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How To

Zwift How-To: Using FutureWorks Steering

by Zwift
on August 06, 2020

Ready to grab Zwift by the handlebars? Now’s your chance. FutureWorks Steering has expanded to all roads in Zwift, in partnership with Elite's Sterzo Smart Steering Plate. Clutch for cornering in races, and positioning yourself to harness the draft, FutureWorks Steering makes your Zwift riding more immersive. All you need is the Elite Sterzo Smart steering plate, and you’ll be ready to take control.

How do you start steering on Zwift? Here’s all you need to know.

Required Hardware

You’ll need to grab a new piece of equipment for your pain cave. The Elite Sterzo Smart steering plate is now available in limited quantities at the Zwift shop. 

Get Smart

The Smart Steering Plate allows you to control your avatar's path. That’s a big jump from the Elite Sterzo steering plate released in early 2020, which simply allows your front wheel to turn back and forth.

Bluetooth Only

The Elite Sterzo Smart communicates with Zwift via BLE only. While the Sterzo Smart has Ant+, capabilities, that is not supported by Zwift at this time. And good news–if you’re using a PC without built-in Bluetooth support, you can use the Companion app to pair the Elite Sterzo Smart and other Bluetooth devices.

Smartbikes

Many smart bikes include steering buttons. For those of you with Smart Bikes, those capabilities are planned for support at a later date. Watch this post as we add more hardware integration.

What About Companion?

The Sterzo Smart device provides more consistent steering inputs and enables more tactile front wheel movement. While the Companion app enabled our initial FutureWorks Steering feature, feedback from Zwifters told us there was consistent drift, making a subpar experience.

Getting Set Up

Positioning

Make sure you place your Elite Sterzo Smart Plate beneath your front tire, with the smaller pointed side facing forward. You should be able to freely move your handlebars back and forth without the steering plate shifting.

Pairing

Pairing your Elite Sterzo Smart to Zwift is easy! Make sure the Elite Sterzo Smart is “awake” by moving your front wheel back and forth, then click the new “Accessories” widget on the pairing screen. 

Get it paired up, along with your usual devices (smart trainer, heart rate monitor, etc.) and you’re ready to ride!

You’re In Control

If you’ve paired your Elite Sterzo Smart, FutureWorks Steering will be automatically enabled for all rides, including events. Look for the “Steering Enabled” icon at the bottom-right while you are in-game.

Steering Basics

With steering enabled, your avatar will no longer “ride through” other avatars on the road. Like riding outdoors, FutureWorks Steering lets you decide if you want to sit on a rider’s wheel or maneuver around them to pass!

Turning Off Steering

To turn off steering, visit the pairing screen and unpair your steering device.

Steering will automatically turn off after a period of inactivity from your steering device, and auto-steer mode will take over. (This is the default Zwift mode we’re all familiar with, where the game steers your avatar, and you pass through other riders.)

Begin steering again to take control back.

Pro Steering Tips

Spend some time getting used to the feel of FutureWorks Steering with Elite Sterzo Smart. Once you’re comfortable steering your avatar around the course, why not try some more advanced tactics?

First, work on taking corners as quickly as possible. Remember, you can’t ride through other riders–go into the corner well-positioned, then steer for the shortest line through the curve.

Next, try holding the wheel of another rider, using their draft to your advantage. As the rider weaves through road traffic, you’ll need to do the same to stay in their draft! Mind your power output–put out just the watts necessary to hold their wheel, without wasting any energy.

Help Us Help You

The FutureWorks platform exists so Zwifters can test new features and provide hands-on feedback to Zwift's development team. You can play a vital role in helping push Zwift forward in fun and exciting ways! Just submit your quick feedback after riding and we'll use it to continue improving FutureWorks Steering.

Ready to Get Started?

Head over to the Zwift Shop to grab an Elite Sterzo Smart and start steering! If you need more info, check out our FutureWorks Steering article on our Support Hub.

Not ready to purchase the Elite Sterzo Smart, but want to try steering on Zwift? Try FutureWorks Off-Road Steering, which uses the Zwift Companion app mounted to your handlebars to detect steering motion. Using Companion you can ride Repack Ridge, the small stretch of singletrack that gave birth to steering on Zwift! ZC is currently the only way you can ride Repack Ridge. As we continue to test and innovate, we hope to offer more updates to steering in the future.

FutureWorks is a platform for trying out innovations from the team at Zwift HQ.
Learn more about what we have in development.

 

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