Paracyclist: custom avatar request

I know our para/hand cyclist fellow athletes have already requested that they have handbikes to choose from within the game. My request would be that I can custom my avatar to reflect the fact that I am a one armed rider, Im sure the game attracts many disabled riders who may have similar afflictions who would also have similar requests.
While we are at it, it would also be cool if we could add tattoos to our avatar in the custom section, what do we think, is this possible?

Hi Chris, interesting suggestion!

From an inclusion and representation perspective it would be great to have some of the more visible disabilities reflected in the game.

I dare say it creates many headaches of its own for the development team though. For example, each limb that’s “removable” in the game might mean a new model. So that’s potentially 4 new models just for arms (left, right, male, female). Then is it at the shoulder? Mid upper arm? Elbow? Once they start representing some disabilities, they’re opening a can of worms insofar as being equitable about it. Let’s not start on legs too!

I’ve voted for it because I agree it would be great for people to feel represented in the game. But we don’t even have long haired hair styles yet, let alone recumbents or hand cycles.

Hey Daren thanks for your reply. I have no doubt it is not straight forward to alter our avatar depending on our physical differences but lets not over complicate things either, just because it may be challenging doesn’t mean we should not attempt to make the change.
Recumbent bikes should definitely be represented, but as for long hair… like my left arm, I lost years ago :wink:

Anyway I will be leading the weekly Zwift IOM group ride this evening at 19.40hrs, all are welcome to join me for a 60 minute 2.6w/kg social spin around the London flat course… Ride on! :slight_smile:

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Absolutely, I agree! Just managing expectations, I guess. =) Blame work! :smiley:

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I actually suggested this as far back as 2016, and as yet still nothing, highly likely i was one of if not the first to suggest it.

Good luck with the efforts in trying…

My original feature request


Hannah, a trike here. I think it’s important to add the basics first to represent the Paralympic disciplines: B, T, H and C (this is the UCI system as is). So just b=blind (tandem) avatar, trike avatar (me), h= handcycle, c= cycle and is the standard bike which you have many of. You used to have a toddler-trike avatar so I’m pretty sure it’s achievable. Start there and make those avatars open to everyone. Roadies don’t just come on 2 wheels. Or, if that is far too complex for you add a ‘I’m a Paracyclist’ kit. Just to know others like me exist is really important.


Hi Hannah,

Personally I fully support the idea of representing the para community in Zwift, and I think your suggestion would make a great first step towards this. Particularly as it doesn’t require conversations or decisions about which limb needs to be missing.

(For clarification, I’m not a Zwift employee, I’m just a volunteer moderator from the Zwift community.)


Hi Daren,

That’s good to know. Could you tell me how we might get this question to someone in the top Zwift office and what I’d need to do to get it there? If anything good can come from this pandemic maybe it will be this? With lockdown there are so many people signing up to Zwift, an influx of money and there could be some bored coders needing a heart-warming challenge.

I’m here for any questions :+1:


Some Zwift employees do read this forum, and one aspect of @shooj’s role is to feed back to HQ I believe. Alternatively you could do what everyone else does - post on Facebook and tag Eric Min… =)


As long as your Para kit had bright pink socks Hannah so I can see you sneaking up on me in my mirror like the old days! :grin:

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There is currently over 200 zwifters with the word “handcycle” “handbike” or “handcyclist” included in their zwift name. Add in the people with other words like “para” “paracyclist” “amputee” in their name and that number almost doubles. I think thats a large enough group to get their own handcycle avatar.


It’s not giving me the option to vote despite being logged in. It shows 13 in the box and “limit” below it.

I will start with I think this is a good idea.

To put some perceptive you mention about 500 riders total, lets say 1000 riders. On Sunday there where 28000 riders on Zwift so that is 3%. And that is just those that were logged on, there are may more subscribers.

I did vote for you request. :wink:

As an adaptive cyclist, for almost a year now, currently riding a Catrike 700 recumbent tadpole trike. I have been on Zwift since OCT ‘19 and ride with various groups to include meet ups with multiple other trike riders there is no real good reason NOT to allow handcycles and trikes to have their own distinct avatar in the game!!! It’s a great idea
let’s step up and do the right thing Zwift show
your support to inclusion of the adaptive cyclists on Zwift!!! Set the trend be a leader and make it happen!!! We get enough difficulties in the real world by NOT being allowed in many real world rides and races thanks to the main stream DF bike mentality!! Thanks in advance

Paul Kilgore, MBA, 1SG (Ret), Disabled Veteran


Hope this gets implemented soon, but I have not heard anything.

I voted now - but 18 votes only?
Where is the (so often promoted) social aspect of Zwift community?
I am not disabled, but volunteering at the last rowing events including disabled athletes in Austria (Rowing World Cup 2018 and World Championships 2019) was an amazing experience, they are the people who show us that there are no limits!

Please, Zwift HQ, do it!

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By default, I think the forum has a limit on the number of votes a person can cast per day. The aim being to prevent people from coming in a spamming a load of votes on various topics.

I’m not sure what it’s set to here, but the default limit is 10 I think.

If you wait a day and try again, you should fine your limit has reset and you can vote for this.

I’m the Paracycling Head Coach in Norway and I’ve made a video for my athletes about setting up a handcycle on Zwift. I’ve figured out how to ‘hack’ Zwift so that a handcyclist’s avatar can compete with the rest of the riders. It involves using a basic trainer + speed sensor and adjusting the resistance as well as changing height and weight of the rider (to approx 2.5-3.5 w/kg). This is especially important for H1 or H2 riders or new athletes who produce less watts. With these modifications, handcyclists are able to have an avatar that can keep up with the pack and compete in C level races. Ride on!

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Would you try voting again? I twiddled some knobs on the voting plug-in.

I have organized a Zwift Paracycling Group Ride on Wednesday (22.04) at 7pm CET. This virtual ride is open to athletes of any ability including those who ride handcycles, tricycles, tandems or standard bicycles. We will ride for an hour at an easy pace so it is a great opportunity for paracyclists to connect with friends, fans and competitors from around the world. This ride is open to everyone so please join us and show your support for paracycling!