Is the ability to steer always going to be paywalled?

Seems like Zwift has made a direct decision to allow a significantly game-altering mechanic to be locked behind an effective paywall, i…e. having to spend $99 USD for a plastic controller that attaches to your bike.

Zwift Insider has plenty of content on the advantages that steering has.

It makes me concerned about what other “biking mechanics”, in the future, may be subjected to this same type of decision.

Either don’t have steering, or make it accessible to everyone with the monthly fee we’re paying. I can’t think of a reason your keyboard, a $15 gaming controller of Amazon, or the Zwift Companion app can’t move your avatar left and right. These seem like simple inputs.

The one-time profit margins that the controller may be making you is going to be offset by subscribers leaving because they feel like they’re being squeezed / not wanting to buy ANOTHER product.

You’d need to remove your hand to do that so not really realistic or effective.

Gaming controller
Would have to see what you describe

Companion App
Again would require removal of hands and not exactly easy to steer whilst putting down a sprint or on a climb.

Steering is accessible to everyone so not sure how your “make it available as part of the monthly fee” statement works?

It’s like most things in life, if you want the best experience you have to pay that extra. You can use Zwift with a cheap speed sensor and a dumb trainer. But if you want it to be better then you pay for a smart trainer.
Steering is a bit like this i guess.


Miniature keyboard (2–4 keys) on the handlebars, no problem. Personally I think I’d rather use that than the Sterzo (toe overlap, base moves so it loses alignment, what else) and the Play controllers are mainly a theoretical option because Gabagool shifters.


The one-time profit margins that the controller may be making you is going to be offset by subscribers leaving

I don’t have that data, but I would doubt that. I know people are (rightly, I think) complaining about some devices not being available for purchase everywhere. But I have yet to see someone say that they are leaving because other people have paid for steering and they don’t want to.

This is cycling–everything additional you want to do costs more money. Electronic shifting, tire sealant, quieter hubs, noisier hubs, extra gears, comfortable saddles, non-sqeaking bottom brackets…I think a lot of people are used to it by now.


Give it a couple of months and the QZ app will probably allow connecting other devices.

I can imagine that this is more about control right now. The steering will be used in competitive games and the more different devices people will use, the more opportunities for cheating.

There isn’t a paywall, if there was you could use real money towards in game percs like turbo boosts, flat tires for opponents,… etc,… This isn’t COD and I hope it never comes to that.

Buying steering or shifting devices are in the realm of using what the game is programmed to do. But I see but you are saying,… let it be open to those that could opt for a KB or other programmable device other than what is currently provided or obtainable.

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If Zwift was interested in furthering the platform and ensuring steering was a core mechanic adopted as the default, they would simply, with a single line of code, map left and right to keyboard buttons.

That then opens up steering to everyone, not just via a keyboard but via a plethora of 3rd party hardware controller solutions and no-doubt new ones would also come out that would be much cheaper, available worldwide and appropriate for all setups.

They are not though. Steering is a half-baked mechanic to sell additional hardware and an attempt to tie people in to the platform with controllers that are useless anywhere else.


Well said. I have zero interest in paying for a branded product that gets bricked if Zwift decides to shut doors.

There are dozens of case studies of home tech companies (software as a service / cloud) folding and the hardware you bought from them being useless the next day.

The fact that Zwift is clearly going through a financial shakeup (layoffs, losing UCI…) doesn’t lend itself to me buying things direct from them in good faith.

I am not supportive of this model.


Steering existed before these controllers came along. I have it on Kickr Bike since a long time ago and there are others. However it’s not all that useful and I tend to avoid any rides that need the use of steering. It doesn’t much matter going up a steep hill for 1 hour.

They are useful for controlling things other than steering. Ride ons and power ups are what I most use them for, also navigation of the menus works well.


Eh, I enjoy it :person_shrugging:

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Sterzo, Sterzo, Sterzo


Rizer, Rizer, Rizer… :grinning:

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By now, Zwift wanted to add braking on downhill turns.
It is already in the code and was hacked a few months ago.
I just want to ride without the distractions of outdoors.
Braking, shifting, steering, falling over (rgt and cvr) are realities I can live without.
Next we will have to avoid riders, cars, and wild dogs packs?

I would prefer not to have rude comments like “Stare at the wall or watch movies.”
Zwift riding is for everyone. Zwift racing is a whole different game.
If racers want steering, braking, power-ups, and slow dirt sections; that’s fine.
I like Zwift just the way it is.

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Forget the software then, save the money and stare at the wall or put a movie on.

Zwift is the fitness platform born from gaming, but it seems to forget its own tagline.


Yes, I know. The 18 month Steerzo exclusivity deal. If that doesn’t prove my case I don’t know what does.

I thought about the controllers multiple times before I decided to give them a go. I think both of you have valid points here, but they do add some quality of life (mainly for menu control). I have used a wireless keyboard and the companion app before, but I like the controllers more. Are they overpriced? At least by a factor of three. I simply decided to forget about the money quickly (as I do for the monthly costs) and like them.