Long-Term Subscriber Reflections (Cycling)

On a really positive note, it’s great to see Zwift now in terms of cycling - About to break the record for on-line numbers, great world choice, e-sports, gravel and MTB moving forward, introduction of drop currency and equipment store - I could keep going!

On a more critical note, It sometimes seems to me that ‘instant gratification’ is taking over with unlocks being given for not really achieving a great deal and I have a bit of nostalgia for the old ‘in my opinion’ harder XP system involving bikes and wheel sets that didn’t have the ability to level up quicker through the new route badge system. There are of courses notable exceptions to this, e.g. the work needed to achieve the Tron Bike and Lightweight Meilenstein Wheelset.

I do accept that we move on, it’s a business and is all about attracting new subscribers. In this day and age, anything that gets people fitter and shedding the pounds is to be thoroughly commended!

However, as someone that has been reasonably long term on Zwift (now over Level 40 and about to reach my 1,000th pizza slice), it also sometimes seems to me that there is a law of diminishing returns the further you go on the platform with my prospective unlocks to Level 50 appearing somewhat uninspiring.

Wouldn’t it be great if at this time Zwift acknowledged the Level 50 stalwarts who have been loyal to them over the years. I would be interested to know how many users have reached this milestone to date? Also, that they give some more thought to how effort and experience can be better rewarded moving forward. For example, make the Level 50 achievement a little more exciting and not just another jersey. Something more akin to the Meilensteins or the Tron! Putting a bit of work into this could be beneficial for retaining subscribers. Isn’t this also important in the world of gamification?

Does anyone else have a similar opinion or is it just me?

I agree completely, even though I’m “just” level 26 atm, but I have the Tron bike, wheels, AdZ helmet and gloves, 100 mile jersey etc. Took a year off when Zwift didn’t add new roads to Watopia a while back hence lower in level, plus the small matter of getting hit by a car and 6+ months recovery, but still, I get what your saying.

There needs to be more “motivators” to earn for harder level challenges, not just levels too. (The level jersey’s look just horrible. Ex. Pink level 20 for men. Really!? I’d die before wearing it.) I’d love to see a Polka Dot Kit (not Pink lol) us climbing guys could wear all the time. Say, 250,000 feet climbed to earn it. Right now, however, there is little to strive for, to pay Zwift each month, beyond fitness etc. So long as it doesn’t unbalance the game or training, I’m all for “shiny new things.” For example, one can never have enough kits.

Below this line is maybe slightly off topic if you don’t wish to read it.

Also, I think the time is close to consider adding another “session” of Watopia for people to join. There was way, way too many riders today which made it less than enjoyable. I found my mind thinking about FulGaz and not having to deal with feeling “hemmed in” and stressed by being around so many people. Some nice people=good. 5,000+ jammed onto a small island=bad.

I want a “session/world” I can ride in free from the entry/lower level riders too. A level cut off would be used to join this “session” to separate new from experienced riders so to speak. It wouldn’t have to be crazy high, level 15 would probably be plenty. Most non-serious users would quit by then or discover cycling=life lol. Serious new riders could do the first 15 levels pretty quickly though.


I must of had 20+ low level wheelsuckers try to hop on behind me today in Watopia. Go to pass them by doing .5 to 1.0 w/kg more than they are, on my mile 40+ mind you, they on mile less than 5, and then all of a sudden, Bam! You got someone right there behind you on your monitor. (Roll eyes) Back off and see what happens when you try to get behind them and draft. Seriously. Try it. Oh, they really don’t like that lol.

This is a violation of Rule #9 in my world.

The higher level experienced riders don’t typically ride like this because - experience! They/we are doing our own training - not being a watt leech. Experienced riders, at least in “open world riding,” will also take turns pulling with you and give a “Ride On.” Newbies in my experience, don’t. Racing is a whole different topic of course.

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Chris: The Jungle is level locked #10 and the Alpe Level #12.

O you will just love the Level 50 kit:

I think a 4th challenge will be nice something that you need to work for Like the Everest but with distance and elevation. But that only open if you done the other 3. The reward need to be as cool as the tron bike.

I do Zwift for fitness and the social aspect, but who can resist a nice carrot.

It is like real life, the older you get the more socks and less toys you get as birthday presents. LOL


as someone who’s about to unlock the tron bike, yeah… once I get that I’m not really sure what there is to “work” towards.

it seems like the MTN bike and gravel bikes were just introduced as something people can spend drops on, and I really don’t have much interest in that. there are some other unlocks I will get in the future like the 858 wheels and the S5 bike, but those are pretty minor upgrades to what I have available now.

I keep earning drops and I really don’t have interest in spending them on anything currently available


I’m speaking to the idea of having more than one instance, (Watopia) and just take the smaller locked areas out. One “open” world for anybody, any level, and another instance which is level locked to enter, say over 15.Nothing crazy. Just enough to separate new from experienced. Zwift now has enough users to support instancing where as a year ago, even 6 months ago, it wasn’t necessary in the least. Watopia, like the other worlds, is getting overcrowded.

I won’t be wearing that. Ever. It’s not a jersey so much as a political statement. Something I use cycling to get away from, not run toward. Why am I not surprised to see it turn up here.

