The legendary World Cup venue gets an A-Line style jump line.( Photos: 10, Comments: 1 )
The year's biggest freeride mountain bike event gets underway in Utah The post Video: First Practice Session at Red Bull Rampage 2019 appeared first on Mountain Bike Action Magazine.
Mark Matthews rides one of his Vancouver Island trail creations on a dark and moody fall day.( Photos: 10 )
Jeremy Menduni gets creative in an urban landscape aboard is Knolly Warden
Happy Monday Frothers! ‘Tis the start of a new week here at Flow HQ, but sadly that means it’s also the end of the 2019 Cape to Cape over in Western Australia, which from all reports has been one of the most thrilling and successful editions ever. Mick has been out in the Wild Wild West for the past week shooting photos for the event, so for those of you who haven’t checked them out yet, make sure you get a look at some of the best shots over on the Flow MTB Instagram feed. While he was over there, Mick also papped some amazing shots of a very special custom Giant Anthem that was gifted to Brendan ‘Trekky’ Johnson to celebrate a very special milestone. That bike is a b-e-a-uty! There’s been plenty happening elsewhere too, with Norco having unleashed its brand new Optic, which is basically nothing like the previous generation Optic. Check out our video on the 2020 Norco Optic below to see what we mean; As well as new bikes, there’s also been a big development in the suspension world, with Giant Bicycles surprising everyone with the launch its new Crest 34 fork. We were one of the first news outlets to run a story on it, and from first glance, it actually looks like it could be a decent trail fork. Given that it’s manufactured entirely in-house by Giant, we wonder what Fox and RockShox are thinking right about now… There’s been heaps of other new product news over the past fortnight too. Stan’s NoTubes has developed a clever tubeless tyre repair tool called the DART, and Canyon has unveiled a bunch of new models within the 2020 Spectral range. We’ve also got our hands on a fresh Lux in for a proper long term review, so be sure to take a closer look at our 2020 Canyon Lux CF 8.0 test bike here. Say hello to our newest long term test bike – the 2020 Canyon Lux CF SL 8.0! Perhaps the most exciting story of the past week though has been the announcement of our latest competition, where you or one of your lucky riding mates, could win a 2020 Giant Reign 29er! No, that isn’t a typo – you could actually win a carbon fibre Reign 29, along with an epic weekend at the 2019 Cannonball Festival in Thredbo, worth over seven thousand dollars. If this is news to you, get entering right now for one of the biggest competitions of the year! With that important slice of news out of the way, it’s time to get stuck into this edition of Flow’s Fresh Produce – our regular product round-up article where we take a closer look at all the new test goodies that have showed up for review here at Flow HQ. Grab yourself a cuppa, sit back, relax, and enjoy! BikeYoke Divine SL Dropper Post The BikeYoke Divine SL is one seriously lightweight dropper post. German brand BikeYoke has been making waves in recent years with its superb Revive dropper post – a big favourite here at Flow. The Divine SL is a newer model from BikeYoke, though this one is firmly targeted at the weight-sensitive XC riders out there. Claimed to be the lightest dropper post in the world, the Divine SL features just 80mm of travel. That might not sound like much (especially alongside BikeYoke’s own 185mm travel options) but for XC riders and racers, 80mm is likely to be sufficient. The short-travel design means much of the internals of the Divine SL can be made significantly smaller. Along with a machined alloy body that has been relieved of as much excess material as possible, the Divine SL comes in at just 401g (31.6mm) and 388g (30.9mm) on our Scales Of Broken Dreams. The shorter internals mean the base of the Divine SL post is actually hollow, which isn’t unlike what you’d see with an XC fork from Fox and RockShox. Because of this, the Divine SL is cuttable – so if you’ve got sufficient room to do so, you could remove a few extra grams by slicing off part of the outer tube, just like you would do with a regular seatpost. Total length is 400mm, and the Divine SL is available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters. You can get a 2x compatible handlebar remote, or the 1X Triggy that we’ve received with our test post. From: MTB Direct (AUS), or BikeYoke (INTL) Price: $620 BikeYoke Triggy 1x Dropper Post Lever The Triggy X is BikeYoke’s dropper post remote, which is compatible with a wide range of cable-activated dropper posts. You can mount it via the standard bar clamp (shown), or via a SRAM MatchMaker clamp. To go with our Divine SL test post, we’ve got the BikeYoke Triggy remote. This is a 1X specific