I’m not sure if this is the best place to provide feedback on the Zwift Play’s design but since they’re still supposed to be in beta I figured this would be as good a place as any to point out what looks like a shortcoming.
I really don’t care for the rubber straps used to mount them for several reasons:
- They’re stiff and hard to get in position especially when you have thick, cushy bar tape like on the bike I use for Zwifting. It doesn’t help that there’s not much area on the end to grab onto while pulling.
- That also means it’s more of a chore to remove and replace them. I have a secondary bike for Zwifting but if you have one main bike for outdoors and indoors then you’ll want an easier way to take them off. Pretty sure most people won’t want to ride outdoors with their Play controllers still attached lol.
- Rubber straps can weaken and break over time and I don’t see that these ones on the Play are user replaceable. This reminds me of a wrist dive computer I had that had rubber straps that were molded as part of the housing like on these Play controllers. It didn’t happen overnight but after long use one strap broke and since they couldn’t be replaced I wasn’t able to use the dive computer anymore despite the electronics still working fine. It would suck if after some time - especially if you have to remove and replace the units repeatedly like I mentioned in number 2 - that you can’t use one or both of your controllers anymore just because the mounting strap broke. (Duct tape anyone?)
I just don’t see how these rubber straps are superior to a set of velcro straps instead that are less likely to break with time, easier to use, and easier to replace.
I agree with your points, but i think that the choice of using rubber straps over Velcro is probably stability.
On my Kickr Bike the rubber straps don’t provide enough stability, even with the extension pieces used. Since the buttons need some power to be pushed (for a good reason), I always need to push with my hand against the bottom of the controller while pushing a button with my thumb. Otherwise the controller would move and the forces to the straps would weaken them further over time. It is just a bit wobbly.
I agree. Once those rubber straps are broken or stretched out the controller will be of no use.
I would rather suggest hooks like the Garmin bike mounts with a replicable rubber O ring.
Or a clamp system like a Gopro mount.
I agree that Zwift probably chose the rubber straps for stability but a pair of good velcro straps in the right place tightened sufficiently would probably be just as stable IMHO. Or as mentioned by Gerrie, some sort of replaceable rubber strap or band would be nice for longevity as an alternative. A clamp system would work too like he mentioned but might have been ruled out for cost reasons.
In any case, I’m not here to just complain about the straps - like I said in the first post I hope this thread can provide useful feedback to Zwift to improve future versions of the controllers.
I found it very tough to stretch the rubber strap around my taped handle bars, but the benefit is that once I’d done it, it feels really secure in place. Problem is that I need to remove to recharge, and tbh I’m not looking forward to going through this procedure repeatedly.
Velcro degrades over time too, admittedly only after constant use.
I think the rubber will prove very durable.
The thing is with other materials would it feel the same?
We’re all used to rubber hoods so the strap feels natural to the fingers.
thats odd mine are pretty solid on my kickr bike. BUT I have changed my bars (doubt that made any difference) and new bar tape which is maybe thicker of grippier
This is the tape
Zwift Controllers fit tight, but due to the rubber material they give way/swing down a bit if you push a button with the force needed. My fear is that this stretches or otherwise weakens the rubber straps over time. They are not rock solid boxes you can press on without any movement of the boxes. Is that not the same with your bike?
Mine really don’t move. I wanted them a little further down the drops and thought I’d just wiggle them but can’t get them to move at all without undoing strap taking off.
You can see here what I mean:
If he presses the B button a bit harder, the controller swings down (and back). This is the same what I experience and what makes me always “counterpressing” the controller with the hand from the downside when pressing a button with the thumb. You don’t have this wobbly swinging?
Watching that I’d say it’s critical to question the rigidity of them.
Yes there’s movement but it’s minimal and certainly not to the extent they need bracing from underneath.
Given the thickness of the rubber i don’t think they’re in danger of stretching or snapping in a rush.
Could you not charge them in position?
I recently switched bikes and thus bars, and noticed a lot more movement. I’m having to push them up after the angle dips down with use. I wish the rubber came with multiple tightness slots like my headlight. See photo. This way if you have different size bars/ tape and or they get loose over time you could make them sit a bit tighter.
Edit: Don’t need as many holes as the headlight, but two or three might be convenient.
Just did a quick video - I guess they sort of “flex” a tiny bit but really no deal and don’t even notice when riding.
Made a quick video here
If they are a fraction loose would it not be easy just to pad them out a little but to take up the slack. Extra piece of bar tape?
Thanks. Yes, I could do that and made do so. But I was adding this to the discussion of how the fit could be improved in future iterations to both be more universal and to be flexible in case things get stretched out.
Edit: one day later… I checked the box and they are spacers/shims. My apologies to the Zwift team! Thanks for including them. Will see how I go with the shims. I do think it would still be helpful and next iterations to have multiple holes rather than shims.
The strap should be separate from the controller and easily replaceable. The controllers will be exposed to a lot of sweat which could easily degrade the strap. From an environmental perspective it would be negligent to design them in such a way as to be irreparable.