The podcast is now available on Stitcher.
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Simon, Shane and Nathan are back to discuss the increasingly lively – and populous – Zwift platform.
We start this episode with a big discussion on the major success, and minor failings, of the Tacx World Champs series of races. Zwift VP of Marketing Steve Beckett answers questions on why around 10% of users had problems during the race – with Shane, Nathan and Simon, along with KISS race organisers, seeking some perspective on the event.
With Zwift becoming ever busier, is it time for the opposition to walk in fear of the Zwift indoor riding bulldozer, or are they raising their game to compete? We discuss.
A French academic working at a German University reveals the results of his research into how avatars in “exer-games”, like Zwift, may actually influence the performance of the user.
Zwift community stalwart Eric Schlange makes a long-overdue appearance on the podcast to discuss his painstaking tests to find out which bikes are fastest on Zwift; discuss his IRL racing career and chew the fat a bit about expensive trainers.
Zwifter Paul Stokes has been co-opted onto the Zwiftcast to review the new Elite Rampa trainer. What does an “ordinary Zwifter”, someone who doesn’t ride a whole lot of trainers, make of the rival to the Vortex and the SNAP?
And we talk to Tam Burns, the man who’s coming back for a second bite at the cherry. After organising a massively popular mass participation race last year, when the lack of an event module made that an arduous task, Tam is again devoting time and energy to staging a big race. Why does he do it?
Plus lots more Zwift-related chat on a whole lot of subjects that all Zwifters should find of interest.
How To Listen
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Shane, Nathan and Simon are back together for the first time in a couple of episodes to discuss all matters Zwift. The boys kick off with a discussion on how “refuseniks” now seem to be flocking into Zwift; catch up on the latest Zwift on iOS chatter and summarise how things have been going in Australia as the end of the indoor season nears.
There’s a short feature comparing the noise emitted by the new Wahoo KICKR compared to the older version and a discussion on whether noise could be the new battleground in the fiercely-competitive Smart Trainer market.
After hearing from Zwifter Peter Maloney about how he’d like to find other Zwifters riding on with multiple sclerosis by changing his name to indicate he has the condition, Simon, Shane and Nathan go on to discuss the tendency for people to change their real names in the game, wondering whether anonymity is a good thing or not.
One of the KISS race series organisers Glen Knight is on the Zwiftcast to discuss the upcoming Tacx World Championships and Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss which nation may be favourite to take the title.
Experienced Zwifter Antony Henson tests out two of the top of the range trainers, to help Zwifters who may be in the market for a Smart Trainer this season to make a decision. Is the Tacx Neo or the Wahoo KICKR the best buy?
And veteran indoor rider Colin Peerman gives his verdict on the value of the best Smart Trainers – compared to the many other trainers he’s owned.
Simon, Shane and Nathan round off this edition with a lively discussion on how race starts can best be regulated in Zwift.
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Simon and Nathan get their teeth into a possible future for Zwift – in the form of Virtual Reality. With the Oculus Rift headset becoming more available and with Zwift already VR-capable, could this deeply immersive technology catch on in the fitness arena?
Shane gives his first reactions to using the headset with Zwift and Simon and Nathan discuss some of the more obvious downsides as well as looking at the possibilities of this exciting technology.
Some think the superb Zwift Academy scheme – which aims to use the platform to identify a potential professional female rider – has been flying a little under the radar. Not the hundreds of women who’ve been taking part in the rigorous programme of training over the summer, but perhaps this scheme isn’t as well known in the wider Zwift community as it might be.
The podcast has three interviews with graduates of the Academy. Leah Thorvilson, Rachel Elliot and Bel Flint have all made it through to the final 12 riders – hear how they reacted to getting the news.
Andrew Tilin is a veteran cyclist, an ex-racer and a high profile cycling journalist and author. He’s just completed an assignment investigating the appeal of Zwift for Outside magazine. Simon interviews him to discover more about his journey from cynic to convert.
