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Zwift Reimagines the Indoor Trainer With All-New Ride Bike

Zwfit Ride Full bike with rider
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The Zwift Ride isn’t a trainer, and it’s not a bike. So what is it? It’s an ‘always ready’ add-on to your trainer setup that instantly brings you to the pointy end of Zwifting. Let’s dive deeper. 

Zwfit Ride Full bike with rider
(Image/Zwift)

What is Zwift Ride?

The team at Zwift has always been vocal about getting more riders (and runners) on their virtual training platform. This new gear offering comes right after a hefty hike in subscription costs, mind you. Zwift feels that the barrier for training comes mainly from gear and a consistent setup that best expresses the platform. 

Zwift Ride Bike

(Image/Zwift)

Essentially – the Ride is a round-up of Zwift’s greatest hits packaged with a fairly user-friendly design. The Zwift Ride incorporates all of Zwift’s recent technology: Zwift Play controllers and Zwift Core (one cog) trainer with virtual shifting, packaged in an easy-to-use/adjust bike. 

The new Zwift Ride is like a ‘smart bike’ and pairs a Zwift Smart Frame with a Smart Trainer (Wahoo Kickr Core). This setup provides an entirely dialed-in Zwift experience without any loose ends from the equipment standpoint, ‘Ride On’ button and all. 

“We’re on a mission to make Zwifting easier by reducing the cost and complexity of hardware. Zwift Ride brings all the advantages of a smart bike at an incredibly affordable price. It’s clean, quiet, incredibly simple to set up and adjust, and can be shared with any member of the household. Importantly, when I look at my Zwift Ride, it looks like it belongs in my home. I’ve been riding mine for many months, and I can’t wait to share the experience with other Zwifters!”

Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder
Zwift Ride crankset
(Images/Jordan Villella)

Zwift Ride Design Features 

The main goals when designing the Zwift Ride were simplicity and ease of use. Part of that includes the ‘Frame Key’, basically a cool-looking orange 6mm tool. Riders will use this ‘key’ to set up and adjust their Zwift Ride; it’s the only tool needed to assemble the entire bike. 

Once you build the bike, you can store the Zwift Key in the top tube. A rider can readily access the key to adjust the fit (and will not run off with your tool bench). 

Zwift Ride Fit Card
(Images/Jordan Villella)

What Size Can Zwift Ride Fit? 

The saddle height, bar height, and reach are all adjusted via three clearly (orange) identifiable points on the frame. Zwift says the Ride smart frame is suited to riders between 5ft (152cm) to 6ft 6 inches (198 cm), but riders can quickly find their fit using the included (super smart) fit card. 

Zwift Ride rider view
(Images/Jordan Villella)

Zwifts Great Hits 

The integrated handlebars offer an updated version of the Zwift Play with dual control pads and levers that feel like a mix of SRAM and Shimano hoods. The shifters give you complete control of Zwift from your handlebars, like the Play controllers. Riders can navigate menus, give RideOns, or deploy PowerUps with an easy-to-reach button. Riders can configure the new buttons at the base of the Zwift Ride levers to provide additional shortcuts, like Ride On’s and PowerUps – perfect when sprinting for the line! 

How do the shifters shift? Virtual shifting on the Zwift Ride is silent and uses a simple ‘up/down’ button configuration. The Ride frame is equipped with a track/BMX-style beefy chain. The virtual shifting, paired with the one cog, is smooth and consistent. The Ride offers gears suited to every Zwift terrain. Zwifters can even select their preferred shifting style—Shimano, SRAM, or sequential. 

Zwift Ride with bottle
(Images/Jordan Villella)

Like a Bike But Not 

Every bike needs a place for water bottles, and the Zwift Ride is no different. The Ride has two bottle cages with easy-to-use “lift-out cages.” The tray at the bar junction also offers a place for the rider to place food, phones, or controllers. The removable/washable rubber cover is non-slip, flat, and perfect as a feed zone. 

If you’re a tablet Zwifter, you can purchase an additional tablet holder for $50. It integrates with the front of the bike tray and securely holds the tablet via a quick-release fixing strap. 

Zwift Ride with Kickr Core Pricing and Availability

Pricing: $1299.99, €1299.99, £1199.99,$1,999.99 CAN,$2,299.95 AUS

  • Register early interest on Zwift.com today at zwift.com/shop/products/zwift-ride-kickr-core.
  • Zwift Ride With KICKR CORE will begin shipping on 26 June, 2024. 
  • Available in the USA, EU & UK via Zwift.com & Wahoofitness.com, Available in Canada and Australia via Wahoofitness.com only
Zwift Ride boxes
Images: Jordan Villella

Zwift Ride First Impressions 

When I received the Zwift Ride, I was excited to see what a “Zwift Smart Bike” would be. I was pleasantly surprised and slightly confused when I opened the box; “this was like a full-on bike.” The deeper I dug into the gear, the more apparent the intentions were, and the more excited I got to assemble this machine. 