Sometimes context is lost in writing vs speaking or listening. Riding around other people can be just want you want or need some days to push for a new PR etc, but just like anything, there are limits. I draw mine with lazy, inconsiderate, rude, and obvious Wheelsuckers. Virtual or otherwise. Why ride or train at all if a person’s going to act like this? I’m not speaking about the guy/gal working hard doing .1 or .2 w/kg difference from you/me and end up drafting together for a period of time. “Ride On!” totally then. Common sense.

Edit: Oh and yeah. 4th climbing/distance challenge all the way.

Great thoughts about revamping/improving on the Challenges. This would help in providing more carrots for the long termers and wouldn’t require a lot of effort from Zwift, Don’t know about you, but there isn’t a lot of motivation in getting the notification that you have completed the California or Italy Challenge yet again.

If anyone from Zwift is reading this. How about it?!

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I think the longer term challenges with a great reward is a good idea. I’m not that sure for a bunch of fanfare for the level. I’m not even sure why though… I’m about 10 months in, and by the one year will be level 30, have all three challenges done, got the tron, and probably most/all badges. But I don’t really consider myself a serious rider, so it doesn’t seem that hard.

So far, the best carrot has been the Tron

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I’m not super motivated by in game rewards but since I got the Tron bike I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to spend all my drops on.

I think the challenges could do with a general revamp as they are hard to find for new users and there are only a handful. Integrating the periodic time based challenges that pop up on the front screen in to a general challenges menu would seem like a better idea.

Some limited edition or fancy kit in the drop shop would also be good as now I have the Tron and Zipp wheels I can’t see anything worth spending drops on (that I can purchase at level 22).

Bling in the drop shop and swag as rewards is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Nobody is really going to want another Zwift branded wheelset, bike or jersey. But people will work towards getting the reward of a digital bike that a pro team rides or the latest TT aero helmet.

This however requires licencing and/or sponsorship. And this of course means that the companies providing this licensing and/or sponsorship need to see a return on their investment.

There are already a few big brands on board but although their products in real life are constantly (seasonally) changing the stuff on Zwift remains relatively old. Could Zwift be used to ‘release’ new products digitally and raise demand before release of the real product?

It’s a constant issue and one i am sure that the guys at Zwift are fully aware of. At the moment i am happy with using the platform to gain fitness and facilitate enjoyment of IRL cycling so tend to disregard the rewards and drop shop.


What’s wrong with pink? Come into the 21st century mate, it’s brilliant!


This sort of elitist attitude shouldn’t be welcome in Zwift. We should be a welcoming and inclusive community. Having someone sit on your wheel in the game has absolutely no effect on you. Heck, if you use view 3 you won’t even be able to see them.

I agree that sticky draft can be an irritation when you’re trying to get past someone though - they probably think you’re wheelsucking them… :wink:

What utter garbage.


Race entries when they introduce a fully-supported racing system to the game. :smiley:

But yeah, I agree there’s a limit to buying “stuff”. I’ve got a few bikes I like, I’ve got Lightweight wheels, 808s, and the disc. I almost always wear my team jersey, and I seldom change my cap. So there’s not much incentive to spend money. I don’t want or need Brand X Model Y because I’ll never ride it. Of course, now and again they will add something I want; I bought a Ribble Endurance a few days ago because they’re a local brand (20 miles away).

I’d be inclined to spend Drops on things that are transient, like minigames. Spending drops could be like going to the coin-op arcade for example.

Alternatively there could be a handful of expensive things that are really worth buying. Maybe a skinsuit that can only be worn on a TT bike, but actually makes a difference to the aerodynamics.

Or they could add other services to the game that have to be paid for in Drops. e.g. displaying Training Effect after a session could cost something. Or buying special “emotes” such as raising arms in the air. I dunno, I haven’t thought too deeply about it, but just “more stuff” in general will most likely see my Drop balance just increase over time.


Actually, I’m going to backtrack somewhat on what I just said.

I was completely overlooking the fact that Zwift have started adding gravel bikes and mountain bikes to the Drop Shop. So while I might have a road bike I like, there’s still plenty of scope for me to save up and buy a specific gravel bike or MTB.

No doubt there are many more things that could come; they could add BMX, track bikes (OHAI velodrome), fat bikes, recumbents, hand bikes etc. etc.

The key I guess will be setting the prices; saving up for a specific bike should be something that encourages Zwifting, rather than Drops coming easily enough that we can just buy anything we want without even thinking about it.

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“If you ooze masculinity, like some of us do, you have no reason to fear pink”



Those poor Giro d’Italia leaders, eh? :smiley:

The idea that pink is “a girl’s colour” is very much a twentieth century invention.


And I look great in pink! :smiley:


I love some of your ideas.

I think some minigames/quests would be a great addition to the “game”.

Otherwise Zwift added route badges recently. I think that is a great carrot. I would never do The Uber Pretzel if those badges would not be presented.

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I fully agree, Zwift, their challenges, the in game assets, don’t motivate me to ride. The DIRT community motivates me to ride and race with them, we just happen to use the Zwift platform.

I used to love pink back in the day.
My favourite jersey irl is a Pink Once Jersey used by Once during the Tour de France as their usual Jersey was yellow.
Could have been a bit confusing during the big race. :smiley:

Still fits me LOL.

I’d like to see Zwift have a clothing section so I could use my drops to buy some Jerseys and caps I really like. It would be cool if you could adjust the colours and design of the items a bit.

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I have a nice pink T-Mobile team T-shirt too. :smiley: Sadly I don’t wear it much any more because the neck is messed up.