Zwift is currently allowing the public to test out their newest clubs feature. The clubs feature is scheduled to release early 2022 to the public, but you can fill out a form to get early access. Zwift is not guaranteeing that you will get access, but it is highly likely. For more information about the feature itself can be found here: https://pursuitcyclingforkids.com/2021/10/26/all-about-zwift-clubs-feature/.
Here are the steps you need to follow to get access to the clubs feature. If you run or are part of an IRL club, the feature will be very useful for you. In order to request access, just fill out the form linked to this forums post, and Zwift will review your request. Zwift will let you know if they are accepting you into the beta program, there is a chance that they will turn you away though. Here is the forums post: https://forums.zwift.com/t/beta-testers-wanted-for-futureworks-clubs-november-2021/561754.
This is a great feature, although it is very disappointing to see that juniors can not join or create clubs. I hope that Zwift can find a work-around to this legal issue before public release, which is scheduled for early 2022. Keep a look out for the new UI, there are rumors that it could begin rolling out sometime in December.
After numerous test rides, Zwift has just opened up pack dynamics 3.0 to the public. This update to the pack dynamics is supposed to make the group roll smoother, and have less of the riding through other riders. This also helps with “sticky draft” but does not completely eliminate it. However, Zwift has only released the new pack dynamics in London, and the other worlds will eventually get it once Zwift verifies that this is bug free. To ensure that you are using the latest pack dynamics, make sure you are on the latest version of the app. As of 10/28/21, that is update 1.18.1. Update: Pack dynamics are activated in all worlds currently. For those interested in learning about how this affects your speed, draft efficiency, and TTT’s, head over to this article that Zwift Insider put together: https://zwiftinsider.com/speed-tests-ttt-pd3/.
The old pack dynamics
Here is a video of the “old” pack dynamics that are still being used in every world except London. See if you can notice the changes!
Today I hopped onto a group ride in London to see what the pack dynamics were like. This was my first time with the new pack dynamics because I missed the test rides due to school. Zwift is aiming to make the draft more realistic like “a school of fish.” So far the pack dynamics are much smoother than previously and there is much less sticky draft. I found that it was much easier to move through the group, and it was easier for me to have a position in the middle of the pack, rather than always being dangling at the back. The pack dynamics have improved a ton since a few months ago. The updates are also supposed to make rider positions more accurate, so that everyone sees each other in the same position. I look forward to trying the pack dynamics more! Here is a video recording of the ride. So far I have done 2 group rides with the new pack dynamics and they have both been great. I did try a race with the new pack dynamics and this may not be related to the pack dynamics, but it was very hard to get a position in the lead group. This could have very well been because I am a average cat B and it was a mass start race with 500+ riders. My group ride experience has been great. There have been a few issues regarding using steering with the new pack dynamics enabled. This is an issue that Zwift is looking into.
How you can test it
The best way to test the new pack dynamics is to join a group ride in any of the worlds and see how it feels. You will still see a difference when just free riding, but it will not be as noticeable when there aren’t as many riders to draft behind. The new pack dynamics are currently only in Makuri Islands, London, and Watopia, but expect them to be rolled out to the other worlds once Zwift makes sure there are no issues.
Note: This was a limited edition event and the Halloween fun is now gone, they will be back next year! Just a few hours ago Zwift added some new Halloween pace partners. There are three new pace partners, Mecha Masher, Darwin Dino, and Carly Cyclosaurus. Carly is paced at 2.5wpk, Mecha is paced at 1.3, and Darwin is at 1.2. Instead of getting drops from the progress bar, you will get pieces of the costume. The progress bar seems to move slower than usual, but this may be intentional. However, after the 31st of October, you will not get to keep these costumes. The usual pace partners are up, but keep an eye out for other spooky surprises. I have already noticed lightening in Watopia. Unlike last year, I do not think that the paces will be fluctuating. Last year there were also issues with the pace partners u turning randomly, I haven’t noticed that at all this year. Leave a comment below with what you find! Here are some images.
Clubs was first introduced back in 2019, when the first private club was created for users that joined the platform during the Beta program. However, the other few million riders who did not join that early, had no access what so ever. That is about to change in the next few months. Just last week Zwift announced that they would be rolling out clubs for more riders who would like to have a Zwift club before year end. Riders can request to get the feature, but Zwift is not guaranteeing that they will be able to grant the feature. Currently a limited amount of teams have the feature, these teams are the larger and more well known teams on the platform.
What does the feature do?
