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After a test run on a limited section within the game, Zwift has now opened up all its virtual courses to steering. To access this feature, you’ll need Elite’s new Bluetooth steering plate called Sterzo Smart that works with any bike on a trainer.
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Normally in Zwift, your pedaling controls your avatar’s speed, but steering is determined by the game. Now, with what Zwift is calling FutureWorks Steering activated, you can decide whether to sit on a rider’s wheel, or steer around them to pass. Similarly, if you want to stay on a particular rider’s wheel as they are moving through a bunch, you’ll have to steer to follow.
The Elite Sterzo Smart is a trainer front wheel block that allows for and measures wheel rotation, and communicates that information via Bluetooth to Zwift. The pivoting mechanism is designed for easy rotation with a gentle rebound to return to a straight position. It can handle tires up to 56mm wide.
It pairs to Zwift in the same way you wirelessly connect a power meter, heart-rate monitor, or smart trainer.
The $109 Sterzo Smart runs on AAA batteries with a claimed battery life of 500 hours.
Steering is currently only compatible with the Elite Sterzo Smart, but Zwift says more options are coming.
Zwift first rolled out FutureWorks Steering in the mountain bike section of the game called Repack Ridge, which required you to use a smartphone strapped to your handlebars to steer.
Zwift has declined to say what other companies have steering mechanisms in the works, but the other main players in the indoor space like Wahoo and Saris could likely get in the steering game, too. Smart bikes like the Wahoo Kickr and the Stages SmartBike have buttons that could be used for steering, provided Zwift offered the compatibility.