What keeps you at Zwift? Have you tried anything else?

Hi guys, what keeps you at Zwift?

Before I joined Zwift I had never trained with an indoor trainer. For the last month I have used Zwift i have to admit I really love it. However, the Zwift experience in itself has little to do about it, I would say. I would imagine that any platform with some routes, some robot pacers and custom workouts would be able to supply me with the same experience.

Although some people praise the social aspect of Zwift and the fact that Zwift is well-established which would make it hard for competitors to challenge Zwift, I disagree completely. I couldn’t care less about the social aspect and I very rarely see discussions within the Zwift world (but I have never tried a group ride, so it may be different there).

I would leave Zwift in a heartbeat if a competitor would make a Mariokart mode in their offering, for example… :wink:

So what other options are out there? Have you tried them? Why are you still on Zwift?

For me its a way of getting the miles in, in the winter, either by doing group rides with one of the clubs I belong to on here, or on my own, not interested in the racing or the robopacers which aren’t pacers as they aren’t based on pace (mph) but some power to weight ratio, not interested in teleporting either leave that to scotty and the rest of the star trek crew

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Tried Tacx, but just in the mode where you’re following another rider. Photo-realistic scenery was nice but the whole experience was a bit “sterile”. I might sign up for a month as winter approaches just to give it a longer trial.

I’ve been on and off IndieVelo - either in Free Ride mode or with a Pacer. Obviously still a bit “empty” despite the many bots. Not much exploration possible. Wind and draft offer something a bit new but it otherwise looks like a Zwift clone. Not (yet) worth the subscription fee compared to Zwift.

I’ll likely try Rouvy next.

I’m currently only using my free “25km” on Zwift pending poorer weather. I like to know I’m riding with real folk, I like the Pacers, Like the Missions, Tours etc Not interested in racing. Will probably do the Zwift Academy again as I found that helped a lot last time. I’ll also try one of the longer Training Programs over Winter. Overall, I’ve approved of the Zwift additions, be that more Worlds, Coffee Brake, even the updated RoboPacers. Intrigued by the Zwift Play add-on but I already have a Sterzo so I need them to integrate with that. I have friends who also use Zwift so I’d likely only switch to something else if we all did.

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As a rundown; I started with the pure intention of just working out and getting stronger; primarily just to be a bit more healthy. Over months and months and then years, things begun to turn a bit more serious, and it’s still continuing to tumbleweed.
Coming from someone who wasn’t into cycling, nor even considered it, before I started Zwift, I never thought I’d ride more than 5-7 hours a week indoors… which later turned into 10, then 10+, and now where I am, somewhere up to 18 hours a week indoors and outdoors; and only slightly have begun to think “this may be enough riding for me” lol

I frankly haven’t had time or bothered to check with the competition purely because I don’t think it fills any wants or needs that I have, at least that Zwift covers anyway; I’ve wanted to try a few, but… some of that just comes down to laziness of wanting to attempt to figure out how to use the other softwares for likely a single ride, just to uninstall it afterwards.

I know the community is split probably a good 50:50 on graphics; personally I love the charm and artistic flavor Zwift offers; I don’t care to ride down the uncanny valley of other offerings that do try to appear more realistic.

As for what primarily keeps me around now; group rides (and quite literally almost every day of the week shy of one free day). Leading, sweeping, the entire social aspect, catching up with folks I’ve met on the platform and now have known for… some, entire years now.

Along with larger organized race platforms, such as ZRL. Open/Public races can be fun every once in a blue moon; but racing as a team, where strategy can be implemented is to me just peak Zwift offerings, and not something I see any other platform even attempting to do (mostly I presume due to active community sizes).
Is that also part of the social aspect; working as a team on races? Perhaps, but I think for many it’s often overlooked when considering races. Because again… open / general public races, I’m not a huge fan of and rarely do because of it.

As for things that I’d like to see; ZHQ likes to toy with more gamey modes like the now Repack Rush, and make something of it instead of just leaving it as a weird test lane that’s forgotten about (looking at you Repack Ridge).
And other more “real world” locations; as we have Richmond, London, for example. I do really quite like the idea of how some competitors have some real world locations. (This isn’t to mean photo-realistic; just real world roads, plopped into Zwift’s art style).


