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78 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
Episode 101: Shiny New Things!
Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the big new idea from Zwift . . . .This Season on Zwift offers Zwifters a taster of what’s coming up in the coming weeks and months. This is a big change of direction from HQ, which has previously kept future plans close to its chest. We now know we are getting a neon-fest of an extension to Makuri Islands. We know that there’ll be a new way to interact with the game with a much improved Home Screen. And we now know that Clubs is due to get a big jolt of new functionality. The Zwiftcasters discuss the upcoming new features and analyse the implications of what’s a big decision for Zwift in how it relates to its community. Game creator Jon Mayfield has given a rare interview to a Cycling Tips podcast and as always, when Jon talks, it’s worth listening. Simon, Shane and Nathan pick over Jon’s thoughts on his new role at the company and his thoughts on innovation in indoor cycling. The Zwiftcasters discuss possible new moves from putative rivals this winter before moving on to discuss Zwift’s burgeoning relations with the UCI and ASO and how those manifest as the big new sponsorship of, and revival of, the women’s Tour de France plus the staging of the official e-World Champs to be run on Zwift next February. Shane goes into rant mode about Zwift’s roll out of Strava’s Local Legends on the platform. He is not impressed! And finally the podcasters discuss the arrival of He Who Must Not Be Named on the platform - for real. Should the community embrace him? We hope you enjoy listening.
85 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Episode 100: A century of Zwiftcasts!
Simon, Shane and Nathan celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast which has tracked the progress of Zwift, our favourite virtual cycling platform, from the very earliest days. As a new indoor season dawns, the podcasters are in reflective mood, analysing what Zwift has got right, how sentiment in the community has ebbed and flowed over the past six years and how real friendships, including amongst the three podcasters, have been formed as we sweat over our trainers and talk turkey about riding a bike indoors. We hope you enjoy listening.
72 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Ep 99: Nathan braves a tornado as the Zwiftcasters chew through all the latest Zwifty news and chat
The three amigos are back together for the first time in a few Eps to chew through all the latest Zwifty news, chat and gossip. . . . in an episode recorded as Nathan nervously kept an eye on a tornado headed towards his studio! Simon, Shane and Nathan kick off with a review of the first interview from Zwift’s newish in post Chief Product Officer, YC, before meeting the Zwifter who accomplished the magnificently mad ride of 100 miles standing up. Prominent Zwifter Chad Tavernia goes one better chatting with Simon, promising to repeat the feat inside. Good luck with that Chad! The Zwiftcasters move on to discuss what can only really be described as a pretty chaotic game update in July - and Shane switches on rant mode. Auto-categorisation is a solution to sandbagging in racing long advocated by many Zwifters and now, thanks to Martin Carew at WTRL Racing, a nascent system is being tested in earnest. Simon checks in with Martin for a progress report. The Zwiftcasters round off Ep 99 with a chat on the latest tech, including Elite’s Rizer device and Zwift’s decision not to attend the upcoming Eurobike show. With an off-piste diversion into Speed Walking plus a little bit of news for runners on the platform, the boys wrap it up for this one. We hope you enjoy listening
57 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Ep 98: A Conversation with Zwift's Chief Product Officer - the man with the plan
Welcome to this Zwiftcast Special Episode, an extended interview with the company’s first Chief Product Officer. YuChiang Cheng, known to all as YC, was appointed in January and the move was hailed as “critically important” by Zwift’s CEO, Eric Min. YC was put in charge of what seemed like almost everything . . . .from game design and art, engineering, research and development through content programming and live operations, plus a bit more. It was clear that YC, whose background includes the development of the 28 million-player World Tour Golf game, was going to be hugely influential in Zwift’s continued growth and development. So what does he have planned? Was the rapid deployment of the much-requested Return To Home feature soon after YC joined a mere co-incidence or a sign of things to come? Is Zwift working on a brand new platform architecture? Will new features roll out faster? So many questions. Simon sits down with YC to see if the Zwift community can get some answers to these and lots of other questions. We hope you enjoy listening. 