12 More Things I Wish I’d Known About Cycling On Zwift

12 More Things I Wish I’d Known About Cycling On Zwift


– Last year, we told you 11
super cool features on Zwift that you would wish you’d known about. And so it just happened,
on Zwift since then, that we’re going to give you some more. 12 this time, in fact, just to make sure you are totally getting the most out of it. (upbeat music) First up, steering is now a thing, or at least there is a little test segment that you will not want to miss. So you find it in Titan’s Grove, there a few different loops to get there. I’ve chosen Muir in the mountains. Basically, you just start to approach it, and get a prompt on screen asking if you want to do it. When you select it, it will then turn you onto a brand new piece of trail. The steering function actually works using the companion app, which you attach to your handlebars, and it then recruits the
accelerometer in your phone to actually detect when you turn the handle
bars left or right. And then that correspondingly, moves your avatar. So the segment is two miles long, its timed, for a little bit
of extra competitiveness, and you also get a score at the end of it. Oh, nearly fell through a hole. Which, will actually
then tell you how well you’ve navigated the section. If you do it in less than 12 minutes 30, with about 90% score, you unlock a Zwift mountain bike and Zwift mountain wheels. In February 2019, Zwift
launched the Drop Shop, which is their very own bike shop where you can buy all sorts
of amazing frames and wheels. The best bit about it is that
the currency is Zwift’s own. And you can’t buy it,
you can’t be given it, and you can’t trade it. You have to earn it through riding. And the drops that you do
earn, that’s what its called, are separate from your experience points, they’re separate from your achievements, and although they are
separate from your level, the higher your level,
the greater the choice that you can then unlock. It’s not just for show though, there are subtle differences between the bikes and equipment on offer, just like in the real world. Yes, legs and tactics
principally do the talking, but it’s always nice to know you’re riding the
fastest equipment, right? And thanks to zwiftinsider.com,
you can actually know, ’cause there’s a whole load of testing and worked out into the
specialized S-Works Venge, with 858 wheels, is the quickest set up. But apparently, a fast
frame set could save you about 20 seconds over an hour’s riding, and your wheels, another 60 seconds. (upbeat music) Once you’ve got your dream set up, why not take a selfie? Yes, what you got to do
is grab your keyboard, and you can actually
tailor the camera angles. So you press Knot, and then you’re allowed
to use the cursor keys to find your perfect angle. I’ll wait ’til I’ve been overtaken, didn’t want to capture that. And boom. Hit the camera icon. Think I look quite good from that angle. I’ll take another one
now, got ya (laughs). Right, that is enough of the fun, back to the serious business of training. Or, more specifically, testing because the ramp test here
is a very traditional way of finding out just how fit you are. And Zwift now has one
in the workout section. So it’ll start you off
with a nice gentle warmup, five minutes, before the
ramp begins at 100 watts. Your wattage is that
you then need to ride at increases by 20 watts per minute, until you can’t do anymore, which sounds delightful. The number that you get
at the end, the wattage, is one to remember, but Zwift
then makes another calculation to work out your FTP. And a quick tip, if you
are using a smart trainer like I am, make sure you
click that ERG mode function at the bottom there,
because then the trainer ensures that you are doing
the required wattage. And it’s so much more fun. If you like what you’ve
just seen with your FTP, why not enter an event? A group ride, a race perhaps, or indeed, if you haven’t liked what
you’ve just seen on your FTP, and so actually you need a little company for motivation on a workout,
you can do that as well. Basically, whatever the reason, an event and being sociable is one of the key perks of being on Zwift. Now, to find one, you can either
go onto your homepage here, where there’s a list in the corner, or on the companion app, where
there’s a very handy list, or indeed, on zwift.com, where on the events
section of the website, you will find a whole calendar of events. When you find one that
you like the look of, simply click on it and then
you’ll get a notification as you approach your start time. And remember as well, starting in 2020, there is an official Zwift World Championships, so, someday for you perhaps. Pair ups are a cool little helping hand that are awarded at random when you ride underneath a banner. Now, they’re a great
feature in Zwift racing, ’cause they kind of add to the tactics and generally the fun, but they’re also cool for the rest of us when our riding is, they
give you a bit of a boost. Now you know you’ve got one
when a little icon appears in the top left of the screen. And there are several different types, so a feather, when deployed, will improve your power to weight ratio for 15 seconds. And there’s a little van icon and that increases the draft that you’re feeling at that point, up to 50%, for 30 seconds. So that’s great for a little rest when you’re on a group ride, and then, if you’re on your own,
you’ll want an arrow helmet, ’cause that makes you more
aerodynamic for 15 seconds. Then you also get a little
plus and a big plus icon, and they give you XP points, 10 and 250, respectively. There are still two more though, the breakaway burrito and
the invisibility cloak. So, the breakaway burrito, when deployed, means that you are
undraftable for 10 seconds, which is perfect if you’re
under attack in a race. And then the invisibility
means that you cannot be seen by any other rider for
10 seconds, which again, is like a dream scenario for
any bike racer out there. If you don’t fancy group racing tactics, but you still have a
competitive itch to scratch, why not do a time trial instead? They’re a regular event on
the Bologna Giro TT course, and also on Fuego Flats, and they mimic real world time trials in that you start at intervals and then you just get your head down. There’s no drafting, it’s
just you, your watts, and potentially, a
fancy new time trial rig that you can buy at the Drop Shop. Both Fuego Flats and the Bologna TT course were launched in 2019,
along with Yorkshire, bringing the total number
of worlds to ride to seven. Now Watopia is still the big one, that’s the dedicated
virtual cycling playground where you can find everything from giant climbs to jungle gravel, and it’s always available to ride. A second option then
rotates on a calendar basis and you’ve got old favorites on there like Richmond, London,
Innsbruck, and New York, as well as the new ones,
Bologna and Yorkshire. A lot of choice then, so where do you find the toughest climbs? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because undoubtedly, the
biggest brute is Alpe de Zwift. It’s modeled faithfully on Alpe D’Huez, being 12.2 kilometers long,
and an average gradient of 8%. Then just behind that, is
the Watopia Epic KOM combo, either 6.19 kilometers at
6%, or 9.41 kilometers at 4%. Also, Innsbruck, which was the scene for brutal world championships
in the real world, and the legacy of it is
that you can also ride the epic climb on there on Zwift. So, either 5.73 kilometers at
7%, or 7.4 kilometers at 5%. Lastly, what virtual cycling
playground would be complete without a little bit of gravel. Now Zwift has had it for awhile now with the road to ruins Mayan
jungle loop on Watopia, but now you can have a
specific bike for it. You could choose from a Cervelo Aspero, or a duo of Canyons, either
a Grail or an Inflite. Perhaps, even better,
for a gravel aficionado, is actually the dedicated
off-road training plans that are now available as well. So there’s two for gravel riders, and one for cross country map bikers. The second one is coming in 2020. (upbeat music) Well, there you go then. 12 things that you wish
you’d known about Zwift, but now having watched this video, you do actually know them. If there’s anything we’ve missed though, make sure you let us know in
the comment section down below, just before you give this
video a big thumbs up. And if you missed the
first one of these videos, then you can get through and watch it by clicking on screen now.