For just about a year, the bike trainer/video game Zwift was in beta for testing. As more and more riders joined in, the platform improved. Now, Zwift has become the perfect tool for those who train indoors through the winter.
Everyone has a limit. Even the most motivated, die-hard riders have to get inside and away from the elements. Whether it's rain, ice, lack of time or baby duty, using a trainer is almost unavoidable if you want to get in more than a few hours a week from December through April.
Enter Zwift. Using your laptop and a trainer, you can pedal with folks from all over the world without leaving your basement or rec room. The software puts you on a virtual map, complete with climbs, descents, sprint points and KOMs to gun for, and an integrated workout mode if you want to get into your interval training.
Does it work? You betcha. Cody and JW have been putting it through the paces one two different trainers. Cody's Wahoo Kickr is the ideal set-up, with an extremely realistic road feel, accurate power meter and the most accurate feel for climbing. JW's Kurt Kinetic trainer works well, too, using a speed and cadence sensor.
If you haven't been to the shop to check out our Wahoo and Zwift setup, the best way to describe it is that it's like going outside with your pals. You can meet up, chat, draft, drop each other and, of course, race, if you want to. The two maps rotate every few days and have their own elevation and layouts. The original map is a virtual world called Watopia, with a bit more climbing than the new alternative, Richmond. Richmond is an exact replica of the 2015 UCI World Championship course from earlier this fall. Every climb, even the cobbles of Libby Hill, descent and memorable sections that decided the race.
We're working on adding a weekly TC Zwift ride later this winter. A Wahoo Kickr, Zwift and a fat bike can actually make winter an awful lot of fun!