Create Custom Routes like Climb Portal with .gpx files

I’m training for an Ironman and would really love to be able to create a custom route with the GPX file of my race. I’ve searched high and low about this and see it was brought up a few years ago, and I’m amazed it hasn’t been added yet.

Before anyone says anything, I have experimented with the GPX converter tool on whatsonzwift, but that is not really the same thing. It creates a workout (granted in the correct time) and can be customised for IF etc etc but instead of simulating gradient, it “virtually” simulates them using different training zones, so you essentially get a workout that is all over the place in terms of intensity and structure. (i.e. you get zone 3/4/5 for hills, zone 1 or 2 for downhills, 2 for flats).

Overall, its not a useful simulation because my coach wants me running consistent, steady power (or as close to constant as possible given gearing/conditions etc) , to keep my normalised power as close to average power as possible, and its up to me to manage that and use gearing into hills so as not to burn my matches too early. The tool above doesnt do this and instead has me running into threshold/VO2 zones really quickly because the route happens to be very front loaded in terms of elevations.

I would have thought this is a feature a lot of triathletes would love in Zwift, and also that it wouldnt require much development. I’m not asking for on the fly fancy graphics generation either, surely it would be simply to generate a climb portal style old atari graphics workout?

@Milan_Rost :point_up_2: :laughing:

@Michael_Byrne1 is there a route on Zwift that has some similar features that you could just do loops on for your training?

This has been requested many times over many years and Zwift have not been interested. The creation of the Climb Portal is a sign that the technology you’re looking for has already been partly implemented, but they’re still trying to ensure that all roads are packed with riders (thus the limited selection of Climb Portal routes, just like the limited selection of worlds, on any given day). My guess is any feature that would tend to serve people who are happy riding entirely alone will be a non-starter.

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Has anyone heard of other platforms wanting to make this to replace RGT magic roads?

If you don’t need the graphics then you can do what you’re asking for with a Garmin head unit.

Thanks for responses and sorry if its something thats already come up many times.

I’m just really surprised it has not been implemented. I can’t imagine a feature like this would cannibalise the social aspects of Zwift (even myself, I couldnt see me using it all the time to the detriment of other activities), and if anything I’d imagine its a feature that would get more people into it.

BTW Colin thanks, I have a Wahoo Bolt HU, I see some people have claimed that this can also work but I’m not sure if the wahoo will control my trainer (Zwift Hub) directly. It will control the Wahoo kickr etc but I willl play around with it and see if I can do something. I guess the downside of it is seeing the territory coming ahead (even climb portal style), does help with anticipation in gearing and so on. I’ve personally found it hard to do hilly routes on zwift while eg watching netflix, as you are always behind and caught by surprise by gradient changes. Its something though.

Yeah- I’ve used my Garmin to practice some longer hill climbs where there are multiple sections. You can have the Garmin show the little map so you have an idea of what’s coming up, but it’s obviously not as visual or intuitive as even the Climb Portal graphics.

Colin just to update this. Managed to get this working.

For anyone in the same boat as me………

  1. upload the gpx file to the Wahoo Bolt using the Wahoo companion app
  2. pair the Zwift hub to the bolt, for me it didn’t recognise the name of it, it just detected “Fitness Equipment” but that is the hub.
  3. change Location to “kickr”. Even though as per step 2, it doesn’t see the name of the trainer and just recognises it genetically as Fitness Equipment, if you select “kickr” here it will make it controllable by the head unit.
  4. under ride to simulate select the gpx file you uploaded

Then start ride and that’s it. The head unit will now control the trainer according to the gradients in the gpx file. It’s a shame this cannot be accomplished in Zwift but there you go.

Hope this helps anyone else looking to do this.

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Good to know it works with your Bolt too.

Colin what I’m going to experiment with in the next couple of days is……doing the above, but disconnecting the hub from “controllable” in the Zwift app, adding my power meter pedals as the power source, and then seeing if I can still get Zwift progress while doing a route. Obviously the gradient im experiencing will bear no relationship to what’s on screen but the distance covered by the power output will still count towards goals/missions etc. I’ll see if I can get it working.

Yeah - that should also work. Try different pairing sequences too; you might need to pair with Zwift and then Unpair before pairing with the Bolt.