remote that sits underneath the left-hand side of the handlebar, and features an adjustable paddle as well as a SRAM MatchMaker compatible mount. If you’re running a Shimano brake lever, BikeYoke makes the Triggy in an I-Spec version so you can bolt it directly to the brake lever clamp. From: MTB Direct (AUS), or BikeYoke (INTL) Price: $85 BikeYoke Shifty A fancy fidget spinner? Ah that’s where it goes! BikeYoke’s Shifty is designed as an upgrade for SRAM 1×11 and 1×12 derailleurs. As well as dropper posts, BikeYoke manufacturers a whole range of upgrade components, including aftermarket shock yokes for existing Specialized and Canyon bikes (that’s where the BikeYoke name originates from). One of the smallest and most unassuming devices that BikeYoke manufactures is this little machined alloy wheel called the ‘Shifty’. What exactly does it do? It’s designed to replace the stock plastic wheel in the back of your SRAM 1×11 or 1×12 derailleur, which according to BikeYoke, can exhibit ghost shifting when riding through particularly wet and muddy conditions. The Shifty utilises a sealed cartridge bearing to provide smoother cable operation, and in theory more accurate shifting, regardless of the conditions. Available in a black, gold or red anodized finish, at the very least it looks rather snazzy! From: MTB Direct (AUS), or BikeYoke (INTL) Price: $50 BikeYoke Squeezy BikeYoke made the Squeezy to provide more even force distribution around frames and seatposts. It’s also quite light. Also in our BikeYoke test box was this little seat collar called the Squeezy. Made from CNC machined Al-7075-T6 alloy and featuring a Ti-6Al-4V titanium torx bolt, the Squeezy weighs just 9 grams (36.4mm size), making it exceptionally lightweight. BikeYoke says the Squeezy isn’t just light though, with a band-style design that makes it less prone to ‘pinching’ your frame’s seat tube and seatpost, and instead providing more even clamping force around the entire circumference. From: MTB Direct (AUS), or BikeYoke (INTL) Price: $45 AMS Honeycomb XL Frame Guard All Mountain Style makes a range of stick-on frame protection, including this XL kit we’ve applied to our Canyon Lux long term test bike. Arriving just in time to fit to our newest long term test bike, this XL Frame Guard kit from All Mountain Style (AMS) is one of three different frame protection kits from the Barcelona-based brand. Designed to shield your bike’s paint finish from rock chips and cable wear, the stick-on panels are made from high impact-resistant PVC that is sufficiently flexible for wrapping around curvy downtubes and slender seatstays. Automotive-grade adhesive is designed to create a strong bond between the guard and the frame. The XL Frame Guard kit comprises of a large panel for underneath the downtube – a particularly vulnerable area on any mountain bike – along with arrow-shaped panels to line the underside of the BB shell, and several rectangular strips for protecting the chain and/or seatstays. AMS also makes an XXL kit that comes with additional panels, as well as specific kits for fork legs, crank arms, and chainstays. From: Lusty Industries Price: $89.95 Hornit Clugs Weird name, simple bike storage. With a load of different test bikes on the go at the moment, this box of Clugs from Hornit has come at the perfect time to help with some storage organisation. Proclaimed as the ‘World’s Smallest Bike Rack’, the Clug is designed to help you store your bike vertically on a wall. Hornit makes an array of different Clugs to suit various types of bikes, with the smallest Clug suiting road bike tyres, and the XXL Clug suiting plus tyres up to 3.2in wide. Using a simple U-clamp structure that bolts straight to a wall of your choosing (wood or brick is fine, though not hollow plasterboard), the shapely Clug is designed to hug your bike’s front tyre. The weight of the bike isn’t supported by the Clug itself though – the Clug merely holds the front wheel to stabilise the bike, while the majority of the weight is supported by the rear wheel, which remains on the ground. Clever! From: Pushys Price: $24.99 – $34.99 Shimano Deore XT BB-MT800-P Press-Fit Bottom Bracket Shimano’s XT-level press-fit bottom bracket will soon be pressed into service *giggle* We recently received an SLX M7100 groupset from Shimano for a long term test, though one of the missing pieces of the puzzle is this press-fit bottom bracket. Designed specifically for Shimano Hollowtech II cranksets (all modern Deore, SLX, XT & XTR cranksets), the BB-MT800-P bottom bracket uses sealed cartridge bearings and resin cups for a smooth fit with alloy or carbon PF92 bottom bracket shells. From: Shimano Price: $49 Shimano SL-MT800 Dropper Post Lever The second dropper post lever in our list comes from Shimano. This one’s designed to bolt straight to a modern Shimano brake lever via the I-Spec EV