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Anyone on Zwift?

Old 12-23-15, 01:19 PM
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RomansFiveEight
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Anyone on Zwift?

If you have Strava Premium, you get two months free. There's also a 14 day free trial. Just curious if anyone is using it? I tried it (briefly) last night and am going to put a serious effort in today. Curious if anyone is using it. Might be neat to meet up and "ride" (virtually) with folks from this group on there once in a while.
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Old 12-23-15, 04:22 PM
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I have an older BKool Pro smart trainer (manufactured before October 2014) so my trainer won't play with Zwift. I do use the BKool software which is similar to Zwift (in fact BKool came out first), and it talks to Strava directly as well.

www.bkool.com they have free membership as well as premium membership. The premium allows you to ride with others, import your own routes, and many other features, and the cost is $144.00 per year.

The newer BKool Pro smart trainers will work with Zwift.
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Old 12-23-15, 04:57 PM
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Tried it. Didn't like it. I only have a dumb trainer though.
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Old 12-23-15, 07:07 PM
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I have a "dumb" trainer too. A Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. It's supposed to work with Zwift's "virtual power" system. Admittedly, I did a full ride today and was quite disappointed. Jumpy power numbers, a clunky interface, etc. I then did a run in TrainerRoad and it was actually more fun to just do trainerroad and watch TV.
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Old 12-23-15, 07:31 PM
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Zwift is the best thing to happen to home trainers ever.
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Old 12-23-15, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Zwift is the best thing to happen to home trainers ever.
Wish I could get it to work as well as it sounds you have! Looping around some lame island while my little dude spurts from 200 watts to 30 watts, without me actually changing my power output at all, isn't very fun. I have started a support ticket though to see if I can figure it out.
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Old 12-23-15, 07:59 PM
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With 10s of thousands of users and close collaboration with professional racing teams and partners like Wahoo, Strava, Rapha, and others, I think it sounds like "getting it to work" is the rule.

Yes, go ahead and open a support ticket, but if you seriously think the interface is clunky, maybe you should just forget it as not your thing, because most everyone else thinks it's a class-defining interface. If your just an old school Microsoft person, that's fine, but you will be forever disappointed from now on; as the Apple aesthetic redefined computing interfaces, Zwift has done the same for trainer software. Welcome to the future.
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Old 12-23-15, 08:14 PM
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My wife and I have been using Zwift since November 2nd and we love it. I am averaging around 2-2.5 hours a day on it now, covering 35-40 miles each ride. My legs are definitely getting a lot stronger and feeling the benefits from it for sure. I'm using a dumb trainer (Cycleops Fluid 2) so I'm relying on zPower for my power measurements and while it does fluctuate some (I'm not seeing as bad of a swing as mentioned here...maybe 10-20 watts max for a given cadence) I love seeing that Zwift is increasing my FTP every so often as I get faster and stronger. While I do look forward to the spring and summer so I can get back on the road, I'm perfectly happy putting in some miles on the trainer now. Zwift is well worth the money to us, and it's only going to get better.
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Old 12-23-15, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
With 10s of thousands of users and close collaboration with professional racing teams and partners like Wahoo, Strava, Rapha, and others, I think it sounds like "getting it to work" is the rule.

Yes, go ahead and open a support ticket, but if you seriously think the interface is clunky, maybe you should just forget it as not your thing, because most everyone else thinks it's a class-defining interface. If your just an old school Microsoft person, that's fine, but you will be forever disappointed from now on; as the Apple aesthetic redefined computing interfaces, Zwift has done the same for trainer software. Welcome to the future.
Well gee, that's not condescending at all, sheesh! I'm talking about Zwift, not your mother. Nothing personal, friend.

It works fine, especially once you learn the keyboard shortcuts and don't have to back out of things. It's just not perfect. The MacBook Pro it's running on has an exceptional interface, as an example. The interface that you've locked onto is not the issue, the issue was the wonky power issue. Oh, and you brought up the future, so I feel obliged to remind you that Zwift has terrible BT4.0 (BLE) support, only supporting some devices and only when forwarding through an iOS or Android app, no native support for systems LIKE my MacBook Pro that support BLE. While trainerroad accepts my modern Bluetooth sensors, Zwift requires an external dongle and/or the use of my iPhone to connect BLE sensors to, and forward back (with lag) to Zwift. It doesn't support my Kurt Kinetic inRide power system at all, which is Bluetooth. So I must use it's virtual power system using my speed sensor, which is acting very funky in my situation (hence the support ticket). With power jumping all over the place, and sometimes dropping out. Not an issue I have with TrainerRoad, Wahoo Fitness, or any other app either for my Mac or for iOS. After getting frustrated with Zwift, I switched to trainerroad and did a 60 minute ride problem-free. Though Zwift would've been more fun, if it had worked.

