More long, continuous climbs please!

Can we please have some new routes with decent climbs in them?? 

I was pretty disappointed when the much heralded Volcano turned out to be a short 3% slope… Even the mountain climb in Watopia is on the short side and rather inconsistent, with too many flat sections and downhills to allow you to get into a rhythm. It’s also annoying that the Epic KOM doesn’t go all of the way up to the radio tower, so if you do a maximum effort for the KOM you end up completely frazzled for the steeper radio tower climb immediately afterwards… 

I’m not asking for Mt. Ventoux, just a decent climb with an average gradient of around 7% that lasts from 30mins to an hour depending on fitness, with no flat bits or downhills. Surely this should be a priority for the Zwift developers? 

Been suggested numerous time, please also vote up the existing requests.

I’ve now voted up the ones I can find.

Can we assume then that if it has been suggested numerous times that it will happen eventually? Thanks.

If it was added to the Workout menu, then it would give a true climber’s workout and not risk others going through “the portal” that would put them at the bottom of the mountain again.

Moving to the Feature Requests forum.

While I’m not a developer, my understanding is that we’ve stayed away from long climbs because they sound like a good challenge in theory, but we’ve found them to be monotonous in practice; so rather than focusing (our limited resources) on something that the majority of Zwifters wouldn’t enjoy, we’re developing a variety of routes.

This doesn’t mean this won’t happen or that it’s being ruled out, but it’s not our top priority at this time. In the meantime, don’t forget about the u-turn function for all your long climbs and vEveresting needs.

Thanks for the feedback!

Hi Jason - it sounds as if there is a genuine difference in opinion among zwifters on this issue. 

Just as in “real” cycling, climbers are a different breed from sprinters and rouleurs, not just physically but also in terms of psychology and personality. For me, a long climb at maximum sustainable power isn’t monotonous but rather a massive buzz as it allows me to push my limits in a way I can’t do on the flat (and it’s a tribute to virtual cycling that this seems to be true for a simulated climb as much as for a real one). When I’m climbing on Zwift I’m in and out of the saddle in exactly the same way I am on a real climb, something that just doesn’t happen in an FTP session on the flat.

Years before Zwift came along I was climbing virtually with Tacx’s simulations of real climbs that use video footage. There’s no substitute IMO for a continuous 40 minute climb for motivation and training benefit. I still use the Tacx software now and again because Zwift doesn’t yet have any comparable routes to Sa Colobra or Colma di Sormano, but it would just be brilliant this could be rectified and I could do all of my indoor training on Zwift. 

I know from experience that simulated climbing is excellent training for real climbing, and like many people I live somewhere I don’t have access to long climbs on my doorstep, so virtual climbs are the best way to prepare for trips abroad. 

While it may be the case that the majority of zwifters aren’t into long climbs, for those that are it’s really, really important (hence why the issue keeps coming up). I think the developers should bear this in mind and cater also for this substantial and dedicated minority when designing routes rather than succumb entirely to the tyranny of the majority. 

Just a suggestion - but why not have an earthquake in Watopia that results in one side of the mountain being remodelled with a more continuous gradient all of the way up to the radio tower? You could use most of the same graphic footage but just change the gradient profile. And if it was only on one side of the mountain it would provide greater variety by contrast with the other side (currently both sides are punctuated with short flat bits and downhills). 

I agree 100% Neil.
Zwift is fantastic overall but I’d love to see longer continuous d’huez style climbs as you suggest.
I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree with Zwift management. Someone high up in the company is not enamoured with the concept so it’ll be more flats and tinkering for the time being (the in game calibration is a winner at least).

It would not be regularly used by a large portion of the users and would more than likely not used in any races so I don’t see why Zwift should waste resources for so few users.

I dare say that most Zwift features are not necessarily used by the majority but that doesn’t deny their utility.

Paul - Zwift is a community of different people with different preferences and requirements. To cater for a diverse community you necessarily have to provide features that aren’t necessarily the first priority of the majority. The argument you make could equally be used against the provision of (e.g.) cycling infrastructure - most people drive and only a minority cycle, so why cater for cyclists at all?

Also, I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a very significant number of people who would use longer climbs if they were available. Perhaps many of these people aren’t using zwift right now exactly because such routes *aren’t* available. I’d like to see some research / surveys on this. 

I agree that there is a balance to be reached. Probably *very* long and difficult climbs above Alpe d’Huez level wouldn’t be viable because there’s a limit to how often even dedicated climbers would use them - few people want to climb Mt. Ventoux three times a week… :wink: The current length of the epic KOM (6 miles?) plus or minus the radio tower climb is probably about right, it just needs to have a more consistent gradient and a higher average gradient (about 6 - 8% instead of 4%). That’s why I think a good short-term solution might just be to remodel one side of the mountain. Or perhaps just have a different route up it on a new road? Again, much of the existing footage could be used.

