Zwift adds massive mountain to virtual reality course

30min climb with snow, fog and HD vistas thrown in for good measure

Zwift, the indoor trainer videogame, added a substantial new mountain section to its virtual course, allowing riders to do a steady climb for about 30 minutes — and then bomb down the other side.  

As with the rest of Zwift, getting access to the game requires a $10 / £8 monthly fee, a bike, a computer, a trainer, a USB dongle and either a power meter, a speed/cadence sensor or a smart trainer. 

BikeRadar took a test spin of the new section using a Kickr smart trainer, and we were impressed by the quality of both the graphics and the simulated slopes, which hover around 6% for the main climb and kick to 14% for a little offshoot bonus climb at the top. 

Zwift mountain update

Zwift rides can be automatically uploaded to Strava and TrainingPeaks

While you don't need a smart trainer for Zwift, having the resistance controlled to match the course definitely adds a level of engagement. And with the mountain expansion section, it forces you to put out a decent effort, instead of just putzing along the flats.

Related: The best smart trainers tested and ranked

"The Mountain Expansion is the latest of many exciting product release scheduled for 2016 and as always, we’re determined to keep things fresh, do things differently, and build a uniquely evolving platform for our community of users and industry partners to benefit from," said Mike McCarthy, Zwift's vice president of partnerships.

One of the fun things about Zwift is the ability to customize your avatar and gear. Besides gender and skin color, you can also choose from different wheels, clothing styles and bike frames — including Pinarello and Specialized.

To get a BikeRadar jersey and bibs, press "P" once signed in and then enter 'BIKERADAR' to unlock our Cuore kit.

Zwift riders are doing an organized group ride on the new section today at 6pm PDT/ 8pm CDT / 9pm EDT. You can find other group rides at www.facebook.com/gozwift/events.

Read our full review of Zwift here.

You can change directions by pressing the down arrow key:
You can change directions by pressing the down arrow key:

The new 30min climb includes a trip through what looks to be an alpine german village :
The new 30min climb includes a trip through what looks to be an alpine german village :

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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