Alp du Zwift Feedback

(Zee Kryder) #1

Now that the Big Mountain is arriving on Zwift, let’s hear your first impressions after riding it. One post should be enough to keep everyone’s thoughts in one place.

There are at least 2 posts where this was requested (and many more I am sure). Hopefully, those people will be thrilled. Tacx and Bkool already have actual virtual rides that show up on Strava (as if they did the real climb) 

The Real Strava Climb of Alp Du Huez below:

Thibaut Pinot and Emma Pooley have the best times for the real Alp d’ Huez at 24:26 and 29:06 The total climb a bit past the village is 49:46 and 42:09.  Laurens Ten Dam is near the top doing the entire climb at 5.6 w/kg. 

PS If some of you 'weight dope" the ride, please have the courtesy on Strava to check as either ‘private’ or “hide from leader boards” 

Maybe some pros will do this course to prep for July!

(Tim Camden WBR (C)) #2

Is this a new route or just a new mission to do hill climbs for 3330 M.


I’m just finishing the 50,000 m challenge.

I want to rip on some flat land on my new “Tron” bike!!

(Neil Bell) #3

Haven’t ridden it yet but can’t wait, looks spectacular! I’ll probably do it tomorrow, forecast is for rain… :wink:

I’m one of the people who’s been asking for something like this for ages - thanks for listening!

Quick question - obviously the visual environment is different from the real Alpe d’Huez. The profile looks similar, but I think it is not identical? It’s a little bit steeper and shorter I think? Or is it just that it finishes before the town?

In any case, it’s a real climb, at last… really looking forward to this.

<edit> now I look properly, it looks like the profile is the same, just not going through the town. Great! This is a really good idea, to put real road profiles in the fantasy zwift envoronment. Best of both worlds!

(Michael Garvey) #4

It’s excellent and super hard. Very good preparation if you wanted to simulate real Alpine climbs for grand Fondo prep or whatever. Would be cool to see some sort of Zwift hall of fame where you get your name in the road or even at one of the hairpins for some achievement. Also, add crowds for big events like a Fondo.

(S. M.(C)) #5

No one running up the Alpe Du Zwift climb should be passing someone on a bicycle.  I had someone passing running a 5:44mile on a 10-11% grade.  Never saw them again after the passed.  

(Paul Allen) #6

Virtual elevation changes has no effect on runners speed.

(S. M.(C)) #7

Paul I understand virtual elevation does not affect the runners speed.  I understand people weight dope.  I understand people do not have calibrated equipment.  However a 5:44/mile, virtual grade or not ,is setting the pace on a treadmill at roughly 10.4.  I  have never seen anyone run at a consistent 10.4 on a treadmill at 0% Incline.   So 5:44 equates to a 8.8 on the treamill at 8%.  So if running and cycling are supposed to be somewhat realistic on Zwift this is an issue.  Its just an observation for those at zwift to consider.  Just likes its an observation on all the little nuances they have added to make the climb interesting.  The Chalk Goat, The Chalk Words and Encouragement, The Yetti Sign, The Base Camp, The Lazer from the Obseratory at night, The Little Flags, The cross Winds,  The pull back of the camera angle at the top, and the prize wheel. All awesome features.   

(Paul Allen) #8

How do you know they didn’t have an incline set on there treadmill, that info does not show within Zwift. Also, you do know there are pro triathletes that use Zwift, including Ironman WC runner-up Lionel Sanders (the guy is a beast) and I’m sure he can hold that pace for a while. Another point is if they are using something like Tread Tracker their displayed speed within Zwift will not really fluctuate, this is also somewhat true with Stryd.

Zwift running is still in beta and virtual elevation changes may get sent to the treadmill to adjust the incline and/or speed, but this bring in some danger that’s not present in biking.

(C hris Strub) #9

I jumped back onto Zwift yesterday to try out the new expansion.

I would say they did a good job with the details.  The side map is an awesome idea.   “Just a little farther, keep going, don’t stop now.”  After looking at some info, before he ride.  I figured I would not be able to do this complete with the Kickr sim at level10.  I bumped it down to 40% sim.  It still took me forever.  My legs are a little sore.  To be honest, I don’t think I could carry my 86kg up this climb in real life.  Lol.  I am using my older Trek with a 11/28 on the back.  This guy really likes his 32 when needed.  :).  I will try it again at full sim.  As I mentioned, I just wanted to get to the top without blowing a gasket.  

I saw many different avatars.  Some spinning super crazy, some grinding in slow mo.  

Is it real? if your trainer is not forcing you to shift gears?  Do you think you could do it in real life?  

Nevertheless, it was entertaining.  I do not like the clock.  I had to stop a few times due to pairing issues I was having.  Washroom etc.  

My new Lazer helmet prize was worth the climb.  I want to get a real one now.

It was worth the wait, glad they worked out the details and thought it thru.  Instead of rushing it out to please the masses

Adding some spring goals was a nice touch.  Even a new Strava challenge.

Thats all I have for now.  See you out there.

Ride On!


