Zwift - does it get better?

A place to discuss indoor training, training plans, online programs, turbos, rollers and buying advice
User avatar
MiddleRinger
Posts: 673
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 20:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby MiddleRinger » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:07 am

The appeal of Zwift is greater than just structured training. I guess they're pitching somewhere between the hard-line TrainerRoad crowd and the mainstream Peloton audience.

Zwift's niche is the social aspect. Group rides, group training sessions, races, virtual clubs, etc. Even at a lower level much of Watopia is unlocked and there's always a guest map available too. Chasing down and virtually drafting other riders, hitting the sprint or KOM segments, levelling up and unlocking (or buying) virtual kit. It may not appeal to all, but it appeals to a large audience!

I love a good Zwift group ride or race, but for proper training I choose The Sufferfest.

If all you want is structured and complete training, then Zwift is not for you. TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest will arguable give you much better sessions and results.

JP69
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:25 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby JP69 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 19:45 pm

I've used Zwift for getting on for 2 years now & can honestly say that it's improved my on road fitness massively. I keep my subs up all year long but obviously it's the winter months where Zwift really comes into play. Agree it's annoying at first to not have access to all areas but it doesn't take long to get to level 10. There's plenty of structured training & the 12 week long "build me up" program was brilliant over the winter & really kept my fitness level strong, in fact it improved it. I'm not a fan of the racing on Zwift as it's generally full of people just drafting in a group achieving average speeds that they cannot get anywhere near in real life. There's now plenty of variation in locations, Watopia, Innsbruck, New York, Richmond, London & now Yorkshire - something for everyone & don't forget that Watopia has an exact Alpe D'Huez replica in Alpe Du Zwift. When used with a direct drive smart trainer & a laptop, the experience is superb.

barongreenback
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 19:49 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby barongreenback » Thu Sep 19, 2019 09:43 am

I used Zwift for a while on an iPad (no big TV in my garage) and while it was ok, I found myself getting easily distracted as it's difficult to find yourself immersed in the world. I have tried it in my living room on a big TV using Apple TV and the experience was better but not perfect.

The training plans are good for keeping up fitness but not massively varied and very inflexible when it comes to fitting around other things. Again more for the casual rather than hard core user.

Personally I'm not bothered about the social side but that may matter more to you. You can definitely move up the levels pretty quickly although I found the scenery quite dull after a while as the graphics become familiar and you get used to the courses.

In the end I moved back to TrainerRoad using my phone to drive the workouts and watch movies/TV on my iPad to distract me from the pain! TR is definitely more about making you suffer and you can go at your own pace on Zwift.

User avatar
rdt
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 19:22 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby rdt » Fri Sep 20, 2019 08:43 am

barongreenback wrote:In the end I moved back to TrainerRoad using my phone to drive the workouts and watch movies/TV on my iPad to distract me from the pain! TR is definitely more about making you suffer and you can go at your own pace on Zwift.


As mentioned, I'll be keeping TR. If you follow the plans and do the work it's extremely effective. Similar to you, I run it on my phone and watch Youtube cycling vids on an old tablet.


barongreenback wrote:I used Zwift for a while on an iPad (no big TV in my garage) and while it was ok, I found myself getting easily distracted as it's difficult to find yourself immersed in the world. I have tried it in my living room on a big TV using Apple TV and the experience was better but not perfect.


In my "gym room" the bike points near to a window so there isn't space for a giant telly on the wall, only a 32", although it would be close to the bike. I wonder if a big 2019 iPad Pro ($$$!) might do a better job: similar or maybe bigger image (being closer), more graphics grunt, and better control via touch vs. Apple TV remote etc.

How big was your iPad?

barongreenback
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 19:49 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby barongreenback » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:59 am

rdt wrote:
How big was your iPad?


I was running it on an iPad Air 2 so much less screen real estate than the current batch. iPad pro I guess would run it fairly close to a Peloton style experience although at that rate an Apple TV and a cheap smallish Amazon LCD screen might be a more cost effective option that would still fit on a stand in front of the bike.

User avatar
rdt
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 19:22 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby rdt » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:52 pm

barongreenback wrote:I was running it on an iPad Air 2 so much less screen real estate than the current batch. iPad pro I guess would run it fairly close to a Peloton style experience although at that rate an Apple TV and a cheap smallish Amazon LCD screen might be a more cost effective option that would still fit on a stand in front of the bike.


That'd be an option, not thought of that. Thanks for the input.

For usability I'm now favouring a $touchscreen within reach vs. remote control + regular screen: during TR sessions I'll often jump between different vids, and touch would make the Zwift UI easier. And there might end up being a $Neo Bike$ in the mix, which'd also tilt me more towards a big tablet.