00.00-02.10: Intro, including rules of engagement 02.30: What was your last decision in your last meeting? 02.50:Give us your 60 second career resume? (SPOILER: It’s longer than 60 secs) 04.45: How did the opportunity at Zwift come about? 06.46: Do you ride a bike? 08.00: Have you identified areas where Zwift needs to change the way it works? 10.00: The Press release on your arrival stressed “accessibility” and “innovation”. What did that mean? 13.58: In seeking to widen accessibility there’s a feeling that the hard core cyclist will lose out to the casual fitness crowd. You are prioritising growth over development. How do you respond to that? 17.20: The last couple of updates have included “crowd pleaser” features. Is that your doing? 19.50: Is the company developing a Zwift 2.0? A new games engine? 21.50: So is Jon Mayfield, in his new role, working on a new game engine? 22.15: The golf game you were involved in featured performance improvements in exchange for payment. Will this ever be the case on Zwift? 23.10: Zwift Running has not been a conspicuous success. Is Zwift’s future multi-sport? 24.00: Why is hardware development so critical? 25.55: Zwift is neither agile nor nimble. Do you feel the need to address this? 29.10: Has recruitment of talented development people improved? Why not offshore development? 32.20: Tell me about your working relationship with Jon Mayfield? 34.30: We see a number of big projects announced - then grind to a halt. Why? 37.50: Pace Partners, as an example, were a huge hit. But development of them has been glaciallly slow. Why? 40.15. Racing: At pro level, it serves Zwift marketing well. At community level, tools, features and functions are slow to roll out.Fair point? 43.30: Why are some Zwifters on very high end machines seeing low frame rates on Makuri? Is this directional, or a glitch? 48.00 Will Zwift ever lock down certain features to its own hardware? 51.00: Zwift hardware. When are we going to see something? 51.20: What has surprised you, both upside and downside, since you joined Zwift? 52.35: Golfers or cyclists. Which is the most demanding community? 53.00: Does Zwift have a proper dialogue with its community? 55.10: Thanks and goodbye.
43 minutes | May 25, 2021
Episode 97: Yumezi - was it worth the wait? The community verdict
Well, was it worth the wait? Yumezi has landed - the first new map, and the first new world in Zwift , for quite some time. Eagerly-awaited, much-delayed but now finally here, what does the community make of the new Tarmac with a strongly Eastern flavour? The Zwiftcast abandons its usual format for a special episode soliciting opinion on probably the most beautiful world yet to be released by Zwift. Simon, Shane and Eric Schlange from the Zwift Insider have their say, but perhaps more importantly the Zwiftcast flies around the world to hear from prominent members of the Zwift community on their reaction to Yumezi. We also speculate on how the Makuri Islands might develop in the future. We hope you enjoy listening.
72 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Episode 96: Zwift Re-thinks Height/Weight Call; Zwift Hub Rescue and Zwifting in Jail
Simon, Shane and Nathan round up all the latest from Zwift. The podcasters look at what they believe to be a big first: Zwift has changed its mind over a plan to hide riders’ weight and height after an outcry from the racing community. Amidst other signs that Zwift may be extending its plans to consult the community on some planned changes, the Zwiftcasters discuss the significance of the decision as well as the thinking behind the initial plans. After a round up of the Zwift news, including an easy way to ride without the Heads Up Display, the saving of the Zwift Hub site by friend of the podcast Eric Schlange of Zwift Insider, and how an early precursor of Zwift was laughed out of the Dragons’ Den, the chaps move on to discuss an innovative move from sports superstore operator Decathlon. The company has rolled out an advertising campaign championing prisoners’ use of Zwift inside a jail in the Belgian cycling heartland of Oudenaarde. The idea came from advertising creative and avid Zwifter Frederik Clarysse. He explains how the initiative came about. Andrew Cotter - and his dogs Olive and Mabel - became global online superstars during the pandemic. Andrew, a sports commentator, is a keen Zwifter and Simon discusses how the platform has provided a valuable escape during the pandemic and lockdown. Finally Shane reveals that he is again the target of lawyers . . .after seeing off the Peloton briefs last year, now a German IP expert is after our Aussie friend - over 10 dollars worth of T shirts! We hope you enjoy listeing.
