FutureWorks: Steering Phase 2

We’re introducing Phase 2 of FutureWorks Steering on paved roads with the August 2020 game release. On-road steering brings new pack dynamics that more closely resemble IRL riding.

What does steering do in game?
With steering enabled, your avatar will no longer ‘ride through’ other avatars on the road. Like riding outdoors, FutureWorks Steering lets you decide if you want to sit on a rider’s wheel or maneuver around them to pass!
A few tips:

  • Work on taking corners as quickly as possible. Remember you can’t ride through other riders - go into the corner well-positioned, then steer for the shortest line through the curve.
  • Try holding the wheel of another rider, using their draft to your advantage. As the rider weaves through road traffic, you’ll need to do the same to stay in their draft! Mind your power output - put out just the watts necessary to hold their wheel, without wasting any energy.

What do I need to get started with steering?
You’ll need hardware that broadcasts steering inputs via Bluetooth. The Elite Sterzo Smart steering plate is the first to market, which you can buy from the Zwift shop.

Make sure you place your Elite Sterzo Smart Plate with the smaller end facing forward, as shown in the photo below You should be able to freely move your handlebars back and forth without the steering plate shifting.


Zwift communicates with the Elite Sterzo Smart via Bluetooth LE only at this time. The Sterzo Smart’s ANT+ signal is not supported at this time.

If you’re using a PC without built-in Bluetooth support, you can use the Companion app to pair the Elite Sterzo Smart and other Bluetooth devices.

How do I turn steering on and off?
To turn steering on, make sure the Elite Sterzo Smart is ‘awake’ by moving your front wheel back and forth, then click the new “Accessories” widget on the pairing screen. To turn off steering, visit the pairing screen and unpair your steering device. Steering will automatically turn off after a period of inactivity from your steering device, and auto-steer mode will take over. Auto-steer is the default Zwift mode we’re all familiar with, where the game steers your avatar, and you pass through other riders.

I have a Smart Bike, why doesn’t that work for steering?
Many smart bikes include steering buttons. Steering is not currently compatible with Smart BIkes but we are planning to support these at a later date. We will keep you updated as more hardware integration is added.

Is this steering linked to the off-road steering update released in 2019?
The steering available through pairing with the Elite Sterzo Smart is designed for on-road cycling and has not been tested for the off-road routes. The MTB steering will still need ZC paired and mounted to your handlebars to detect the steering motion. Using ZC you can ride Repack Ridge, the small stretch of singletrack that gave birth to steering on Zwift. We can continue to test, innovate and hope to offer more updates to steering in the future.

You can read more about FutureWorks projects on the Zwift blog.

Is steering limited to free rides, or will we start to see people weaving around in races and events?

I don’t fancy a Sterzo Smart personally (expensive, feels unnatural and I worry it puts stress on my frame), but I note there are plans to add functionality for smart bike buttons. Will that extend to other digital inputs? I’d much prefer to be able to use something mounted to my handlebars.

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I like that there is more testing of steering occurring. So kudos there. I use a Kickr Climb and love using it for all my rides. I have no desire to trade that out for a device tied to the front wheel. I also would prefer some type of support to either the phone or other device attached to the handlebars for steering so I can use both the Climb and have road steering. Will be interested to see how this goes. Ride On!

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@DaveH

Keep in mind that this is a FutureWorks project. Right now, it’s a trial to see what future evolutions might look like in a racing context.

As far as the inputs from say your smartphone running Zwift Companion: the Sterzo Smart provides more consistent steering inputs and enables more tactile front wheel movement. While the Companion app enabled our initial FutureWorks Steering feature, feedback from Zwifters told us there was consistent drift, making it a subpar experience.

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Thanks, I was referring to buttons actually, rather than my phone. If digital buttons (i.e. purely on/off inputs) will be enabled on smart bikes, I’d like to see something similar for my regular bike’s handlebars.

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Thanks, @shooj. I understand it’s in the testing phases, just wanted to weigh in on the current state. I agree with @DaveH. I’d like to see a button system like smart bikes be available for my regular bike’s handlebars. That way I could keep using my Climb.

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A thought on this, as it related to Apple TV: since one of the recent updates many users have complained about the pairing through the Companion app. I only pair through the ATV presently (trainer and HRM), but adding the Sterzo would then force me to go through the Companion app. This, of course seems less than desirable, unless all of the pairing issues have been corrected in this update.

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i have the original non electronic sterzo, is there a way to buy just the electronics to upgrade? if not, will the handlebar mounted phone with ZCA be allowed for steering on the road too at some point? thanks

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I believe That I read in the Zwift Shop page that the steering will only work IF the event or race enables it. Does this mean you can not just free ride with the feature enabled?

It seems a real benefit would be as a tactical tool in a race setting but 2 things: 1) How many races are going to enable it? 2) Is it really a fair race to allow only some riders to use the feature while others race without it?
Maybe I’m not fully understanding it fully.

Ok this steering feature has my attention… One thing isn’t clear in the descriptions. In free rides can you change course at intersections with the steering?

Also is android support coming?

@Brad_Coe
DC Rainmaker has had the Sterzo Smart unit for some time, and has already made a first impressions video that might give you a better idea of what this feature looks like.

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@Bob_Gorman_Splunk_ra
Yes, this feature works in free ride mode too.

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This is a question for Elite, but I’m guessing the answer is no.

Any details on how we can purchase the hardware outside of the US and Canada? I’m in Australia and would love to give it a go.

Thanks for the link. I see you can’t change routes at this time. Consider this a feature request. :slight_smile: Regardless I’ll order one as soon as I see the android update, looks like fun.

Excited to see this and having just watched DC Rainmakers video it looks awesome with bags of potential. Pretty bummed to have just spent £3k on a smart bike and also alienated myself from the concept so hopefully and option for smart bikes is soon.

I see you can’t just ghost through riders when steering, and that you are blocked if there is no gap. Have Zwift improved the general ghosting through riders then or is this just specific to steering?

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Please allow the Companion App steering to be used outside Repack. Personally I’ve never noticed any drift and it would be great to get started steering everywhere with the app until we can get the Elite Sterzo Smart steering plate (the Zwift store doesn’t ship internationally?)

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Hi @Twissy!

In the original post above it details the ‘Ghosting’ interations.

At another point, it does say that if you unpair the Sterzo, you will once again be passing through other riders.

I hope this answers your questions!

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I also have a non-electronic steering plate by Unisky. It will be great to allow us mount an add-on gadget to simulate the steering via electronic gyro.

Alternatively, there are apps on Androidd and iStore that are steering aps. Can we consider those to connect to PC/laptop via native Bluetooth?

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