system. Also joining the SLX groupset is Shimano’s under-the-bar dropper post lever. Designed to mount directly to a new-school Shimano left hand brake lever via the I-Spec EV mount, the MT800 dropper lever gets lateral adjustment via the single mounting bolt. A sealed cartridge bearing promises smooth actuation, and the cable-activated design is compatible with a wide range of dropper posts already on the market. From: Shimano Price: $89 Shimano RT-MT800 Disc Brake Rotors Fancy heat-fighting disc brake rotors from Shimano. More puzzle pieces, this time for the 4-piston SLX M7120 disc brake callipers. The latest RT-MT800 disc brake rotor sits at a Deore XT M8100 level, and uses Shimano’s Ice Technologies sandwich construction that sees a stainless steel braking surface mated to an alloy core for improved heat dissipation. The outer rotor is then mounted to a forged alloy central spider, which is hollowed out for weight savings. Look closely at the backside, and you’ll see a pocket designed to fit a speed magnet for e-MTBs. We’ve got both 203mm and a 180mm rotors with a Centerlock disc rotor spline, though Shimano also offers this same rotor in 160mm and 140mm sizes. There isn’t a 6-bolt version, though Shimano still makes those in the existing RT-86 rotor. From: Shimano Price: $89 (180mm), $105 (203mm) Shimano TL-BT03S Bleed Kit A basic tool to suit our basic mechanical abilities. And to help us get those SLX brakes installed and setup, Shimano sent us out the basic bleed kit that includes both the lever reservoir cup tool, and a plastic syringe for injecting fresh mineral oil through the system. We foresee some workshop beers and an epic Essential Mix playlist in our near future. From: Shimano Price: $40 Fox Defend Shorts Fox Defend shorts get a neat ratchet closure system for adjusting the waist. Fresh threads have just arrived from Fox Racing, including a tough looking pair of shorts that fall under the ‘Defend’ label. These are the regular Defend shorts (Fox also makes Defend Kevlar and Defend Pro Water shorts), which means they get an over-the-knee length using TruMotion 4-way stretch fabric, along with a ratchet closure system for the waist as well as zippered hand pockets. You can get these in Black, Cardinal Red and Maui Blue, with waist sizes from 28 up to 40, and there’s also a women’s specific Defend short too. From: PSI Cycling Price: $149.99 Fox Defend Gloves Possibly made from crocodiles, the Fox Defend gloves aim to provide protection and flexibility in one. For the paws we’ve got a set of matching Defend gloves, which combine protective panels over the top of the fingers and the back of the hand, with a thin single-layer Clarino® palm for flexibility and tactility on the grips. Available in four colours from Small through to XX-Large, From: PSI Cycling Price: $59.99 Fox Trail Cushion Socks Regulation height, non-regulation colour coordinating. Hipster roadies everywhere are twitching for unknown reasons right now. These are fancy foot gloves from Fox in the form of the 8in Trail Cushion socks, which we’re informed meet regulation height standards. Constructed from a 52% nylon, 37% cotton, 9% polyester and 2% spandex mix, these socks are meant to be breathable while providing a little extra cushioning under the heels and soles for all-day comfort. Available in S/M and L/XL sizes in three colour options. From: PSI Cycling Price: $29.99 Mo’ Flow Please! There’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post Flow’s Fresh Produce | The World’s Lightest Dropper Post, Bike Storage & An Upgrade For SRAM Derailleurs appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
Christina Chappetta gets her last laps of the Whistler Bike Park in 2019.( Photos: 1 )
Zwift is an online cycling game and training program that enables users to ride, train and compete in a virtual world. Aimed at eliminating the excruciating boredom of simply sitting on the trainer and staring at the wall, Zwift has exploded in popularity since its release in 2014. Zwift review Best smart trainers What is FTP for cycling? Indoor cycling is all the rage at the moment. It seemed like every cycling brand at this year’s Eurobike had something to offer this burgeoning market, including new indoor training bikes from Wahoo, Stages and SRM. There are a number of different indoor training apps available, but Zwift is arguably the most fully featured, and almost certainly the most popular – reports suggest that over half a million people have signed up for an account so far. eRacing is now a thing. While it’s obviously not the same as racing a bike out on the road, it’s a great way to get a hard workout. Zwift More and more features are constantly being added to Zwift, which is mostly great because it adds a lot of value to an impressive package. But it can also make knowing how and where to start quite daunting. There’s no