Alp Du Zwift level 12 BS!

(Jeff williams) #1

ok why is this new Alp Du Zwift only open to level 12 riders? Do they pay more? I went to ride it today only to find out I’m not level 12 and can’t find where it tells me what level I am. 

(Joe Daknis) #2

Your current level is plainly visible every time you use Zwift. It’s shown as a number in a grey bubble right under the XP ‘meter’, on the left side.

It’s also shown right under your name in the Zwift Companion App.

As for the decision to limit the climb to Level 12 and above (and Road to Ruins expansion before it to level 10 and above)?

That’s a question for a Zwift insider to answer. Do we pay more? No, but presumably we have *paid* more over the time that it takes to reach the higher levels than someone who just joined yesterday. It took me about a year to go from level 1 to level 25; riding in Zwift 4 or 5 nights / week. That’s 12 months of subscription fees. Long-time subscribers have been funding zwift’s growth, route expansions, etc. so, in a way, it makes sense that the powers that be would grant more experienced users first access to course expansions.

It also limits the number of riders on course at any given time, which enhances the experience (IMO). If you’ve ever ridden Richmond at a ‘busy’ time of day, you’ll know what I mean. There are probably other reasons -from a development / debugging POV that it might be preferable to limit user access to newly opened expansions - but again, that’s a question for a programmer or Zwift insider to answer.

If you don’t like it, there’s an easy solution: keep riding and racking up XP until you can get in!

(Joe Daknis) #3

btw - a quick search in Zwift Companion showed a handful of users named Jeff Williams. Of the ones who appear to be current/active users, one is Level 11 and about 30% through the XP needed to get to Level 12. Another is Level 3. The rest are already well above Level 12. So… you’re either very close, or you have a long road ahead of you - depending which one you are (and assuming you use the same name here and in Zwift)!

(Jeff williams) #4


It appears I am the level 11. I never knew what that number was. I’ve been paying member for over a year but I also do other platforms such as Trainerroad and BigRingVR as well as ride outside as much as possible.

Limiting the numbers on the course would be the only reason for such a move but this could be accomplished by simply limiting the numbers on it at any one time. Seeing as how the newer members are actually paying more now due to the price hike, it doesn’t make good business sense to limit based on the level alone. It actually makes even less sense if you take into account there are plenty of Zwift users that also utilize other training software. This would only confirm that Zwift is not needed, it’s good exercise but the targeted workouts are severely lacking in comparison and the numbers cannot be trusted for real world analysis. Anyway, that’s just my opinion.

Thanks for your help. I guess it’s decision time for me. 

(Paul Allen) #5

There is already a thread about this:

(Andre Hufschmid) #6

I think the reason is that people at level 12 have a certain physical condition. You need to ride quite a bit to reach that level. Alpe du Zwift is a hard climb and i think they want to avoid people from getting a hard attack. I know it sounds stupid but everybody knows how it is. Some of them push themself to the limit and if you’re not in a good physical condition this can go the wrong way pretty quickly.

I know that new people might have the condition to ride the Alpe but those riders will reach level 12 pretty quickly. 

(Nigel Doyle) #7

My guess is Zwift just want to encourage people to use Zwift more and convert demo users into paying customers by making them have to achieve certain levels. 

I make it that to get to level 12 is 700km of riding. Most people could easily knock this off in a month. 2 weeks for more active riders.

(Jeff williams) #8

I’m sorry but these are some of the dumbest “reasons” I’ve ever heard. Like I’ve stated, I’ve been a paying member for over a year but I use other platforms thus my mileage may not be what they feel it should be but I pay nonetheless. I’m canceling. Trainerroad and Sufferfest are far more effective. Ride on.

(Paul Allen) #9


If you join another rider or do a group ride that takes that route you would also have access to it. No one under level 12 is totally excluded from riding the route.

