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5 things to know about Zwift

With the current situation, Cyclists around the world are looking for new ways to ride and train indoors. Attaching an Indoor Trainer to your bicycle is the easiest option, but one thing that is missed is the feeling of riding outdoors and the interaction with fellow Cyclists. This is the problem that Zwift helps solve. Zwift is an online Cycling Game and Training program that enables users to ride, train and compete in a virtual world. Zwift is aimed at eliminating the boredom of simply staring at the wall while riding indoors. If you are looking starting to start riding on Zwift here are a five things you will need to know.


Zwift Inc. was cofounded by Jon Mayfield, Eric Min, Scott Barger and Alarik Myrin in California, United States in 2014. You can ride with thousands of other riders inside Zwift across the seven different worlds inside the game. With Zwift you can either take part in a Group Ride, participate in a Race or Train with their preset Training Programs, you can customize your Training Program as well.

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To get started with Zwift you will need to sign up on Zwift’s website, there is a 7 day Free Trial after which there is a monthly subscription fee of $14.99(₹1,134 approx). In terms of equipment you will require the following:

  1. A Bicycle
  2. An Indoor Trainer or a set of rollers
  3. An ANT+ or Bluetooth measurement tool: a power meter, smart trainer or speed/cadence sensor
  4. A computer, smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth or ANT+ (or an ANT+ USB Dongle)

    Zwift is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Zwift also has a mobile app which allows users to change direction, take screenshots, communicate via messaging with other riders.


In Zwift, there are Seven different worlds in which you can ride, they are:

  • Watopia
  • Bologna
  • Innsbruck
  • London
  • New York City
  • Richmond
  • Yorkshire
Each of these worlds has a number of preset courses for you to ride, or you can just pedal freely around each map.

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When you log in to Zwift, you will see a list of upcoming rides and races on the upper-right corner of your Desktop. On the mobile app you can also see a more detailed list with descriptions, times and more information. To join, just click on the ride. Group Rides are categorized from A to D based on your FTP(Functional Threshold Power) as follows:

  • A = 4.0w/kg and above
  • B = 3.2 – 3.9w/kg
  • A = 2.5 – 3.1w/kg
  • A = 2.4w/kg and below
This categorization is to ensure that everyone rides together. You can self-select the level of intensity based on your FTP. If you don’t know your FTP you can use one of the FTP tests available in the Workouts Page.


PowerUps is how Zwift gamifies the platform. PowerUps give you either an Experience Points(XP), or a way to temporarily boost your speed. PowerUps are awarded randomly when you pass through a Start/Finish, KOM or Sprint Arch. There are 7 PowerUps in Zwift, they are:

  1. Large Bonus – 250XP points
  2. Small Bonus – 10XP points
  3. Feather Lightweight – reduces your weight by 9kgs for 15 seconds
  4. Truck Draft Boost – increases your draft effect by 50% for 30 seconds
  5. Helmet Aero Boost – reduces drag by 25% for 15 seconds
  6. Breakaway Burrito – doesn’t allow anyone to draft behind you for 10 seconds
  7. Invisibility – makes you invisible for 10 seconds
  8. PowerUps can be activated at any time by hitting the spacebar on your computer or via the Zwift Companion App by touching the PowerUp icon on your screen.

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With more people looking to stay indoors but not lose out on their riding time, Zwift is a great option to train and socialize with other Cyclists from the comfort of your own home. There are a number of such platforms but Zwift is by far the most popular, and a number of popular brands like Wahoo and Elite are customizing their offerings to be compatible with the Zwift platform.


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