Professional teams are using Zwift because of marketing. Don't get caught up and believing that when companies "partner" publicly with other companies that it's anything other than an ad. It's NOT bad, it's very cool and I was super excited about it and am still excited about it as it evolves.

Finally, even if I get it to work right, I'll still dislike that Zwift is going to tell me where to ride. The occasional 'events' with cool maps is awesome! Except, you can only ride them WHEN Zwift tells you you can, otherwise you're stuck at the island. The ability to choose maps is an essential feature I'd really like to see them implement.

Pro teams fly to warmer climates to train outdoors with professional trainers and coaches. They aren't giving up training camps to use Zwift. They'll use it for the occasional promo and for the ad revenue; but don't kid yourself on that one.

Originally Posted by largefarva View Post
My wife and I have been using Zwift since November 2nd and we love it. I am averaging around 2-2.5 hours a day on it now, covering 35-40 miles each ride. My legs are definitely getting a lot stronger and feeling the benefits from it for sure. I'm using a dumb trainer (Cycleops Fluid 2) so I'm relying on zPower for my power measurements and while it does fluctuate some (I'm not seeing as bad of a swing as mentioned here...maybe 10-20 watts max for a given cadence) I love seeing that Zwift is increasing my FTP every so often as I get faster and stronger. While I do look forward to the spring and summer so I can get back on the road, I'm perfectly happy putting in some miles on the trainer now. Zwift is well worth the money to us, and it's only going to get better.

Yeah hopefully they can get me straightened out because I was really excited about it and it looks really really cool. Definitely way cooler, and way more fun than just pedaling at whatever power TR tells me, and watching some lame show on TV. Though I do really like the sufferfest videos, too.

I know most people don't have the issue I have, but a few have reported it. I'm using a Wahoo ANT+ Speed/Cadence sensor with an ANT+ dongle, and a Wahoo Blue HRM (fed through my iPhone). While cadence doesn't drop out and I've had no issues with other applications, power is all over the place and never holds. I can hold the same cadence in the same gear (i.e., the same speed) and power will fluctuate wildly, constantly. Now I did notice it smooth out at much higher power levels, so it might just be that the zPower doesn't work well at the lower power numbers that I was putting out trying to warm up. I'm definitely not a pro peleton racer! It seemed right on and consistent about 200 watts, but below it jumped all over the place.

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Old 12-23-15, 09:39 PM
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Well I guess I misunderstood when you said "jumpy power numbers, clunky interface, etc," followed by calling it a "lame island" as you making a retrograde attack on the platform, when you really meant BTLE issues, but that's on you, not me.

Anyway, I'm kind of loathe to even call them BT "issues," as the platform does not officially support BT. Sure, you can take advantage of the iPhone app's ability to funnel data into the game via the internet by connecting BT peripherals to the phone, but that's really a back door at this stage, and not one of the Zwift recommended ways to connect, as I understand it. When they're assured of having managed all the related issues, such as multi-app/single BT stream connectivity, they'll launch the feature, as they've indicated is likely.

Zwift is delivering the most dynamic and intensive trainer platform out there, and I'm perfectly conent with them taking their time to get it right rather than rush to be all things to all possible user scenarios.

Speaking as an experienced power meter user, I can tell you that jumpy numbers at low power outputs are typical, and most riders find it easier to maintain consistent torque throughout at higher power. If that's what's going on, it's not really a Zwift issue (though perhaps they could smooth data reporting, but to what purpose?).
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Old 12-23-15, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Well I guess I misunderstood when you said "jumpy power numbers, clunky interface, etc," followed by calling it a "lame island" as you making a retrograde attack on the platform, when you really meant BTLE issues, but that's on you, not me.