Saying ‘just U-turn’ as a response to the issue is grating. It takes time to get to the bottom again. This is the level of discussion we’re reduced to with the team that are in charge of a cycling application. Take a moment to reflect on that. Their answer to a long mountain climb is… hill repeats.

Climbing is massively popular. Not just with climbers, but with most amateur cyclists who’re not built for it. They holiday away to take on long climbs, it’s a central part of the cycling experience.

To not cater to that in a cycling application is plainly bizarre. To even have it up for debate is odd.

1 or 2 hour climbs aren’t technically challenging to program, no need to make this out to be some sort of hurdle. Lots of games and software have features that aren’t used that often by the majority of users, the majority of the time, but are there as part of a world building exercise. To even know they’re there develops the sense of expanse and therefore immersion for all users.

This is all down to a guy at Zwift HQ who tried a long climb, didn’t like it, and now has a myopic view on what is really a non-issue. It’s a cycling game, stick in some long climbs and move on. Big deal. If you’re having trouble hiring developer talent, then change your hiring strategy or recruiters.  


@Neil: Sorry to point away from zwift, but it sounds like roadgrandtourswould be perfect for you: They are currently doing beta testing, and have three good climbs set up. I have no affiliation with them, btw.

Agree with Neil, development has focussed a lot in the last 18months on the gamification and virtual racing aspects - justifiably and with success, but many just enjoy the virtual world to train on, and for them progress has ‘virtually’ stalled.

No doubt the island to the east is getting some treatment, but also the mountainous aspect of Watopia needs expanding. An extra valley with climbs please… I’d love a lacets de montvernier clone, and a long ascent 25% longer than the epic.

And Jason instead of u-turns, why not add a mountain loop- 

@Mathew - Thanks for alerting me to this, looks promising. I do like Zwift though, I love the fantasy element that does more than simply try to mimic real riding but adds a further element on top of it. You need that for motivation in northern winters… :wink: But in providing people with virtual cycling environments they can’t find outside of their front doors the real impact comes through the interaction of the visual element with topography - if the simulation is simply of rolling roads (which perhaps most people can find locally fairly easily) a big immersive opportunity is lost.

@Stephen - lots of land on Naunonga (the big island to the west)… Personally I’d like to have a long climb up through the various zones of forest that must exist on the real island… The mountain climb in Watopia, pretty as it is, doesn’t represent the climatic & altitudinal zones found in that part of the world, it’s closer to a mountain in cool temperate regions (as too is the alpine / Germanic architecture of course). I’m fine with that (and realise I’m contradicting myself a little after saying how much I like the fantasy element!), but it would be fun to have a little bit of Watopia that tried to simulate the real environment of The Solomon Islands (from mangroves up to cloud forest), and if done well it could be really stunning. You could even try to make it as botanically accurate as possible and then sell it as an educational as well as a training/competitive resource. You could “rent” virtual ebikes to non-cyclists for them to explore the environment with just a computer alone (strictly limited to 200w!).

I ride in RGT and it like it a great deal - but I do miss the social aspect since it is still just starting out. 

Since new sustained climbing routes do not seem to be on the near term agenda, How about a way for the user to string together route segments and save as a custom route (have you drive through a wormhole or something). This would be beneficial for non-climbers too since you might have some favorite sections you want to hit and only have a certain amount of time. For instance I would like to shave off some of the boring pre-mountain climb and start somewhere very close to the mountain instead of starting with everyone else and wasting 10 minutes…

@Mathew Interesting alternative. Didn’t know about roadgrandtours either yet. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s development folds out. Personally I find the current lack of climbs in Zwift to be a bit of a shame. And I’m not even that much of a climber myself. But there’s as is quite a considerable amount of distance on pretty flat courses that we can go through, but no true climb for when wanting to have a go at that.

And climbing as far as monotonicity goes, can be just as monotonous as riding on flat. Yes, if it’s just one long stretch of the same incline with no variation it’ll quickly become monotonous. However, many real world climbs do not fit this bill, where rather than a single gradient you’ll find a variety of gradients throughout the climb.

Although I have not tried Zwift yet --I have an old roller that is not compatible and the new one will not come to me for a week-- seems like a great program. However, as a good part of cyclists, I like climbing, so the lack of long and with significant gradients (7% onwards) climbs, seems to me an incomprehensible error. I have seen that there are other alternatives to Zwift, such as the Road Grand Tours; which although it is in beta phase, seems more oriented to the long  mountain climbs. I have no relationship wtih this program, I only mention it so that the managers of Zwift take into account that some cyclists are considering whether or not to register on their platform due precisely to the absence of long climbs that - apparently - they have no intention of solving, at least in the short term.