Is Zwift changing the perception of indoor cycling?

Virtual cycling and running activities undertaken on the Zwift platform will now count toward select partner challenges on Strava.

This January the Zwift community logged an average of 1 million miles per day, with major events attracting up to 3,500 participants.

“Our community loves Strava. 75 per cent have connected their Zwift membership to Strava, accounting for 250,000 Zwift activities currently uploaded each week. These people are also passionate about riding and running outdoors, so it’s both fantastic and fitting that their Zwifting can count towards partner challenges on Strava.” commented Zwift co-founder and CEO Eric Min.

According to Min, Strava members that sign up to Zwift ride more: “Our research points towards Zwift being an additive factor to cyclists’ lives. Strava members signing up to Zwift, on average, cycle 10 per cent more per annum.”

“We know many of our athletes are working out indoors as well outdoors, and Zwift has helped make indoor workouts more fun and motivating for many of our members,” noted Strava VP of strategy and business development David Lorsch. “Enabling virtual riding and running activities to count towards some of our challenges will help even more athletes benefit from the motivation our challenges and Zwift provide. We’re excited to have this additional team of riders and runners participate in challenges on Strava.”

“There are zero junk miles training indoors. We’ve always known that, but getting athletes to train indoors has always been the problem. Zwift has changed the game and the world of cycling and triathlon has taken notice,” added Mathew Hayman, who won Paris-Roubaix after training on Zwift for six weeks whilst recovering from a broken arm. “My coach, Kevin Poulton, is adamant pro cyclists will be training more indoors than outdoors within the next five years. I’ve no reason to doubt that.”

Performance cycling apparel company Le Col is the first challenge owner to activate a Strava partner Challenge in Zwift. The British brand is hosting a ‘10 Hour Season Starter Challenge’. Those signed up to the challenge and complete ten hours of riding, either outdoors or on Zwift, between February 1st and the 14th will earn a £50 Le Col reward.

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