need to worry though. We’ve done a mountain of research and have put together a comprehensive guide to the virtual training and racing platform. Here’s everything you need to know about Zwift. What is Zwift? Zwift is an online, interactive training and racing platform. Your pedalling on a trainer drives your avatar around a virtual course. The harder you pedal, the faster you go. Zwift has seven different worlds (more on these later), and within each you can navigate the roads as you go. You can ride with thousands of other riders inside Zwift. You can join group rides and races — and even get a draft from other riders — or just join the world and jump on with other riders when you want to. You can also do structured power-based workouts. It features a multitude of gamified elements that encourage you to ride longer and harder, with the goal of increasing your fitness. Zwift’s catchphrase is ‘Fun is fast’. How does Zwift work? There’s an app available for Apple TV, if you feel like setting up your bike in the middle of your living room. A smart trainer, such as the Wahoo Kickr shown here, will help you get the most out of Zwift. Zwift Zwift takes the input from your bike — either via a power meter, a smart trainer or just a speed/cadence sensor using ANT+ or Bluetooth — and uses an algorithm to translate your input data into your avatar’s speed on the virtual course. It takes into account your weight, your power or calculated power, the road gradient and the draft, or lack thereof, from other riders. You can use Zwift on a computer (PC or Mac), an iPhone, an iPad or an Android smartphone or tablet. Zwift is now also compatible with Apple TV, so if you’ve got one of those (and your partner/roommate doesn’t mind), you can set yourself up right in front of the TV. Is Zwift free? Initially, yes. Long term, sadly not. Zwift is free to try for seven days, but after your trial period ends it costs £12.99 / $14.99 per month to continue using it. What equipment do I need to use Zwift? The basic list of equipment you need is: A bike A trainer or a set of rollers An ANT+ or Bluetooth measurement tool: a power meter, smart trainer or speed/cadence sensor A computer, smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth or ANT+ (or an ANT+ USB dongle) You can set up Zwift on a compatible iOS or Android device. Zwift As the main source of input data for the virtual world, the ANT+ or Bluetooth measurement tool you use is really the key piece of equipment (after your bike, obviously). If you’re really committed to your indoor training (and have the required cash lying around), then you can get a dedicated indoor bike. Brands such as Stages, Wahoo and SRM now all offer fully integrated indoor training solutions for those looking to squeeze every last watt out of their virtual training and racing sessions. Zwift will use the data from your power meter to calculate your in-game speed A smart trainer is the next option. Like an indoor training bike, a smart trainer will measure your power directly and transmit that data straight to Zwift. Beyond simply measuring power, smart trainers are also able to simulate course gradients – changing the resistance according to the slope – and can be controlled by Zwift in Workout mode to make sure you’re hitting the prescribed wattages of a training session (again, more on this later). If you have a power meter, you can make do with any kind of trainer or rollers. Zwift will use the data from your power meter to calculate your in-game speed, but obviously you’ll miss out on simulated gradients and controlled Workouts that come with using an indoor training bike or smart trainer. A speed/cadence sensor is the most basic option and allows you to use your regular bike (with no power meter) attached to a conventional trainer. Zwift will then crunch the numbers to estimate your power. It’s not the most accurate or realistic option, of course, but it does have one major advantage: it’s the cheapest way to get started on Zwift. The Zwift Companion App for iOS and Android devices allows you to control your avatar and access other functionality such as messaging and joining events, without having to reach for your computer. Zwift How do I get started on Zwift? First, you need to sign-up for an account. On your Mac or PC, you can do it online at https://zwift.com/create_account. On a tablet or model device, you can download the Zwift app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, and sign up through that. You can sign up for a subscription (£12.99 / $14.99 per month) straight away or start a free 7-day trial. If you’re using a computer or Apple TV to use Zwift, we also recommend downloading the Zwift Companion app from the App Store or Google Play. This app puts a number of convenient features at your fingertips, such as changing the direction of your avatar, messaging other