It’s crazy to think that the last time I got a decent outdoor ride in was in Lanzarote at the end of February ’20. It seems like a lifetime ago, but I’m even more grateful I got that opportunity to enjoy some riding in the sunshine.
Upon return to the U.K, I had little choice but to jump onboard the indoor cycling wagon. I’d actually decided to upgrade to smart trainer before all this madness so it arrived not long after my trip. I signed up for the 30 day Zwift trial that came with the trainer, and the rest is, as they say, is history…
Learning the basics about Zwift have been quite a ride! As with cycling itself, there are hard facts, made up rules and of course, etiquette. If like me, you’re pretty new to the platform then these simple Zwift tips should help you hit the road running… or rolling…
1/ Download Zwift Companion App
Personally, I’ve found getting all my devices connected much quicker and failsafe using the companion app.
During your rides, you can also use the Zwift Companion app to join an event and chat while you ride. I’m not quite sure how everyone masters texting when riding but, hey!
2/ Choosing A Route
Did you know that along the top of the Zwift interface, you can toggle over to Watopia and pick different routes. Watopia is always there but the other location option changes daily.
3/ Every Route Has a “Lead-in”
And be careful of “lead-ins” …the route might say 20 miles but you might have to ride another 5 miles to get to the start – each route is different. So make sure you check this before you get started. I’ve seen some very long lead ins on some routes.
4/ Route Details
Did you know that when in game, when you select a route to ride, Zwift will give you a preview of the route on the map. And that the blue part of the line indicates the lead-in and the white is the actual route.
This will help you anticipate the amount of lead-in you will have to do first. No blue at the start of the preview? Good, no lead in.
5/ Earn Your Route Badges
Do you know that if you choose a route not to make any turns on your own? Just follow the path and don’t stop until you go under an arch and it will say route completed! (You earn route badges)
6/ Why Do Other Riders Have Books or Laptops?
Did you know that riders with a “book” or “laptop” displayed on their handlesbars are taking part in a Workout. And that the colour of the screen indicates the zone they’re riding.
When you do a workout in Zwift, you can still choose a route to do it on. You won’t “feel” the actual route but instead will be working the efforts as per your workout. You can still get route badges this way.
7/ Use Your Power Ups
Did you know that the little feather (a Power Up) makes you lighter (so use it on a climb) and the little truck is for drafting (so use it on a downhill)? You get them when you pass under an arch during your ride.
8/ Group Ride Leaders
Do you know that the “leader” in any group ride or meetup is identified by the yellow beacon above their head?
Some group rides will also have sweep riders at the back who will have a red beacon.
9/ How Do I Get The Shiny Bike?
This is the Zwift Concept Z1 bike (aka TRON bike), which you get from completing the Climb Mt. Everest Challenge. You have to climb 50,000 meters to get the Tron bike!
Now I’m not a fan of climbing but I might still consider signing up. If you do want the shiny bike, select the challenge asap to start ticking that elevation off.
The Climb Mt. Everest challenge is actually 29,028 ft (8,847 m) of climbing – but you need to keep going to 50,000m for the concept bike.
10/ Wanna Be An Insider?
Did you know ZwiftInsider.com answers lots of questions?
If you’re ever stuck for anything, I recommend you pop your question into Google, and I’m pretty sure Zwift Insider will pop up with the answer, if it can’t also be found on the Zwift website itself.
11/ How To Voice Chat In-Game
Did you know Discord app is a popular free app to chat live while you ride? Lots of groups on Zwift use it.
I’ve been using Discord a lot recently for various communities, and have set up my own voice channel for Zwift rides which I’ll be hosting in 2021.
12/ How To Level Up Quicker
Did you know you collect XP (points) faster if you have your Zwift set as metric? So ditch the miles, and get used to km.
Your XP are what help you to level up in Zwift. There are currently 50 rider levels you can work your way through. You “unlock” various pieces of kit and access at each level.
I’ve got my eyes on the DT Swiss ARC 1100 DiCut 62 wheels, which cost 184,600 Drops and require level 6.
I did think I could never be bothered to write a post about Zwift esp as there is so much information already out there, but sometimes, it’s good to just have a few basic tips to get started.
I’ve picked up heaps more tips which I’ll share in due course but if you have any questions, or tips to share, drop them in the comments below.