New Zwift Hub Smart Trainer

The most recent reviews:


So much for Zwift not offering training hardware.


Looks like a tweaked version of a JetBlack Volt as a private label option:

At $499 USD with a cassette, this is a contender on that aspect alone.

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Did not see this one coming!

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I was going to say “oh looks like the JetBlack Volt” and then there it is, right in the article :smiley:

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Just been looking over the original Jetblack reviews for the unit, seems very good for the price

Hoping to see Wahoo lower prices, otherwise I’ll probably end up selling my InsideRide and 2017 Kickr this fall and buy one of these in order to use my (sram) Tarmac instead of grocery store bike.

Yeah, the implications to the market are likely huge here. I have no idea what margin Wahoo, Tacx, etc. are getting on their trainers as of current pricing. But it seems quite inevitable that they will have to adjust downward even if they don’t match Z’s specifically.

Ignoring inflation (which is “simple” but likely not realistic), it seems that the relative slow pace of progression in trainer tech would mean that people are getting little more for their money with each iteration (assuming equal pricing at each step). A price cut (or a stall in light of inflation) seems like a practical expectation from a buyer’s perspective.

But as a person involved in manufacturing, I also see the real impact of the world we have in front of us now and how that affects the bottom line of a maker. There are many wheels in motion here, and what Z just did is revolutionary from what I can see. Time will tell where this all lands, but I think the status quo has just been disrupted.

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Zwift will be able to make extra cash on subscriptions. No wonder they have opted to sell it so cheaply.

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The same thing as the Dare2ride Fuego 1.0. Don’t know where they keep coming from but the only difference between all those devices looks to be firmware. Retailers in Europe are selling that device around 350 dollar. Not that happy about the firmware on the fuego but the volt is doing fine. Wish there is a way to flash units to other firmware :stuck_out_tongue:

i waiting for “users” reviews.

take note that DCrainmaker mentioned it does not support bluetooth multi channe/mode. which is important if you want to run tr and zwift together. but not sure if ANT/bluetooth will work together. which is why users reviews are important.

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Ant+ and BLE will work fine together, just like many other trainers already do. So the TR & Z mix can work as long as one device and app is using ANT+.

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I skimmed a couple articles but outside of the price is there any big draw here compared to the competition? Will the trainer automatically sync to Zwift or something cool or is this just a trainer with the Zwift name?

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it just a device. you still need a computer, a laptop, a mac and etc to run zwift.

Considering how often I see Tacx Flux S and Elite Suitos in the 450 to 550 range on sale here in europe, I think the margin is there, it’s not like there is a lot of new stuff happening in that price range over the last 3 years I would say. Sure It will probably put pressure on those companies. I think the problem will be more if they don’t find some good marketing gimmicks for their top end trainers they will have a harder and harder time justifying the price of those. So they may find more ways to sell overpriced accessories like Desks or try to get into the Training app business to get a pie of the subscription market.

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The big focus for Z was in making it as easy as possible for new users to get in place and functioning properly.

  • The option to select and have your specific cassette installed is huge IMO. Seems simple to many of us, but you’d be surprised how many people bought a Kickr while owning a 8, 9 to 10 speed bike having no idea the Kickr was 11s as shipped.

  • The assembly color and axle spacer tools also seem worthwhile to me. Again, I’ve seen and helped more than a few people get their setup correct.

  • And the integration of firmware updates via the Companion app is another refinement.

Sure, these may be basic details for use, but I have lived with and handled enough questions and tech support to see these have real value. Its all stuff that other makers can and should implement in one way or another. But it took Z to make it happen and I think it’s a great improvement.

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What is interesting, from a consumer’s experience perspective, is that Zwift has spent all their efforts on what is essentially the smallest period of a user’s experience with the trainer.

All the stuff they have focused on is within the first 30 minutes of the user’s experience….and they will likely spend dozens / hundreds of hours using the equipment after that. But their whole point of differentiation is on such a small piece of time.

That isn’t to say there isn’t huge benefits in this…there are. It is a huge friction point for many users. However, at the end of the day, once the bike is mounted, the Z trainer experience is pretty much the same as everyone else.

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Small chunk of time… if it all goes well. Z has done more than a bit of research and identified that start-up time as critical in the user experience.

I agree and have dealt with that frustration first hand. Getting people quickly and easily up to speed may seem like a small difference, but if they had not done it, that friction point would officially have their name on it. Much easier to curse Z directly vs another maker, which is a bad look and result for Z.

That benefit may disappear and if it works as intended, go almost unnoticed by the new rider. I’d wager Z would consider that a success.

Hope, even with those good setup steps, i have not seen them address the indexing issue that is also common. Its an additional detail that is not always present, but its there often enough that it needs attention too.

I totally get your point, then return to the low cost as the primary benefit. My coverage of the setup was an adder based on the question about what else it offers (besides rock bottom pricing).

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As someone who doesn’t use Zwift…is it worth buying this one, because of the price? It’s cheaper than the original non-Z version, right?
The main draw for me is that it is quiet (and the price). Or maybe hang fire and see how the market reacts?

The original JetBlack Volt is discounted most places to the same price and has been for some time, I paid 497 for mine back in January 2022. I’ve been very happy with it.

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Oh yeah…don’t get me wrong. I think they deserve full credit for identifying this obstacle and taking action to address it.

It was just an observation that, from a holistic POV, their key differentiation is essentially a blip in time across the entirety of the user’s experience. For most consumer product goods, we tend to focus on the larger overall experience.

This observation is also likely because I am knee-deep on some strategic stuff for some of our products and seeing how I can apply some of these tactics to what we are doing…set-up on consumer blood pressure monitors are a major source of friction…programming time & date, proper cuff application, etc. It is a major source of returns for the category…if I can find ways to ease that initial experience, it helps the overall business. But, as with trainers, it is such a small piece of the overall experience, but looms large.

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