Anyway, I'm kind of loathe to even call them BT "issues," as the platform does not officially support BT. Sure, you can take advantage of the iPhone app's ability to funnel data into the game via the internet by connecting BT peripherals to the phone, but that's really a back door at this stage, and not one of the Zwift recommended ways to connect, as I understand it. When they're assured of having managed all the related issues, such as multi-app/single BT stream connectivity, they'll launch the feature, as they've indicated is likely.

Zwift is delivering the most dynamic and intensive trainer platform out there, and I'm perfectly conent with them taking their time to get it right rather than rush to be all things to all possible user scenarios.

Speaking as an experienced power meter user, I can tell you that jumpy numbers at low power outputs are typical, and most riders find it easier to maintain consistent torque throughout at higher power. If that's what's going on, it's not really a Zwift issue (though perhaps they could smooth data reporting, but to what purpose?).
If my speed stays exactly the same, power numbers should stay the same as well; because that's all the information they have (speed).

I'm using an ANT+ speed/cadence sensor, and a BTLE HRM. BTLE is the future, and they need to stop perpetuating this archaic and significantly disadvantaged proprietary format. ANT+ needs. to. die. That they put all of their energy into this outdated format, granted- many of the accessory manufacturers are also clinging to it, is no excuse for not supporting the current wireless standard out of the gate. Others have reported jumpy numbers and Zwift has simply responded to them with "create a support ticket", so what's what I've done.

I'm not sure why you're so offended, unpleasant and condescending because Zwift had a couple of shortcomings for me. I sincerely hope that tomorrow is a better day for you and you find yourself in a better mood. Smile mate, it's good for you! Life's short to ruffle your feathers because someone doesn't like your favorite brand as much as you do. There's enough of that on this forum. Seriously. It's cool. Don't take it too seriously that I'm having a couple of issues with it, it's not a big deal.

It definitely looks cool and when it's polished and out of this quasi-beta state, it will be really cool. Looking forward to be able to select maps, actual graphics settings (more than just resolution), support for modern wireless standards. Kinetic inRide support would also be awesome, since it's a lot more accurate than a speed sensor. (It essentially IS a speed sensor, but because it's on the trainer and not the wheel, it's a much higher resolution. It rotates about 12.5x for every one rotation of the back wheel.)

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Old 12-23-15, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
If my speed stays exactly the same, power numbers should stay the same as well; because that's all the information they have (speed).

I'm using an ANT+ speed/cadence sensor, and a BTLE HRM. BTLE is the future, and they need to stop perpetuating this archaic and significantly disadvantaged proprietary format.

I'm not sure why you're so offended, unpleasant and condescending because Zwift had a couple of shortcomings for me. I sincerely hope that tomorrow is a better day for you and you find yourself in a better mood. Smile mate, it's good for you!
I guess I'm unimpressed with your critique of Zwift, and find it irritating when people speak with certainty about stuff they know very little of, and then try to cover for getting called out by changing the issue.

For example, why would an algorithm designed to estimate power as accurately as possible ignore a known phenomenon? Just so you can feel good about your pedaling form? Nobody's power numbers, when measured with a meter, are stable with speed. Period.

Well, maybe not period; I suppose if we measured speed out to 1/1000ths, maybe then...but what of wheel momentum...and to what purpose? So you can feel good about saying misleading stuff on the internet?
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Old 12-23-15, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I guess I'm unimpressed with your critique of Zwift, and find it irritating when people speak with certainty about stuff they know very little of, and then try to cover for getting called out by changing the issue.

For example, why would an algorithm designed to estimate power as accurately as possible ignore a known phenomenon? Just so you can feel good about your pedaling form? Nobody's power numbers, when measured with a meter, are stable with speed. Period.

Well, maybe not period; I suppose if we measured speed out to 1/1000ths, maybe then...but what of wheel momentum...and to what purpose? So you can feel good about saying misleading stuff on the internet?
Why have I gotten you so upset? You sound knowledgeable so I imagine I could learn something from you, but all you're doing here is bullying. I was the fat kid in high school. I've dealt with enough bullies.

