat others on. I just use a JetBlack Z1 Pro trainer, no proper stats etc but after a month of training on Zwift I felt stronger on the road and for me, that's the main thing. Still wish they gave 2 months free for Strava Premium though :)
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Re: The new Zwift - Rebrand and Features

Postby g-boaf » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:33 pm

RobertL wrote:
You never know who might be on Zwift.


A woman I know raced against Mark Cavendish a few weeks ago on Zwift. It was his first bike ride since crashing at the TdF.


And for me, Robert Gesink. :shock: Stayed with him for a short while on a very steep section but just couldn't keep that effort going for long - he just disappeared into the distance.

Also saw a certain N. Rees on there same day as well. (A few of you will know him). I was wondering by that point who might appear next!

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