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TECH NEWS

Zwift set to release a host of new features including the ability to race yourself

New roads, new workouts and new racing opportunities are promised by online riding app. Check them out here...

It's coming up to that time of year when we all jump back on the indoor trainers, and for many of us that means one thing: Zwift. In a bid to stay ahead of the curve, the online riding platform is continually updating its features, and here's what you can expect to see over the coming weeks and months.

Home screen

Users logging back in after a summer hiatus will be met by a brand new Home screen. This began rolling out last January and can now be found on the majority of devices, including a reported 100% of Mac/Windows devices and 90% of tablets. Apple TV, apparently the most complex, will be joining them this Autumn. 

Zwift updated UI homescreen

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The new home screen user interface allows greater control over your profile, including access to pairing screens, garage, workouts, pace partners and group rides.

The next phase of the UI (User Interface) overhaul will focus on the training library, which Zwift says will improve discoverability, search and enriched information on the workouts themselves. Workouts will soon get their own row on the home screen, with suggested workouts based on your history.

Clubs

Zwift Clubs have been gradually gaining pace with 9% of all activities over the last three months being club-based. Since they launched there have been over 20,000 clubs created, so the search function has been revised to help find the one you're looking for. 

2022 Zwift clubs update companion app

Member limits for clubs now sit at an increased 10,000 per club, and participants can now benefit from more activity types. Group workouts have been added and it's now possible to join up to 10 different clubs and get push notifications for relevant chats. 

Zwift autumn updates companion app

Next, Zwift plans to test select clubs to change event settings, such as removing drafting and power-up controls. Zwift also says that it is working hard to improve club discovery and enable easier communication.

Route Based Workouts

This new feature will be offered alongside the current FTP-based training and aims to provide a more accessible pathway into structured training on the platform. As the name suggests, these will use Zwift’s terrain and marked segments to create a structured workout plan, allowing for a mix of different efforts.

2021 Zwift Academy road training programme - 8.jpeg

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The new feature will first appear in the 2022 Zwift Academy Road program (12 September - 9 October) before expanding later this season. Zwifters taking advantage of Route Based Workouts will not need to know their FTP but this will be calculated from the sessions after completion alongside "phenotype" data to help Zwifters understand their cycling strengths and weaknesses.

Holographic Replays

2022 Zwift holographic replay gif

Joining pace partners in the near future will be 'Holographic Replays'. From what we understand, this ghost rider will represent your fastest times on Zwift segments with a hologram of yourself to chase and pass. This Holographic replays will ride your 90-day PR and/or your most recent segment attempt. As with much of Zwift's latest tech, this will launch under the FutureWorks test program.

Racing

Racing on Zwift has always been a popular way to train, and this year’s calendar and other details can be found on a new dedicated racing website. Zwift Racing League (ZRL) is back and open for registrations, and this is Zwift’s biggest competition league with more than 1,800 teams and 15,000 riders of all abilities taking part last season.

2022 Zwift racing league

> Find out how you can get better at racing on Zwift

New for this season is ZRacing, a race series for each month of the year. ZRacing aims to be an easy-to-access competition with a new stage each week, and those taking part will be able to earn a monthly badge. ZRacing is designed to fit with your schedule, allowing you to warm up, race and then cool down in under one hour.

For those with an eye on Elite competition, Zwift will once again be the host platform for the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, with open qualifying races to make it as accessible as possible.

2021 Zwift Academy road training programme - 9.jpeg

There's also a new TTT race functionality which will enable riders to use TT bikes and still draft teammates. The 'conveyer belt' system will also be expanded to include WTRL TTT races, which I'm sure will come as a great relief to those users.

In addition, Zwift has also been rolling out auto-categorisation to make Zwift racing fairer. Auto-categorisation ensures Zwifters are matched against riders of similar abilities, based on their most recent ride data captured on the platform.

New Routes

Finally, everyone's favourite new Zwift updates... new roads! It's Zwift's latest world, Makuri Islands that will be expanded, with more road, gravel and dirt surfaces being added in November. The new 'Urukazi' (woo-roo-kah-zi) map is inspired by two Okinawan words -- “uru” meaning “shore,” and “kazi” meaning “breeze.”

> How to get started with Zwift

On the terrain of Urukazi, you'll find a Zwifty interpretation of those two words as you ride pavement, gravel, and a "new type of surface not yet found anywhere else on Zwift." We're looking forwards to seeing what that might entail. 

Let us know what you think it might be in the comments section below... wrong answers only!

Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...

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