77 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Ep 95: Return to Home at last; Blob Behaviour and all the Zwifty news and chat
We’ve wanted it since Jarvis. And now it’s here. The Zwift universe celebrated this week as HQ finally delivered the ability to do a second or subsequent session - without exiting the game. Simon, Shane, Nathan and, as it’s a red letter day, special guest Eric Schlange, discuss the advent of the most requested feature of all time. Senior games guy Wes Salmon is on the Zwiftcast too - to discuss another sizeable development in the game this week - the tweaking of our virtual pelotons. The changes to pack dynamics, or blob behaviour, should make the Zwifting experience, smoother, more natural and more visually appealing. The regular crew and Eric discuss all the implications. r Simon also took the opportunity to quiz Wes on Sticky Draft - and his explanation may confound a few Zwifters who see it as nothing but a nuisance. In fact, it’s essential, as Wes explains. The podcasters run the rule over two big new appointments to the Zwift board - and read the runes on what their skillsets and experience may yield up about Zwift’s intentions. Simon also talks to a big new hire at Zwift, Lisa Bourne, whose brief includes, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Along with some chat about game events and participation, the podcasters once again debate the utility of The Fence - this time in light of Wes’s belief that the recent changes to pack dynamics may improve its performance. Concluding with a discussion about the disappearance of Zwift Transparency and the always-difficult subject of weight verification the Zwiftcasters get a bit serious before reverting to type as Simon complains his training plan is too hard :;) We hope you enjoy listening.
84 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Ep 94: Let's talk, say Zwift. Strava shake it up (again) and all the Zwifty news and chat
Simon, Shane and Nathan reconvene to consider the state of the Zwift nation. Once the pressing matter of “leg posts” is dealt with, the podcasters move on to discuss the content of Simon’s interview with Zwift’s new hire Mark Cote, the company’s director of programming and content. One of the many strands of Mark’s expansive new role, which he explains in some detail, is to improve the communications between community and company, a move that the Zwiftcasters believe will be welcome. There’s been yet another Strava shake-up on Watopia and the other Zwift worlds with a whole load of segments vanishing from the public view. Simon chats with Zwift Insider’s head of everything, Eric Schlange, on what it all means, how it came about and why it might be time for a re-think of how segments are made and managed. The podcasters range across a cornucopia of Zwift business including signs of Zwift restricting some hardware on some platforms for some users and the reasons why more women seem to be getting public sanctions for cheating in racing than men. Zwift has recently launched another of its social impact campaigns, this time celebrating the contribution Black athletes have made to the sport. Simon chats to one of the inspirational voices of the initiative, ex-racer and Zwift staffer Rahsaan Bhati. And in and amongst all that there’s lots of other Zwift-related chat. We hope you enjoy listening.
85 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
Ep 93: Peak Zwift, Coco is Cara! Zwift Power + all the Zwifty chat
A new episode for a New Year - and 2021 has dawned with, as usual, lots of Zwift news and developments for the Zwiftcasters to discuss.The trio start off with an exploration of the possible reasons why Simon’s very favourite pacer bot may have had an identity change. Coco is now Cara! But why? Simon has a theory. The podcasters move on to discuss the big new Peak Zwift - with more than 46,000 users on the platform concurrently the growth of Zwift over the past year can now be quantified, using this public metric. Up from a mere 16,000 concurrent users at the same point last year, Simon, Shane and Zwift celebrate the achievement whilst also exploring what it all means. Just in time for the Tour de Zwift’s six remaining stages, the game’s developers think they may have found a possible bug which could explain why some users (previously described by the chaps as “potato-owners”) have hit problems riding big events. Are potatoes off the hook? The Zwiftcasters chime in. A high profile departure from Zwift of a respected event organiser seems to have focussed some attention on the event management system - is a new hire at Zwift, combined with the drama of the departure, an answer to some of the gripes Event Organisers have? And Zwift Power has been having a tough time recently - Glen Knight, one half of the service’s inventors tries to shed light on what may be happening. Plus all the usual other Zwift news and chat! We hope you enjoy listening.