Zwifters and exploring Zwift’s events. Once that’s all set up, and you have the app running, you need to pair your devices. These should appear on screen as clickable options once you’ve woken them up. Next, you simply choose which world you want to ride in. What courses can I ride on Zwift? There are currently seven different worlds on Zwift: Watopia Bologna Innsbruck London New York City Richmond Yorkshire In addition to Watopia, Zwift’s ‘always on’ world, there is a rotating list of guest worlds such as London… Zwift Each of these worlds has a number of preset courses for you to ride, or you can just pedal freely around each map. There is a catch, though. On any particular day, there will only be two worlds available to ride. Watopia (Zwift’s original and most fully featured virtual world) and a ‘guest world’ (one of the others). ..and a futuristic take on New York. Zwift This might sound restrictive, but Zwift is designed to be a social platform, and this stops the user base spreading out too thinly across the platform. With this feature in place, you’ll always have other people to ride with (and against). If you want to know when a particular world will be available to ride, you can see the schedule for the coming month on the right of the World Choice screen. Zwift recently recreated the Harrogate finishing circuit from the 2019 UCI World Road Championships in Yorkshire, as a guest world. Zwift How do I join a group ride on Zwift? Once setup and ready to go, you can start exploring Zwift’s virtual world as you please, but there’s also the option to join a group ride. When you log in to Zwift, you’ll see a list of upcoming rides and races on the upper-right of the Mac/PC screen. On the Mobile Link app, you can see a more detailed list with descriptions, times and more information. You can also go to http://zwift.com/events/ for a full list. To join, just click the ride. On most group rides you can self-select the level of intensity, from A to D (we’ve outlined what these categories mean in the racing section below). Group rides are categorised to ensure everyone rides together. You can join group workouts via the Events page. On these rides, the group is tethered together, so as long as you keep riding, you won’t get dropped. Zwift If you are not yet riding, you can receive a reminder. If you are already riding and an event is starting soon, you can join, and when the start time gets close, your avatar will be transported to the start line, where you can warm up on a virtual trainer while waiting to start. In the start corral, you can see the other riders who will be doing the event, and your instant message chats will be seen only by others in that group. Most events have a ride leader who you can follow, and you can read their comments on screen as you go. For mellower rides, the group leader often communicates to keep the group together. Can I race on Zwift? Yes, you can race on Zwift. Doing so is as easy as joining any other event or group ride on the calendar – you simply choose a race from the events list, choose which category you want to compete in and sign up. Categories for racing are based on Functional Threshold Power (FTP), in watts per kilogram (w/kg): A = 4.0 w/kg and above B = 3.2-3.9 w/kg C = 2.5-3.1 w/kg D = 2.4 w/kg and below If you don’t know your FTP you can use one of the FTP tests available in Zwift’s Workouts page. Once you’ve selected a category and signed up for a race, Zwift will automatically take you to the race start when the race is about to begin. Have your water bottles, an XXL fan and towel ready, because if you have to stop mid-race, you’ll get dropped and left behind immediately. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get warmed up too, Zwift races are notorious for starting fast – some people even pump up the watts just before the start to get a jump on everyone else. Be aware that drafting is also thing even in virtual racing! Try to use this to your advantage, just like in the real world. What does w/kg mean? W/kg simply means ‘watts divided by kilograms’. It’s also known as your ‘power-to-weight ratio’, and it’s a key figure in determining performance on a bike in both Zwift and the real world. On a flat road, the absolute amount of power someone can produce is a key metric. But when the road goes uphill you also have to overcome the force of gravity, and the greater your total mass (body and bike), the more power is required to accelerate to, or maintain, a certain speed. Zwift uses your w/kg at FTP firstly to determine how fast your avatar moves in the virtual world, especially uphill With that in mind, the wattage you can produce per kilo of body weight becomes the key metric on any significant hill. Zwift uses your w/kg at FTP firstly to determine how fast your avatar moves in the virtual world, especially uphill. Beyond that, it also