Newbie Observations

(DB Smith (65+)) #1
  1. App doesn’t save login information so must re-enter every time

  2. Not possible to make/change settings unless you’re in a ride (which, presumably, you’d delete after making settings changes!). Dumb.

  3. Haven’t yet found a race/ride schedule – not much fun to start a session and realize that everyone on the course is 4 miles up the road already – no matter how hard I ride, I’m not gonna catch 'em.

  4. Corollary to #3 - it’s pretty boring riding alone; graphics aren’t that great!

  5. I’m riding a Kinetic Rock and Roll with inRide so resistance isn’t controlled. Makes, again, pretty boring when I’m pedaling at a good pace but the course is uphill and showing me moving at 3mph! I think Zwift is really only for “smart” trainers.

Not giving up yet, but not overly impressed…

(Erik Nekkers [Team X]) #2
  1. Would be nice that the app saves password, but it is not that big of a hassle to type your password.

2. To change some settings you have to be logged in, but they are saved with me.

  1. Races are community organized, for a overview check

  2. The course is a lap, so there is always somebody near you.

  3. Zwift is indeed more fun with smart trainers, but when you bike uphill in real life you also have to produce serious watts to go up fast on steep sections. This is no difference in Zwift.

(DB Smith (65+)) #3

Thanks for your comments:

  1. IMO it’s a pain to enter name/password every time. It’s not that way on the Zwift website!

  2. n/c

  3. I ride for exercise every day. It’s nice that there are weekly rides scheduled but that does nothing for a daily routine.

  4. I did a short ride yesterday – 25 minutes or so. But I was absolutely alone the entire time. I’m not particularly fast, either, so I’d have expected that someone would at least lap me!

  5. Not sure I understand your point. I rode a consistent pace yesterday – cadence and speed. Nevertheless Zwift showed me going 38 sometimes and 3 other times. I understand why – it can’t control the trainer resistance – but MY point was that, without a smart trainer, the experience is not particularly realistic or satisfying. 

(Michael Henasey) #4

Your experience with Zwift will depend on the hardware you have. Yes, Zwift is more “realistic” when you have a controllable smart trainer like the Wahoo KICKR. In addition, if you have a gaming PC that meets either the Recommended or Extreme specs on this page, you will experience Zwift’s excellent lighting and graphical detail. Please check out this video comparison which shows the difference between running with Minimum specs and running with Recommended specs, there’s quiet a difference.


(Daren Chandisingh [Vision]) #5
  1. I agree. It’s the most requested feature Dana. Well, most voted-for at least. I’m sure they’ll get to it eventually.

  2. Some settings you can change from the website (e.g. Name or weight). Other settings you have to in the game, but you can “Just Watch” rather than be in a ride. It’s normal to run a program in order to make changes to its settings, but I believe there are also config files you can edit outside of the game. e.g. prefs.xml (in Documents\Zwift)

  3. Events are listed on Facebook (check the “Zwift Riders” group and the Teamup calendar at If people are too far ahead, soft pedal until they come round for the next lap (particularly on Watopia as it’s shorter). Or you can turn round (on Watopia) using the downarrow and ride towards them.

  4. Graphics are pretty good if your computer is up to the job. There’s an “Ultra” setting, and even an “Extreme” setting. My work laptop can only just manage “Medium” though. 

As for whether Zwift is boring or the thing for you, that’s your call of course. Personally I definitely find it more interesting than just being on the turbo staring at a wall. :wink:

(Erik Nekkers [Team X]) #6
  1. I can understand

  2. Everybody has different schedules and is in different timezones. There are grouprides every day. If you do some searching you can find them.


  1. Probably has to do with your internet connection. As I said, it are laps and there are always at least 50 riders online. You should always see other riders.

  2. With a smart trainer it is a lot more fun and realistic, you are right. If you think the experience with a dumb trainer is not satisfying enough for you, I think you can do 2 things. Buy a smart trainer or don’t Zwift.















(DB Smith (65+)) #7

Quad core i7 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M – not exactly slumming it.

I was less concerned with the graphics than (1) no one else on the road and (2) riding with a dumb trainer the lack of varied resistance (to simulate hills) makes the whole “road course” concept a bit of a nonsense.

(DB Smith (65+)) #8

to Mr Nekkers:

My internet connection is guaranteed 30mbps and I typically get about 35mbps. I believe that may be a bit “slow” in some European countries but in the USA it’s faster than many/most.