(Mikael Jonsson) #10

Tacx Neo, 98kg, 100% sim, road pattern activated and chicken legs!!!
Have not gone to the top but it’s not that the chicken legs won’t do it, its because the route is so damn slow and boring, so reminding me that I’m on a turbo trainer :frowning:

(Zee Kryder) #11

I loved this course. It takes about ten minutes just to go all the way down. They did a great job with the background and the mini map. It takes a long time to get half way. (don’t trust the words on the road, wasn’t half-way for me.)

I think a race between all the Zada approved riders on the Alp would be cool, with the winner getting to have the first turn named after him. Repeat that for the next 20 years.

Will I do it again? Oh yes. 25 times? Right now, I’ll say yes but can’t promise with training schedule. Should be a bigger reward than a badge, like a new bike.

what is on the prize wheel with the gloves and the helmet?

(Neil Bell) #12

Did it last night - great fun! Cruising back down again with aching legs and lack of blood to the brain, there’s that moment when you go under the bridge near the bottom, with the colours of the Mayan jungle up ahead… just for a fraction of a second reality was suspended and I actually thought I was returning to my hotel in some exotic foreign location after a real epic climb on the bike… :wink:

Lots of thoughts. The Road to Sky route provides a good session with a few kilometers before the Alpe climb starts for warming up in, but the short rise near the begining after the bridge forces you into a moderate effort a little too soon. Ideally I’d rather have it mostly flat for the first 10 minutes of the route. Minor quibble though… :wink:

I like the map. One thing that would be useful though would be an easier to interpret indication of gradient changes that are coming up ahead. The usual profile graphic sort of works, but the difference between 11% and 8% appears as quite a subtle change on the diagram so I occasionally found myself sitting down to spin and immediately having to get out of the saddle again (or visa versa) because I was taken by surprise. BigRing has quite a useful colour coded system for this which works quite well.

I love the fact that the route profile is the same as the Alpe itself… The environment is much prettier than the video footage in BigRing or Tacx TTS though! It’s that immersive fantasy element that makes Zwift what it is, but knowing that the effort id almost exactly equivalent to the real Alpe d’Huez climb is a great bonus.

It’s interesting comparing the Alpe du Zwift segment on Strava with corresponding segments for Alpe d’Huez in BigRing. The entire BigRing Alpe d’Huez route is slightly longer as it takes in the climb through the town to the higher finish line and also starts a little bit earlier, but this segment is pretty much equivalent to the Alpe du Zwift profile:
I also created a segment myself on the BigRing route called “Alpe du Zwift (equivalent)”, but I’m not sure if that’s showing up yet.

I’m 63kg and did the Alpe du Zwift insider verified segment in 51:19 at 248w average. My corresponding time on the BigRing segment is 54:02 at 245w. I calculate that the 3w difference might account for about 35s, so that means that the Zwift Alpe is still about 2 minutes faster for the same power than the BigRing one. I’m curious what calculations in the corresponding software algorithms that’s a result of. BigRing allows you to set the bike weight and mine is at 7kg. In Zwift I’m currently on the Zwift aero bike and the Zipp 404s. The figures are close enough for assumed wind strength and direction to account for the difference though! :slight_smile:


(C hris Strub) #13

Has anyone noticed there is still construction going on at the side of the mountain.  Before we get to the Alpes.  It was thought that this was where it was going to go.  Do you think it could be a tunnel in the works?  Interesting.

(Brad Mitchell (Kiwi Ink)) #14

Love the new mountain course! Really nice for a change and the visuals are awesome.

S.M. (C.), you mentioned that you have never seen anyone run consistently at 10.4 on the treadmill or a 5:44 pace. Myself and a bunch of other zwifters run that and faster paces than that. I was actually running 5 minute 5:15 intervals up the new mountain yesterday, passing cyclists and feeling pretty silly, but I think that everyone knows that right now hills unfortunately are not a part of the experience, like the bike.  I’ve also had the thrill and honor to run some intervals with Lionel Sanders on Watopia :slight_smile: - I’m sure he was just cooling down. He and other pro triathletes like Matt Hanson run 5:44 for 13.1 miles (1:15) after a swim and cranking silly watts for 56 miles, and guys like that WOULD be running by a lot of cyclists on hills.

I use a properly calibrated foot pod (I know what my speeds are from races and track workouts) and HR monitor. You’re right that the lack of elevation for running on zwift is very unrealistic, but when I’m riding I just take this into account when runners go by me on 12 degree hills.  Also, even Lionel Sanders would tell you that he won’t be running too long up a 12 degree hill at 5:44, but that is just how it is, until technology catches up. Still great that we can run on zwift. Really helped me over the winter and it’s paying off as I’m transitioning outside.

(Zee Kryder) #15

I"ve read a lot of positive comments about the map. So kudos there. The scenery is delightful and no sawtooths like the Epic.

Keep giving us your feedback folks. thanks.

(David Griscom YCW) #16

Overall I think its a nice job. I am not sure I really got to enjoy the scenery as I was too busy suffering!  I agree with Neil’s comment that it would be better to have a flatter run to the mountain for allow for a warm up.  The new mini-map is nice and the numbered switchbacks give you a target to focus on to keep yourself going.  I would liked to have some adoring fans on the side of the road cheering me on.  The countdown timer to your projected time should stat a lot earlier.  By the time it starts there is not much you can do to substantially improve your time.  I would like to see an intermediate time check at a couple of points on the mountain so if you are going for a PR you have something to gauge against