Zwiftcast

5
Mar

Episode 77: Richmond refreshed, Ella wins big and the Minterview verdict

Simon, Shane and Nathan convene for another hour-plus of Zwift chat.

The podcasters begin with their reaction to the big refresh for the Richmond course and conclude that it’s a huge improvement.

Throughout this episode Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the biggest and most significant aspects of last episode’s interview with Zwift CEO, Eric Min. Amongst the subjects forensically analysed and discussed are the pace of development on the platform; Eric’s unusual comment about “digital destinations” and the state of play with  trainer manufacturers’ innovation.

Simon also chats to Ella Harris, the NZ winner of the Zwift Academy who is now making a name for herself winning IRL races.

We hope you enjoy listening!

6
Feb

Ep 76: The Minterview . . . Zwift CEO and Simon in conversation

Simon sits down with Zwift CEO Eric Min for the now traditional “ask me anything” annual interview, covering a huge range of topics from the health of the company to, yes, the possibility of a velodrome. The conversation provides deep context and background on why some things happen, and why others don’t . . . . plus quite a bit on the pace at which things happen, or don’t, on the platform.

We hope you listen to the whole of the interview, but if there’s one subject in which you are particularly interested, maybe you’d like to skip to that first. So here is a log of where to find the topics covered.

00:00Hello and a word on transparency

01:45 Zwift’s new London office

02.45 What’s made Eric happy in the last year?

GENERAL ISSUES

04.30 Pace of development for Zwift

05.40 Peak Zwift and growth

07:15 Fun is Fast marketing campaign

09:40 Is eSports a massive, risky bet?

15.20 More on pace of development, specifically Game Development

19:50 Zwift’s new Hardware division

COMMUNITY ISSUES

27:15 Trainer Difficulty confusion

29.30 Juniors’ Racing

32:00 Race Categorisation/Sandbagging

38:30 Is eSport in danger of diminishing general user experience?

43:00 Family Pricing Plan

45:30 Zwifting for people with disabilities or different abilities?

47:20 Is Zwift listening to the community?

FEATURES

51:15 Steering

52:45 FutureWorks

54:00 Ghost Rider/PB Bot

56:25 World Switching Expansion

57:15 Workout Mode

60:15 Allow Saving Without Exiting Game

62:15 Hang out after end of ride

63:35 Velodrome

64:55 Can remote racing ever be credible?

68:15 What’s the next new map?

COMPANY

69.30 When will Zwift be profitable?

70:25 Future of running

73.05 Effects of lack of direct competition for Zwift

75:45 Marks out of ten for Zwift’s potential

77:55 Zwift’s carbon footprint

16
Jan

Episode 75: Peak Zwift (or is it?) Tour de Zwift and all the Zwifty Chat

The Zwiftcasters welcome in 2020 with the first episode of the new decade - and kick straight off with a discussion of what’s become a landmark in the Zwift calendar - Peak Zwift.

You can hear which one of the Zwiftcasters, along with special guest guessers, got it right.

The podcasters go on to discuss whether the second January in Tuesday really will be Peak Zwift this year. The game has a few initiatives upcoming which may see the current record broken. Stay tuned.

Is the update which restored  climbing cadence on Zwift from 80rpm back down to 70rpm a victory for the Zwiftcast? The boys are claiming it!

The Tour de Zwift is a huge event - more than 120,000 Zwifters took part last year and this year’s event has been eagerly awaited. The podcasters discuss the importance of these events to the community. We also have a feature with Zwift’s VP Media, Nina Caplin, who explains the aims behind the series of live streamed shows which run alongside the TdZ this year.

And we have a velodrome? Actually, we don’t. We have a running track. Simon talks to Zwift’s Mr Running, Stephen Cousins on how important the 400m track is for our running colleagues - and whether they might one day let the cyclists in!

We hope you enjoy listening.

20
Dec

Episode 74: Crit City + review of 2019 and hopes for 2020

Simon, Shane and Nathan convene for the final Zwiftcast of 2019 in both reflective and expectant mood. There’s plenty of looking back on what brought the podcasters Zwift joy in 2019 and a little on what they’d like to see for 2020.

There’s also reaction to Zwift’s pre-Christmas present of a new map - it’s short, but it’s fun. Crit City looks designed to appeal to the e-Sport crowd but should also please anyone who races on Zwift. The Zwiftcasters give their initial verdict and speculate on what they’d like to see added.

We hope you all enjoyed listening in 2019 and will join us again in 2020. Happy Holidays!

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.