Thanks for you comment re: smart trainers. You are correct: if I don’t decide to buy a new trainer I won’t be using Zwift. 

(Michael Henasey) #9

Dana, do you have any suggestions on how to make riding in Zwift more “sensical” if you were to use a dumb trainer?


(DB Smith (65+)) #10

Mr. Chandisingh,

Thanks for your comments. I’ve tried to get to settings by just “watching” but couldn’t see a way to do it; maybe just me.

Maybe off-topic but I don’t use Facebook and I’m surprised that Zwift would want to leave scheduling to a site like that. In any case, my interest in Zwift is for daily morning workouts (I’m retired). 

My internet speed is 30mbps+. I rode for 25+ minutes yesterday (just a test – I typically do an hour or a bit more each day). I saw NO ONE. Not one rider, although the screen was saying there were 200+ on the course. If I need a faster connection to play, I’m probably not a buyer!

I can, and have, used Sufferfest and several other dvd based training sessions. I can also watch HD tv in my workout room. 

(Erik Nekkers [Team X]) #11

The speed shouldn’t be an issue. It is more the quality, check over here 

I also have sometimes that I see no other riders, that has to do that my connection dropped. Nothing with the speed as I have 120 Mbit. Also the problem can have to do with a firewall or something like it. If you cannot fix it shoot in a ticket with Zwift, they are pretty helpful.



(DB Smith (65+)) #12

Mr. Henasey,

That’s a good question. There should be some algorithm that defines the power output necessary to maintain a constant speed over varying terrain. Since dumb trainers can typically measure speed, and Zwift knows the terrain parameters, there should be some way to give individual target values based on the rider’s FTP? I’m neither a tech nor a mathematician but my gut tells me there’s a way to show a target value (speed, probably) in real time during a ride. 

Not sure if that makes any sense…you’d be trying to achieve the target speed up e.g. the hill!

(Erik Nekkers [Team X]) #13

You are going the wrong way. In real life you also have a fluctuating speed with a constant power output depending on terrain, wind etc. Zwift is simulating your speed depending on your power output, so it is correct you go a lot slower uphill then downhill, even when your power is higher uphill.

(Michael Henasey) #14


In Zwift, your avatar’s speed is always based on the power you are outputting.

If you have an actual power meter, Zwift will use this value directly to calculate your speed against the varying terrain (along with your weight and height).

If you don’t have a power meter, Zwift will estimate your power based on using one of the supported trainers and your actual wheel speed. This is called zPower in the Zwift world.

To go faster in Zwift, simply put out more power. Pedal faster. Use a higher/harder gear. 

Now I believe your Kinetic is a fluid trainer, correct? So the faster the wheel spins, the more resistance it applies. When your avatar is going up a hill in Zwift, you could simply change to your highest/hardest gear, stand up, and pedal with a lower cadence (60-80 rpm) as if you were truly going up a hill. With such a high gear the rear wheel will be spinning at such a high rate which the trainer will respond to by dramatically increasing the resistance, thus giving you a more “realistic” experience.

(Alison Kubota [Vision] CVR) #15

I use both dumb and smart trainers, and while it is nice that the smart trainers like kickr have power meters, the ability to have a change in resistance (sim mode) going between climbs/flats/descents is really over-rated.  I don’t get anything out of having to rapidly switch between big and small chainrings, I still have to put out the wattage if I want to go at a particular speed for a given incline, cadence, and wind resitance.  Plus, some of these climbs in-game would require people to be in the lowest gear and still pushing 200+ Watts to avoid moving so uncomfortably slowy that you might lose balance or be spending more time wobbling left and right, if it were the same incline in real life.  The game is much more forgiving in this respect.

So Instead, I put my kickr in standard mode or erg mode and have all the power range I need just staying in the large chainring and working with the rear shifting. 

And I know I’m not looking for more “realism” since I don’t expect an online cycling platform to be able to help improve my piloting/cornering skills, or to stay in a peloton without bumping people and causing crashes.  And there is not the same thrill you get from descents in game vs real life. 

The feedback/criticisms about the social elements of the game seem very valid though these are straightforward features that someone just needs to write code for and test.  I tend to give Zwift more lee-way since the game’s target audience is a fairly narrow demographic of cycling enthusiasts, versus other games that can rely on vast masses of sedentary gamers to support a team of 100 developers.