Zwift sucks... upopular opinion?
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  1. #1
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    Zwift sucks... upopular opinion?

    I splashed out for an indoor trainer, a Wahoo KICKR Core. I set it up in front of my nice 38" wide curved monitor, height adjustable desk, box fan...the works...fired up ZWIFT aaaand I don't know what I was expecting... but I was expecting more than what I got.

    It's...just a goofy video game thing with people zooming past you, the graphics aren't realistic and the movements aren't fluid. I get the competition social aspect, and while it was good.. I definitely did not forget I was hammering in the middle of my living room. The actively manged resistance was there but it was just meh.

    I think I'd enjoy something like Fulgaz, with crystal clear lustful boner inducing real life video of alpine climbs and valleys, but I found out it's Apple TV ios only.

    Am I the only one who tried Zwift and decided it's mostly hype? Setting up the KICKR is a pain in the arse too. I guess what I'm saying is... I'd rather be in Arizona for the winter.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  2. #2
    wut?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9W9W View Post
    Am I the only one who tried Zwift and decided it's mostly hype?
    No, I feel pretty much the same way. But, some people really find it motivating so good for them.

    Next...
    There I was...

  3. #3
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    Riding indoors just sucks. That's the baseline. Anything to make that better is a plus. I have a 42" TV 18" in front of my handlebars, a fan, shelf, etc. and yeah, it still sucks COMPARED to riding outside. But Zwift makes it better - better than a "dumb" trainer or even worse - mind numbingly boring rollers.

    Oh... and sorry about zooming by you in Zwift ;-)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9W9W View Post
    ...It's...just a goofy video game thing with people zooming past you, the graphics aren't realistic and the movements aren't fluid. I get the competition social aspect, and while it was good.. I definitely did not forget I was hammering in the middle of my living room. The actively manged resistance was there but it was just meh.

    I think I'd enjoy something like Fulgaz, with crystal clear lustful boner inducing real life video of alpine climbs and valleys, but I found out it's Apple TV ios only...
    Have you set the "Trainer Difficulty" setting in Zwift, to "Max"? The Power to "Instant" vs. "3 second Average"? That may help up your avatar speeds, and overall interaction. However I replaced my 2016 Kickr with the latest, and switched to a bike with 52/36 from 53/39, and I seem to be having trouble keeping up with others since riding last winter. I just found out they made changes to the ride physics, where you go slower on dirt with road bikes...need to get the mountain bike to get speed back. Not sure if other physics changes were made, but it seems like once you get up to a decent pace (e.g. over 20mph) wattage drops more than before when just maintaining given speed. But I'm not sure if it's new Kickr, or the gearing change. Sucks they don't support Campy cassettes any more.

    RegardinGB graphics, I think my mid-high end gaming PC was built around the time Crysis 2 came out, and it struggled to play smoothly on high settings. All other top games of the time played fine. I got zwift in late 2016, and riding in a pack on a dirt road that kicks up dust, causes frame rate to stutter on high. I'd suspect they kept graphics dumbed down for smooth frame rates on basic PCs/tablets.

    I tried the Tacx "real life video" rides and didn't like it. It's not fluid at all as you slow, as it just drops the frame rate. Gets worse when cars and other bikers are in frame...like watching something on a DVR in slow motion.

    What keeps me coming back to Zwift is hooking up with someone with the same pace, or slightly faster, pushing me to ride harder than I normally would, and the ability to ride extended climbs, or flats, neither of which are in the rolling hill area where I live.

  5. #5
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    Like most other things, it is what you make of it.
    I'm running mine on a 14" laptop screen, sometimes with my phone and the companion app running nearby but mostly not.
    I'm using a wheel-on trainer and start a ride or race and that's it, I never forgot I'm indoors but it's better than staring at a blank wall.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    Riding indoors just sucks.
    ^^^This.^^^ I got a trainer a few years ago and lost interest very quickly. If it's too cold to ride, I hike and if there is snow, I do Nordic skiing.

    I have a couple of friends who use Rouvy and they like it. I have no first hand experience though.

