Initial Feedback from a Newbie

(Kumpf Wheldon Age 65 OH 5634) #1

I am very appreciative of the opportunity to try out Zwift on the one week trial!  Had not heard of this product until Steve from In The Know Cycling mentioned it in one of his posts.

I love to ride my bicycle outdoors, but training indoors during the winter season has always been unpleasant.  Of course, in order to keep up my fitness it was necessary, but let’s call it what it is…  brutal!

Using Zwift allows me to free my mind much more when training.  Both the sites of the ride plus the competitors take me away from the pain in my body much like riding outdoors.  Not quite, but so much better than just looking at walls with my favorite hard rock music playing.

I have read other user feedback and have experienced much of the same.  No benefit in repeating it here.  It takes a long time to develop a platform like this and to work out the many quirks inherent in software targeting such a broad audience.

A few issues I have not read about:

1.  Don’t like it when the arcade game (throwing newspapers) is activated.  The icons on the bottom of the screen block my view of upcoming traffic and their closing rates.  Is it possible to disable when this is going on?

2.  Would like to see more detail on the riders I am competing with on screen.  In addition to w/kg and distance, can average speed for the ride and riders age be listed?  

3.  I am probably only going to use the software for 4 months out of the year as long as it is offered on a monthly subscription basis (suspect there are many like me).  Would it be possible to have the option to have an annual fee for use that is something like 6 months rate (say $90)?  This would encourage me to come on line a few times during the summer as well - perhaps to do an FTP test or to connect with a few people I have met here.  Otherwise, it will probably be December 1st (when the ice and snow comes in Ohio) before I set up an account.  Lost money for Zwift and less flexibility for me.

4.  Would enjoy “real world” road conditions rather than fantasy landscapes.  I see that London is on the schedule, so hope to have a chance to experience that before my free trial expires.  Would be nice if a rider could choose the landscape they are riding in instead of being limited to the landscape scheduled for that day.

Keep up the great work Zwift developers!!  This platform is a great escape from the cave like indoor experience of off season training.  I know that you will continue to improve what you have and by listening to users add the most desirable features to further enhance the biking experience.

Ride On!!!

(Paul Allen) #2
  1. That was a one time event for April Fools Day, Zwift does something fun every year.

  2. Average speed within a virtual environment is not a good metric. I don’t think Zwift will display age of anyone unless the users give them permission to do so.

  3. Been suggested a few times. Hopefully there are more subscription options in the future (I would guess it could happen around Nov of this year).

  4. This is probably the number on suggested feature. You can edit the World Tag and ride any course/world you want:


(Kumpf Wheldon Age 65 OH 5634) #3

Thanks for the quick feedback Paul!

1.  Nice to know that was a one off gimmick!!  ROFL.  :)  Probably for the younger crowd.  I will skip the April fools ride next year.

2.  Perhaps, average w/kg for a riders “career” on Zwift would be better.  Seems lots of riders are sand bagging, and it would help me to see who is real competition for me and who is just “gaming” me.  Realize that age is personal info (although it is easy enough to be dishonest with it), but I am looking for people I can interact with.  Age isn’t everything, but it is a factor that allows the building of connections.  Perhaps it could gain me a bit of respect on the road as well (although my gray hair doesn’t seem to be helping much).  Could have a toggle on the personal info screen that says “Show Age Yes/No”

**** Also - Those who are not using true power measurements should be identified with a “Z” or something, as those are not real performance metrics.  A guy that won an hour long event yesterday averaged 538 Watts for the event - was that Froome?

3.  Hope so, otherwise after my free trial I will be out until December.  If a discounted annual subscription was available, I would probably do an indoor ride once a week even during the summer.

4.  Nice… I will check into the hack and see if I can make it work.

(S. M.(C)) #4

Wheldon you will have to get used to ignoring the higher than normal power figures.  There are plenty of people out there that have weights under 150lbs and push 3.5+ w/kg all day long.  Whether it be weight doping or tech doping it happens.   I wouldn’t count my ride finished until someone from Asia rode by me at 4.5-6.5w/kg every morning and kept that pace up for quite some time.

(Paul Allen) #5

**** Also - Those who are not using true power measurements should be identified with a “Z” or something, as those are not real performance metrics.  A guy that won an hour long event yesterday averaged 538 Watts for the event - was that Froome?

2 things on this.

Next to peoples names on the right hand side you will notice most have a lighting bolt next to it, that means they are using real (we will use that loosely right now, it just means that they have a power meter or a trainer that broadcast watts) and other don’t that means they are using zPower/virtual power/estimated power based on rear wheel speed and the trainers power curve. 

There are pro cyclist and triathletes on Zwift and they will have an orange check mark next to their name. There are also a lot of up-and-coming amateurs using Zwift, so it could be legit.

Like S.M.© mentioned though, there are some weight dopers and miscalibrated trainers/power meters being used and I would suspect some e-bikes also.

(Kumpf Wheldon Age 65 OH 5634) #6

Thanks for the feedback guys!!  I will keep an eye on the lightning bolt and the orange check mark.  Also, I guess it would be easy to have a high w/kg if you misrepresent your weight…  :slight_smile:

Anyway, for me I don’t really care if there are cheaters (in reality these people only cheat themselves because they don’t know how good they really are - kind of like kicking your golf ball out of the rough when nobody is looking), just want to be drafting and sprinting to the line with guys that have a reasonable representation of their ability.

I did an 18.6 mile race today and half of the group D riders wound up with their w/kg for the race above 2.6 (one was 3.0).  Would think that the software would detect and force them into group C in the future.  Could be that they were all first time event riders, but seems unlikely that half of them would be first time.

If what I read is true, even Froome can only sustain about 420 watts over 20 to 40 minutes.  Likely that much bigger men could sustain higher wattage values, but normally those guys don’t end up winning due to the need to carry their weight up over the hills.  Is 538 watts for an hour really possible? (newbie question)  :slight_smile:

(S. M.(C)) #7

Get your account hooked up to zwiftpower.  Google It.  Need Strava account which I am sure you do since you ride outside.  Then you can go over there after a race and they will adjust everyone after the fact and bump people up and you can see all the details about who you rode with in your group and they watts, HR, and etc.  You can then also see who has a smart trainer, who is zpower, and who just has a power meter on their bike and uses a dumb trainer.

(Kumpf Wheldon Age 65 OH 5634) #8

Thanks S. M.©

(J. H. Edmund Lee) #9

Froome may not be the best rider to use as an example of real-life rider limitations.

Just sayin’

That said, yeah, lots of unrealistic numbers on an online game platform - like you’d expect. I think it’s the anonymity that encourages it.

(Kumpf Wheldon Age 65 OH 5634) #10

Thanks J.H.,

Do you know what is the maximum FTP recorded?  Just curious…  :slight_smile: