One reviewer described Zwift as ‘Strava meets World of Warcraft.’ The indoor cycling game/social fitness network is one of the latest programs to join the social fitness market, and it’s been getting great reviews even before it publicly launches. That’s why it’s the focus of this week’s Fitness Friday.
Cycling is becoming a big trend, with some saying the sport is the new golf, but it’s also a relatively isolated activity. That’s about to change thanks to start-up and cycling gaming platform Zwift, who is adding a social component to stationary cycling.
Zwift looks like other racing games – the graphics aren’t great, but they’re manageable once you get into the competition. But unlike other cycling games, you can compete against people from the around the world, pushing your limits.
One reviewer started the game just to make sure his equipment worked and ended up completing a full lap around the virtual track in his jeans because he got sucked into the competitive play.
Like other games, you can also play (erm, I mean work out) with friends or get to know strangers. You can talk as you race or you can focus on the track ahead.
You can’t just grab your bike from the garage and go though; you need some equipment to get yourself ready for the game. You’ll need supported ANT+ devices, and in case you had any doubt that Swift must be a fun company, you should check out the list of items they don’t support on their website.
You also need an Internet connection and computer to run Zwift. You can use your mobile phone to second-screen the experience and get more detailed statistics, but tablets aren’t supported yet.
Zwift is not open to the public, and the company is still beta testing. it is expected to launch globally soon, but in the meantime, you can request an invite to be a beta tester.