This piece has been made in association with Zwift.
The whole point of Zwift is to make our cycling lives easier, to reduce the variables of unwanted conditions like traffic lights, bad weather and potholes, and to permit us a structured, smooth ride.
It’s surprising, therefore, that it’s taken Zwift so long to build their own home trainer, but now that they have entered the market, they’ve constructed something that is as smooth and as trouble-free as their software, which has revolutionised cycle training.
The Zwift Hub not only looks like a slick, polished home trainer with its neat, compact size and rounded edges, but it amalgamates everything into one package, ensuring we have everything we could possibly want and minimising glitches and software connections.
No stone has been left unturned in Zwift’s quest to make this the default home trainer for users of their software. In the research and development phase, the company tested more than 500 bikes from around 70 brands, ranging from the smallest frame sizes of 45cm to the largest of 63cm. The result? All compatible with the Zwift Hub.
In keeping with the product’s purpose of being user-friendly, reliable and dependable, the buyer informs Zwift just before purchase of the number of gears on their cassette (8-12 speed), and before it’s boxed up, the company installs the chosen cassette. As soon as it arrives at the cyclist’s home, they can be set up and be riding in Watopia within minutes.
This is a big deal because previously, setting oneself up on Zwift has been an exercise in shopping. First comes the bike, then the home trainer, and then additional and necessary compatible pieces to complete the set-up. It’s costly, and time-consuming. The Hub, however, is a centralised home trainer that has everything; its name, we feel, is perfectly apt.
There’s more, too. More than 1,200 hours of lab testing – that’s the equivalent of Jonas Vingegaard riding the 2022 Tour de France 15 times – has led to a seamless riding experience, one that replicates the outside world very well indeed. Ascending – the maximum gradient is 16 per cent – descending and drafting are all faultless imitations.
It’s also a smart trainer that is able to accurately measure your effort and rhythm. Power, speed and cadence are the three fundamentals of indoor training, and the Zwift Hub packs in sensors for all three. There is a maximum watt capacity of 1,800, and unless you’re a very good track sprinter or a very fresh pro road sprinter, you won’t come close to touching that. It’s nice to know that the Zwift Hub has the capability to cope with whatever our maximum effort may be.
The covering of all angles, of all necessities and requirements, was fundamental in Zwift’s product design, and they’ve accomplished it with aplomb. Best of all, it sits in a price range affordable to most.