92 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
Ep 92: Where is Zwift going this winter? Plus the Worlds and what Coco said next
Simon, Shane and Nathan link up for another chat about all matters Zwift. And this episode the Zwiftcasters are preoccupied with one question: Where Is Zwift Going This Winter? They attempt to answer the question by examining the most recent information given out by Zwift CEO Eric Min who gave an interview to Bloomberg and revealed a few snippets during his Thanksgiving Day Ride. The Zwiftcast trio try to assemble the pieces of the jigsaw to see if they can come up with a big picture - but they freely admit, there might be some missing pieces that could change the final image! Simon interviews sports cardiologist Professor Graham Stuart, from sportscardiology.co.uk to look at some of the myths and truths around a subject of endless fascination to the Zwift community - Heart Rate. The chaps move on to discuss the first ever e-sports World Cycling Championships held on Zwift and how they saw the coverage, the racing and the introduction of a brand new metric. Finally Simon, Shane and Nathan hoover up a few other bits and pieces including Coco Cadence’s vocabulary, the slightly surprising revelation that only 25% of all Zwifters are American and whether the Shift Smart Trainer gadget might pull a few Peloton-ites in a Zwifty direction. We hope you enjoy listening.
79 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
Ep 91: Insight on the Pacer Bots from HQ, Ray Maker on indoor cycling and the gigantic success of WTRL + all the Zwfty chat
As the world waits - and much of Europe closes its doors - Simon, Shane and Nathan try to be upbeat in trying times and consider the Two Big Hits in Zwift right now. Pace Partners, or pacer bots, are a big success with Zwifters and senior games guy Wes Salmon, from HQ, talks to Simon about scope for development and some ideas being tossed around to make Coco, Dan and their pals even more bestie friends for Zwifters. The podcasters chuck in a few of their thoughts. Ray Maker, or DC Rainmaker, is one of the most respected voices in sports tech and Simon pulls out two big talking points around indoor cycling from Ray’s annual keynote address to the industry. The Zwftcasters have their say too. And whilst the success of the WTRL racing series may have been predictable, it’s made it no less overwhelming for the organisers. Simon talks to part of the leadership team, Martin Carew, about the headaches as well as the benefits of the TTT event that’s taking Zwift racing by storm. There’s just time for a bit of Zwift-related banter and as ever, the Zwiftcasters take up the challenge. We hope you enjoy listening!
88 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
Episode 90: Zwift CEO Eric Min discusses 2020 and Zwift's new thinking
Zwift CEO Eric Min guests on the Zwiftcast on Episode 90 to discuss some of the big changes that 2020 has brought to the platform. In an interview which is focused on this tumultuous year and on the consequences of the big new fund raise, Eric explains some company thinking. A flood of new users as the pandemic hit has caused Zwift to accelerate its plans to simplify the platform for new users. Simon grills Eric on what the consequences of this policy may be for existing users. Eric also discusses the decision to place Rowing on pause and his thinking around pricing. Eric also talks about what new investor Ilkkaa Paanen, the CEO of games company, Supercell, will bring to Zwift. Simon, Shane and Nathan reflect on Eric’s thoughts and speculate on how the new thinking may be implemented. Elsewhere there’s an interview with Zwift’s Jacob Fraser talking about the new Zwift Racing League. Oh, and swooping Australian magpies! We hope you enjoy listening.
83 minutes | Sep 3, 2020
Ep89: The big catch up! Steering, PacerBots, all new Academies, the eWorlds, The Fence and more
The Zwiftcast is back from its summer break - with a huge catch up as Simon, Shane and Nathan reflect on recent developments on the platform. Steering is the headline grabber, with a number of respected voices in indoor cycling describing its arrival on the roads of Zwift as a game-changer. Are they right? The arrival of the long-awaited Pacer Bots are welcomed by Simon, Shane and Nathan, who are all anxious to see more of them, more often and doing more stuff! The Academy programmes have just launched and with a big change to how they’re run, plus the addition of a Run Academy, Simon talks to the new coaching company devising the programmes and the associated supporting content. The e-Worlds will happen on Zwift and the Zwiftcasters have a wide-ranging discussion, taking in the undoubted huge publicity value of the e-sports events while addressing concerns from both the wider and the racer community. Would Shane and Nathan make it as recruits to the new Zwift ambassadorial programme which pays experienced Zwifters to solve other Zwifters’ tech issues? The boys play a silly game to find out. We hope you enjoy listening!
