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    • cvdavis

      Having logged over 13,000km on Zwift I'm very thankful I no longer find my trainer workouts quite so mentally painful. I also find it's like Strava in some ways in that it helps you build friendships in a like minded community. Have you met friends through it like I have? (The picture is me biking with a friend I met on Zwift.) How has Zwift changed your workouts?

    • VilTri

      Last week I’ve crossed 10,000 miles on Zwift too. Haven’t celebrated it yet, but I do wish I could get a virtual jersey to commemorate it.

      Riding on Zwift has completely transformed my training and social riding experience. Training rides are now pretty much 90% indoors regardless of the weather conditions. Weekends are now for fun outdoor riding and less about the numbers.

      As for social riding... Well, that friend of yours in the screenshot is me. We’ve met and have been riding on Zwift for almost 2 years now. I’ve met many friends in the virtual world of Zwift who are also now my friends on Strava.

      Zwift has opened up so many opportunities to ride with people and on your own as far and as long as you desire. As you’ve said earlier, I no longer dread trainer workouts, but actually look forward to them (most of the time 😂).

      Here is is another screenshot of us racing the other day...

    • cvdavis

      Vilen I read something a while back about the growth of indoor bike training in cities that have high levels of smog and dangerous roads. Now that applications like Zwift exist, indoor training isn't just done because of poor weather conditions, the need for strict workouts or lack of time to do an outdoor ride. I would imagine that people who have young children also appreciate the convenience of an indoor ride that allows them to keep an eye on the kids yet still have a decent ride. The same thing could be said of people who are on call and have to stay close to home.

      I've tried some other virtual trainer worlds, and while I enjoyed them, I missed the social aspect of Zwift where there are generally many riders around to bike with. It's interesting to think back to the days when Zwift world had so few riders that they had virtual bikers riding around. It'd be kind of be cool to bring them back as part of a personal workout. Let's say you wanted to compete against your fastest lap around the jungle. You could set up the virtual ghost rider to simulate your PR ride. You could also program it to do some goal pace and simply ride along with it for motivation and a new pb (hopefully). The ghost rider bike could be invisible to other riders but help you to keep the pace. I sometimes think about the future of indoor trainers, VR technologies and how they could even have people create their own worlds where users connect various landscapes like for example 2nd Life or Minecraft. It seems things have just begun.

    • VilTri

      Totally agree with you, Cory! Zwift isn't just another training tool, it is a training environment. By that I mean it allows people like myself who are stuck in the middle of suburbia have an riding outlet and time flexibility.

      As you've mentioned, a fellow friend of mine (hardcore runner) recently had child and his life completely changed. I told him about Zwift a few months earlier and he finally caved in and bought a trainer. It really helped him stay in shape and yet being present at home when his wife needed him. In fact, on many rides he had his baby in a cradle next to him to keep an eye on.

      I've also tried a couple of alternatives (not too seriously) like Sufferfest and TrainerRoad. What really sold me on Zwift was the immersion factor.

      Back in college I used to love building gaming PCs and playing FPS games. When I saw Zwift, I immediately realized just how immersive it could be with the right gaming computer. In the future I'll definitely share my own trials and errors of creating an Ultimate Zwift Setup, but that would be a whole new conversation.

      Below is a screenshot of the "immersion factor" that I'm talking about. Riding by following my own custom avatar in a virtual "Watopia World". The details and realism are just incredible compared to any other virtual trainer that I've seen.

    • tod

      I am also a fan of Zwift. I am still trying to figure out the social aspect. I am interested in riding on Zwift with people I know on Strava. How do I find my real friends in Zwift, know when they are on the course, and ride with them?

    • VilTri

      Tod, this all can be accomplished with a Zwift Mobile Link app. It is a companion app that acts like a bike computer while riding that shows your stats like power, heart rate and map. It also has a built in chat feature so you can chat with riders around you or directly with someone. Cory and I use it while riding to coordinate when and where to go and when to push hard.

