FIT File: Zwift Price Hike, New Strava Features, and Des Goes to Band Camp

For those not subscribed to the FIT File (it’s free!) via your regular podcast app or on YouTube, here’s a quick post with the highlights from the most recent episode.

In this episode, we talk about the Zwift price increase, the Saga HoloBike, SRAM’s new RED AXS groupset, and much more.

0:00 Intro
1:28 Saga HoloBike
14:40 Strava Band Camp
19:17 New Strava Features
39:13 Hammerhead Karoo 3
52:20 New SRAM Red AXS Groupset
59:36 Zwift Price Increase

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  1. Duncan

    Wow, beats on Karoo for routing. But really, is it so hard?

    Komoot: plan route, save to profile
    Phone: enable GPS hotspot for Karoo
    Hammerhead dashboard (also phone, but not companion app): go to routes, hit refresh button.
    *magic happens*
    Karoo – go to add route, it’s there at the top.

    OK it does take less than a minute. But also: I have Stockholm syndrome.

    • Where it fell apart previously is where your phone doesn’t have hotspot option. Oddly enough, while I have unlimited international data (a crazy $25/month AT&T plan from 2005 or so I’m still on), I’m actually unable to hotspot onto it (doesn’t permit it, and phone won’t even allow it).

      Of course, that’s somewhat rare, but at the end of the day, adding clunk was never super awesome.

  2. Andy

    An interesting listen – and I think the problem with the Zwift thing is how many people actually engage with the “features” that purportedly give Zwift its value.

    My little segment of endurance chums (all triathletes mind) are using Zwift twice, maybe three times a week in winter if the weather is especially bad and maybe once a month we manage a TTT. The two regular rides are ultimately workouts (custom sent from TP not Zwift’s library) and we are pottering on and, in principle all Zwift is a head unit on a bigger screen to show me my power targets with potentially some distracting scenary to get me through. Honestly, the only things it is doing is a) looking prettier; and b) putting numbers on a big screen in front of my face rather than between my aero bars. I can therefore either a) just use my Garmin (it would probably be better for my mental toughness anyway); or b) pick up one of the other platforms that costs half as much.

    Ultimately everyone makes a big hype about the social aspect of Zwift – I can’t remember the last time a typed a message etc. to another rider – since 2020 my entire Zwift linked social engagement has been riding at the same time as friends (often but not always in a meetup) and talking to each other on Discord – at that ain’t worth £18 a month!

    Ultimately £18 is a meaningful money for what Zwift offers people who aren’t riding every day and I don’t see the value proposition as being close to TR at the same price, where you get analytics, training plans and some feedback/smarts.

    In terms of the hike, you are pretty generous to them, yes, in the US it was 30% in 7 years – but from a UK perspective my price has gone from £6.99 to £17.99 in that period, with approaching 50% price hikes from £6.99 to £12.99 and now £12.99 to £17.99 – finally I am getting royally shafted, paying the equivalent of £23 at current FX rates.

    • “Ultimately everyone makes a big hype about the social aspect of Zwift – I can’t remember the last time a typed a message etc. to another rider ”

      You know, it’s funny. I’ve been riding Indievelo a lot lately, as well as mixing in other Zwift rides too. And I was thinking about this same comment, as I very very very rarely message someone (akin to you).

      But one of the things I realized a bit in the past week, is that it’s more than just messaging. If I look at group rides coming up, there’s basically nothing with real people on Indievelo. At least in terms of “I want to do a group ride this afternoon, what’s there in the next hour?”. 99% of the time, the answer is “nothing”. Whereas Zwift, there are those group rides.

      And even in those group rides, I’m not often (if ever) texting others, but I am riding with the group and that’s effectively the social element. Likewise, I am watching people banter via messages, which is again, the social element. In some ways, it’s all hard to quantify until it’s gone.

      As for the UK price adjustments, indeed, that’s hard. Though, one thing that’s often overlooked is that massive currency swings +/- 40% of the GBP to USD. That’s a real factor in those price increases. Ultimately, someone has to pay for those currency fluctuations. Most times the companies take the hit/risk over the longer period, but in that case of the 2022 adjustments, the swing was so massive.

    • Andy

      I’m not a buyer of big GBP-USD price swings being any justification – there was a big swing in the aftermath of 2016 when GBP got screwed but 2017 FX was 1.289 average and current spot is 1.27 – this isn’t FX rates, its just Zwift screwing over Brits despite being a historically UK centric country. Putting up prices by £5 and $5 at the same time is just crappy! (P.s. GBP tanking in 2016 was a convenient excuse for everyone to increase UK prices, but no-one has dropped them following the 20% plus bounce back…)

      I totally agree that for people who are just looking to get on the turbo and see what rides are available, it works, but I query if Zwift knows for how many people that is a real value driver?

    • John

      I feel the same about the social aspect and even though I never messaged anyone nor followed or interacted with anyone specifically but I did like when it was cold and wet outside, hopping into a sunny world and feeling the buzz of other cyclists seeing many others lined up getting ready to go and various people going back and forth.

      I have cancelled Zwift though because I’m frustrated by the almost complete lack of development on the platform, hardly any routes despite the basic graphics, no big events at the moment and I fall foul of the race classification system because of my low weight so I’m forced up against riders far more powerful than me I have no chance against. It’s just embarrassing the amount of money they are taking in per month and yet it takes them years just to add something as basic as a functioning elevation graph

  3. plingboot

    I received my Zwift price hike email a couple of weeks back and immediately put my subscription on pause – with a view to cancelling. Just a pity I can’t ‘park’ my level and pick up again if I decide to resubscribe in winter.

    It’s taken it from a cost I’m happy to pay to a luxury I don’t need – which is a pain in the behind.

    They need a stripped down subscription offering – with maybe just wattopia.

    • John

      My understanding is if you cancel and resubscribe later, you keep everything on your account including your level although I’ve not tried it myself. I have now cancelled and if I go to resume it in winter and everything is gone I certainly won’t be bothering returning

  4. Brian Free

    Any word on if this Strava Beta will come to iOS Test Flight Beta? I’m on the beta for Strava, but unsure if this is the same version that was provided at Camp Strava. Anyone running the actual beta from Camp Strava know what version it is?