At the end of the day now, I ride to have fun.

Zwift offers me that fun along with now riding with locals outdoors which I only started doing in the past two months.
The competition as far as I’ve seen… just offers me to ride to ride; which is probably fine for a ton of people; but it’s just not a reason for me. I’m not a big fan of going out to ride alone, which is probably why I’ll never touch the competition.

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Zwift gamifies fitness for the cycling community, effectively distracting from the reality that we’re all just spinning our legs on a bicycle indoors.

The routes (badges), worlds (exploration), events, group rides, and missions (social/achievements) give you regular little dopamine hits, just like social media does, but instead of toxicity it promotes better health - physical and mental.

Look at the popularity of games like Team Fortress 2 and Borderlands with their cartoon-like characters. Zwift’s graphics are the right level of detailed - any more realistic and they’d dip into the uncanny valley.

Further, Zwift will run on a potato, lowering the barrier to entry, and giving virtually everyone a Plan B if their primary device isn’t accessible. (PC → iPad → AppleTV → smartphone)

I’ve tried “all the other programs” - nothing comes close. Zwift is the 800lb gorilla in the room, with good reason.

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The only thing that keeps me at Zwift is the race community such the community organizers, ZRApp and people I race with and against. Other than that I would happily go to IndieVelo with better drafting/physics.

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I’m a segment junky. Just to see if I have improved.
When I switch platforms I won’t have a benchmark, especially when I see age is ticking.

This is why I have sometimes difficulties with new pda’s, road CDA’s or double draft events. This won’t keep the segment’s comparable

With you on the other platforms, all the competition seem to fall into the trap of do “better graphics” and they will come, except the scenery does drop into that “uncanny valley” as you say, also while patting themselves on the back for that, they all seem to do rubbish avitars.

Also they seem to follow Zwift rather then introduce anything novel, and much as we call out Zwift for stuff, they do it better then the competition.

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I use Fulgaz as well as Zwift.

Fulgaz has real climbs in it, the ones I actually ride in real life so I could prepare for them before I went overseas. When I got to Col du Telegraphe for instance I knew every section already because it’s not just the gradients but a video of the real thing. Same for Aravis, I did that on Fulgaz and saw the Nissan dealer at the start IRL and knew right, here it starts then could pace it properly because I’d seen it before virtually.

With Zwift I cannot do that because it doesn’t simulate real climbs exactly. Even ADZ doesn’t really match up to Alpe d’Huez exactly - I was riding ADH quite a lot in the previous week. The real one also has multiple ways to reach the town.

I keep Zwift as well for when I want to ride with friends. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, they just have different purposes. I don’t do racing however.

Just imagine a very realistic Col du Galibier or Izoard in Zwift with scenery matching the real things…that would be stunning.

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I have tried or used most of them…except the Training focused programs: TR and SufferFest. I used Rouvy for a long time and it works well. Some of the rides are uninspiring. FulGaz has some great rides but some dogs as well…I did a Lake Como ride and it was nothing but stoplights so had a bunch of stutters…The one Iiked the best is BigRingVR…I think because of the graphics onscreen. I have tried Indievelo… no one on there but me and bots…and the bots were all 4.0 w/kg and up…I ride 2. Rolla I cannot connect. I keep coming back to Zwift because: a) I really like some of the rides (Jungle loop anyone?) and b) I started to race but not on a schedule…if I feel like hurting myself I can usually find one to meet my whims.

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I think that I’ve used most of the other apps. Especially when I was testing for the TitaniumGeek (author of the first ever Zwift manual). Of them all, MyWhoosh is just getting better and better and once on Apple TV, I’ll be there. I’ve never been a fan of Zwift’s gamification of us and even though it’s a motivator I see people in chat who are doing crazy Zwift klicks (let’s not kid ourselves that IRL km is the same as a Zwift km!!) and I know that burnt-out will soon happen. It has happened since day 1 and I can remember the name of the first burnout. RGT is still, for me, the best riding platform out there. It really is amazing - why it never got massive, I do not know? Probably because it was not gamified?

