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*Well, a virtual version, while racing on Zwift’s online training platform

Zwift has announced that the first bicycle brand to be featured in its virtual cycling world will be Pinarello.

We first showed you Zwift’s multiplayer video game platform back in September and October. Essentially, it allows you to use your turbo trainer to ride with and against other users around the world online using gaming software.

The minimum equipment necessary to use Zwift is a basic trainer, wireless speed/cadence sensor and a USB ANT+ dongle for connecting to a PC or Mac. A powermeter will make things more accurate and an electronically controlled trainer will improve the experience, according to Zwift.

Zwift take your data and convert it into speed in a virtual environment, allowing you can race other users on screen in realtime via either a PC or Mac.

Pinarello, bike supplier to Team Sky, will allow Zwift to make their Dogma F8 road frame and Il Bolide time trial frame  as options for riders. Zwift plan to bring as many bicycle, component, apparel and equipment brands as possible on to their platform over time.

“The chance to be the first to give our followers the opportunity to own and ride a Pinarello virtually is important as it demonstrates the way we embrace innovation and technology,” said Pinarello CEO, Fausto Pinarello.

Zwift is currently in Beta testing. It will be open to the public early next year with a basic subscription costing US$10 per month.

We had a quick go on the Zwift system back at the start of October and we really enjoyed the experience. Competing against other users certainly adds an extra dimension to turbo training which otherwise, let’s face it, often isn’t much fun. Zwift makes it half training, half playing a game.

For more info visit Zwift’s website

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

4 comments

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handlebarcam [1076 posts] 3 years ago
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Gah! How dare you show virtual cyclists riding without helments. Won't somebody please think of the children! Etc.

Slightly more seriously: "real" bikes in computer simulations is just another way in which the bicycle industry is copying the automobile industry's marketing playbook (c.f. exclusive deals between prestige car brands and console driving simulators.) Thanks, Pinarello, for moving cycling one more tiny step towards being just another form of consumerism.

BTW, in this game, if a virtual bicycle's virtual electronic groupset develops a virtual fault, due to excessive virtual riding in virtual rain, will a virtual mechanic get called out to plug his virtual laptop in, and virtually reset the virtual system?

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joemmo [1164 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree with handlebarcam's comparison with the use of cars brands in video games. The next step would be offering pay-to-ride options on exclusive virtual bikes with added 'marginal gains'.

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pwake [429 posts] 3 years ago
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Of course, if you don't want to buy into it, you don't have to...

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

Thanks, Pinarello, for moving cycling one more tiny step towards being just another form of consumerism.

Cycling is already there, and has been for years. Pro cycling exists because it works as a form of advertising; notice the sponsors?

Lately it's become yet another hobby for people with enough disposable income, it has it all from tradition, through history, through epic tales of struggle, scandal and best of all; you can buy all this in a shop or online. Selling world tour standard equipment to weekend warriors; wear the same clothes as your heroes, ride the same bike, get a bike fit, upgrade to the next best thing, ride the same roads, follow the gossip on line, ride the virtual bike on the virtual race course, the obvious answer for the time poor rider, read the reviews, buy the kit...