    See below:

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/c...r-cycling-app/

    https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/S...wift_P6817675/
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- Aaron Levenstein



  7. #7
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    If you want realistic, Rouvy is much better but it has it's draw backs when using it for structured trainer rides which is where Zwift is better. For just doing endurance rides, I watch Netflix series, Zwift for intervals. It's much better than looking at a wall or your bike computer, but certainly doesn't replace outside riding when the weather is manageable.
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  8. #8
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    The trainer has its place. I use mine, a dumb Kurt Kinetic. Iíve used Sufferfest but I didnít find that it made riding on a trainer much more tolerable. I havenít used Zwift. I have been slowly investing more in riding through the winter consistently. I did around 10 miles in soft sand this morning in 35 degree temps. Iíll ride snow or XC ski... I like winter I just struggle with the lack of light after work. Iíll still use my trainer, I just use music with the three pieces of data I want, HR, cadence and time. I wonít set up the trainer until after the holidays. Weekends I will keep on riding... Iíve never been keen on investing too much on simulated riding. I donít consider it miles, I donít even use the Garmin on the mtb. I have been considering rollers? The trainer is awful for your bike handling where mtb is the best thing going for bike handling, I canít imagine all roadies not spending some time climbing roots and hopping over downed trees. We should all probably be going to the gym to diversify our conditioning! It wonít make you faster but it will translate your cycling conditioning to living to your life conditioning. Knowing this, I still rode in sugar sand 10 miles...
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  9. #9
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    Having a trainer to ride makes it much easier to motivate me to ride in colder conditions than previously possible.
    Too old to ride plastic

  10. #10
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    I'm sure you are not the only one that didn't take to Zwift. There are some other options that might be worth a try. Traineroad is good if your focus is on training. Rouvy has lots of actual video. I find riding with other people on Zwift engaging but not everyone is the same. Hopefully you can find something else to use with your new smart trainer

  11. #11
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    I, too, just purchased a trainer (Wahoo Snap). I have also had a hard time using trainers because it was so boring and prefer to ride outside, but the reality is I am not riding in the dark with this idiot drivers on the street. So, I decided to open my mind to using a trainer this year because I wanted to do a more structured training regimen - not to race or anything, but to just become a better and stronger rider. I did not want to pay a coach upward of $300 per month, so I decided to use Trainerroad with Zwift - Zwift for distraction purposes along with music. I came to the conclusion that riding once on the weekend was not going to be enough anymore to get stronger or more durable. I've done this for years and it seems I am/have no longer progressed, so I decided to up the anty a bit this season and give structured training a chance at a reasonable price with no commitments. I'm going to keep an open mind and just slug it out. I will say the couple rides on Zwift was engaging and distracted me from thinking I was on a trainer. One thing for sure is the trainer power reading is way off from the power reading from my power meter.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    . One thing for sure is the trainer power reading is way off from the power reading from my power meter.
    Have you done a calibration on your Snap? Wheel on smart trainers are sensitive to tire pressure and the tightness of the engagement mechanism

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    Have you done a calibration on your Snap? Wheel on smart trainers are sensitive to tire pressure and the tightness of the engagement mechanism
    Along with setting the "Trainer Difficulty" setting within Zwift to "Max"?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    Have you done a calibration on your Snap? Wheel on smart trainers are sensitive to tire pressure and the tightness of the engagement mechanism
    Yes and Yes. Tire pressure is set to 110 psi.

    Quote Originally Posted by colnagoG60 View Post
    Along with setting the "Trainer Difficulty" setting within Zwift to "Max"?
    I saw that setting, but did not move it from the default location.

    Are you guys/gals suggesting that it's best to use the trainer's power meter vs the bike's power meter?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Yes and Yes. Tire pressure is set to 110 psi.



    I saw that setting, but did not move it from the default location.

    Are you guys/gals suggesting that it's best to use the trainer's power meter vs the bike's power meter?
    If you have a crank or hub power meter on the bike it might be more accurate that the Snap (which claims 3%). I have a Cyclops Magnus. My finding was the accuracy varied non-linearly across the range of watts. Comparing it with my Powertap wheel I found that the CyclOps over-reported watts at ~160W and below, often over 5%. At around 200W it matched the Powertap closely. Over 240W or so, it under-reported power. Over time I just chose to ignore all that and ride the bike but for folks that race on Zwift, you would want better accuracy

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    ...I saw that setting, but did not move it from the default location...
    Setting it to "Max" just makes the effort on gradients closer to real life. It may help "smooth out" your efforts and the power readings.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Yes and Yes. Tire pressure is set to 110 psi.

    I saw that setting, but did not move it from the default location.

    Are you guys/gals suggesting that it's best to use the trainer's power meter vs the bike's power meter?
    I'm also using a Snap and initially used it as my power meter too...Found it very aggravating, efforts felt much harder than I thought they should've felt. Put my Stages on to use as my PM and kept the Snap as the controllable, helped a ton. Good luck.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    If you have a crank or hub power meter on the bike it might be more accurate that the Snap (which claims 3%). I have a Cyclops Magnus. My finding was the accuracy varied non-linearly across the range of watts. Comparing it with my Powertap wheel I found that the CyclOps over-reported watts at ~160W and below, often over 5%. At around 200W it matched the Powertap closely. Over 240W or so, it under-reported power. Over time I just chose to ignore all that and ride the bike but for folks that race on Zwift, you would want better accuracy
    That is what I found that the Stages was more accurate and consistent with the Wahoo Bolt readings.