Scottie Weiss is a real Zwift veteran – he’s been on the platform from day one and the ex-professional rider is as used to showing the field a clean pair of heels as he is helping new Zwifters and leading Group Rides. This summer Scottie achieved two magnificent wins at the World Masters Championships in Austria. Simon talks to Scottie about the role Zwift played.
And we have a little more from the sports tech guru Ray Maker, aka D C Rainmaker, who Simon spent some time with at Eurobike. This episode puts Ray on the spot and asks him to identify his favoured trainer at various price points.Ray also raises a tricky issue for US buyers – should they consider buying a trainer from European retailers who sometimes offer great deals and free shipping? “All good” says Ray, “until something goes wrong.”
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Simon, Shane and special guest D C Rainmaker are at the biggest bike show in the world.
These are exciting times for indoor riders and the excitement is reflected at Eurobike, where trainer manufacturers are showing their wares for the coming indoor season.
D C Rainmaker, otherwise known as Ray Maker, makes a special guest appearance to discuss all the news with Simon and Shane, and concludes:”There has never been a better time to buy a Smart Trainer”
The Zwiftcast tours the gigantic show, stopping for interviews with Tacx, whose Flux Smart Trainer was a show stealer; Wahoo, who launched the new Kickr; Elite, whose new Drivo is claimed to be the most accurate Smart Trainer in the world, and Cycle Ops, whose Hammer and Magnus are also promising great things.
The Zwiftcast trio discuss how trainer manufacturers have responded to the new indoor riding world Zwift has helped create and how Zwift itself may cope with competitors in the market.
We also discuss the trend for manufacturers to announce new product earlier and earlier – but struggle to deliver trainers to meet the demand at the start of the season.
Shane and Ray also give their verdict on the most impressive thing they saw at the show.
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Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the incredibly active smart trainer market, with a raft of new models announced in the past couple of weeks, including an eye-catching offering from Tacx.
They go on to speculate on what might be the likely effect of an expected launch of Zwift on iPad.
There’s a feature on Married Zwifting, with a look at how couples balancing jobs and kids can use Zwift to maximise training, sometimes Zwifting together.
Nathan’s other half, Lindsay and Shane’s partner, Von, make guest appearances – and share some of the secrets of their joint pain caves!
Australian hero Mat Hayman makes a special appearance on the Zwiftcast to bring us up to date on what’s he’s been doing since that memorable win in Paris Roubaix and to let listeners know how Zwift is fitting into his training plan.
There’s a feature with ZTR race organiser Christian Wiedemann who reveals the results of a fascinating experiment: He tells the Zwiftcast what happened when he went to tackle a very familiar local climb in real life after spending two years exclusively riding on Zwift.
Simon, Shane and Nathan tackle the thorny issue of deliberate weight-doping. Is it ever acceptable to change your weight on Zwift? Maybe you want to keep up with buddies on a group ride – can it be right to adjust your weight down a bit to make it possible?
How to Listen
For this episode we are also trying a new way of listening to the Zwiftcast. Look out on selected Group Rides and Events on Zwift where you may find a button to enable you to listen as you Zwift, in-game, using the platform’s new audio functionality.
Simon, Shane and Nathan get together to discuss the latest Zwift news, plus a series of features on matters of interest to all Zwifters.
Nathan relates how he broke his collar bone racing and how Zwift is helping his rehab.
There’s a feature with Tim Searle, leader of the Australian HDR ride, which is drawing huge numbers and may now be the biggest group ride on Zwift.
Charlie Issendorf, VP of Events for Zwift, tells us how the new Event Module is bedding in and forecasts how it’s going to develop in coming weeks.
Simon, Shane and Nathan discus the new London course, the advent of bad weather on Zwift and speculate about the possible introduction of a velodrome..
Team Sky’s Head of Innovation, Simon Jones, a keen Zwifter, talks about how augmented reality and virtual reality may have a part to play in pro rider training in the future.
In part two of our interview with Charlie, we discuss the next stage in the development of the platform towards a general fitness arena, with the testing of running in the virtual environments.
This episode of the Zwiftcast wraps up with a discussion on a slew of new trainers which have just been announced.