Like any worthwhile endeavor, Zwift has a learning curve. Even experienced cyclists will find they have new equipment to set up and software settings to understand. Less experienced cyclists have even more to learn, as they must also wrap their minds around new training terms, group ride etiquette, and more.
Here’s our first in a series of posts with real tips from real Zwifters. Thanks to the Zwift Riders Facebook group for supplying their best tips!
Get a fan with a remote control or voice-activated start. Trust me.Christina Json
We like wifi power strips which allow you to turn each socket on and off from a phone app. Here’s one we recommend.
How to use power ups in races.Trevor Leavitt
PowerUps are fairly simple to use, once you understand the basics. And they can really help in races! Read our guide to powerups in Zwift >
How ERG mode works and what the spiral of death is.Kimberly Ann Potter
ERG mode is used for structured workouts in Zwift, and makes your trainer behave very differently from standard “simulation” mode. Learn all about ERG (including the spiral of death) here >
Always always check for an update before you do a group ride or suffer maybe not being able to see chat, be sent on a completely different route from everyone else, or get kicked out of the ride.Christina Json
Running an outdated version of Zwift can lead to unpredictable behavior. PC & Mac users typically get updates installed automatically, but iOS or Android users may want to check for updates just to be safe. Learn more about updating Zwift from this post on their blog >
How to turn off the blurry vision mode for workouts and turn on the power and heart rate graph.Michael Flanagan
The blurry vision mode is under Menu>Settings>Workout Pain Effect. Power/HR graph can be enabled by hitting “G” on the keyboard, or clicking in the middle-bottom of your screen and clicking the graph icon.
To sign up for the Everest challenge right away. I rode for over a year with no challenge selected.Greg Johnson
If we had a nickel for every time we’ve heard a Zwifter lamenting their lost elevation! Entering the Everest Challenge is smart, because completing that challenge is a necessary first step toward unlocking the Tron bike.
How to give out the mega-thumbs up in the Companion App. I rely on Zwift heavily for the social aspect, and that’s the easiest way possible to show support for other riders.Kevin du Manoir
Share the love: read “Giving Multiple Ride Ons via Zwift Companion” for tips on hanging out those thumbs to many riders at once.
When to use aero tuck on downhills.Tom Quinn
I wish I hadn’t taken so long to realize that I didn’t just have to start riding in Watopia or Guest Worlds without choosing one of the many available Route options. Guided exploring of where I go (and completing route badges) is so much more satisfying than just riding somewhat aimlessly as a noob. Select a Route and go!Jeffrey Cory
Many new Zwifters don’t grasp the guest world setup and/or their ability to select a route. Poke around on the main join screen (the one you see just before beginning your activity) and learn how to select which world and route you’ll be riding!
Use 3 second average power.Erik Wolfe
This option is under Menu>Power Display. It doesn’t change your power numbers at all (that’s up to your legs!) but displays your power averages across 3 seconds, instead of instantaneous numbers. This provides a more stable and useful number since instantaneous power will jump all over the place.
zwifthacks.com will show you if a ride has the fence, late join, and other super useful information.Christina Json
There are actually several tools for browsing Zwift events and filtering/searching them to find just what you want. ZwiftHacks is one of our favorites, but read “6 Tools for Finding Your Perfect Zwift Event” for more tips!
I wish I had known how insanely corrosive sweat was.Tobi Yarbrough
Yes! Read “Don’t Let Zwifting Damage Your Bike” for more info.
That you can’t outride a bad diet.Jeff Cottrell
Preach it, Jeff. A personal trainer friend of ours likes to say, “Six-pack abs are made in the kitchen.” Further reading: Zwift for Weight Loss: Diet and Nutrition >
Always have a spare towel for sweat within reach for when you drop the first one.Lisa Stranc Bliss
Oh, we’ve been there, and that’s the worst!
That a dumb trainer doesn’t give hill resistance.Robert Mearns
It’s true–dumb trainers don’t do much of anything, really! Read “Smart Trainer vs Dumb Trainer – What’s the Difference?” for more info.
What About You?
What do you wish you’d known when you started Zwifting? Comment below, and we may include it in a follow-up post!