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TECH NEWS

Is Zwift's Tron bike coming to life? Affordable new Zwift smart bike and Zwift Wheel direct driver trainer revealed in research survey

The virtual racing platform appears to be imminently releasing its own equipment with a new smart bike “hypothetically priced” at £1,700 and the turbo is £900

Zwift has revealed its very own smart bike and direct-drive turbo trainer designs in an online survey that was sent out to a small number of the virtual cycling platform’s subscribers. It looks like a real-world version of Zwift’s Tron Bike thanks to the illuminated LED ring around each wheel too. 

Zwift Bike 2

 

> How to get started with Zwift

A survey appears to have been sent out on behalf of Zwift by research firm Toluna and, according to DC Rainmaker - who received the contents of the survey from one of his readers -  Zwift has pre-announced the imminent arrival of its indoor training hardware.

Data accuracy is fundamental to Esports and with the inaugural UCI eSports World Championships event held in 2020, virtual racing is increasingly reaching higher levels and attracting the very best. 

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

But the accuracy of turbo trainers and smart bikes continues to be a hotly-discussed issue among eRacers, despite Zwift’s best efforts of increasing transparency and enforcing dual recording during select top-end competitions. 

> 14 of the best home trainers for 2021 — get fit indoors 

eRacers have been calling for neutral equipment for fair competition; is this Zwift’s answer? 

Although the survey was not conducted by Zwift themselves, the virtual cycling platform has since said the survey has been organised by them.

Zwift’s Chris Snook confirmed to DC Rainmaker: ““We are currently conducting a hardware-focused survey, so the survey is genuine.

“The hypothetical pricing and features covered in the survey are designed to help inform the value that Zwifters place on different hardware product features.

“We’re excited about the launch of Zwift hardware and look forward to sharing more information with you in the future.”

Here’s what we know about the Zwift’s turbo trainer and smart bike so far...

Zwift Wheel, £900

Zwift Wheel 2

The Zwift Wheel can be hooked up with Zwift’s Ride smart bike option or your own bike, and is a direct-drive smart trainer that looks more like a wheel sitting on a base than direct-drive models from brands such as Tacx and Wahoo. 

That said, DC Rainmaker reckons the specification of the Zwift Wheel is closely related to the Tacx Neo series trainer, with the metal-looking flywheel in the middle, for example, being quite similar. 

The specs detailed in the ‘retail shop’ have been shared in DC Rainmaker’s post:

  • Max power: 2,200w 
  • Stated accuracy: +/- 1%
  • Controls: Wireless game controller for your bike’s handlebars for steering, braking and other game controls
  • Gradient: 25% simulation
  • Terrain: Akin to the Tacx road surface simulation to feel cobbles 
  • Other features: Downhill acceleration
  • Hypothetical pricing: £900 

Interestingly, the Zwift wheel also features what Zwift calls the ‘Z Cog’ which is a single cog design that looks to be the brand’s virtual shifting. 

Zwift Ride, £1,700

Zwift Ride 1

The Zwift Wheel is upgradable to the full Zwift Ride bike which is essentially Zwift’s version of a smart bike.

The specs are the same as the Zwift wheel, as it comes with the wheel included, but there are extra fit and frame aspects, which include:

  • Ability to rotate bike upwards/vertically to save space
  • Designed to fit riders 5′ to 6’6” (152cm to 198cm), including multiple adjustment points
  • Multiple crank lengths 
  • Hypothetical pricing: £1,700

If Zwift sticks to this hypothetical price of £1,700, it’ll be a rather affordable option compared to other top-end smart bike offerings currently on the market. At £2,999, Wahoo’s Kickr bike is much more expensive, while Wattbike’s Atom is more similarly priced but still costs more at £1,999.

ZwiftInsider.com received further interesting details from Zwift’s CEO Eric Min:

  • “The front wheel comes apart and could be replaced with one that has a riser feature included.”
  • “We’ll eventually have a fan that will be integrated into the front wheel which would be a way smaller footprint that other setups with a fan.”
  • “The other thing I will leak to you is the possibility of using your existing trainer with our frame. Now that would be pretty innovative!”

We’ll share more about Zwift's first hardware offerings including those on the expected release date when we get the information.

What are your thoughts on the features revealed so far?

Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.

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