Alp Du Zwift level 12 BS!

(Andrew Smith) #21

Yes, I know you can join a group rider or ride with someone else to get access. This is still a barrier though. I personally don’t often do group rides because I just like to get on the trainer when I’m ready and joining a group ride requires more planning that I can be bothered with.

I’m actually not affected by the cap anyway as I’m at level 18. I was just trying to make the point that this looks like a poor business decision because it’s upsetting some customers, but I doubt anyone would be bothered if the cap didn’t exist.

(Jeff williams) #22

Andrew Smith,

Thank you. I’m thanking you for being objective enough to see all sides and articulating this concisely in your post. This is something I may have been short of yesterday. That wasn’t my best self, but I stand by my point.


Jeo Daknis,

As a paying member, I should be able to ride all maps, anytime I want, without having to join a group or another rider that is of a certain level. The reason I pay is  to be able to train when MY schedule allows. You and Paul continue to come back to the same point.

Martyn Kimberley,

I’m not saying it’s not tough but Zwift does have a sliding scale to allow riders to ride the climbs that lack fitness to do so and so others can do it without having to physically change the mechanical gearing on their bike. Also, Zwift level is certainly not in any way, shape or form an indicator of fitness level, so this point holds no water.


Is Zwift a game or a serious training tool? It can’t be both. It can be one or the other and incorporate aspects of the other but limiting content is never a good business decision unless you have tiered memberships. Period. There is no debate.

If you were to ask me how I would have done it, I would have stated two options that make everyone happy, or as happy as you can make masses of people. Option 1) tiered memberships - those who pay more, get access to all content, all the time. Option 2) Use a reward based system, similar to what they currently do, that allows early access but only for a short period of time, say a week, with no possible way of others users being able to ride it until it opens to all paying members. Obviously the free trial users will always have extremely limited content. Regardless, this should be very clearly expressed prior to accepting money for a membership.  

The real reason they do this? For their next round of funding. Unlike gym memberships where you have people paying but not using thus raising profit, online services like that are viewed as decreasing in popularity/usefulness, a precursor to rising attrition rates, which affects their perceived value.

(Nick Adams (B)) #23

Just my 2 cents: Zwift didn’t invent point-based tiered access for additional benefits. It’s a tried and true method to motivate and retain loyal customers. Look at the airline industry: if you accrue enough airline points, you get first access to your seat and head bin space without paying an increased price for your seat. I tend to book flights for airlines with which I have accrued the most points, even if others are cheaper, because of the benefits of the points. Certainly people get bent out of shape that American Airline’s “Sapphire Members” get to board before them (particularly if they are smug about it), but they still book flights with them.

Case study: Several months ago, I started out with memberships for both Sufferfest and Zwift. I saw that the more I rode on Zwift, the more access I could get to gear and routes (specifically the jungle route at level 10). The gamer in me was motivated to put time into Zwift for the rewards, as stupid as they might be. I ended up not using Sufferfest much at all and cancelled it. I fell into Zwift’s marketing physiology exactly as they planned. Tired and true strategy to retain loyal customers. Not everyone will like it (obviously), but it has seemed to work for Zwift, given that they clearly are growing faster and have the most active users of any of their competitors. 

(lukas ranicar) #24

Your right to be pissed off about this,  its like netflix saying you cant watch Narcos till you have sat through all the episodes of The crown.  Unless you arrange with someone to watch it together at a specific time. In otherwords its bs.

Also you don’t pay a subscription to american airlines, I can only see rational criticism and fanboyish twisted justification.  XP is fine if your unlocking some pimped out bib shorts but not forcing someone to grind away or jump though hoops for access when they have fully paid up. 

(Erik Schumacher) #25

I was also a little disappointed that not all routes are accessible by new Zwift user. Well I do not know if it was an reaction to these threads, but I grabbed the opportunity to explore Alpe du Zwift with Fränk Schleck this week, it was an “E” event so everyone  could participate - ist was a painful adventure for me :wink:

I hope the Zwift team gonna offer those events more often. 

(Bradley) #26

It’s pretty common for games to have to “level up” before certain abilities or options are made available. I’m not a gamer outside of Zwift, and I don’t really consider it a game in the way my gamer friends game, but it’s pretty standard to have to unlock accomplishments by doing something. 

(Louise Bourne) #27

Imagine if Strava worked like this, you couldn’t get access to roads or be a contender to a QOM or a KOM unless you reached level 12! At least Strava is free unless you pay for premium and get more features.

(Erik Schumacher) #28


Quote: “It’s pretty common for games to have to “level up” before certain abilities or options are made available.”

Zwift is not a game, but a training tool. In my humble opinion every user should decide by themselves when to try out a route. The point is we all pay for Zwift, so we expect to have access to the whole content. If Zwift would offer a very limited collection of routes for free, that would be OK. 

For me it is pretty obious why e.g. Alp du Zwift is only accessible from level 12 - because users have to invest more time (and money) to see and use this content - in other words, it is a business strategy.  



(Richard Freeth ZHR (G)) #29

Like it not they do refer to Zwift as a game on the first page

“The at home training game connecting cyclists around the world.”

