Zwift offers a 7 day trial membership (without entering credit card details), and I am at the end of my trial. As an occasional cyclist my closing figures are:
22 Miles or 1 hour 12 of exercise. (which apparently is good for 2 slices of pizzas). Some things work really well and other parts less so, here are my thoughts on it:
1. The setup is important, I don’t have a power meter and am using the inbuilt cadence and power values from the trainer. I would say they are not accurate. My real world speed is around 14 mph, my zwift speed is closer to 17-18 mph. Initially I liked the fact that it reported in my favour but to be honest I would prefer a more accurate figure, this is mainly down to setup rather than Zwift per se but trying to get it more accurate can get very expensive very quickly – so does facter in.
2. Zwift is NOT an immersive game, I don’t get transported into another world any more than playing Super Mario. I suspect I will probably put some music on next time because it can be boring.
3. The graphics and general functionality is good. It’s a well polished product. It mixes things up with sprint sections which encourage your competitive side to push a little bit harder, as a consequence I find Zwift sessions more intense than real rides. Any climbs are replicated well via the trainer – it gets real hard real quick.
4. The seamless tie in with Strava is very good (which I then sync to Garmin Connect via tapiriik), it looks like I have been cycling in London on the Strava app.
5. The 0-to-zwift setup of the laptop, ant+ trainer etc takes about 15 minutes. So you should facter this in, a 30 minute session is actually 60 minutes of elapsed time.
Conclusion: Is it worth it? Am I going to subscribe?
Purely on a statistical front, if every week was like this week I would be covering 88 miles (5 hours of exercise). So about £1.50 per hour, which is pretty good. However it’s not that simple.
Living in the UK, you don’t get great weather through the winter/autumn months and right now it’s dark by 5pm. It’s days like this where Zwift really comes into it’s own. I would not have cycled yesterday, I am not the most confident cyclist but Zwift essentially takes away the anxiety of road traffic, turns, clothing (you can cycle wearing only shorts), descents etc and what you are left with is a very good tool.
I am going to continue my membership and will use this to increase distance with the aim of being able to do 30-40 miles.