I'll wait to see what new stuff Apple comes up with before deciding what to do.

Off to rob a few banks now......

User avatar
NapoleonD
Posts: 18544
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 19:51 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby NapoleonD » Fri Sep 20, 2019 15:37 pm

I got a cheap refurbished desktop and linked it to an old 32” tv.
Twitter - @NapD
Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
ABCC Cycling Coach

barongreenback
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 19:49 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby barongreenback » Fri Sep 20, 2019 19:58 pm

Also TR forum has pointed out that a cheap hdmi PC would work well.

NorvernRob
Posts: 1434
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 19:07 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby NorvernRob » Fri Sep 20, 2019 20:56 pm

Might be pointing out the obvious, but you do know that if you click on a route when it pops up on screen, it then gives you the choice of route options from that junction? I’m only around level 8 so haven’t accessed the Alpe yet, but there’s still loads of road to go at.

philthy3
Posts: 4994
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 16:22 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby philthy3 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 08:07 am

I use an iPad 2 linked to a 40" exhibition screen via an HDMI lead. I get big screen images for Sufferfest and Zwift when my daughter insists we use it (she has a PC linked to a second large screen), and control at close hand.
We're all buffoons; some slightly less than others.

User avatar
phreak
Posts: 2070
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 13:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby phreak » Mon Sep 23, 2019 08:07 am

When you say you're using it via your phone, do you mean the Android app? In which case, I don't think you'll see any of the worlds you're in, which seems a rather limited version of the program to me.

User avatar
rdt
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 19:22 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby rdt » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:59 am

phreak wrote:When you say you're using it via your phone, do you mean the Android app? In which case, I don't think you'll see any of the worlds you're in, which seems a rather limited version of the program to me.


I think I acknowledged that up front:

    "last week I got a new Android phone that can run Zwift so gave it a whirl

    I was a bit underwhelmed, but I realise there were a few things less than ideal:
    - Tiny phone screen"


For sure, any sense of immersion isn't going to be great on a tiny screen(!), so that was definitely a factor...

But once over the novelty factor simply riding around in Zwift felt pretty "pointless" for me, in a way that doing a structured interval w/o as part of a TR plan doesn't (NB fully accepting that "everything is ultimately pointless", so I'm talking degrees of pointlessness :lol: ).

After thinking about it, and based on feedback here, I suspect Zwift races or competitive group rides of some sort would be more appealing to me.

NB I'm not knocking Zwift here. We all like different stuff, and fortunately there's loads of options available to us.

User avatar
phreak
Posts: 2070
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 13:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby phreak » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:17 am

rdt wrote:
phreak wrote:When you say you're using it via your phone, do you mean the Android app? In which case, I don't think you'll see any of the worlds you're in, which seems a rather limited version of the program to me.


I think I acknowledged that up front:

    "last week I got a new Android phone that can run Zwift so gave it a whirl

    I was a bit underwhelmed, but I realise there were a few things less than ideal:
    - Tiny phone screen"


For sure, any sense of immersion isn't going to be great on a tiny screen(!), so that was definitely a factor...

But once over the novelty factor simply riding around in Zwift felt pretty "pointless" for me, in a way that doing a structured interval w/o as part of a TR plan doesn't (NB fully accepting that "everything is ultimately pointless", so I'm talking degrees of pointlessness :lol: ).

After thinking about it, and based on feedback here, I suspect Zwift races or competitive group rides of some sort would be more appealing to me.

NB I'm not knocking Zwift here. We all like different stuff, and fortunately there's loads of options available to us.


They're completely different though. The mobile app is akin to watching a football match via teletext. It's called a companion app for a reason :-)

You can do structured workouts via it very easily (about half of my riding there is thus), and ultimately it's what you can look at that takes your mind off being indoors on the trainer.

User avatar
rdt
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 19:22 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby rdt » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:29 am

phreak wrote:They're completely different though. The mobile app is akin to watching a football match via teletext. It's called a companion app for a reason :-)


You've got the wrong end of the stick here! I'm running the full Zwift app, not the companion app... :shock:


phreak wrote:You can do structured workouts via it very easily (about half of my riding there is thus), and ultimately it's what you can look at that takes your mind off being indoors on the trainer.


As mentioned before, not currently interested in Zwift for structured training as I have TR for that job.

User avatar
phreak
Posts: 2070
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 13:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby phreak » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:39 am

Ah, beg your pardon.

Fenix
Posts: 4609
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 14:25 pm

Re: Zwift - does it get better?

Postby Fenix » Mon Sep 23, 2019 13:43 pm

If you have TR for your structured workouts then why would you pay to just ride round ? Just put on whatever floats your boat from the internet. Eurosport or race footage on youtube or movies.


Return to “Indoor Training and Turbo forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests