First impressions

I completed my third ride on the island this morning and am really happy with the experience so far. Somehow, the visual sense of movement and the stimulation of having other riders on the course provides at least partial distraction from the length of my current interval. The AI’s don’t do much for me. I much prefer interacting with real people.

A couple of technical comments that you may find helpful.

Neither the initial installation nor this morning’s update were particularly smooth. Upon initial installation, after the program launcher finished the initial update, the program wouldn’t start. I uninstalled, rebooted, reinstalled, gave up, went home and repeated and finally it just started working. The problem was not the launcher, it seemed to be the program itself. After downloading this morning’s update, the updater requested permission to restart Zwift. I said ok and the system then asked me for permission to install the new software, but after I said OK to that, nothing happened. I tried again, same result. I rebooted the computer and the third time was the charm. That was a relief. I am running Windows 8.1.

I have sort of a hard time getting into the draft, especially of the AI’s. They seem to zoom past and I have to accelerate to get into their draft. Then they take off. Real people seem a little easier, though I haven’t spent that much time trying to perfect my technique. Generally speaking, it is not clear to me when/whether I am even benefitting from a draft. Do I have to be behind a rider, or is next to a rider ok? It might be useful to provide a visual cue (e.g., different color on the speed characters). Furthermore, it might ultimately be useful to be able to adjust the draft factor. I will have trouble keeping up with some of my teammates unless I can crank up this factor!

It would be nice to have an FAQ dedicated to the interface. I learned from the recent email that “T” will get you to the customization screen. I don’t know what to do with that TT helmet. I see “30"” appear from time to time and I suspect I am supposed to do something (though I can’t reach my keyboard from the bike). Eventually I’ll dedicate some time to poking around, and probably discover things, but us old guys are conditioned to read the manual.

Thanks for your efforts on what I think will become a new paradigm for indoor cycling. Much better than computrainers IMHO.

I’m also new but can answer one of those interface questions (although I’d also like a manual/FAQ).

The +30 is when you get rider points, are awarded for distance.

I guess they add up and then… do you get to upgrade stuff? Haven’t got that far yet.

Christopher and David, some answers to the above.

  1. The TT helmet is a power-up you can activate by pressing the Space Bar on your keyboard. It will provide increased aerodynamics, as if you were in the drops and, presumably, wearing an aero helmet, for 30 seconds. You can also activate this with the “Ride On” button from the mobile app.
  2. The 30+ appears at the top to the right of the time and indicates you have earned 30 rider points. The rider points accumulate every mile (or apparently every kilometer if you are set to metric) and allow you to advance levels and acquire new gear. Currently the highest level is 15.
  3. I wouldn’t waste your time trying to draft the AIs yet but have had a lot of luck drafting humans, as long as they are interested in keeping a steady pace. Like in real life, drafting down hills isn’t really something that works well so I stick to hanging with a group on the flats and climbs and then work to regroup after big descents. The drafting has improved quite a bit during the beta but I agree it’s not quite real world-like. When we see a 15 person paceline tearing around the island you will know they have the drafting solved.

Noobie here, just fired everything up and did a lap. Very cool first experience, looking forward to getting in depth with this, as I can really see this making the fixed indoor trainer sessions more interesting. Making time go by is seriously worth it.