Specialized Roval Climbing Challenge Announced

Specialized Roval Climbing Challenge Announced

Zwift has just rolled out the first-ever “Specialized Roval Climbing Challenge” – a celebration of top-notch climbing gear taking place over 11 days (July 20-30) and 4 mountainous routes.

These rides aren’t official races. Rather, Zwift says they’re giving us “every advantage” so we can work to set personal bests on the most iconic climbs in the game. That includes double draft, and a super light bike frame and wheels. Let’s dig into the details of this unique series

New Frame and Wheels

All events will highlight the new Specialized Aethos bike frame and Roval Alpinist CLX wheels, which will be available in the Drop Shop for purchase before the events kick off.

  • Aethos frame: the lightest production disc-brake frame ever made, weighing in at just 585 grams. Read more >
  • Roval Alpinist CLX wheels: the lightest road clincher wheelset Roval has ever made. Read more >

Zwift’s event writeup says, “We’ll be setting you up with one of the fastest climbing wheel and frame combos ever tested on Zwift.” Riders will be equipped with the new frame and wheels during the events, but must purchase them in the Drop Shop if they want to keep them in their garage.

Note: We haven’t been able to test the new frame and wheels on Zwift yet, since they weren’t released at the time of this post. But we expect to get our hands on them soon. Will there be a new king of the Alpe? Watch this space!

Event Details

The setup for these events deviates from the typical Zwift series. From July 20-30th, Zwift is hosting a Climbing Challenge ride every 2 hours, and there are four routes to choose from for each event:

Road To Sky

Test your legs and lungs on the iconic ascent of Alpe Du Zwift. 3,399 ft (1,036 m) of climbing. 21 hairpin turns. The terrain changes dramatically as you zig-zag your way up the mountain ridge and enter unchartered territory.

Learn all about the Road to Sky route >

Ven-Top

Take on the biggest climb in Zwift. This route is just up, up, up from the start! How long will it take you to climb all 5,033 ft (1,534 m) of Mont Ven-Top?

Learn all about the Ven-Top route >

Mountain 8 with Epic KOM finish 

Combining the Epic KOM and Radio Tower climb, Mountain 8 serves up 1,968 ft (600 m) of intense, leg-busting climbs. Dig deep and think happy thoughts all the way to the custom finish—you’re almost at the end. (This event uses a custom shortened version of the route, which ends at the Epic KOM banner.)

Learn all about the Mountain 8 route >

Lutscher

A lollipop route, Lutscher offers a considerable lead-in that puts you to work immediately, having riders climb to the summit in scenic Innsbruck, before doing it again, totaling 2,700 ft (823 m).

Learn all about the Lutscher route >

Prizes and Unlocks

Complete any event in the series to unlock the Specialized SL Air Fade jersey in game. (It’s also available IRL).

You will also be entered into a prize draw to win a set of Roval Alpinist wheels (MSRP $2500USD). Earn an entry for each and every event you complete. The more you ride, the better your chance of winning! Terms and Conditions apply.

Questions or Comments?

Share below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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Sherpa Dave
Sherpa Dave (@dashton)
10 days ago

Time to head for the hills… it’ll be interesting to see if the new stuff changes my usualmclimbing setup.

M. D. S. Günther
M. D. S. Günther
10 days ago

Bit of a conspiracy here, but the fact that the Bridgestone frame was not faster than the Cannondale Evo or the Spec. Tarmac but exactly the same makes me think that there were politics at play. I am sure that Spec. Would like their Aethos to be faster than the Tarmac though. As for the wheels there is a lot of ‘free space’ between the lightweights and the Enve 3.4. I can’t imagine that the former will be dethroned, so my guess is 2nd best climbing wheel. As for the event, I just got my Tron during the Grand Prix… Read more »

Daniel Connelly
9 days ago

It’s hard to believe Zwift would put Roval clinchers above Enve 3.4 tubulars, which are at least 100 grams lighter IRL.

M. d. s. Günther
M. d. s. Günther
9 days ago

I have to say not only am i unaware of any real life specs but i also don’t know how those translate to in-game. My feeling was always that, within reason, Zwift can do whatever they and the manufacturers feel like.

Daniel Connelly
4 days ago

So far I think Zwift has more or less followed a reasonable performance ranking, with some notable but later rectified exceptions (Tarmac Pro, Canyon Aeroroad). If a bike does clearly better IRL, it probably does better in Zwift.

🇵🇸
🇵🇸 (@azrlrazk)
4 days ago

bridgestone not faster cannondale evo or spec tarmac? i thought bridgestone same level with other 2. should i bought them?

