Zwift Ride smart bike and Wheel direct-drive trainer; (image/Zwift)

Cycling App Zwift to Launch Smart Bike and Trainer

The  Zwift Ride smart bike and Wheel smart trainer are the tech company’s first tangible entries to the fitness market.

Zwift training equipment is vaporware no more. Late last week, the cycling app giant released a preview of its forthcoming Ride smart bike and Wheel direct-drive trainer to select subscribers in a purchasing survey email.

Initial images reveal a high-contrast paint job and glowing rims. The whole thing evokes some big-time Tron vibes. And sure, maybe Zwift’s equipment is just a high-end gaming console for big kids, but hey — at least it comes with health perks.

Zwift Wheel Direct-Drive Trainer

Zwift Wheel direct-drive smart trainer (still/Zwift)
Zwift Wheel direct-drive smart trainer; (still/Zwift)

The Wheel is a smart, direct-drive trainer that users can pair with tech-free bikes or the Zwift Ride. As with all direct-drive bike trainers, the Zwift Wheel replaces the bike’s rear wheel and attaches to the trainer’s cassette and axle.

According to DC Rainmaker, the Wheel smart trainer offers features similar to the Tacx Neo 2T line of trainers. But Zwift’s addition of its new Z Cog virtual shifting protocol could break the tie.

Virtual shifting on a smart bike means that because there is no chain movement between cogs, the gear ratio changes are done virtually within the resistance unit. Since the Wheel utilizes the owner’s bike, we are unsure what “virtual shifting” means in the case that the bike has its own derailleurs and cassette. Time will tell.

As part of the Wheel package, Zwift includes two wireless game controllers that users can attach to the handlebars of their bike. These controllers will control steering, braking, and other gaming actions.

Wheel Specs

  • Power: 2,200W (peak)
  • Accuracy: ±1%
  • Controls: 2 wireless handlebar game controllers for steering, braking, and shifting
  • Key Features: tactile gradient and terrain simulation, responsive pedal dynamics, downhill acceleration, Z Cog virtual shifting, smart-adjusting road resistance

Zwift Ride Smart Bike

zwift ride smart bike
Zwift Ride smart bike; (still/Zwift)

The Ride smart indoor bike takes after Zwift’s in-game bike design (the wheels even illuminate). Out of the box, the Ride comes with front and rear wheels, which suggests that the Ride will work with more trainers than just the Wheel.

As far as I can tell, the smart bike is not useable on its own; you’ll need a compatible indoor trainer to get anywhere.

Ride Specs

  • Power: 2,200W (peak)
  • Accuracy: ±1%
  • Controls: 2 integrated handlebar game controllers for steering, braking, and shifting
  • Key Features: smart-adjusting road resistance, immersive LED lighting, comprehensive adjustability to fit riders between 5′ and 6’6″, vertical storage, customizable fit for riders between 5′ and 6’6″.

Pricing & Launch

At the time of writing, Zwift hasn’t finalized pricing for the training equipment yet, but the company has released ballpark figures: $2,295 MSRP for the Ride smart bike and $1,215 MSRP for the Wheel trainer.

Both models should hit the market this July if all goes according to schedule.

For more information, head to zwift.com and follow @gozwift on Instagram.

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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.