Before Zwift came along, cyclists would spend almost all of the year outdoors enjoying the fresh air, scenery, and the cool breeze. Here is a brief list of pros and cons of riding indoors vs outdoors. The biggest difference is, indoors, you don’t move anywhere, you are stuck in place in your pain cave/garage/wherever you work out.
Here are the major pros and cons to riding indoors. When riding indoors you do not have to worry about cars, descending hills too fast, the amount of light there is, and flat tires. Cars are a major reason why a lot of Zwifters Zwift. Zwift is a lot safer in tons of ways, but after awhile, Zwift can get kind of boring. Zwift also has 100+ events everyday that you can join anytime, which is huge for riders who don’t know when they are going to ride but still want a group ride/race. Another pro for riding on Zwift is that it can be very motivational. If you are someone who likes having things to constantly chase after, Zwift is perfect for you, until you run out of things to chase. In Zwift there are over 100 badges that you can unlock that give you XP. But keep in mind that once you achieve level 50, nothing happens, you are stuck at level 50 until who knows when. One thing bad about Zwift is that there is not a lot of airflow, no matter how many fans you have blowing, it will never be the same as riding outdoors. Another thing that can be bad, is that there are only so many places you can go on Zwift, outdoors, there is almost always another road out there that you haven’t ridden. One final con to Zwift is that you have to spend anywhere from $300-$3,500 on a trainer or stationary bike.
There are many pros to riding outside, but at the same time, there are a lot of cons. One pro for riding outdoors is that when you are riding with another person virtually, it just won’t be the same as riding in person. Another pro for riding outdoors is that there is a lot of airflow. The most important of all, you are actually moving somewhere! While you may not be able to level up in the real world, you can still chase strava segments. Strava segments are very motivational to help you set new PR’s on local climbs, sprints, TT courses, and more! The cons of riding outdoors are that you will have to worry about cars, crashing, the amount of light there is, and flat tires.