In the hopes that I might learn something, I guess I'll answer. If I were using a power meter, with actual strain gauges, power numbers could certainly be jumpy. However, since I'm using the speed based zPower and keeping the speed consistent, power numbers swinging wildly does not make sense. I cannot fathom how power could drop, for example, from 160 watts, to 15 watts, back to 160 watts, to 30 watts, etc., all whilst riding at the same speed and effort. Or the issue I was having where power would drop out completely, but cadence data (bearing in mind this is coming from a combination speed/cadence sensor) and my little 'guy' was just sitting on the side of the road as I pedaled along. Thinking that the issue was my SC sensor, I fired up TrainerRoad. However, I was able to complete a 60 minute ride without a single drop in power.

If you've got constructive help I'd love to hear it. If you're going to continue to berate me because I'm not singing the praises of your favorite platform, then I'll just move on.
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Old 12-23-15, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
Why have I gotten you so upset? You sound knowledgeable so I imagine I could learn something from you, but all you're doing here is bullying. I was the fat kid in high school. I've dealt with enough bullies.

In the hopes that I might learn something, I guess I'll answer. If I were using a power meter, with actual strain gauges, power numbers could certainly be jumpy. However, since I'm using the speed based zPower and keeping the speed consistent, power numbers swinging wildly does not make sense. I cannot fathom how power could drop, for example, from 160 watts, to 15 watts, back to 160 watts, to 30 watts, etc., all whilst riding at the same speed and effort. Or the issue I was having where power would drop out completely, but cadence data (bearing in mind this is coming from a combination speed/cadence sensor) and my little 'guy' was just sitting on the side of the road as I pedaled along. Thinking that the issue was my SC sensor, I fired up TrainerRoad. However, I was able to complete a 60 minute ride without a single drop in power.

If you've got constructive help I'd love to hear it. If you're going to continue to berate me because I'm not singing the praises of your favorite platform, then I'll just move on.
Yeah, I'd say re-read the posts, but I don't expect your comprehension will improve, so just move on. That's a fine idea.
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Old 12-23-15, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yeah, I'd say re-read the posts, but I don't expect your comprehension will improve, so just move on. That's a fine idea.
Sorry I've upset you so much. I certainly didn't intend to. Guess I'll see what the gang at Zwift say. Please, please, please have a better day tomorrow. Trust me, the world is a lot brighter when you're nicer to people.
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Old 12-23-15, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
Sorry I've upset you so much. I certainly didn't intend to. Guess I'll see what the gang at Zwift say. Please, please, please have a better day tomorrow. Trust me, the world is a lot brighter when you're nicer to people.
Save the trite platitudes, get real, and just send cash. And for chrissakes, don't ask me to trust you; if there's nothing else you take away from this discussion...
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Old 12-24-15, 02:47 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
I have a "dumb" trainer too. A Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. It's supposed to work with Zwift's "virtual power" system. Admittedly, I did a full ride today and was quite disappointed. Jumpy power numbers, a clunky interface, etc. I then did a run in TrainerRoad and it was actually more fun to just do trainerroad and watch TV.
Yes, this is basically my feeling. That said I had no problem with power jumping, I just found myself bored after 15 mins and wanting to stop. That doesn't happen with TrainerRoad + Netflix combo, so I'll stick to that.

Regarding Bluetooth, it is in beta so issues should be expected. TrainerRoad has had issues in the past too, and right now they don't support the latest inRide pod either. I'm sure Zwift will get there, and I understand why they went for ANT+ first.

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Old 12-24-15, 07:46 AM
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I like the underhanded edit to post #11 , romansfiveeight. You can fool some of the people, but not all, and definitely not me; weasel-ing around trying to make yourself look better post-facto and to cast aspersions on others is simply dishonest and very poor form. It's hard to admit our mistakes, but doing so is how we earn integrity; coverups are how lose it.
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Old 12-24-15, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I like the underhanded edit to post #11 , romansfiveeight. You can fool some of the people, but not all, and definitely not me; weasel-ing around trying to make yourself look better post-facto and to cast aspersions on others is simply dishonest and very poor form. It's hard to admit our mistakes, but doing so is how we earn integrity; coverups are how lose it.
Note the time of the edit, and the time of the posts that came after. I don't know why this is such a big deal to you. You obviously quoted my post (or just edited my quote) before I added the latter bits, but didn't make your post until I completed my edits. Your post came after my edits. Nothing sneaky or underhanded. I'm not trying to make myself look like anything. I'm a total noob who wants to learn, and that doesn't bother me.