(Jeff williams) #10

Most of you “people” are missing the point. I pay for the service. Why aren’t all paying members allowed to use all of the services? Does it state anywhere when you sign up that you must be some random level to use the features you pay for? NO. Does it state anywhere that this form of prejudice should just be accepted, even if you pay the same, or more than other members? NO. The fact that most of you find this practice acceptable is mind blowing and eye opening. If they want to employ this type of reward system, then they need to deploy tiered membership rates. What if they said only white Norwegians can ride it? would that be ok? Same difference. Ride On, but only if you fit the arbitrary criteria.

(Joe Daknis) #11

I’m not sure why “people” is in “quotes”, but clearly none of us “people” care because we’re already > level 12 and none of the current restrictions apply to “us”. :o

I understand the point you’re making, honestly. But the ‘game’ aspect of Zwift is what it is.  They aren’t discriminating on the basis of race, or gender, or religion, or athletic ability or anything other than the number of accrued points… points that every user is equally free to earn by riding their bike at any pace and frequency and duration they desire. Gaining access to new equipment (or new areas) should be a motivator for riding more, not a reason to cry foul & bash the platform.  But, it’s your time and money to take where you choose.

No one said that when I signed up I’d have instant access to the fastest bike, or the most aero wheels, etc. You have to unlock that stuff by riding and earning XP. That’s the game. That *doesn’t* mean it’s morally wrong, or that I was discriminated against, or that I expected immediate access to that stuff because we all pay the same membership rates.  Zwift is no less effective as a training tool on Day 1 with the default bike, the default kit, and the *miles and miles* of open, unrestricted terrain spread over 3 different venues. 

There are (to-date) exactly 2 areas in the whole game that are restricted by a rider’s level: the jungle and AdZ.  There are a number of ways to bypass the restrictions and ride them anyway, and these have been explained several times.  So the only “issue” is you can’t elect to ride them alone whenever you want until you hit Level 12?  

That’s a pretty looooong stretch from only allowing white Norwegians through the door, don’t you think?   


(Jeff williams) #12

I keep reading about games. I’m not a gamer and I do not view the very features I pay for, the courses, as rewards for “gaming”. I pay to ride on the courses while training. I have no issue with the types of gear being used as rewards as it doesn’t prohibit me from getting what I pay for. I have decided to cancel my membership since this is something I cannot and will not support, and obviously I don’t use it enough to warrant the cost. I like riding OUTSIDE and when weather doesn’t permit me to do so, I still have Trainer Road. For those who have thought of creative ways to view things to fit a narrative you’re comfortable with, one day you will wake up and find a big beautiful world out there and realize you wasted so much time “gaming”.

(Joe Daknis) #13

“One day you’ll wake up and find a big beautiful world…”

Now you’re just being a presumptuous and melodramatic ass. I’m not a “gamer” either, but I can accept that Zwift is - in part - a video game. It’s also a powerful training tool that’s helped me find the motivation to spend a lot more time in the saddle on a trainer after my kids go to bed at night, lose 25 lbs, and get in better shape for “real, big beautiful world outside” rides than I’ve been in almost a decade.

To assume that you’re, somehow, a more committed ‘outdoor’ rider than those of us who think this is much ado about nothing because you believe we’re all brainwashed gamer zombies who don’t know what the sun looks like or what it feels like to spin wheels on asphalt is laughable.

But… at least you made up your mind to cancel your membership, so… cool for you.

(Jeff williams) #14

wow. I stated my piece and canceled my membership and yet you still felt the need to comment and make it about you while still missing my point in the process. That’s great that this allows you to exercise but this isn’t about that.

I’m saying, and I’m dumbing it down as much as possible, that a lot of us that have been members for awhile and still are not a level 12 are being punished because we use various platforms, cross train and/or have the opportunity to actually ride out in the real world, yet we pay the same amount and have been paying the same amount the entire time, hence the unfair notion and practice that we haven’t done enough to “earn” the right,despite our monthly contribution that states otherwise, to ride any of the courses whenever we want, regardless of group rides.