81 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
Ep 88: La Belle France and the Tour virtuel + all the Zwifty chat
La belle France est arrivee! Simon, Shane and Nathan celebrate the arrival of brand new roads in Zwift. The inaugural Tour de France Virtuel, itself a landmark in the history of the platform, has co-incided with lots of new Tarmac - always a good moment for Zwifters. The Zwiftcasters pick out their favourite bits as well as giving their overall impressions of the new roads to ride. We have an interview with Zwift marketing grand fromage, James La Londe to get some insight into the importance of the vTDF and later in the episode, ASO, the owners of the Tour de France talk about why this deal made sense to them. Simon, Shane and Nathan play a silly game - assigning marks to the various new road painted slogans that have sprouted in Zwift - with the award of a Yellow Jersey and a Lanterne Rouge. And we have an interview with Freddie Ovett, the Israel Start Up Nation rider who has lit up the racing so far in Stages One to Four. Getting the narrowest of second places on St 2 and a great win on St 4, Ovett discusses Zwift, Power Ups . . . . and his dad. The Zwiftcasters chew over the big improvements in race coverage, with new broadcast tools getting their debut in the vTdF. And of course there’s always room for more teasing of Simon over his continuing Tron Bike Fail. We hope you enjoy listening.
65 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
Episode 87: New Roads to Ride? TdF on Zwift and all the Zwifty chat
Could we be about to get a series of new roads to ride? Simon, Shane and Nathan assess the impact on Zwifters of the (as yet officially unconfirmed) news that Zwift is to stage a virtual version of Le Tour de France, complete with the IRL planned start and finish stages in Nice and Paris. Perhaps more excitingly, there is speculation that the talk of a “marquee climb” may be a new TdF climb, rather than the existing recreation of L’Alpe D’Huez. If so - and it’s still an “if”, which one might it be . . .Simon boils down the likely choices and the Zwiftcasters decide which one of those candidate climbs it might be. Taco Cat has made a name for himself with his occasionally bizarre, and very frequent, posts in the Zwift forums online . . . .Simon tracks down Taco Cat to his lair to find out more about his owner, Craig Hulce. Despite an uninvited guest in the form of a large and very noisy jackhammer directly outside Zwiftcast Central, the podcasters push on to discuss the recent Race for Heroes and how successful and entertaining the charity event was. Could this be a pointer towards the chase format figuring more strongly in Zwift racing? Zwift CEO Eric Min has been named as the 30th most influential person in cycling . . . . did Cycling News’ Power List get this right?. . . . .the Zwiftcasters discuss. Pride Month has seen a whole series of events across the platform spreading the inclusivity message and Zwift has backed the initiative with a substantial donation to Athlete Ally, an advocacy group. Simon talks to the organisation’s executive director Hudson Taylor. Finally the Zwiftcasters wrap up the episode with a tech round-up, including a plea to Strava to sort out the “long straight line” quirk which would, for example, make linking rides in Paris and Nice not possible on Zwift. We hope you enjoy listening.
75 minutes | May 29, 2020
Episode 86: Game Updates, the massive success of Team TT and all the Zwifty chat
The Zwiftcasters are back - coinciding nicely with a game update and Simon, Shane and Nathan have lots to discuss. Simon chats to Steven Milliken, one of the founders of the WTRL race series which is making team time trialling into a massive thing on Zwift. The promoters’ difficulties with data privacy have now been resolved and Steven discusses how the small team manage the huge demands from Zwifters wanting to time trial together. The Zwiftcasters follow up Steven’s interview with discussions on how people who donate large amounts of time to the community may be able to get their costs covered. We have a new Power Up in game - the Steam Roller and the chaps discuss how this might best be used. Simon talks to Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, the standout rider from the Tour For All race series. Ashleigh has some fascinating thoughts on how Zwift racing can advance the cause of women’s racing. In a fun spot, Simon asks Shane and Nathan to turn interviewers and find out why he’s spent the last few weeks stranded in Girona. The role switch experiment is not entirely successful! In the final feature Simon talks to Tri coach Phil Ellison about how changes made to the coaching regimes as a result of Lockdown are likely to become permanent because they’ve been so successful. There’s a few other bits of Zwifty chat - including the continuing saga of Simon’s lack of a Tron bike. We hope you enjoy listening.
