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08-02-2024 | Frank Jansen | 1 Comment

Strava, where is that Zwift filter?

Okay, I'm not going to make myself popular with this column. That's fine. Here we go: I believe Strava urgently needs to introduce a Zwift filter, as I can barely tolerate this nonsense anymore. Let me explain why.

Image depicting Zwift on Strava

Scrolling through strava

I love checking out Strava to see where, what, and how far my cycling friends (m/f) are riding. I totally get that when outdoor cycling isn't possible, people turn to indoor cycling. I do it too. However, what I don't understand is why Strava has decided that I must see all this nonsense. I'm not interested in it, and I'd prefer it to be gone.

Similarly, there are those who aren't interested in ski, skate, or hike logs. The same rule should apply. Give users the freedom to choose what they see in their feed.

You might wonder, what's so bad about a few Zwift rides? Well, a lot.

1. Zwift is ugly

Each Zwift upload automatically includes screenshots. A closer look painfully reveals how fake and visually outdated this app is. I grew up with the first person shooter Wolfenstein 3D. It wasn’t much visually, but Zwift is barely any better, especially compared to modern games like Call of Duty. Developers, please invest in a real virtual world.

Image comparing Wolfenstein 3D to Zwift

2. Zwift is (sometimes) cheating

I know, you can push yourself to the limit in Zwift. But when I see rides of eighty virtual kilometers in two hours at 150 watts average, I think: who are you kidding? Those speeds are achievable outdoors only in a large peloton. Drafting in Zwift makes no sense.

3. Gaming is for kids

Giving each other virtual thumbs up, glowing wheels, leveling up, collecting points, bonuses for extra watts, a shop for gear. Folks, you're 35, not 16. Gaming is for children.

4. Zwift has limited routes

Every week, it's the same old Makuri Islands, Watopia, a fake Alpe d'Huez, or other uninteresting routes, which are always the same. Next, please.

5. Zwift often replaces outdoor cycling

So often, I see people Zwifting on days with perfect cycling weather. Maybe they had a good reason: limited time, small children, or something else. Maybe not. It seems a generation of attic cyclists has emerged who hardly go outside. And yes, I have an opinion on that. Those people can do it, and I can have my opinion: cycling is an outdoor sport on two wheels.

6. Zwift is like a cult

And dare to voice a critical opinion about Zwift, and you'll have the entire community against you. And they are large, and persistent. They’ll say you don’t know what you're talking about (not true), that you probably never tried it (also not true), or that you 'just don’t get it' among other nonsense. It's like a cult.

There, I said it. Strava, can you please hurry up with that Zwift filter?

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  09 Feb, 2024     18 days ago     Reply

I agree with point 4. I recently commented that I am not interested in seeing rides in Watopia or Makuri Islands and don’t give anyone kudos for them. I no longer post my own indoor rides because I realize they are not interesting for others to see.

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