Actually, if you look, I edit a LOT of my posts. Rather than post a second post, I'll just add a paragraph to the end. Or I'll notice a typo, etc.

I think maybe you are suffering from an issue with not understanding tone over the internet. My tone has never been critical or underhanded or angry. Just curious and a little annoyed that it isn't working. Maybe you think I'm taking this a bit more 'seriously' than I actually am, and that's what's gotten you so offended that, here we are, the next day, and you're skimming through old posts to try to pick on me some more. But that's okay, it happens. Like you said, we sometimes need to admit mistakes.

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Old 12-24-15, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Yes, this is basically my feeling. That said I had no problem with power jumping, I just found myself bored after 15 mins and wanting to stop. That doesn't happen with TrainerRoad + Netflix combo, so I'll stick to that.

Regarding Bluetooth, it is in beta so issues should be expected. TrainerRoad has had issues in the past too, and right now they don't support the latest inRide pod either. I'm sure Zwift will get there, and I understand why they went for ANT+ first.
Yeah it works for me. I'm bummed that TR doesn't support the inRide pod anymore, too. Though they say support is coming. According to them, Kurt updated the pod and TR has to play 'catch up'. At least virtual power is, reportedly, pretty good. Just doesn't have the resolution of the inRide pod so it's inherently laggy. One of the cool things about the pod (I played with it using Kurt's app) is that it can tell when you're not pedaling or not putting power down. TR can too but only after a second or two of lag. The kinetic seems to know immediately when you stop pedaling, and power drops (as it should) to zero. It's definitely much more 'precise' with power changing as it happens, rather than sort of slow and laggy over time like wheel speed based virtual power systems.
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Old 12-24-15, 10:05 AM
  #21  
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my take on Zwift and the BKool virtual riding is that they really are geared up for smart trainers, yes they can be done with regular trainers, but using a smart trainer means you get the full advantage of the program on the computer as the route you ride virtually will tell the trainer to increase or decrease resistance.

I use a cadence sensor (Cateye ANT + speed/cadence), a heart rate monitor (Mio "Link" ANT+/Bluetooth) and the BKool Pro trainer.

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Old 12-24-15, 02:58 PM
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I just switched to a smart trainer (Wahoo Kickr Snap) and am enjoying Zwift. I am having some issues with the control that Zwift has on the trainer: at times, it puts the brakes on so hard that I can't get the pedals to turn. This is only in Workout mode; free riding seems generally okay. I've got a support ticket open to try to find a solution.

Overall, Zwift makes riding the trainer 50% less boring.
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Old 12-28-15, 12:39 PM
  #23  
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I was on Zwift when it was in beta stage, then I lent my Kickr to a friend of mine to help her out during the winter months. Now that I have it back I might go back to it to see what is available. I understand that you can create your own interval sessions so I'm curious to see how that works out.
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Old 12-28-15, 01:33 PM
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I have a kikr and like zwift more than trainerroad these days.

I like the interface with other riders rather than just watching a bar graph.
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Old 12-28-15, 04:15 PM
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I'm on Zwift nearly daily. I love it. I much prefer it to Trainer Road . I cancelled that almost immediately after discovering the Workout Mode in Zwift. I can have the benefits of a pre-defined workout, including ERG mode option, and still have all of the other benefits of an open world simulator.

I was listening to the podcasts over at zwiftcast.com, and it sounds like they have a *lot* of things planned going forward. Perhaps the best part is that they are exploring a lot of potential ways to monetize it (beyond charging users $10 a month). Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are nearly endless.

FWIW, I'm using a Wahoo KICKR, Wahoo BlueSC Cadence Sensor and a Wahoo TICKR HRM. All of these are both Bluetooth and ANT+. I currently have them connected to my PC via a Garmin ANT+ dongle that is attached to a USB Extension cable that lays on the ground beneath the bike. All of this is displayed on a large TV in my den/rec room. I also have a small android tablet that I have mounted near my handlebars that allows me to send commands, chat in game, etc.. without having to have the PC Keyboard handy.

I've already met several riders through the various social groups who I am riding with regularly.

I live in the cold, dark and wet pacific northwest, and don't particulary enjoy riding outside this time of year. Finding Zwift has significantly improved my 'want to' when it comes to getting on the bike and putting in a few miles.

Jim Hansen
Bothell, USA
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