Zwift Hub One Trainer

Zwift Hub One Trainer uses its Zwift Cog to enable virtual shifting

The new Zwift Hub One is a direct-drive trainer that uses a single cog to replace the cassette. A single-speed trainer? How will that work? By using a single cog and virtual shifting you can use any 8-12 speed bike for a session. Simply drop your bike on the trainer and it will detect what gears you are using in the first few seconds of a ride. Zwift says the Hub One does this through a process called ‘real gear ratio calibration.’ There’s no explanation, yet, as to how this works, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon. This is a real boon for those that use different bikes for training, or where more than one person is using it.

The single cog has guides either side, which should mean you won’t be dropping your chain. Also virtual shifting will mean you can forget about getting your indexing right! Speaking of indexing, how do you operate the virtual gears? Gear selection is made using the Zwift Click. This little remote can be placed anywhere on your bars, whether they’re drop, flat or aero via a couple of rubber O-rings. Shifting is simply a matter of pressing the up or down button; something most of us can manage, during even the toughest HIIT session!

Here you can see the single speed cog that drives the Zwift Hub One and what looks like the belt-driven flywheel.
Here you can see the single speed cog and what looks like the belt-driven flywheel.

This brings virtual shifting – something you normally only see on much more expensive smart-bikes – to many more users. Zwift say that initially the Hub One will come with 24 gears, a “range wide enough to tackle any Zwift terrain with minimal jumps between gears.” Of course being virtual all your shifts will be lag and skip free, even under load. By using a single cog Zwift say the Hub One will also be considerably quieter, “leaving the rest of your house in peace while you sweat it out”.

If you already own a Zwift Hub there are two ways you can upgrade it to virtual shifting. The first is for those who have Zwift Play controllers. By updating to Zwift Hub Firmware version 5.2, or newer, you can turn Virtual Shifting on from the setting menu. Alternatively, if you don’t have Zwift Play, you can buy a Zwift Cog and a Zwift Click upgrade package. This will screw onto your Zwift Hub’s freehub and will be available for $59.99/£59.99/€59.99 for a limited time after launch. This is to allow existing Zwift Hub owners to upgrade; the upgrade will then be available for $79.99/£79.99/€79.99.

So Zwift’s Hub One, bringing virtual shifting to the masses. The question is how well will it work? Will it be that much quieter and when can we try one? Both the Hub One and the original Hub – now called Zwift Hub Classic – will be available for $599/€599/£549. That price also includes a one year membership to Zwift. We’ll get one in and let you know how it performs, keep an eye out for a preview.

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