Zwift’s latest updates bundle new ways to level up, customize your avatar, and compete. You can also pair your Apple Watch as a heart rate monitor, and new jerseys and accessories have been added to the Drop Shop.
Level up, and do it faster
Zwift now has 100 levels, up from 60, and the leveling-up process has been tweaked so you can progress faster. More levels mean more items to unlock, and there are new jerseys and accessories to trade your virtual sweat for.
They’ve also adjusted pricing (perhaps they’re feeling the pinch of pandemic excess, too?) on bikes and wheels so you can get more for your virtual buck.
A new Streaks feature amplifies your earning and leveling when you ride more consistently. And they’re not asking for much…just ride at least two weeks in a row and you’ll get extra XP for the first two rides of each week in your streak. No limit on how long your streak can last, either, so you can level up your digital street cred faster.
The Climb Portal has new scaled versions of popular climbs. Choose the climb you want to do, many based on real-world climbs, then select the scale – 50%, 75% or 100% of the actual incline. Consider the first two as warmups, because once you complete a climb at 100% of its actual grade and intensity, it’ll unlock the option to ride it at 125%. Note that only the 100% scale will appear on Strava leaderboards.
Play Events & Ride Queues
The Zwift Play Beta is adding more events that incorporate steering, braking, and gamification using the Play controller that launched in June. The activities are also playable with other compatible steering devices.
For the planners, you can now create ride and workout queues through the Zwift Companion app. Browse the workouts and routes you want to do, then select and add them. They’ll appear on your Zwift home screen the next time you ride, making them easier to find and start.
Change your avatar’s gender
Don’t think your avatar represents you well? Now you can choose from all of Zwift’s available faces and hairstyles regardless of your profile’s selected gender. So, males can look like females and vice versa. Your racing category is still tied to your selected gender, so this is only about your avatar’s appearance, not which events and classes you can race in.
Avatar faces are also getting an update with crisper, more detailed graphics and dimensionality.
Apple Watch now works as a HR monitor
Pretty self explanatory. Just pair it in the Zwift Companion app like any other heart rate monitor.
Zwift Games, zFondo & more
The Zwift Games will run February thru March and let you race across five stages – 3 Sprint, 1 Epic, and 1 Climb. Mix and match, or do them all as one giant stage. Races run throughout the day, every day, so you can find a time that works for you and unlock new race routes, too.
The best racers will qualify for three Elite Championships Races and an overall championship classification. Eight champions will share Zwift’s biggest prize purse and unlock a special gold Zwift icon. All championship events will be broadcast live and participants will have pre- and post-race performance verification for every event. Full details on qualification coming December 15th.
The 2024 zFondo Series is bringing back the Bambino, Medio, and Gran Fondo distances, and each one has it’s own theme. The first round is done, but you can still join the Holiday Fondos (Dec 29-31) and New Year’s Fondos (Jan 26-28), each unlocking their own special kit.
You can also join the Rapha Festive 500 by riding 500km between Christmas and New Year’s, this year combining both real-world outdoor miles and indoor virtual miles, er, sorry, kilometers to hit your goal. Do it and you’ll unlock a Festive 500 jersey in Zwift. Sign up on Strava and make sure your Zwift rides are posting to your Strava account to make them count.
Want more? Here are other things coming up:
- Fitness Jumpstart: 8-week training program with Kristin Armstrong
- Tour de Zwift: Opens up new routes, badges, and their first-ever bucket hat
- L’Etape du Tour de France on Zwift: July group ride on one TdF stage w/ training fondos and plans starting in February
- New event: In February they’ll announce an all-new tour with new badges & unlocks for March
Time to get that torture chamber spruced up, eh?