Crawling on a racing bike in the winter is cold. And training on classic rollers, many enthusiasts find boring. Zwift is changing that. It is a virtual training program for your computer with an associated installation that you connect to the rear wheel of your bicycle. According to the advertising, every Zwift workout is great fun! Pieter-Jan does a test for ‘The Inspector.’
Serious Training Made Fun
That’s Zwift’s slogan. The training program for cyclists focuses on fun and experience, and that is a bull’s eye. Nevertheless, test candidate Pieter-Jan is an instant fan. “All Zwift users cycle in the same network. That is good for your motivation. This way, you can also train at an agreed time with friends or colleagues who also have Zwift.”
Pieter-Jan calls on the knowledge and experience of bicycle repairman Timothy Chamizo for his setup. He is a great bicycle enthusiast. And he loves getting to know other people on Zwift.
A Zwift setup looks spectacular. You use your bike, but the rear wheel is removed, and the Zwift trainer comes in its place. It consists of two components: a turntable that mimics a wheel and a wattage meter connected to the computer program. Based on the data sent by the computer program, the wattage will increase or decrease. This gives you the experience of a natural ride with hills and slopes.
To make the Zwift experience even better, Pieter-Jan will also receive an adapted ‘front wheel.’ The actual front wheel is taken out and in its place is an installation that can mimic the gradient of your bicycle. “It is an added value to be able to cycle with that front piece. That way, you have the ultimate experience of a mountainous course.”
“It is a lot of fun to train with Zwift. And it may look funny, but it’s a big motivator to train longer between four walls.”
– Pieter-Jan, test candidate Zwift
- It’s a solid setup that feels sturdy.
- In my experience, the software works effectively and is simple to use.
- Training is indeed fun with this system. “I keep cycling longer than on classic rollers.”
- It’s an investment. “I received material for 2000 euros.”
9 Out of 10
“The price tag is the only downside. However, I’m super happy with this system. That’s why I give it a 9 out of 10 without blushing.”
Pieter-Jan hopes that the cost price of Zwift will fall in the long run. But if he is considering a purchase, he will undoubtedly compare the other systems on the market. Because Zwift is not the only virtual training buddy. For example, you also have Rouvy, BKool, and TrainerRoad.
“Zwift is popular in the cycling world. And that doesn’t surprise me. It’s enjoyable to cycle in that virtual network and challenge each other.”
– Timothy Chamizo, bicycle repairman