74 minutes | May 6, 2020
Episode 85: Zwift beyond the crisis; Private MeetUps and Boost Mode plus all the Zwifty chat
Simon, Shane and Natahn return for more chat on the latest in Zwift. This epsiode, Steve Beckett, Zwift's Chief Marketing Officer, is a special guest, with lots to say on Zwift during and beyond the crisis, plus thoughts on Family Subs, Club Functionality and community racing. The podcasters range across the new Boost Mode in game; how Private MeetUps could be revolutionary and the current Tour For All. There's also an interview with Guy Voisin, the head of cycling at Eurosport on what changes he'd like to see in game to make racing a more appealing TV proposition. We hope you enjoy listening.
24 minutes | Apr 28, 2020
Episode 84: Celebrating the Zwift Community
A special episode featuring the very best of the Zwift Community in these lockdown times. Simon talks to BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin about the overwhelming response to her charity ride on behalf of the NHS. Louise tackled an imperial century - in the company of more than 1,500 other Zwifters. Simon also chats to Jason Dyck, the Canadian coach who organised what’s thought to be the first ever group ride for para-cyclists on Zwift. It was a resounding success and will now become a weekly fixture. And finally Simon gets to know a little bit more about Netto Smith, the South African Zwifter who’s become a bit of a star because of his joyful videos riding Zwift in Lockdown. We hope you enjoy listening.
58 minutes | Apr 22, 2020
Ep 83: Pro Riders on Zwift, the good and bad; Monica is the Route Hero and the Pants Podium!
Simon, Shane and Nathan reconvene for Episode 83 - and to celebrate a minor victory; the return of the famous First Attempt Very Intens Strava segment on Zwift. Simon has a little insight into how it happened. Lionel Birnie, one of the co-hosts of the popular Cycling Podcast joins Simon for a chat about the recently updated Meetups in the game and to discuss what the prospects may be for a return of IRL bike racing this year. The Zwiftcasters spend a few minutes riffing on the behaviour of pro riders in Group Rides on Zwift, ranging from the exemplary . . . to the not so good and the chaps have a few thoughts on how things may be improved. Monica Schlange, writer for Zwift Insider, is recovering after her monumental Route Hero achievement. Simon talks to Monica about the best bits and the hardest bits. Do we even need to see The Fence back? Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss whether self regulation on Group Rides has settled into something acceptable. And the podcasters round off this episode with awards made on the Zwiftcast Pants Podium . . .jeans, track pants and all day pyjamas . . . . who’s wearing what and why? We hope you enjoy listening
62 minutes | Apr 15, 2020
Episode 82: Anti Sandbagging "catches' the boss! The Ineos Weekend and Cops called to Zwifter!
Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with another of the weekly round-ups of all matters Zwifty The podcasters kick off with a brief discussion on the Ineos Weekend - and the loss of the legendary First Attempt-Very Intens Strava segment, thanks to the ride logging app’s clean-up. Owen Newbury talks about his awesome scheme to project Zwift on the side of his house, then the chaps have a light hearted discussion on whether Zwift CEO was “caught” sandbagging before Zwift Insider’s Eric Schlange gives his reaction to the early tests of the measures. There’s further discussion of the Ineos events and streams before an interview with Keith Jardine who was taken by surprise when the police were called to him Zwifting in his garden shed. Finally Simon talks to acclaimed ride leader Sharron Yaxley on passing her 100,000kms on Zwift milestone. We hope you enjoy listening
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