The clubs feature is meant to be a feature where riders can create their own clubs, invite riders, create club group rides/workouts/races without needing to request an event with Zwift. The clubs feature includes features such as an event creator. Club owners will now be able to send out the club event links to the public, so that anyone can join the event. Club owners will be able to have designated event leaders/sweepers. The feature also shows who is in the club, the upcoming club events, and a whole lot of data like weekly milage. Once the feature is rolled out in early 2022, riders will have to be level 20 +, and runners level 10+. You will be able to create ride clubs, run clubs, or both. Clubs also has a designated club chat, children on the platform, however will not be able to see the club chat. Here is a bunch of images of all the different function of the clubs platform. I got the brief chance to create a club, but then I was notified that my access to clubs was a mistake.
Club events will start in the pen, which is a huge improvement for riders, like myself when holding races with the meet up feature. This will ensure that the results will be accurate. Club events will also show up on Zwift Power eventually. There is no race mode currently, but you can easily imitate a race by creating a group ride with results enabled. When creating club events, you will be able to use one of the pre-formatted event profiles.
What’s coming next
Zwift plans to expand clubs in the coming few months. Starting with the ability to select workouts for the entire event to do, then later on a clubs discovery UI so that riders can easily find clubs. One highly requested feature is to have a custom club jersey. Zwift will eventually release a jersey selection, where club owners will be able to select a jersey from a list of jerseys. It is highly likely that this feature could be released down the road, but I wouldn’t expect it soon. The limit on how many riders, and how many clubs you can join has yet to be released, I assume the amount of riders that can belong to a club will be pretty high, as teams like HERD, DIRT, PACK, and others have thousands of riders, while the current limit is only 500 riders.
So far the clubs feature is very limited access, but we expect that to change soon. This post will be updated with more details when more details are available. The clubs feature is a very power feature, that is very helpful for clubs when training indoors during off season.
You can now enroll to become a beta tester for clubs. Zwift has released a survey that will allow you to sign up to be a beta tester for clubs, Zwift will roll the feature out to you if you get accepted. There are a few requirements and rules that have been enforced. The club limit is 100 riders, riders under the age of 16 can not own or join a club, and you must be a level 20+ cyclist or level 10+ runner.
This weeks World of Zwift contains the usual content, Zwift Racing League recon, workout of the week, a to Zwift, and information about Zwift Academy. Two things special to this episode is that there will be a sneak peak of Neokyo, and there will be a section with the Women of Color Cycling Collective as part of Zwift’s continuing Black Celebration Series. Enjoy!
This weeks world of Zwift contains some new information about Pack Dynamics and the future of Pace Partners. This video will also cover recovery rides in A to Zwift. To learn more and listen to the whole episode, head over to this link(Premieres on the 19th): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9agj0yzEy3o.
Many cycling clubs also train/ride on Zwift. Since Zwift has not fully rolled out their clubs feature, cycling teams and clubs have to use the meetups feature to create a group ride/race. The meetup function is great for smaller group rides, but is not ideal for races. Here is a step by step tutorial on how you can create a meetup.
First, be sure that you have the Zwift companion app installed, also be sure that all of the riders are following you. In order to invite riders they must be following you. To get started creating a meetup, just click the events tab, meetups tab, and hit create meetup. It is that simple!
Once you hit create meetup, you will have all sorts of different setting that you can change, the time, date, world, route, distance/duration, meetup settings, and a meetup message. To change the setting around just tap the setting you want to change and you will be able to scroll or click a different option. Every world and route is open except for event only routes/worlds. You can also switch so that you are creating a run meetup, which has the same settings.
The last thing that you will need to do is select who you want to invite. You can invite up to 100 riders other than yourself. You can only choose from the riders that are following you. Then, hit create meetup! Up until 5 minutes before the event starts, you can edit the details.
In order to have the most riders possible, contact the riders and let them know that the ride is happening so that they know to check their companion app. Riders/runners will get a notification telling them that they have been invited to a meetup. You can also comment on their activities or use other forms of communication to let them know that you want to ride! Thanks for reading and ride on!
Zwift academy Run is back for the second year in a row. Last year was the first year that we saw Zwift host an event for runners. The Zwift academy run is pretty much the same, just like the Zwift academy Road, there will not be a seperate event for Women and Men. There will however be seperate categories. The series begins on the 4th of October and ends on the 29th of November. The team selection will take place in late 2021(Date TBD). I am not much of a runner so I probably will not be participating in this event, I will however try and complete the Zwift academy Tri, the helmet is pretty cool looking!