uses w/kg at FTP to set categories and intensity levels for group rides, races, workouts and training plans. As you might have figured out, it’s pretty easy to cheat the system by simply entering your weight as lower than it really is. But, as the old saying goes, you’d only be cheating yourself… What are PowerUps? PowerUps are one of the ways Zwift gamifies the platform. They give you either an immediate quantity of experience points (XP), or a way to temporarily boost your avatar’s speed. They’re awarded randomly whenever you pass through a start/finish, KOM or sprint arch. A bit like on Mario Kart, if you already have an unused PowerUp when you pass through an arch, you won’t get another. There are currently seven different PowerUps in Zwift: Large Bonus: Instantly gives you 250 XP points Small Bonus: Instantly gives you 10XP points Feather Lightweight: Symbolised by a feather, this reduces your weight by 9kg for 15 seconds. Best saved for use on a steep climb, where it will make the biggest difference to your speed. Truck Draft Boost: Symbolised by a van, increases the draft effect by 50% for 30 seconds. This is a PowerUp for riding at speed on the flats, where drafting has the biggest effect. Helmet Aero Boost: Reduces your avatars aerodynamic drag by 25% for 15 seconds. This is useful when riding solo on the flat or at high speeds. Breakaway Burrito: Makes you ‘undraftable’ for 10 seconds. Best used when trying to break away from a group. Invisibility: Symbolised by a ghost, this makes you invisible to other riders for 10 seconds. Best used when trying to breakaway from a group or solo rider – try to establish a gap before you reappear and everyone realises what you’ve done. PowerUps can be activated at any time by hitting the spacebar on your computer, or via the Zwift Companion app – just touch the on-screen PowerUp icon. Once activated, timed PowerUps will show a timer showing how long your PowerUp has left to run. If you’re in the middle of a structured workout, or on a TT bike, you can only acquire Small and Large Bonus PowerUps – so you can’t use them to make your training any easier, sadly. Can I use Zwift for structured workouts? There a lots of different training plans, all with a different goal. You can choose a broad plan for building general fitness, or choose something more specific. Zwift Absolutely, this is one of Zwift’s key features. Zwift has over a thousand structured workouts (which are essentially interval training sessions) to choose from – or you can build your own – and you can even sign-up for long-term training plans. You can choose a plan to target specific events or weaknesses, such as ‘TT-Tune Up’ – which, as the name suggests, focuses on the aerobic power and top-end fitness required for time trialling. Or there are broader plans such as ‘FTP Builder’, designed to increase your general fitness and Functional Threshold Power in a short amount of time. These plans have been put together by real coaches and are designed to be flexible, so if life gets hectic, you can easily move sessions around to fit in with everything going on in the real world. Zwift’s training plans can be adjusted for duration to fit your needs. Zwift All structured training on Zwift is based around your w/kg at FTP, so you really need some sort of power measuring device – a smart indoor bike, smart trainer or power meter – to get the most out of this feature. If you’re on a smart indoor bike, or a smart trainer, then there’s an option to allow Zwift to control the resistance in ERG mode. This will override any changes in course gradient, and change the resistance according to the specified wattages in the workout. This is a great way to ensure you’re hitting the prescribed wattage and getting the most out of every training session. If you don’t have a power measuring device, Zwift will try to approximate your power output using data from your speed/cadence sensor and information about whatever trainer you’re using. As these numbers are just estimates though, the training zones and data generated won’t be as accurate as they could be. How do I do a Zwift workout? To do a workout on Zwift, log in, then click on ‘Training’, underneath the ‘World Choice’ section in the middle of the window. This will open up a new window, where you’ll see two tabs. One for single workouts and another for training plans with multiple sessions. If you’ve already set your FTP, then you can simply select a workout and get going. If you’re new to Zwift, it’s worth doing an FTP test to get an accurate baseline figure for Zwift to base your workouts around. To try to prevent you from overtraining, workouts in a Zwift training plan only unlock after a specified amount of recovery time has passed. Zwift In addition to workouts that you do on your own, at any time, there are also scheduled group workouts. Like a group ride in