Zwift, a leading name in indoor cycling, is once again at the forefront of innovation. With a mission to redefine the indoor cycling experience, Zwift introduces the Zwift Cog. This game-changing component promises to elevate your trainer sessions, making them more versatile, quieter, and incredibly user-friendly.
The Zwift Cog: A Leap Forward
The traditional Zwift Hub utilized a standard cassette for gear changes. However, the newly introduced Cog replaces it with a single gear. And here’s where the magic happens – this solitary cog, powered by Zwift’s advanced technology, can simulate 24 different speeds. These speeds are tailor-made to align with your bike’s front chainring(s), ensuring a uniform riding experience across different bikes.
Understanding Virtual Shifting
The concept of virtual shifting may seem novel. Why replace the tangible feeling of shifting gears? The answer lies in the multitude of benefits that come with the Cog. One of the most significant advantages is the elimination of the need to switch out the cassette when using multiple bikes with varying drivetrains on the trainer. The Cog is designed to be compatible with most 8-12 speed drivetrains. This means you can swiftly change bikes without the hassle of changing cassettes. Moreover, a surprising 54% of Zwift Hubs were sold with non-11-speed cassettes, emphasizing the need to accommodate diverse drivetrains.
Shifting in the Virtual Realm
The Cog offers 24 virtual ‘gears’ which can be toggled using the Zwift Click, the Zwift Play controllers designed for dropbars, or both. Your current gear will be displayed on your screen, allowing you to keep track of your virtual ‘cassette’. The virtual shifting experience mimics a 2 x 12 drivetrain, but with added lower gears, perfect for those steep virtual climbs. Plus, without any physical gears to shift between, Zwift ensures a quieter and smoother experience.
Ensuring a Seamless Ride
One of the standout features of the Cog is its ability to calculate the real gear ratio at the start of every ride. This ensures that regardless of the bike’s chainring size, you’ll have the optimal in-game gearing, preventing any unwanted spinning during flat terrains or descents.
Getting Started with Virtual Shifting
To embark on your virtual shifting journey, ensure you have the latest Hub firmware (version 5.2.0 or later) and the most recent Zwift game build (version 1.49 or later). Once these are in place, and you’ve paired your Zwift Hub with the right firmware and a shifting device, virtual shifting will activate by default.
Pricing and Availability
The Zwift Hub One, complete with the Zwift Cog and a Zwift Click shifter, is available for purchase at $599. If you’re not ready to make the jump to virtual shifting, the Zwift Hub Classic is also available at the same price. Both trainer versions come with a bonus 1-year subscription to Zwift. For those who already own a Zwift Hub Trainer, an upgrade kit with the Zwift Cog and Click is available for $79.99.
Zwift continues to pave the way for a more immersive indoor cycling experience. With the introduction of the Zwift Cog and the concept of virtual shifting, the future of indoor cycling looks brighter than ever. So, gear up (virtually, of course) and ride on!