How Much Does Zwift Cost vs the Alternatives

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Written By James Quilter

Passionate cyclist and content creator

How much is Zwift?; Right now, Zwift costs $14.99 (£10.80) per month.

However, it is a little more complex than that.

What exactly do you get for that? How often does Zwift raise it’s pricing, and are there any better value options out there?

This post will answer this.

Access to all worlds and everything else

So, Zwift costs $14.99 per month. That gives you access to everything all of the worlds, training plans, software, and, kind of, (the kit).

There is also a 7-day trial. The shortest out of the three applications listed here.

When it comes to kit and routes, the more you ride the more you unlock additional bikes, kit, and routes.

If you want to try it out, there is a 30-day trial on offer, together with a smart trainer (that costs more than $14.99) [check out the smart trainer option]. Don’t buy one from Zwift, just get it off eBay like 80% of everyone else.

Zwift quick breakdown:

  • Price: $14.99 per month
  • Trial: 7-days for free (but 30-days for the trainer)

But this can change. Zwift was free when it launched before moving to a subscription.

Then, in 2018, it raised its price by 50% to its current level.

zwift-trial How Much Does Zwift Cost vs the Alternatives
Interestingly, there’s quite a push for the new smart trainer option

How much does Zwift cost to set up?

Obviously, you need more to run Zwift than just a subscription. There is a range of components you need (besides a bike).

Effectively, you need a trainer and a laptop device that can be connected to each other via Ant+. For more info here’s a more concise post about what you need to set up Zwift.

To make things easy, Zwift also offers a number of trainers. These are can be tested as part of the trial.

As you can see from the selection below, they are all fairly up to date. However, I would argue you can get a better deal elsewhere online.

For example, at the time of writing the Elite Direto X can be acquired for around $715 – and that is just through a Google search.

zwift-trainers-2 How Much Does Zwift Cost vs the Alternatives

How much The Sufferfest costs?

Ok, so how much will The Sufferfest cost? TLDR; The Sufferfest costs $14.99 (£10.80) a month.

It comes with a 14-day trial. And has an annual plan of $129, so there is a bit of a saving there.

So it makes sense to use the trial.

As with Zwift, this is not where we look at the differences between the apps. However, The Sufferfest has a different spin on things to Zwift.

the-sufferfest-screenshot How Much Does Zwift Cost vs the Alternatives
The Sufferfest uses videos to inspire cyclists.

Whereas Zwift is more about e-sports and competing, The Sufferfest has a greater focus on training. So there’s no competing with your mates but instead, there are a whole host of other things.

This includes over 100 training plans, yoga for cyclists, and even a mental-toughness program. You also don’t necessarily need to connect a trainer via Ant+.

Most of the training sessions come in the form of videos of actual races.

Unlike Zwift, there is no product offering.

Trainerroad – how much it costs

Short version – at the moment Trainerroad costs $19.95 (£16.22)a month. 

Trainerroad does not offer a free trial. Instead, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In layman’s terms, you need to shell the money first.

If you have used Trainerroad you would know it is definitely for the purists. There are no videos and e-sports competitions.

trainerroad-cost-comparison How Much Does Zwift Cost vs the Alternatives
Trainerroad can be slightly minimalist despite the higher price

Instead, you get what can only be described as a minimalist display. Conversely, though, the programs are incredibly in-depth and definitely for the serious athlete.

The prices give access to over a 1000 interval workouts, the ability to import actual outdoor rides, and ride analysis tools.

What is the Best Free Indoor Cycling App

The popularity of indoor cycling has increased significantly since 2012. So it makes sense there will be a charge for cycling applications.

But one of the big questions is whether there is a free version of Zwift.

RGT Cycling

So, is there a free cycling app like Zwift? If the answer is yes, then RGT Cycling is the closest thing to it.

RGT Cycling uses a freemium model with more advanced features for those who are willing to pay.

The free option is limited to three real-world courses, rather than eight. But you can join races and group rides.

On the downside, there’s no free access to the library of structured workouts library.

There is no also access to the Magic Roads feature – this lets you create your own route. You can do this by uploading a GPX file of any route below 100km. Although the downside is this has to be ridden as an event.

Connectivity – you need a mobile app, which connects to your smart trainer via Bluetooth or ANT+ (we actually found this a bit patchy). However, this only displays basic numbers.

You will need to download a separate app for Windows 10, Mac, iPad and Apple TV if you want to see your avatar pummeling the roads.

Cyclemeter Pro

Cyclemeter Pro is a application for smartphones and smart watches. It allows cyclists to set goals and monitor their progress towards those goals. Users can also create workouts and share them with friends.

You can use it indoor and outdoors. Features include the ability to view statistics, maps, graphs, and calendars. It can also be used in other sports.

However, it is designed for measurement. You can add

Pricing – you can experience core functionality for free. However, the advanced features come with a price.

Connectivity – unsurprisingly, the app primarily connects to a trainer via Bluetooth. ANT+ is only available via older iPhones.

Unsurprsingly there is not a lot here.

Conclusion – Zwift, The Sufferfest, and Trainerroad

What you go for depends on what you need – they all offer something different.

However, unless you want to race other cyclists The Sufferfest provides extremely good value and will get most cyclists (sportive riders) into decent shape.

Remember one thing though, spending money on these applications will only make you a better rider if you use them.