(my highlight

(Bradley) #30

We pays our money. We takes our chances. If we don’t like what we get, we might just stop paying our money and stop taking our chances. I enjoy Zwift and I use it for training, but it’s  a game because it’s sport. Whether I plunk my butt on the couch with chips and soda or grind away on my trainer, the challenge is to level up same as any other VR experience, but this one requires improving my fitness. I’m on level 12, but It’s not like it took that much to get there. 

(lukas ranicar) #31

Do you play Zwift? Do you log on for a game of Zwift with your friends? No and nor does anyone else. Zwift is gameified but it’s definitely not a game.

(Bradley) #32

I wish I could speak for everyone else with such authority. Thankfully, now I know why I do what I do. Thanks Lukas!

(Joe) #33

lukas ranicar XRS (B) 9135,

"Do you play Zwift? Do you log on for a game of Zwift with your friends? No and nor does anyone else. Zwift is gameified but it’s definitely not a game."

Some “use” Zwift purely as a training tool.

Some ‘play’ Zwift. These are the people stacked atop the leaderboards of many Strava segments with times that are physically impossible to achieve without some form of ‘cheating’.  They use motors, e-bikes, two magnets on a speed sensor, low body weight, etc to play this game. 

Serious ‘users’ of the platform who are in it for the training scratch their heads and wonder wtf the point of that is - but surely there’re some out there who just think it’s fun to ‘play’ and see what they can get away with. 

“Do you log on for a game of Zwift with your friends?” - Sure. People ride with their friends all the time. Is a virtual race against your friends in Zwift any different from a race against the same friends in Super Mario Cart? Not really. It may be a lot more WORK (and better exercise) to win against those friends in Zwift, but beyond that?  *shrug* It’s pixels on a screen racing other pixels on a screen, scoring points, governed by algorithms.  

Game vs ‘Gamified’? Semantics. 

Frankly, I don’t know why some people get so upset whenever Zwift is identified as a ‘game’.  This makes it no less valuable as a training tool. Nobody is taking away the hard work that goes into going fast or winning races from anyone else by using ‘the G word’.  




1. a form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.

Zwift isn’t all of these things?  

It’s supposed to make training more FUN than staring at a wall or a tiny GPS head unit, and it does that in spades. 



(Andre Hufschmid) #34

Zwift is not even close to being a game, it’s a training environment but however, its not a toy land or an amusement park as some may think it is. I don’t see what all this crying is all about. If you go to an amusement park, some roller coasters have height restrictions, movies have age restrictions and so on…

Get on your bike and ride, Level 12 is not our of this world and can be achieved very quickly.

(Jeff williams) #35

It’s not a point of if YOU think it’s an easily attainable goal or not. I ride my bike plenty on other platforms and outside. If I sat around indoors only using Zwift, I might share your opinion but I still wouldn’t be so short sighted to see the valid argument of others. You can use the whole it’s a game argument or it’s to help you strive but, in the end, it’s all BS. They only offer one membership and with that membership, all users should have the right to ride any of the courses, whenever they want. Gear, badges,etc are the rewards for “gaming”, not the courses that one would ride to achieve the arbitrary levels for the rewards.

For those who reached level 12, please stop trying to justify it just because you reached it and you work 800 hours a week, have 7 kids, piano practice,etc. If you are kept indoors due to familial and/or career responsibilities ,perhaps use it for rehab, and Zwift is what you use,great, just realize that’s not the case for everyone. I don’t recall ever signing any type of loyalty agreement that I wouldn’t use any other platform or venture outdoors before they started taking my money. That said, my membership is up in two days so this will not be taking up any more of my time. TrainerRoad and BigRingVR give me all I need out of trainer software with a much better results/time ratio so I can assure you it was an easy decision to leave and Zwift won’t be missed. Good day.

(Mick Such) #36

Good bye Jeff Williams - You wont be missed - and if you do read this comment = it means that you have come back to Zwift.   :slight_smile:


Wish some people would get a life - why don’t he just go to Bloody France and ride the real thing like I did.

(Richard Freeth ZHR (G)) #37

VLAD as you have done both, how well do they compare in terms of effort, please?  

(Bradley) #38

Great question! I got to ride some of the route last year, but not Alpe d’Huez. Need Zwift to add Col de Vars. All I know for sure, is that hurt more than the Epic Climb, but I’ve been riding outdoors now and have yet to attempt Alp Du Zwift. 

(Mick Such) #39

The Alpe De Zwift is 100% the same gradient per meter as the real thing.  

The only thing that is different is the imagery on Zwift in comparison to the view of the Valley you get in real life and the mountains opposite.

Its hard on Zwift and hard in real life.

We had some English friends that owned a Chalet on bend 12 and we stayed there for many a year skiing and a nice summer visit as well.


Elite also do videos of the Climb for use of Elite power trainers and I think others like Tacx do as well - so if you don’t want to use Zwift for ADZ - then try those.

(Richard Freeth ZHR (G)) #40

Thank you VLAD I had forgotten about Tacx and yes I see the ADZ there, I think I’ll give that a try an compare, can’t see me ever going to France and doing it for real.