Ive tried a few of the apps that use videos of routes like Rouvy and FulGaz. My problem with them is the video quality is hit or miss and when a route is over it’s over or you have to loop it which can be jarring and take you out of the moment.

Plus you need to pre download a route if you want to do it unless you have a really good stable wifi connection (I don’t) so you’re limited to ride selection unless you have pre download a lot of routes.

The other problem is I typically only do workouts and Zwift has tons of preloaded options and seamless integration with training peaks. I still haven’t figured out how to load a workout into Rouvy and FulGaz looks to be a bit of a pain to do so.

I think these are only truly useful for IM training or other races where they have the course on video.

Im not a Zwift fan boy but it just offers so much more and all of what it offers is so much more accessible that I can’t see switching to anything else right now.

MyWoosh looks to be the closest thing on offer to compete with Zwift as it really looks like they just copied the formula without really offering nothing new than maybe slightly better graphics. Additionally its free (for now) but I have other problems with it.

I don’t think MyWoosh really exist to offer a dedicated product for cyclist but is more about UAEs attempt to buy good will thought sport (look at their take over of Golf, Boxing, Soccer, ect.). I think they just want everyone to forget all the human rights violations and are trying to buy good will.

Im not biting.

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For me the best alternative is indeVelo by a mile. Great rider dynamics and functionality with more being added each week. The graphics are still behind Zwift and MyWhoosh but they are not the current focus as the product is still in “closed beta”.

The community keeps me with Zwift.

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+1 for the racing community and various race series keeping me here.

The graphics are great with the proper PC setup. I like the gamification and don’t necessarily need it to look 100 percent like real life. Like someone else said other places the avatars don’t look that great.

I have no issues, so I haven’t looked for alternatives.

I started off with mywoosh because it was free and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to a paid platform

I found mywoosh empty, buggy and quite boring to be honest… it took about a week before I even saw a rider pass me

Not to mention spotty support if anything went wrong… you get what you pay for I guess

I find Zwift quite fun and engaging. Not hyper realistic, not too expensive for what you get, actual people to ride with, and the little things like drops and badges … it turns working out into a game and I’m more likely to come back sooner and ‘play’

Almost forgot… a community that’s engaged… hence this forum, actual Zwift staff that monitor it and all the resources on the ol’ interwebs to assist with questions one might have

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With Todays massive Unity (unreal engine) licencing price hikes and new fees for both Devs and end users I wonder how this will shake out the competition ?

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Tried fulgaz, rouvy, trainer road, RGT. I prefer riding Zwift because I feel like other humans are around and enjoy chatter. I don’t find it fun to ride with only bots (but do like Zwift robo pacer groups). I will try mywhoosh when they have a MacBook client available, not certain I will try indie velo.

I keep riding Zwift because it gives me a cycling outlet without the cars (distracted drivers etc) and flat tires. It has helped me get fit and maintain it, if I ride IRL my legs are ready to go. Also find virtual racing to be fun, not loyal to any app, what matters to me is performance/equipment verification.

The ability to do banded meetups with friends while we all work at our own different workouts while riding “together” is something I really appreciate about Zwift. For example, myself and two friends have 3 different weights and all ride together and all can be doing a Zone2 session, Threshold blocks, or VO2Max intervals while keeping us in the same game. For us, there’s huge value for the group in suffering together with whatever our workout of the day is as it helps keep us all accountable.

The racing community. I actually spend more time on Trainer Road than Zwift, but that is because I want to get better at Zwift racing. Every race is its own little drama, its highs and lows. I love it. Basically I’ll go wherever the community goes, and the community is on Zwift.

For me it’s the best distraction to do my workouts in. I’ve used TrainerRoad and now Join for my actual workout schedule, but the feeling of going somewhere just works for me. Time moves faster then just looking at blue interval bars.
Longer endurance rides are also way more fun when doing them in a group ride. Again, time just goes faster for me.
Now i’ve also started doing more races and i enjoy that in two parts. First it forces me to really dig deep and see how deep i can really go. Besides that it’s also nice to see how you stack up against other riders.