Zwift Ride bike box opened
(Images/Jordan Villella)

The Zwift Ride unit ships in two pieces or three pieces if you don’t already have a Kickr Core. One is a box for handlebar assembly, and one is for the bike. Both come in typical Zwift style (I say that is a good way) and are easy to assemble. All the Zwift products I’ve encountered have easy-to-use instructions or videos that walk you through anything you could have questions about; the Zwift Ride is the same. 

Zwift Ride hb box opened
(Images/Jordan Villella)

Zwift Ride Assembly

Assembly is easy and requires swapping your freehub body to the Zwift Cog (included). After that, you install the Zwift frame on the trainer. The Zwift Ride uses a thicker track-style chain and has a built-in chain tensioner.

You push the tensioner unit down to slack out the chain and then up to tension it—very simple. 

Attaching the seatpost, bars, and everything else was intuitive and easy to figure out. The bars have an excellent sliding ‘stem’ that allows the user to adjust the reach and dial in their size quickly. The fittings are hidden under the rubber mat, out of mind and out of sweat’s reach. 

The stock saddle on the Zwift Ride is a mix of a Specialized Power saddle and a Pro Stealth. It’s very comfy, and I haven’t swapped it out yet, I’m actually into it.  

No More Cross Threading

The bike comes with flat pedals with grip tape. They are easy to install using the Zwift key. Zwift also added extra anti-cross-threading graphics on the crank arms to ensure no mistakes while installing the pedals. The crankarms themselves are a fantastic feature. Though they aren’t adjustable for length, they have a nice pant and chain guard. These little helper notes speak to the ‘everyone can ride this indoor bike’ feeling Zwift is looking to cultivate. 

Zwift Ride bottle cage empty
(Images/Jordan Villella)

Beefy Frame for Zwift Power

The stiff frame responds well to any power you lay down, especially with the thicker chain. The front “wheel” is a unique piece that is sturdy and offers a slight amount of mobility from side to side if you push it. It may look weird, but it feels solid enough.

I’ve spent some time on the bike and am still gathering my impressions, but it’s a straightforward unit to use. You can easily hop on and start rocking if you’re familiar with the Zwift Play controllers and the Zwift universe. However, the fit takes some time to dial in, as the shifters are slightly long, users might want to dial them closer to feel more comfortable. 

Look for a full review and breakdown of the Zwift Ride, but as far as we discovered, it looks like a tremendous indoor training option that takes you from noob to expert quickly. 

For more information, check out Zwift.com

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17 Comments
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Dolan Halbrook
1 month ago

I wonder if they’ll be selling the bike by itself at some point.

Dolan Halbrook
1 month ago

As I understand it the COG works with any normal freehub body, so I could see the bike setup by itself having value with existing trainers like my OG Tacx Neo. That said, they’d probably need a way of turning off the grade simulation hardware for trainers that can’t handle a moving axle.

Andreas
Andreas
1 month ago
Reply to  Dolan Halbrook

grade simulation? the zwift ride looks like it has a fixed height front end/”fork”

Dolan Halbrook
1 month ago
Reply to  Andreas

I seemed to see somewhere that it had the Kickr Climb functionality built in but maybe I’m just imagining things.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

How long are the crank arms? Not having multiple holes to adjust from 165 through 175 seems like a miss.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

170

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Was thinking the same. I don’t see any possibility of setback adjustment either

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

All fine until the aluminum handlebar corrodes from sweat and the bottom bracket needs replacing.

JMV
JMV
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

You can use any handlebar (or replace if it corrodes)… and every bike has a BB. So what’s your point?

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

What are the alternatives? Steel? Carbon? Gotta be real about it…

Roberto
1 month ago

You young folks are spoiled. Remember LSD?
Long, steady, distance training. Now I’m old and tired, legs mostly spent. Ahh, to have had intelligent training as a young rider. I’m sure devices such as this will help one have a long career in cycling.

Nasz
Nasz
1 month ago

Not sure how you class this as “Zwift Reimagines the Indoor Trainer”, Its just another bike trainer, but locked into one platform. Talk about sensationalise the content

Pollymath
Pollymath
29 days ago

This seems like a great lower cost option to those of us who want increased adjustability across multiple riders, but don’t want to spend the premium of $2000-$3000 for a smart bike. You’re also not locked into a trainer who’s support may dry up tomorrow.

My only concern is that the adjustability and fitment may not be as great as a Kickr Bike, Stages SB, Tacx Neo, Wattbike etc. My wife and I would like to share a smart bike and so those adjustments needs to be easy and quick between us. It’d be great if a more locked-in or semi-permanent adjustment knob or wrench could be fitted to the seatpost collar and stem slider.

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