Daniel Connelly
10 days ago

In particular, each of the 3 top climbing bikes (tie between 2013 Cannondale Evo, Specialized Tarmac Pro, and Bridgestone Anchor (:)), are rim brake bikes on Zwift. So will the Aethos shoot past these frames,or simply take its spot among the leaders, being the only disc brake bike in the group? (Canyon might have an opinion about that…). As to the wheels, I’d expect the Rovals to still rank behind the Edge tubular wheels, and certainly behind the Lightweights.

Tim Perkin
Tim Perkin (@tperkin)
9 days ago

If people want to test out the Mountain 8 race route, ready for the Zwift Event you can join my Monday Mountain Massif TT at 12pm CEST and 7pm CEST.

Hanscel
Hanscel
9 days ago

Pumped. About 10km from Tron and 7 Alpe rides from badge, so happy to see these rides for some company up the Alpe.

Brian
Brian
9 days ago

Events every two hours and choice of all four routes. Thank you Zwift, for listening and providing more event options!

Temps 09
Temps 09 (@quatre24)
9 days ago

The companion app is showing vent top instead of la reine. Which is different from zwift as on the events and here. A bug to work out for the app.

David Rowe
David Rowe
2 days ago
Reply to  Temps 09

The route is actually Ven Top, not La Reine – which was a bit of a surprise, as it’s 2,000 feet more climbing!

Shawn
Shawn
9 days ago

No LA Reine on the sign ups for Tuesday (Ven-Top is there). Also shame they aren’t giving the bike and/or wheels away (will wait to see if this bike is faster then the TP and how fast the wheels are before buying them). Might also wait to purchase both items for a few months to see if Zwift HQ decides to host another event to give these items away for free as I have been burned way to many times in the past to want anymore burns. Regardless getting the kit is going to hurt, lol.

temps 09
temps 09 (@quatre24)
9 days ago

Good prep for norsemen event which is right after this event series.

A J Gemperline
A J Gemperline (@ajgemperline)
8 days ago

Will it out climb theTarmac Pro? Will the wheels be better than the Milesteins or the Zipp 353 or the Enve 3.4? We all know how quickly the Canyon AeroRoad suddenly got slower and cheaper..

Xavier
Xavier
5 days ago

A-1 lap
B-1 lap
C-13.9 km
D-1 lap

Good luck picking the one you want. Just hope they follow the same sequence as in the description, and if you go for the B lap, if you go straight up, you’re on the Ven-Top…

Rocketman
Rocketman
4 days ago

There only seems to be signup options for the first 24 hours starting in a few hours. Any ideas when events will be created for the other days.

Rocketman
Rocketman
4 days ago

Any ideas when the rest of the events for the other days will be up??

Daniel Connelly
4 days ago

My B Ride was just Ventop, not La Reine. The bike for purchase has a level 34 unlock (I’m 33…) and costs around 930k drops. So that certainly suggests it’s the new best climbing bike. I managed to produce significantly more power, and a faster time, than my previous PR, so that must be the bike…

Temps 09
Temps 09 (@quatre24)
4 days ago

Did the epic reverse/radio tower ride and event had the group on MTB. Using the ride as pre race day ride and the ride was listed as C race not ride. That was easier then two trips up innsbruck climb for the D race/ride on lutscher route. So so something is off the rating on the rides and how it is going into Zwift power.

Garth
Garth
4 days ago
Reply to  Temps 09

Yes, the results on zwiftpower are foobar as the event is currently set to enforce WKG boundaries.

Dustin
Dustin
3 days ago
Reply to  Garth

I emailed zwiftpower about this since the event CLEARLY shows 1.0-5.0 for all categories and now there are mass disqualifications, was quite clear in my specific concerns, and even included a screenshot of the companion app showing as much. All I got back was a form response that I violated w/kg rules and explaining what that means ( which I had already explained why that didn’t apply here )

le sigh

Daniel Connelly
1 day ago
Reply to  Temps 09

As of Thursday 22 July, this problem persists (https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=2204097). I’m good with it being tagged as a race (who doesn’t want race credit?), but clearly the power limits should not apply. This is generally an issue with Zwift — there should be a different specification for group and race category. Re-using the letters A-B-C-D is confusing. For example, one can imagine an event with multiple categories but multiple groups per category.

Cory Miller
Cory Miller
4 days ago

Eric, assume Lutscher is the official route and not an event modded route like Mountain 8 and therefore route badge unlock would apply?

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