Zwiftcast

13
Dec

Episode 73: The One for Runners

This is a special episode of the Zwiftcast, dedicated to those who run on the platform. Some of you might ride too, but the focus here is wholly on running.

Mike McCarthy is one of the original Zwift execs who was a very early hire to the company when it was first set up.

Known as talented and successful cyclist, at Zwift Mike concentrated on a senior Business Development role, but recently he has been made VP of Running.

It’s fair to say Running has got off to a slow start on Zwift - so what does this appointment mean for Zwift’s Second Sport?

I hope the wide-ranging interview provides some answers. Hope you enjoy listening.

2
Dec

Episode 72: Special from DC Rainmaker’s Pain Cave in Amsterdam

Simon, Shane and special guest co-host Ray Maker, also known as D C Rainmaker, are together in person in Amsterdam to discuss all the latest Zwiftiness.

The three podcasters are gathered for Ray’s annual Winter Open House event where sports tech geeks get together over a few beers to discuss what’s hot and have fun.

Simon spends some time amongst this well-informed and enthusiastic crowd asking two questions: What’s Zwift doing well and where could it improve?

Elsewhere in this episode there’s a nice long chat with The Girl, Ray’s life partner and now business partner, on how the family and the blog is settling into life in Amsterdam.

Simon, Shane and Ray discuss the implications of Ray’s scoop story about Zwift starting its own hardware division and Ray gets to join the Zwiftcast’s Guessing Club on Peak Zwift.

The trio discuss just how much work remains to be done for eSports on Zwift to be successful and, after an interview with Peter Lago from Elite on whether the Italian company is a bit behind the pack in the Smart Bike race, the episode wraps up with Simon talking about his recent big decision: to get an e-Gravel Bike.

We hope you enjoy listening.

31
Oct

Episode 71: Rumble in the Jungle, Whither the Rivals and all the latest Zwifty chat

Simon, Shane and Nathan reconvene to discuss and analyse all the latest Zwift news and chat.

The podcasters get things going with a new take on the age old Kickr vs Neo debate, updated to the KickrBike vs NeoBike dilemma. If you have 3k plus to spend on a smart bike this will be of interest to you . . . . .Shane is one of the very few people in the world with saddle time on both, so what’s his verdict?

The Zwiftcasters move on to consider the demise of VirtuoGo, one of the rivals to Zwift. It has just announced that its number of subscribers is too low to be sustainable so the issue for discussion is: Can any of the rivals live with the well-funded, well-established, heavily-promoted Zwift?

Next it’s the Rumble in the Jungle - no significant game update would be complete without some Zwifters having a bit of a mona. Is the long-is lists of complaints about the increase in rolling resistance justified? The podcasters try to put it all in perspective.

Meanwhile, Simon has a problem with the stand-up/sit-down threshold changing to 80rpm . . . . has Zwift got this one right.

Along with a few more tidbits of Zwift stuff - including a review of the Keep It Together Group Ride functionality bu experienced Zwifter Christian Nistri - this is a busy edition of the podcast for Zwifters.

We hope you enjoy listening.

8
Oct

Episode 70: The Jeffers controversy, MTB hits Zwift and art for Zwift’s sake

The 2019/20 indoor seasons has started with a bang, or should that be a ban? The Zwift community has been convulsed by Jeffers-gate, the fining, banning and stripping of the first officially-sanctioned national e-championship from Zwifter Cameron Jeffers by British Cycling.

Jeffers’s account  was shown to have gained a Tron bike with the use of an ANT+ emulator . . . .and the news of the ban has polarised opinion. As the dust settles on a huge row for Zwift and e-sports, a row which has garnered international attention, Simon, Shane and Nathan give their positions and debate what it means for regulation and enforcement in the new world of e-Sports on the platform.

Elsewhere, the arrival of Mountain Biking and steering on Zwift has seen a plethora of DIY hacks for smooth movement of the front wheel . . . . which has caught the Zwiftcasters’ eyes and what do they make of steering?

Plus a change to the code in the game has made the Jungle circuit heavier going . . . if we dare mention it, the choice of bike and wheels has become even more important.

And finally news of a very ambitious artistic project which captures the visual richness of Watopia in a whole new way.

We hope you enjoy listening.

30
Sep

Episode 69 - ESports unleashed:The biggest development on Zwift since the platform launched almost five years ago

Simon, Shane and Nathan analyse what is the biggest development for Zwift since the platform launched almost five years ago - the reveal of the strategy for making eSports a reality.

The partnership with the UCI, unveiled at the World Championships, grabbed the headlines, but the fascination is in the detail. And the detail is on the Zwiftcast. Simon conducts a lengthy and searching interview with Zwift’s CEO of eSport, Craig Edmondson and the three Zwiftcasters subject his answers to scrutiny and analysis. It would be wrong to think that this development only affects racers on Zwift. As Craig reveals, the platform itself is likely to change to accommodate the huge ambition of eSport.