Runners will be competing to get onto the Zwift running team which competes at major marathons. Anyone over the age of 18 can get onto the team. For more information on the pro contracts head over to Zwift’s requirements page: https://www.zwift.com/academy/zarun/run-pro-contender-requirements. Zwift will use the baseline runs and finish line runs to determine who makes it onto the team. Baseline runs and Finishline runs are very similar to 5k tests. There will also be 8 workouts that you will have to complete, either with a group or solo, as long as it is the Zwift Academy Run 2021 workouts, then it will count towards the event. The workouts will be added in game in the coming few days when Zwift releases V.1.16.
Zwift has also updated their UI for the Zwift Academies so that it will display your progress in the academies, your Baseline test vs Finish line test to measure how much you have improved through the academy, a link where you can find FAQ, events, and more! I assume Zwift will also add a Zwift academy event filter once Off the MAAP is finished. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like.
The unlocks consist of the Zwift Academy Run 2021 hat, socks, shoes, running shirt and shorts. You will receive one of the four unlocks at these milestones(I am not sure which ones come first and which come last), 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% through the academy.
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In our pain cave we also have a Concept 2 rower. I have heard that you can row on Zwift with a concept 2. I have done it a few times myself just to see what it is like, and it works pretty well, the only issue is when your activity uploads to strava it will upload as a ride not Row, and if you switch it to a Row, the pace will be messed up. To row on Zwift you will need one of the two apps, Rowedbiker(Link to google play version:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.charlotteip.rowedbiker&hl=en_US&gl=US) or Painsled(link to google play version:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.rower.rowcycler&hl=en_US&gl=US), both work pretty well but I prefer to use Rowedbiker. All you have to do is download the app, hit the menu button on your concept 2 rower (Note: This is only compatible with the pm3 and newer.) Once you are in the main menu, hit connect. Then you should be able to pair your rower to zwift. You will need one device running Rowedbiker and one running Zwift. You can also use this as an ant+ Heart Rate Monitor bridge. It is a painful process to bridge the Heart Rate Monitor, but if you really need to use a Heart Rate Monitor(HRM), then this is a way to do it. You can pair a HRM to the rower, pair it to the rowedbiker app, and then it will pair to Zwift as the name of the device you are using(ex; iPad 7th Gen 128428). Let me know if you have any questions! It would be great to see rowing on Zwift eventually but I think we will have to wait a bit longer to see this implemented. Thanks for reading and I hope you found this article helpful!
Many Zwifters know about the Tron bike, its long lasting legacy as the coolest ride in the game. To get this amazing glowing bike you have to unlock it. Even though the Tron bike is no longer the fastest, it is still the coolest. You may think everyone has the Tron bike but that’s only because they have most likely been Zwift if since the very beginning. Want your Tron bike? Keep reading to find out how you can get it!
To unlock the Concept Z1, aka the Tron bike. You must climb a total of 50,000 meters. Before you start, be sure you have the Mount Everest challenge selected. Climbing 50,000 meters takes most Zwifters anywhere from a couple months to years depending on how much you ride on Zwift. In my case it took just under a year.
My recommendation for getting the Tron bike is to climb about 20,000 feet every month. About 5,000 feet a week. Just over a year ago, after I don’t know how many epic KOM’s, I got the Tron bike. Recently one Zwifter climbed the height for the Tron bike in one session. Others are trying to climb the elevation of Mount Everest in one session. These are both very tough challenges. One of my goals that I had was to be the 5th kid to get the Tron bike in Zwift. I accomplished that goal, although there is no way to validate that there were no other kids ahead of me.
The Tron bike was once the fastest bike but is now the 7th because of the recent release of the Zipp 858/disc. But the Tron bike is still the fastest bike if the top 6 bikes aren’t paired with the 858/Disc. One thing very different about the Tron bike is that the Tron bike never goes into climbing position, only sprinting position and upright position. The Tron bike may no longer be the sharpest tool in the shed but it certainly is the coolest. The Tron bike can also change any color other than red. This makes for a great bike that matches with nearly any kit out there. To read more about the different bikes and which are the fastest, check out Zwift Insiders speed test articles: https://zwiftinsider.com/fastest-frames/.
A common mistake when trying to go for the Tron bike, is not selecting the Everest challenge, if you are on the Tour of Italy or the Tour of California challenge, whatever you climb while in that challenge will not count towards the Tron bike. After you finish the Everest challenge, the challenge will keep going until you climb 50,000 meters, when you unlock the Tron.
The tron bike is easily the coolest ride in Zwift. No matter how long it takes you, getting the Tron bike is a huge achievement. If you haven’t, keep working at it and you’ll be there in no time! But most good things you have to work for, especially the tron bike. Do you have the Tron bike yet? If so, let me know in the comments! Keep climbing, push the limits, and you will get the tron bike!