      This app also has a section to find Zwifters you follow on Strava. There you can add them to your ”favorites“ so that when they start riding you’ll get a notification. Then when you log in to Zwift, they will appear at the top of your “who is riding“ list. Finally, you can tap on their name and start riding with them wherever they are on the map. It is brilliant!

    • Eric

      I think Zwift is really cool for social (which I haven't really used yet), and nice for Z2 rides. I keep my subscription because I like the technology, but I use TrainerRoad for my serious structured training. Their Ask a Cycling Coach podcast is also highly educational and entertaining. In the end I really like their training methodology and the guidance to plan out an entire season following base / build / specialty phases.

      I love the time savings of riding a trainer. I have gotten more far more fit doing 6-7 hours on the trainer than when I was training 10-12 hours outside.

    • cvdavis

      Here's something new I just discovered: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1gAe-Hfm-I

      It's a Zwift cast or youtube video where the guy is like a journalist interviewer on all things Zwift. It looks pretty informative.

    • Vilen

      Thanks for sharing the link, Cory! I've added it to my "watch later" list.

      I also like to watch Shane Miller (Daily Lama) on YouTube for updates, tips and tricks etc on Zwift. Really liking his personality and insights. Here is the link to his channel.

    • Eric

      I think this article sums up nicely what you need. I didn't realize they have released the app for apple TV, I'll need to try that out.

      The ideal experience is to actually have a power meter that pairs with your computer, either over bluetooth or Ant+(you will need a stick with this). They can do virtual power by using calculations with speed sensor and your particular trainer, but it is generally inaccurate and annoying to set up. You don't really need an expensive smart trainer, I personally just use the power meter I already have on my bike with a normal fluid trainer.

      Power is important because that is how Zwift calculates your speed in game along with other opposing forces like going up a hill or wind resistance.

    • VilTri

      For starters I would recommend to give it some thought on how often and where you plan on training indoors. If you plan on an occasional fill-in ride when the weather is rough or you are tight on time then a small smart trainer and a laptop is sufficient. This setup is very portable and allows you to try different indoor training areas. YouTube has lot of great videos on setting up Zwift and choosing a smart trainer.

      If you have a TV setup already and space in front of it then Zwift App on Apple TV is better and more immersive. Start there and see how much you like it. Soon you’ll find what works and what doesn’t. You‘ll either fall in love with it or decide that it just isn’t for you.

      Here is very first Zwift setup 2 years ago.

    • cvdavis

      I use a 24" monitor that's hooked to my desktop computer. I opted for a smart trainer that measures power rather than to use the power meter on my bike because I wanted something very quiet. I use a Tacx Neo which is very pricey but I figured it was worth it for me because I ride the trainer for about 10 hours a week all winter (long winters here in Canada). For people who don't use trainers very often I don't feel the expense of something like a Neo is worth it - unless it keeps your partner and/or kids from being disturbed by the sound of you riding your bike. That being said I don't think I could ever go back to a noisy trainer again. The advantages of using a power meter from your bike rather than a dedicated smart trainer is that it works both indoors and out. Two years ago I decided to buy Powertap P1 pedals because I have numerous bicycles and it allows me to easily switch them from bike to bike. No one power meter is the best choice for everyone. I suggest seeing DCRainmaker's reviews on power meters for a comprehensive rundown on the pros and cons of different power meters. If you set up a pain cave I also recommend having at least two fans to keep you cool.

    • tod

      Thanks. Last time I rode Zwift I used the companion app and figured out the Strava link. Now I just need to find some friends out on the virtual road when I am out there.

    • Keenan

      I just started using Zwift and it is really fun! Still tying to dial in my setup and make it comfortable, and honestly it's been several years since I've been in good shape, so it's taking me a while to ramp up in terms of logging mileage. But I'm really looking forward to getting back on there and riding now, which isn't always something I would've said for my previous indoor training setups.

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