I don’t feel there’s anything further to discuss. It’s apparent that some drink way too much of the Zwift koolaid and others have lives outside of Watopia. 

(Paul Allen) #15

Again, users under level 12 CAN ride AdZ, you would just need join someone else or do a group ride taking that route. At no time were users under level 12 totally exclude from the route.

(Andre Hufschmid) #16

Jeff, I think you should adjust your language. We are just giving possible explanations and there is no need to call people dumb. We don’t know either. Fact is that these are the rules for now and to be honest i think its good. I believe it has to do with physical condition. Contact Zwift if you need an explanation on everything or the other possibility is you swing on your bike and reach level 12.

(Martyn Kimberley OP [B]) #17

Wooo lots of chat going on here… I can see both sides of the argument. I do however lean on the side of level restrictions being a good thing. Here is my take…

I see zwift as a club. Within that club you can choose to ride alone, utilise training plans/ workouts or ride in a group socially maybe even racing.

I’m also a member of a ‘real world’ club which offers similar kinds of services, for want of a better expression. In the club there are generally three abilities of rider, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. Routes, rides and special events are laid on for all abilities, sometimes exclusively.

Bear with me here i’m getting to the point.

The real world Advanced rides, for example, are not aimed at or suited for the entry level riders due to distance, speed or difficulty. Yet each member of the club pays the same membership fee. If someone chooses to work hard on their training and improve they can aim to ride the higher level rides in the future, many do.

Back to Zwift. AdZ is a tough. I’m a fit guy and it still takes me the best part of 60 minutes to get up there, i could take that down if i really put myself through the wringer. By limiting the access to those above level 12 zwift is indicating that riders should have a certain level of ability. Intermediate to Advanced riders if you like.

They hope that those riders who are just starting out or fall below the required level aim to achieve access by training and working hard. Much like the real world really.

(Mick Such) #18

I believe he has exited stage left.

It’s his choice to use this programme or not and he has chosen NOT.

ADZ is a hard climb and having done it twice I know.

When the jungle came out - that was also restricted to level 10 I believe.

Hey ho each to their own.

(Andrew Smith) #19

I’ve seen several threads about this and it’s clear that there are a number of Zwift customers who are unhappy about being locked out of the jungle and Alpe Du Zwift due to not being on level 12. 

At the same time, it’s also clear that there are a lot Zwift customers who think that the level system is good and provides motivation. I suspect most of these will have been at level 12 before Alpe expansion and won’t have been affected by the level cap.

In my opinion, Zwift should be doing everything they can to make their customers happy - like any business. It’s clear that they have upset some of these customers by applying the level cap. I’m far from convinced that they would have upset anyone if there was no cap - after all it didn’t exist at all until the Jungle expansion and I doubt anyone asked to be locked out of parts of Zwift in order to motivate themselves to ride more. Therefore I think that the level cap is a mistake because it will upset some customers a lot - to the point that they may cancel their subscriptions - but it won’t really make anyone any happier with the system.

To make matters worse - from the point of view of the Zwift customer experience - the newer customers will be paying a higher monthly fee that has been introduced to allow for development of new features. New customers may also have just bought a new smart trainer or PC to allow them to enjoy Zwift, only to find that they can’t enjoy the whole system.

Some of these dissatisfied customer have put posts on the Zwift customer feedback forum to say how they feel (which is presumably the reason why Zwift have provided the forum). They have then had other customers tell them they just need to man up and ride more and that if they’re not happy they should just leave and they won’t be missed if they do. I don’t think this is a good customer experience either!

(Joe Daknis) #20

All valid points, Andrew. The thing is, as Paul has pointed out repeatedly - there *are* ways for any & every user to gain access to the Jungle and the Alpe, regardless of their current level.

Maybe the restrictions do more harm than good if Zwift doesn’t do a good job of making this known to new users. On the other hand, maybe it gets more users to engage in group rides or to connect with more experienced users?

Time will tell, I suppose!