Elsewhere in the episode there’s a peek behind the curtain of the Draft House - the place that turned out to be the coolest place to hang during the rain-sodden World Champs in Harrogate.

And there’s a look at how successful Zwift’s huge marketing push over the summer has been.

We hope you enjoy listening.

9
Sep

Episode 68: Yorkshire launches, steering is coming and Eurobike wrap up

Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the latest in a busy year of course launches for Zwift as the Yorkshire UCI Worlds circuit lands in game.

This is personal for Simon, with Harrogate being his home-town, making him well placed to assess how well Zwift developers have replicated a place he knows well. The verdict: Good job Zwift! Shane and Nathan lend a little objectivity to the discussion.

The podcasters also discuss a huge development for the game - the imminent launch of not only steering but also an MTB course. 

There's a quick wrap up of a few matters of interest for Zwifters from Eurobike, including Wahoo's acquisition of Sufferfest; what may be next for the Garmin Tacx tie-up and the launch of yet another Smart Bike - this one promising something very different from the rest.

We hope you enjoy listening.

5
Sep

Episode 67: The latest tech for Zwifters from Eurobike

The smart bike revolution has finally arrived. Wahoo, Tacx and Stages all debut their all-in-one solution to indoor cycling. And in so doing, they lift the price tag of smart training. Are these good value, given you don't need a bike? Will they make indoor cycling more attractive to more people? Are they the game-changer long predicted as such by Zwift CEO Eric Min? Simon, Shane and Zwift Insider editor Eric Schlange try to provide some answers.

Zwift also announce the launch of FutureWorks, a test bed for new game features, with steering the first innovation to be opened up to the community for feedback.

Plus the launch of the MP1, the first rocker plate produced by a recognised trainer manufacturer is launched by Saris. 

This episode has interviews with movers and shakers in indoor cycling . . . .and some insight on THAT big big screen wowing all who pass the Zwift stand at Eurobike. We hope you enjoy listening. 

25
Jul

Ep 66: Zwift and Le Tour, an extension and a new course, The Fence reviewed and more

Simon, Shane and Nathan are back together for the first time in a few weeks to discuss all matters Zwift . . . with a departure or two towards a bike race in France.

Zwift and the Tour in fact coincide, with the platform launching a global advertising and sponsorship campaign around the TdF. The podcasters discuss the implications and hear from Zwift exec Laurent Jannau as to whether it’s working, and why Zwift decided to invest so heavily.

Ride leader Tim Searle has a review of The Fence, now that it’s been in operation for a few weeks. The Zwiftcasters round up a slew of news and moves in indoor training, including a thumping price rise at TrainerRoad. Simon and Shane predict what we might see of interest to indoor riders at Eurobike and the chaps speculate about when we might see a new extension to Watopia and a brand new course. Quite soon, they conclude.

We hope you enjoy listening.

28
Jun

Ep 65: A conversation with Zwift creator Jon Mayfield

In this wide ranging interview, Zwift creator Jon Mayfield makes a number of interesting revelations. Did you know Zwift is full of hidden features, yet to be activated? Which driving game does Jon feel has close parallels with Zwift? When is rowing coming? Will Zwift Run succeed? Are we going to see wholesale changes to Zwift's UI?

All these questions, and a good many more, are answered in this episode. I hope you enjoy listening.

23
May

Episode 64: New course surprise, the elusive Road Runner and the streaming “controversy”

This episode is a four-hander - with Greg Leo joining Simon, Shane and Nathan to discuss all the latest Zwiftiness.

The changed line-up was more by accident than design after Simon managed to incur a self-inflicted travel disaster on his plans to head for ZHQ . . . 

But as ever, there’s plenty to discuss and geographical boundaries have never held back the Zwiftcasters.

The foursome kick off by discussing what to most, if not all, Zwifters was a bit of a surprise - the new Giro d'Italia Prologue TT course. Pacing strategies can work well on this part flat/part monster climb course and Shane discusses his new toy for helping out with that

The chaps move on to discuss the new Zwift Terms of Service - which have put a few noses out of joint. The Zwiftcasters are pretty convinced there’s nothing to worry about for streamers with good intentions.

Have you seen the Road Runner? Zwift has a new entrant into its animal kingdom and the Zwiftcasters confess they’ve yet to manage a sighting.

Finally the podcasters discuss some changes to the Zwift code which will have a fairly significant effect on avatar behaviour both downhill and when the Aero Power Up is deployed.

Also: is it lingerie or laundry? You’ll have to listen to figure out that puzzle.

We hope you enjoy listening