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29 Sep 2022 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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15 Sep 2022

Zwift aims to shake up the smart trainer market with new Hub
BY Frances Marcellin

Zwift is launching smart trainer Zwift Hub on 3 October

Zwift is launching smart trainer Zwift Hub on 3 October
photo: Zwift

Zwift is launching its own brand direct-drive smart trainer, Zwift Hub, on 3 October in the US, UK and Europe.

Up until now, users had to buy a third party smart trainer to convert their bike, but they will now be able to meet that need with Zwift Hub.

“Getting set up on Zwift hasn’t been an easy process,” admitted Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder. “It can be hard to know exactly what equipment you need to Zwift, and that equipment can be costly. Zwift Hub will help us deliver our mission to make more people, more active, more often, by making it both easier, and more affordable to get set up on Zwift.”

Zwift Hub is the result of a partnership between Zwift and Jet Black. The Hub's design is based on its Volt smart trainer model. The company says that along with 1,200 hours of lab testing, its test riders have accrued 1,540 rides, 10,000 miles and more than 515 hours on the Hub since April 2022.

It comes with tools to help with assembly and connects wirelessly to a Bluetooth device and is designed to be quiet while in use (52db at 250W, which is similar to the noise level of a fridge). Users will feel resistance and gradient and it comes with a pre-installed cassette (8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 speed), which customers register during the purchase.

To ensure compatibility with users' bikes it has been fitted on 500 bikes (mountain bike, road, hybrid, and so on) across more than 70 brands. “There’s no doubt that Zwift Hub is going to disrupt the market,” said Min.

Zwift was founded in 2014 and is credited with transforming the tedious nature of indoor cycling with its gaming platform. As well as engaging in immersive training programmes and races, members can earn credits, called drops, which can be exchanged for virtual gear to further increase engagement and motivation.

In a recent roadmap release, Zwift announced that it would be launching route-based workouts, as an alternative to FTP (Functional Threshold Power) training, and would also be revealing ZRacing, a race series with badge rewards that can be completed in one hour (including cool down and warm up) to fit in with a user's daily schedule.

Zwift Hub is priced at £449 (US$499, €499).



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