Zwiftcast

12
Jan

Episode 41 - Zwift Grows! The coming club portal and trainers sound tested

The Zwiftcasters welcome 2018 with lots of chat about the Zwift getting bigger – in both senses. The roads are longer, with the London expansion, and the roads are busier, are thousands of new Zwifters flooding on to the platform.

Simon, Shane and Nathan try to make sense of it all – and look at the statistics, combining insight, public information and naked guesswork to try to assess the scale of the Zwift universe.

Meanwhile the chaps discuss the Surrey Hills expansion. It may not be as visually spectacular as recent developments, but there could be some very interesting business reasons behind the new roads.

The consequences of growth is a continuing theme as Simon sits down for a chat with Zwift’s VP of Events, Charlie Issendorf. Amongst other things, Charlie reveals that the Zwift HQ is seriously considering limiting entry to some events – Shane sniffs a clever marketing ruse. Charlie also reveals that a “club portal” is soon to launch, giving benefits like private rides and club kit to qualifying groups.

Simon puts three of the best trainers, the Neo, Drivo and Kickr into the Zwiftcast sound lab to get a rounded picture of just how loud or quiet are the competing top offerings from Tacx, Elite and Wahoo.

ZwiftQuest could be a whole new way of Zwifting – it’s competitive but it’s not a conventional race. Simon talks to ZwiftQuest pioneer Jonny Noblett.

And finally the boys riff on When Good Rides Go Bad.

23
Dec

Episode 40: Lotto Soudal launch on Zwift, Academy Winner, Zwift Insider and more . . .

Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with the last Zwiftcast for 2017. It’s the usual mix of Zwift news and features – kicking off with a report from Belgium, where Zwift was involved in the team presentation by Lotto Soudal. Simon was there and caught up with sprinter, Andre Greipel, breakaway specialist Thomas de Gendt and Ladies rider Puck Moonen, Zwifters all.

The Zwiftcasters discuss how it may be best to marshall group rides on the platform when they’re led by pro riders . . . .for whom 3w/kg is barely breaking a sweat!

A new pro for next season is Tanja Erath, the winner of the women’s Zwift Academy 2017 – Simon catches up with her for a chat.

Next there’s a bit of a debate as Simon and Shane amicably disagree (and Nathan carefully referees!) about two things: should we be careful about “fake news” around Zwift and should Zwift CEO Eric Min continue to offer his personal tech help desk to Zwifters?

The very successful zwiftblog has changed its name to zwiftinsider. Simon catches up with the man behind the site to discus the name change and the continuing evolution of the community resource.

There are an ever-growing number of clubs on Zwift – and one of the lesser known ones does much to both promote group rides and raise money for a very deserving cause. Simon catches up with Caewlin Brown, the leader of Sprint and Spin . . . . and finds out why he has a red bucket by his trainer.

And that’s it for 2017 – thanks everyone for listening or watching and see you in 2018.

13
Dec

Episode 39 - Rocker plates, virtual Everesting and all the latest Zwift news

Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with another episode packed with Zwift news and gossip.

Are we expecting to see new features, especially the London extension, pre-Christmas? The Zwiftcasters read the runes, before revealing what their ideal Christmas present from the Zwift developers would be.

Do you sing while you’re Zwifting, or do you only have enough breath to lip-sync? The Zwiftcast launches a fun contest to find the best lip-sync Zwifters.

No sooner had the price rise fuss died down than another storm rolled in across Ocean Boulevard, with ZHQ’s decision to cancel a crit race series, just as it was about to conclude. Zwift exec Emily Mullen explains the reasoning and talks about the debate over women’s racing which the decision sparked.

CVR, the organisation which promotes racing and live event and is headed by prominent Zwifter, Frank Garcia, has launched a whole series of new initiatives. Simon asks Frank some tough questions about the developments and CVR’s relationship with Zwift and Zwifters.

The Zwiftcasters discuss the possible reasons why Strava may have ignored virtual miles in its end-of-year round up publicity and speculate about the relationship between ZHQ and Strava.

If there’s one thing the Zwift community is really good at – it’s Zwift hacks, and the latest upsurge in DIY fixes has seen several Zwifters build their own rocker plates, which permit the trainer to simulate outdoor riding more accurately. Simon rounds up the various approaches and the podcasters discuss the possibility of rocker plates being made commercially.

This episode rounds off with a look at vEveresting, possibly the hardest thing you can do on an indoor trainer.

28
Nov

Episode 38: The price rise and much more

After a tumultuous week or so in Zwift-world, the podcasters are back to discuss the price rise and its aftermath.

Simon, Shane and Nathan first of all lay their cards on the table and then analyse a detailed interview with ZHQ’s marketing chief, Steve Beckett, which reveals the fine detail of Zwift’s thinking on subjects that arose in the extended and passionate debate after the announcement.

A consumer psychologist, from outside the Zwift bubble, gives his verdict on the handling of the announcement.

There’s plenty of coverage of the whole subject given its importance both to the company and the community . . . but there’s lots more in this Zwiftcast.

The Zwiftcasters hear from the winner of the Men’s Academy Ollie Jones and consider whether, in the light of the price announcement, the funding of these schemes is something to admire, or the opposite.

Leah Thorvilson, the winner of last year’s Women’s Academy, is on the ‘cast for a catch up as she enters her second season.

In any other week, the arrival of Zwift on Apple TV would have been a very big deal. The Zwiftcasters wonder why the announcement seemed so low key and go on to consider the merits of Zwift on ATV.

Zwiftpower.com is undergoing some changes as the race results service readies itself for a crackdown on cheating. The podcasters wonder whether data confidentiality and privacy issues could leak out of the narrow world of virtual bike racing to influence, for example, a prospective employer.

