Zwift Climb Portal [2023]

I really like the idea of this, but visually I think zwift has missed the boat - part of the experience of riding up alpe du zwift is the visual cues like the overhanging logs, the tunnels etc that help drive the sense of completion and achievement. Even spending a good part of that climb watching a another screen such as YouTube etc. the visual interaction is what helps.
Even comparing Alpe du zwift to Ven Top there’s a huge difference- ven top is visually sparse and not appealing compared to the Alpe. There’s no other reason why I’ve riden the alpe 15ish times compared to once on ven top.
The visual style for portal offers no real visual interaction bar checking average power per section etc - so the question is, is it really different to having a full data screen like on other platforms during a training ride?
Seems like a rush to make it out for the tour like others have said, whereas a longer development period could really lead the way for climbing routes.


Looking at the screens I must say I’m pretty disappointed. I was really looking forward to this and I hoped it would be much more like RGTs magic roads.
I would not say, that I don’t like the concept itself … it looks like rideable VeloViewer-Graphs … it looks fancy, but I believe it will be though to look at it for more than 30 Minutes.
As much as I criticised the exaggerated eye candy in Makuri Island … this is the opposite approach.


It’s just so nice outside so I might not be able to try this out for a while yet, but I kinda see why Zwift went with this style of experience. If it were just generic procedurally generated terrain on all these climbs that would also be pretty boring, and in this UX they have the ability to focus on the course gradient which is what a climb is all about. I mean, ideally each climb would get a full UX design pass to look like the original, but this way we will get more of them, so there’s a tradeoff.

I did have an initial visceral negative reaction to the psychedelic graphics, but I think there’s a chance it might grow on me. Will update after doing a few climbs :slight_smile:


So disappointed with this… verging on the pathetic.
This has been done in the cheapest poorest way.


You did not. :stuck_out_tongue:


So much negativity on here :rofl:.

It looks pretty basic but I prefer it to RGTs magic roads which look so generic. Good way to get some new climbs into the game without spending ages modelling I guess.


Have any? I mean, really? I’ve tried plenty of alternatives, most recently Rolla, and none of them actually looked that good.

The best was a GTA V hack.

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You didn’t think Rolla looked good?

I am decidedly not a climber but I think this will be a popular game mode. People have wanted more climb options, this allows for rapid deployment of them. It’s a mini-game within the game.

The “AdZ-like” sector times on the left are fantastic. A point made by Tariq in the video @Mike_Rowe1 linked: the graphics and game mechanic here would fit well with structured workouts. I would love to see Zwift extend this to workout mode, making the gradient colours represent erg-mode intervals instead.

I tried Rolla, bugs aside, not a fan of the graphics.

There’s a reason games like “Team Fortress 2” (edit - Borderlands, PUBG etc) with cartoony graphics are popular. I prefer Zwift’s visuals over RGT and Rolla. Zwift’s user-base versus RGT should tell you: I’m not alone in that preference.


Are you saying you don’t think Rolla’s graphics are better/more realistic than Zwift, really?

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It wasn’t spectacular (bear in mind I was running it from the cloud on my Apple TV as my PC is still broken).

Like some other alternatives I’ve tried, it had some jarringly odd animations too. The cornering felt better than RGT, but the way the avatar held the top of the bars while out of the saddle looked peculiar.

I’ll admit to only having tried one 16km loop though, so it’s possible other routes look better, or it’s prettier on a PC with higher graphics settings (but I thought the idea of the cloud streaming was that I would get high quality graphics even on the Apple TV).


More “realistic” in some ways, yes. Better, no.


:partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face:


I prefer Borderlands to more “realistic” shooter/looter games. Go figure.

I’m in my spare bedroom looking at a screen. Realism isn’t a top priority. When I drop downhill into the undersea tunnel I always want to go “Wheeeeee!” … so Zwift is clearly “realistic” enough to fool my lizard brain. :slightly_smiling_face:


You forgot this bit

I hope not… I had 80 column terminal text “graphics” that looked better

I think the graphics are sufficient. They are a bit overwhelming and have too much red, but at least we can have more climbs now! :smile:

Is this just a pre-release thing because what I’ve read is even though it’ll have a “new experience” it also said “but still replicates real world climbs” so I’m guessing it’s not the finish?

This does both. GPS-accurate profile replicates real-world climbs with a completely new visual experience.


This is the finished product for release