Zwifting, is it any good?

You've seen it all the web, everyone is talking about it but what is ZWIFT really like?

James took the plunge and signed up for a race, see how he got on here;

For those who don't know, ZWIFT is an online Cycling training game. We use the word "game" on purpose because it really feels like a game. It has all the hallmarks of a game, an "online" community, a fanbase, IN game power ups, experience level ups, equipment power ups and of course a cool avatar that you can customise.

To start on ZWIFT you need a compatible trainer or turbo that is able to communicate with a PC, Laptop or IOS device via Bluetooth USB.  Lots of trainers now come with these installed and once unpacked you can register for a free trial account in just minutes.

Once set up, you need to register, this includes inputting your data.  Your weight, your height and of course your age.  Weight is particularly important as this controls your speed using some very clever data.  Of course a rider at 80kg will go slower than a rider at 75kg at 300 watts up hill, so no porkies when you register your data please.

When ZWIFT was launched there was quite a lot of negative feedback regards the lack of courses was the main one, but this was to be expected when launching a new platform. Now you can ride around London (which always seems to be raining) and you can ride Watopia a fictional island which even has a Volcano loop.  You can change direction on course too all seamlessly added via the platform.

You can interact with the game, chat, leave a "Ride on" for others on course too, a Ride on is like a "well done."  You can even race and this is where this final pic comes from.

James took part in a an hour long flat crit, finishing 9th in the end but as you can see from the pic, he certainly had a great workout!

James pictured on completion of a race...

To find a race just like James, you just need to look at the events tab and find a race that suits you, the races are broken down into watts per kilo and if you go outside your category limits then you are disqualified, drafting is even included so it is very close to racing outside without actually being outside.  So a great way to race within your abilities, you don't have to race of course you can just go for a ride anytime.

All In all ZWIFT is a great way to beat the weather, a great way to monitor your training but don't forget the joy of cycling outside too!