Pro rider Laurens Ten Dam makes a quick appearance on the Zwiftcast to talk about how he’ll be extending his popular wake up rides to lead a ride on the WBR Zwiftathon on December 2nd, where the community is targeting one million miles ridden to raise money to get kids on bikes in Africa.

And finally, the chaps have some fun with a post on a cycling website which suggested that “Zwift is killing cycling”. A light-hearted end to a meaty podcast.

9
Nov

Episode 37 Zwift CEO Eric Min Special

This episode is devoted to a conversation with Zwift chief executive Eric Min.

It’s a wide-ranging look at where the platform is in terms of fulfilled potential and how Zwift is preparing for growth this winter.

Eric updates Zwiftcast listeners and viewers about the number of customers and how the business is coping with churn. There’s also an illuminating discussion on what’s planned for course updates. Simon and Eric go on to chat about the Draft (nailing a few myths along the way) Racing, the Academies and Voice. In the Quickfire Questions section Eric answers many of the most often-asked questions from the community.

It’s a fascinating insight into what’s planned for the platform and the business – right from the very top.

If you'd like to watch the interview on YouTube just go here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOzkvS2en28&t=6s

 

 

27
Oct

Episode 36 AUDIO

It's out! The long awaited and eagerly expected extension to Watopia has just been released and Simon, Shane and Nathan are on hand to give their verdicts and discuss the community reaction. There's lots more as well in this edition of the Zwiftcast, with quick catch ups on ex-Academy winner Leah Thorvilson, Zwift HQ's own world champion Mike McCarthy, the launch of a huge new race series from Zwift and this year's Academy contest reaching its next stage. Once they've dispensed with the Jungle Run - and that's no small task - the Zwiftcasters move on to discuss the dawning of Zwift as a re-seller of trainers and the launch of Group Workouts - and what that last feature may say about Zwift's future. Is the platform planning to go head to head with Peloton? Simon pays a home visit to the world HQ of the fabled Aussie HDR ride and, finally - Simon decides to voice his views on a certain squirrel! Judging from the reaction of his fellow Zwiftcasters, Scottie looks safe! Hope you enjoy listening podcast fans. 

15
Sep

AUDIO - Episode 34

Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the ever-changing and vibrant happenings in Zwift. It’s trainer season so the manufacturers are busy with new launches, upgrades – and keeping up with demand. The Zwiftcast trio assess the “world’s first Smart Bike” from Wattbike, in the shape of the Atom. Verdict: looks pretty tasty but with availability limited to the UK initially, Zwifters in other parts of the world are going to have to be patient.

There’s news on the action Elite is taking to stem the shortage of their popular and highly-rated new trainer, the Direto and some interesting chat from the Zwiftcast hosts on the relationship between Smart Trainer ownership and the likelihood of staying subscribed to Zwift.

The podcast has a new regular feature starting which should help Zwifters with their nutrition questions. Professor Asker Jeukendrup is exceptionally well-qualified – and a bike rider and triathlete to boot. We meet Asker this episode and look forward to how he can help Zwifters fuel training.

A new update has just landed, and Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss its merits – as well as looking forward to what they believe will be a transformative arrival. Group Workouts are due soon and all three Zwiftcasters are very excited.

Next the chaps move on to discuss what’s shaping up to be a runaway success – the Zwift Academies. With 10,000 riders now enrolled in both Academies, the Zwift exec charged with keeping everything on track, Tom Hargreaves, talks about the challenges – and discusses what might be coming next in this area.

The Zwiftcasters polish off this episode with a discussion of “shenanigans” around the wild card entry for the Aussie e-crit final and the thread on Reddit which discusses Zwift – from a perspective beyond the boundaries of the mainstream Zwift community.

2
Sep
15
Aug

ZC Espresso - Chatting with D C Rainmaker

Ray Maker (D C Rainmaker) is the most influential - and powerful - sports tech blogger in the world. His verdict on new products is respected by millions and many make the decision to purchase or reject a product after analysis of Ray's detailed and rigorous reviews.

 Ray talks to Simon frankly about the dilemmas which such influence produces and how he deals with it. Ray also talks about his relationships with sports tech companies and the need to be balanced and responsible in the face of the unexpected - like when a drone caught fire on his test bench.

A geat insight into the way Ray works.

15
Aug

Episode 32 AUDIO

Simon, Shane and Nathan are back to discuss a very busy period for Zwift news and chat. This episode is available in both audio and video versions.

The chaps start off discussing customisation, outlining their avatar policies and deciding that the new customisation features are much more fun than they ought to be. . . . . for grown men and women. Was “Ponytailgate” a thing? Listen to find out what the trio think.

There’s a quick rattle through all the other Zwift news, including the billionaire on the super yacht in a Zwift T shirt; the emergence of Running; the influence of the new influx of pro riders for recruitment of new subscribers to the platform and the appeal of working at Zwift as the company continues to hire new staff.

Long-time Zwifter Casey Schumm discusses the prospets for Zwift Running in the podcast’s first feature on the new way to Zwift.

The widely-respected sports tech blogger Ray Maker makes another appearance on the Zwiftcast, this time talking about the challenges and rewards of building a business and a new life in Paris.

Simon, Shane and Nathan go on to discuss the ethics and pitfalls of reviewing sports tech products – pertinent given the imminent holding of Eurobike, the world’s biggest bike show, and an occasion when we expect a number of new products of interest to Zwifters to be unveiled.

The final recorded feature on this episode is with coach Kev Poulton, who analyses the effectiveness of probably the best known interval in cycling, the 2x20.

The trio round off a lively and varied episode with a serious discussion about what the advent of a large prize purse for the next CVR World Cup event in Paris may mean for virtual bike racing. . . a fascinating area to discuss.

We hope you enjoy either watching or listening to this episode