the real world, these start at fixed times (so you have to sign up for them in advance via the events page) and involve multiple participants. Very much unlike the group rides and races, though, group workouts keep everyone together in a group. As long as you are pedalling, you stay in the bunch. The group chat function works well in group workouts As with the individual workouts, your efforts are based on your FTP. However, in group workouts, Zwift tethers everyone together so the end result is like being in an indoor cycling class: you are all following the same workout together, but at different individual efforts according to your fitness. The group chat function works well here, in that the only messages you see (and send) are pertinent to the group. How do I upload my Zwift rides to Strava? You can link your Zwift account with Strava, and ensure your efforts appear on the KOM/QOM leaderboards. There are two ways to do it. On the Zwift Companion app (on an iOS or Android device ) or via zwift.com. On the Zwift Companion app, tap ‘More’ in the bottom right corner, then tap into ‘Settings’. From there, tap ‘Connections’ and you’ll find Strava at the top of the list. Simply tap the + icon and you’ll be asked to enter your login details for Strava. Once that’s done, your accounts will be synced and your Zwift rides will upload to Strava automatically. Each world contains a multitude of virtual Strava KOM/QOM’s to post times on, including the monstrous Alpe du Zwift. Zwift You’ll know you’re connected if the Strava logo appears in colour and the + sign has changed to a tick. On zwift.com, the process is very similar. Login to your account, then click on ‘Settings’ in the top left corner. In settings, click on ‘Connections’. Click on ‘Connect’ under the Strava logo and enter your Strava login details when prompted. You’ll then automatically be directed back to Zwift where the Strava logo should now be in colour, instead of greyed out. How do I customise my Zwift avatar and bike? Yes, we’re all individuals! In Zwift you can customise the appearance of your rider and your bike. Head to the preferences section of the menu and you can toggle through a number of choices for how your avatar and bike look in the ‘Drop Shop’. As you ride and complete challenges, you’ll earn XP and in-game currency (known as Drops). As you level up you’ll unlock more bikes and wheels on which to spend the currency you earn. Be warned though, if you want the best bikes, you’ll need to put in a lot of hours on the bike (unless you’re willing to resort to more nefarious means). Zwift allows you to customise the look of your avatar and you can also spend in-game currency, earned through riding, on new bikes and wheels in the Drop Shop. Zwift Unlockable bikes and wheels are also more aerodynamic or lighter (and sometimes both) than the basic kit available when you start. So the kit you unlock will actually make a difference to your avatar’s speed in the virtual world, not just how it looks To get a BikeRadar kit, press “P” after you sign in and enter the code “BIKERADAR”. Or just navigate to the jersey selection and move the slider over until you find our Sportful kit. How do I chat in Zwift? When using a computer, press ‘M’ and then just start typing. Your messages will be seen by riders near you. When using the Zwift Companion app, you can use the Group Text button to chat with riders in your same group or race. You can also hit the chat box next to an individual rider to send a private message. The easiest way is probably using the talk-to-text function on an Android or iOS device. To do this, hit the mic icon after you have brought up the message box. Can I report riders for bad behaviour? On the whole, Zwift is pretty civil, but you might encounter a few problems. For starters, it is impossible to crash or be crashed by someone. If you feel like someone is acting inappropriately, you can flag them with the Zwift Companion app. You can also flag other riders for foul language, harassment or suspicious power output. This last category Zwift has set as ‘flier’ – basically meaning if you see someone flying past you at a sustained 8+ watts per kilogram, then something is up. Zwift has power profiles for world-class performances for various durations. So if a rider gets flagged, and Zwift looks at their file and sees they are indeed producing phenomenal power, then the rider will receive a message along the lines of ‘hey, you should be pro!’, with a recommendation to check their settings and a notification that their ride is invisible to other riders. That rider will still be able to complete their ride and see other people in the game, but they will just be invisible to others. Two things can cause supernatural power in Zwift: inaccurately entering weight (and thus altering that w/kg figure) or having a trainer improperly set up.