    Quote Originally Posted by colnagoG60 View Post
    Setting it to "Max" just makes the effort on gradients closer to real life. It may help "smooth out" your efforts and the power readings.
    Thanks, good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by upstateSC-rider View Post
    I'm also using a Snap and initially used it as my power meter too...Found it very aggravating, efforts felt much harder than I thought they should've felt. Put my Stages on to use as my PM and kept the Snap as the controllable, helped a ton. Good luck.
    That was exactly what I experienced, too.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am slowly figuring this all out.

  19. #19
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    Iím not a fan of zwift.
    I recently bought insideride e-motion rollers. After riding on these rollers for a while I canít see going back to a stationary trainer again. I donít get bored on rollers but I also didnít get bored on a stationary trainer.


    These are one of the few rollers that have a great resistance unit so the workout is as hard as you want it to be.
    45 minutes on them this morning kicked my ass.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokersteve View Post
    Iím not a fan of zwift.
    I recently bought insideride e-motion rollers. After riding on these rollers for a while I canít see going back to a stationary trainer again. I donít get bored on rollers but I also didnít get bored on a stationary trainer.


    These are one of the few rollers that have a great resistance unit so the workout is as hard as you want it to be.
    45 minutes on them this morning kicked my ass.
    I applaud your use of a saddle bag while riding the rollers, many won't even use one while riding on the road.
    Too old to ride plastic

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I applaud your use of a saddle bag while riding the rollers, many won't even use one while riding on the road.
    Never know when youíll need to fix a flat 🤣

  22. #22
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    It's turning into winter where I live. Not by coincidence, my hours on the indoor trainer are increasing. It's a choice of not riding at all and riding on the trainer and for me it's riding the bike that matters. Maybe I should go to the gym and work on the core over the winter, but I have to drive somewhere for that.

    Zwift is good for riding, but there are other options if you don't like Zwift. What I've noticed is I've got a higher FTP from training indoors, and my FTP diminishes over the warmer months when I'm outdoors. I should ride some indoors through the summer, but fresh air in the face can't be beat.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ullr View Post
    It's turning into winter where I live. Not by coincidence, my hours on the indoor trainer are increasing. It's a choice of not riding at all and riding on the trainer and for me it's riding the bike that matters. Maybe I should go to the gym and work on the core over the winter, but I have to drive somewhere for that.

    Zwift is good for riding, but there are other options if you don't like Zwift. What I've noticed is I've got a higher FTP from training indoors, and my FTP diminishes over the warmer months when I'm outdoors. I should ride some indoors through the summer, but fresh air in the face can't be beat.
    I have noticed something similar with FTP. I generally ride much harder on Zwift than I do in real life. I try to keep the sessions short but more intense. During outdoor riding season I improve until the hot and humid weather hits and although I put in a lot more miles in July and August I find it hard to push myself when its hot.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ullr View Post
    ...What I've noticed is I've got a higher FTP from training indoors, and my FTP diminishes over the warmer months when I'm outdoors. I should ride some indoors through the summer, but fresh air in the face can't be beat.
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I have noticed something similar with FTP. I generally ride much harder on Zwift than I do in real life. I try to keep the sessions short but more intense. During outdoor riding season I improve until the hot and humid weather hits and although I put in a lot more miles in July and August I find it hard to push myself when its hot.
    Maybe that's my issue, too. I know my output diminishes if I ride in very hod weather. My riding temperature range is 25-89*. Once it gets to 90 and above, I don't ride. I pushed it a couple times this summer and suffered mild heat exhaustion because of the heat and I wasn't even riding hard. My body just isn't adapted to riding in very hot temps. I have never liked hot weather either. I love the fall through spring weather mostly.

    I'm trying something new this off season.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Maybe that's my issue, too. I know my output diminishes if I ride in very hod weather. My riding temperature range is 25-89*. Once it gets to 90 and above, I don't ride. I pushed it a couple times this summer and suffered mild heat exhaustion because of the heat and I wasn't even riding hard. My body just isn't adapted to riding in very hot temps. I have never liked hot weather either. I love the fall through spring weather mostly.

    I'm trying something new this off season.
    When it gets beastly hot, I either ride early in the morning or do an easier flatter route like a rail trail with lots of shade trees.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- Aaron Levenstein



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