Mountain Biking - Steering

Wow!!

I came home had dinner and thought why not go see what this Mountain Biking is about, short and T shirt for a quick ride. 50 min later covered in sweat. That was fun.

It was very engaging , don’t ask me if there was bears or birds. My power numbers was crazy high and I did not even notice them.

It was not to hard to stay on the road.

The route is very technical.

I had some accelerometer drift towards the end of the lap, but that is one problem with accelerometers.

I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

That route is very technical. Did I say this?

Interesting. I wonder how they programmed the steering. There shouldn’t be any drift if magnetometer (compass) sensor is used. But not all phones (especially Android phones) have all sensors… Can’t wait to try it out.

Yes it is great fun but things does become a bit hectic when going downhill though. Love the climb and unlike ‘normal’ mode you are not fixed on the numbers. I found a weird bug where I would get stuck next to the road either just before starting or just after finishing. No matter what I did I could not get moving and I eventually has to exit Zwift completely and start again. I noticed that while I was pumping 300w to try and get going there were others in the same situation around me.

It was, I found my self grabbing my breaks. This makes me think, will we get breaking at some point?

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I found attaching the phone to the bars to be very uncontrollable. In the end I hand held the phone and rolled it (tilted along the longitudinal axis of the phone) left and right to steer. This seemed to be more responsive than turning the phone left to right. I was only able to hand hold the phone because I have tri bars and could lay one arm across the other. Not the most comfortable position. Maybe I could strap it to my head next time and then tilt my head to turn.

I finally managed to unlock the MTB (8 stars plus 2 half stars on the 2nd and 3rd segments gave me the required 9 stars total).

I love the course, it’s so much more interesting the long flat stretches of straight road (yes I am talking about the south straight at Yorkshire) but the steering is not enjoyable. I hope they add an auto-steer option for those who want to enjoy the scenery without wobbling all over the place.

Maybe Zwift could also add a steering position indicator, perhaps below the top centre HUD, to help avoid over corrections.

I posted my initial reaction here:

Overall, I enjoyed it. There’s room for improvement, but for me that’s probably getting a phone mount more than anything else. GPLama seemed to think it “just worked”, but my experience wasn’t as immediately successful.

I’m definitely interested in seeing how this can be applied in the future. There are various options, such as adding a degree of freedom to any ride on Zwift, rather than being on rails. It would be an option, but give another degree of immersion.

Another option would be to enable collision detection and enable steering in races. That would necessitate deliberate steering to get past people. It would also mean sticky draft could be turned off, and open the way to “blocking”. The collision detection could result in a “stall” as with the current off-road route, or it could cause a crash (e.g. 5 second penalty).

Definitely something that has a lot of potential. But also something that would have to be optional for “just ride” and races. Clearly some people can’t and would never be able to steer, so it’ll never be mandatory.

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How do you setup so your front wheel can turn? Does having the wheel straight on the ground work?

It seems to me like a long-term solution option might be a specific set of handle bar controllers (think x-box steering wheel like) that you click onto your normal handle bars. This would also allow you to have brakes etc.

Look at this,

There are razer blocks that can turn.

I am interested how the Elite Steering block will interact with Zwift.

I’ve ordered one of the exercise twist disc things (that you’re supposed to stand on and twist at the waist) from Amazon for £5, not sure if it will work, but should if I manage to angle it correctly.

Having thought about it though, I use a dedicated bike on my trainer, so I suppose I could just loosen the stem to allow that to turn. Might try that if the disc thing doesn’t work.

I like your suggestion about a position indicator (arrow). I also found that over correction is the main culprit and that you have to maintain some discipline to make only small adjustments even though your brain tells you to go sharp left.

Hi all. I was trying out the steering, and during the ride I got transferred to the Tour of London (for witch I was joining. After the line the Tour of London started and the I noticed my steering was still on… I tried very hard to ride in a straight line but that was nearly impossible… I was zifzagging the whole time and had to leave the event.

Anybody knows what I did wrong? I didn’t had the button in the loser left corner of the screen, to turn the steering off.

HI @Joekke_Vaneycken

This is a glitch in the matrix as they say. If you are on the MTB course don’t join a event from there, exit the MTB course or restart Zwift. I have seen this happen to other riders before.

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Hi Paul

like you I was thinking why not just loosen the headset to give the same outcome as the steering disc doodads? Did that work out or did you stick to the exercise disc?

The loose headset idea was inspired by the images on https://getontherivet.com/ where they demo steering and then I found your comment here.

Hi Peter, The disc thing worked fine to be honest, I didn’t try loosening my stem.

This sounds interesting, but I’m riding with a Wahoo Kickr Climb and I can’t turn the handlebars much at all. I read above that someone held their phone to steer, maybe that would work to try it out, but we really need something that works with a Kickr Climb as it makes such a differnece to feel the grade and engage the right muscles.

Maybe a hood mounted joystick? It would only have to be very small and would auto straighten when finished steering, pull back to brake…? You could also use the top buttons on the Shimano electronic shifters, but I don’t use that bike on the trainer…

Thanks.

Matthew, I’ve never used a climb, would you be able to still ride it if you loosened your stem enough to enable the bars to turn without affecting the forks?
Paul.

Yes, I think that would work, the Climb just attaches to the fork like a wheel axle. But I’m sceptical about losening anything long term, even though the bike is always on the trainer. I’ve cracked head tubes and seat tubes, the latter because the seat post wobbled around inside even when clamped. I may try it out once but I’d prefer not to steer than risk the damage, or unexpected twisting when I’m climbing…