Zwift Ride

Zwift Ride, a smart-bike for the masses?

Turbo, erg or indoor training, for some it’s a necessary evil, due to family, work or weather. For others it may be the only riding they do. Whatever the reason, indoor training can play a big part in some rider’s lives; I know it does for me. In recent years the range of trainers available has grown and the prices have come down; apart from smart bikes. The new Zwift Ride, could be the answer for those looking for a relatively affordable smart bike.

The new Zwift Ride smart-bike
The new Zwift Ride smart-bike

I’m still trying to race, with the help of coach Ric at CycleCoach. He sends me a plan, some of which is to be done on a turbo. I faithfully take myself down to my underground lair, where I suffer in private. My set-up uses an ancient road bike on a wheel-on Wahoo KICKR SNAP unit. This set-up is so old that the roller has a groove worn in it and the bike is covered in sweat-related corrosion.

A handy crib sheet allows you to keep a record of your set-up
A handy crib sheet allows you to keep a record of your set-up

Who needs a smart-bike?

And it’s not just me using it. There are four of us using that bike, ranging from an 11 year-old to me. The heights vary from 155 to 180 cm, which means constantly changing the saddle height and even the bike for the youngest user. Of course just moving the saddle up and down isn’t the best option, but who has an adjustable stem? If only we had one bike that would fit all of us.

Use your Zwift Key to adjust your Zwift Ride
Use your Zwift Key to adjust your Zwift Ride

This is where a smart-bike comes in to it’s own. Unlike wheel-on and direct-drive units – both of which require a bike to be attached – a smart-bike can be easily adjusted between users. Just think of the exercise bikes you get in a gym, they can be adjusted to fit a wide range of users. Smart-bikes go one better by having dedicated controls that will work with the various online training programmes out there.

Zwift Ride

Of course the first name that comes to mind when talking about online, virtual training is Zwift. The big orange training platform has already produced it’s own dedicated trainers; which it now does in partnership with Wahoo. Now it has gone one better and is launching the Zwift Ride smart-bike.

The Zwift key is stored on the frame

The Zwift Ride takes a different approach to most smart-bikes. Rather than designing a whole new trainer, Zwift have taken a Wahoo KICKR CORE and attached an adjustable frame to it. This novel approach allows Zwift to use a known and trusted trainer, which presumably made development a lot simpler.

At it’s heart is a Wahoo KICKR CORE with the Zwift Cog

The KICKR CORE uses the Zwift Cog, so all shifting is virtual and silent. Gear changes are made using the handlebar levers and can be set up to replicate Shimano, SRAM or sequential shifting. The levers have four buttons on them, which can be programmed to perform different functions. If that wasn’t enough control, the Zwift Ride has a set of Zwift Play controllers built into the hoods. These allow you even more customisation and the ability to navigate Zwift’s in-game menus.

Programmable levers allow you to choose how to control your ride

Other features

Other features include a removable rubber covered tray on the front of the handlebars. You can use this to store your phone, nibbles or a towel while riding. A optional tablet-holder can be added to the tray, if you use one. There are two easy-to-access, drop-in, lift-out cageless bottle holders on the frame to hold your bottles. Why cageless? Because “there are no potholes to worry about in Watopia!

There’s plenty of room up front for storage

A word from the CEO

“We’re on a mission to make Zwifting easier by reducing the cost and complexity of hardware,” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “Zwift Ride brings all of the advantages of a smart bike at an incredibly affordable price. It’s clean, it’s quiet, incredibly simple to set up and adjust, and can be shared with any member of the household. Importantly when I look at my Zwift Ride, it looks like it belongs in my home. I’ve been riding mine for many months and I can’t wait to share the experience with other Zwifters!”

The Zwift Ride allows multiple users to "enjoy" indoor training
The Zwift Ride allows multiple users to “enjoy” indoor training

The Zwift Ride will begin shipping from 26 June. Priced at £1199.99, $1299.99 USA, €1299.99, $1,999.99 Canadian or $2,299.95 Australian, the Zwift Ride does make owning a smart-bike more of a possibility. The Zwift Ride will begin shipping from 26 June. Register early interest on the Zwift Shop

Not everyone will need one, but for households like mine, where we have multiple users, it would make life much easier!

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