Zwift has introduced in-game drivetrain upgrades from CeramicSpeed – the Danish drivetrain efficiency experts best known for its oversized pulley wheel systems – for riders who enrol in May’s CeramicSpeed Mission.
Riders taking part will receive the brand’s OSPW system and the associated efficiency gains on their virtual bike.
Exactly how much riders can expect to save in terms of in-game drivetrain efficiency improvements is not disclosed.
In addition to the hardware upgrades, riders taking part in the challenge will also unlock CeramicSpeed-branded kit for their in-game avatar (though you should, of course, be wearing BikeRadar kit).
To complete the mission, Zwifters will need to ride 40km on a mountain bike ride, 80km on a time trial ride and 120km on a road bike (all in-game, of course). In addition to being able to complete the challenge solo, CeramicSpeed will also be hosting rides with its sponsored riders.
The challenge runs from 1 May through to 31 May.
For riders hoping to take their #VirtualGainz into the real world, CeramicSpeed will also be gifting a pair of its OSPW systems to two riders who complete the challenge.
If you aren’t lucky enough to win the prize draw, CeramicSpeed will also be offering a limited edition, engraved Zwift-orange version of its OSPW or OSPW X system to those riders who complete the challenge.
Don’t expect your efforts to blag you a discount though, these will be sold at their full €499 RRP.
BikeRadar‘s take | Bike industry marketing has gone virtual
It’s interesting to see a brand taking its marketing and sponsorship efforts into the virtual realm.
With this year’s racing calendar in tatters due to the ongoing Coivd-19 pandemic, brands like CeramicSpeed will be looking for new ways to talk about their products.
Zwift and other virtual indoor riding platforms present an interesting opportunity to talk directly to highly-engaged enthusiasts and will provide a taste of a demo experience, albeit a virtual one.
Team Ineos has also used Zwift to promote its riders and partners, hosting a virtual race up Alpe du Zwift, while the recent Digital Swiss 5 race, held on the Rouvy platform in place of the Tour de Suisse, gave teams and sponsors the chance to engage with fans and to promote sponsors.
We expect this is the tip of the iceberg and, depending on how long racing and traditional marketing efforts are disrupted for, we can expect to see similar efforts from other brands in the near future.
Tour for All to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontieres
Alongside the CeramicSpeed challenge, Zwift has also announced the Tour For All – an in-game ‘stage race’ organised to support Médecins Sans Frontieres in its response to the coronavirus crisis.
The event will be held from 4 to 30 May, with five stages on a range of terrain. Each ‘stage’ will be held across a number of days, giving riders the opportunity to take part at a convenient time. Zwifters can join a group ride or race to complete a stage.
Zwift has made a $125,000 donation to Médecins Sans Frontieres’ Covid-19 fund and will match that donation at the end of the event if 250,000 Zwifters finish at least one stage.
Eight new workouts and Boost Mode
Meanwhile, as part of the latest Zwift update, eight new sub-60 minute cycling workouts have also been added to the platform, as well as new bikes from Factor and Ridley.
Zwift has also introduced Boost Mode – a new event type that allows riders to select certain power-ups before a race, to introduce an additional tactical element to the game. Each of these power-ups must be ‘charged’ by your own efforts.
The ‘Efficient’ boost gives you a 50-watt boost for up to 90 seconds. Charging this boost will take 50 watts from your current power and add 5kg to your weight for the duration of the event.
The ‘Balanced’ boost provides a substantial 200-watt boost for up to 17 seconds of riding, but charging the boost will take a significant 100 watts from your power. Using this will also add 7.5kg to your weight.
Lastly, the ‘Power’ boost gives you a huge 500-watt boost for up to five seconds of riding. Charging the boost subtracts 150 watts from your power, but having it ready could be ideal for a sprint finish. Including this boost in your arsenal will add 10kg to your weight.
Zwift says Boost Mode will initially only be available in a limited number of FutureWorks Club Jarvis events as a test, before being rolled out.