Zwift App Gets a Nice Fix
The app still has all your favorite screens that let you control the online experience from your phone, and it still lets you sign up for events offline. It is great for grabbing some screenshots to throw up on your Strava feed or to give a Ride On to your mates.
The new workout mode screen gives some nice expanded features. I did get a chance to this out today, and I have to say there are some real positives to the new workout mode screen, but they might come at a cost? For the record, both these screenshots came from the app store, as the app seemed to block my iPhone from taking a screenshot while it was running.
As you can see above, the workout screen allow you to see you watts, HR, and cadence all conveniently at the top of the screen. I like the look, and I like that you can see the range of acceptable power for the segment you are on. It allows you to toggle between ERG mode on and off, which is nice if you like that. I do not use it much, as I find that for many workouts that call for wide swings from one segment to another (like a sprint to recovery), it doesn't react well. I think it's better for longer tempo and 20 minute block kinda stuff. The pause button gives you a nice way to step off the bike to get a drink or to answer the door or turn on the fan. Also, okay. The bias control allows you to tweak you FTP slightly based on whether you are feeling great or you are currently regretting this whole workout and need to dial it down a notch. Very nice, but all stuff we could do already, just made a little easier.
The thing I really liked was the incline adjust feature. This can be seen above, and it replaces the ERG mode on/off function when you start a workout with ERG mode turned off. The incline mode allowed me to dial in my cadence and power to stay perfectly in my target zone. As I stated earlier, I am not a huge fan of ERG, so this works great for me. Zwift's non-ERG mode gets me pretty close, and the incline tweaks get me to the right cadence I want. So for example, on the longer blocks of my workout I turned the incline down a notch to allow me to spin at a high cadence without putting down too much power to take me out of my target zone. On shorter blocks, I turned the incline up a notch to let me stand and give my "seat" a break.
You can swipe right to skip blocks. and of course it is always nice to see what is coming up next. I like having this new screen on the bars as sometimes I just do not want to look up at the monitor when I am in the zone. See Shane's video for the complete run down.
The big drawback was the battery draw. I was running the new app and Amazon Prime Music like I always do, and I experienced a huge loss of battery power almost 40% over the 75 minutes I rode. Usually I experience 1/3 of that. Hopefully this is something that can be tweaked in the firmware, because I do not want to have to plug anything else in down in the old pain cave.
Give the new look Zwift Companion a try the next time you run it in workout mode. Let me know how it goes.