Whether you’re new to Zwift or an active member, you’ve probably seen the unique bikes with glowing colorful wheels zipping around Watopia.
These eye-popping beauties are the Tron bike, and in this article, we will unravel this mysterious machine in all its glory and tell you how you can get yours!
What is the Zwift Tron Bike?
Like most Zwifters, you checked your garage for the bike frame but came up short, making you all the more curious about the bike, which maybe led you to our post!
Well don’t worry; there are several reasons why you can’t find it in your garage.
First, it goes by another name: the Zwift Concept Z1. But the Zwift community renamed it the Tron Bike because the neon-colored wheels are reminiscent of those in the 2010 movie TRON: Legacy. If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, watch this YouTube snippet of the Tron racing scene.
Second, you must earn the bike by climbing 50,000 meters, which translates into 31 miles. Before we go into the details about getting the Tron Bike, you must wonder if getting a set of fluorescent wheels is worth the effort. Spoiler alert, it is, so keep on reading!
Features of the Tron Bike
One reason riders covet the Tron is that this bike is fast! If you’re not into racing or improving your speed, then maybe it’s not worth the effort. But we’re betting that since you’re this far along in our post, you have a competitive nature, a desire to get faster and compete at a higher level.
According to Zwiftinsider, the Tron bike outperforms most other Zwift bikes in a race setting where the course is flat or rolling. Additionally, they state, “It is not the fastest bike for climbing: that award currently goes to the Specialized Tarmac Pro with Lightweight wheels. And it’s not faster than a TT bike if you’re doing a solo effort (no drafting) on flat or rolling roads.”
But in a race where drafting is allowed, and you get to descend hills along with climbing, the Tron gives you a lightweight frame that’s superb for drafting and being aerodynamic. If you’re still a doubter, check the Zwift race results to see how many winners were on Tron bikes!
Next, let’s explore the eye-catching feature of the Tron bike: the lighted wheels. Once you earn your bike, you’ll find the Zwift Concept Z1 (Tron bike) in your garage in the frame category. Select the bike, and you’ll see a color bar slider on the right-hand side.
While riding your bike, you can adjust the fader to see how the colors look to match your kit. The slider also has settings for multi-colored choices.
Once you’ve chosen your wheel color and back riding in Zwift, you affect how brightly they glow by your power output. Think of it as if you were a power plant generator; higher watts equate to brighter lights while less power dims the wheels.
But with the good news, there’s some bad, too. Here are some quirks that come with owning a Tron bike.
- Wheels. While you can customize the color of your neon wheels, you can’t swap them out for a lighter set. But, statistically speaking, the Tron takes precedence in races with its stock wheels, so we don’t see this as a big issue.
- Avatar. The Tron avatar has limited seating positions. Instead of your avatar standing when you hit 70rpm on an incline over 3%, it will remain seated. And traditionally, your avatar sits up slightly when you’re drafting correctly and are in less wind. This, too, no longer occurs. In summary, your Tron avatar remains in the standard sitting position or stands when sprinting.
- Pretend Drinking. When riding other Zwift bikes, your avatar occasionally grabs the water bottle for a drink. On the Tron bike, this doesn’t happen anymore. But if you need your avatar to remind you to drink, we may need to discuss proper hydration during a ride or race!
How do You get the Zwift Tron Bike
Whether you’re a newbie to Zwift or a seasoned road dog, you first must select the “Climb Mt. Everest Challenge.” To do this, follow these easy steps when you are in a ride:
- Click “menu” in the bottom left-hand corner of the Zwift window.
- Click the “Challenge” window, which is the multi-colored map on the right side of the screen.
- If you’re currently on a challenge, click “select another challenge,” located on the bottom left of the screen.
- Click “Climb Mt. Everest” to begin the challenge.
Now that you’re tracking your climbing, moving forward, every ride you participate in applies to the “Climb Mt. Everest” challenge. More importantly, you’re on your way to earning that glorious Tron bike!
How to Unlock Your Tron Bike
But here’s an important tip! Once you’ve reached the summit, keep the challenge selected because you still have to climb another 41,150 meters to unlock the Tron bike!
At this point, we bet you’re wondering if there are ways to reach this massive goal sooner. Yes, but we’re only going to point out the ways to do so without cheating.
Tips on Getting Your Tron Bike Sooner
Now it’s time to get serious, and like us, we bet you can’t wait to unlock the Tron and add it to your fleet of bikes. While you’ll find cheats and hacks online to beat the system, we encourage you to earn it the old-fashioned way: through hard work and sweat.
The bottom line is that unlocking your Tron bike will take a lot of time and require immense climbing. How much time and effort? Well, that depends on your schedule, commitment, and abilities. And since we want to appeal to riders of all levels, we’ve calculated how many times you’ll need to ride an event to reach your goal.
Here are the best means to acquire your eye-popping new ride sooner rather than later.
This ride takes you up a climb of 110 meters to the radio tower in Watopia. The advantage of using this ride is that you immediately start climbing from the get-go, unlike other rides where you have to put in miles to reach the climb. Because the average gradient is 10%, you can accumulate your meters faster than on easier climbs, where you’d need to log more miles.
If you focus only on using the Epic KOM to unlock the Tron, plan on ascending this steep climb 120 times.
Alpe du Zwift
Alpe du Zwift is another climb in Watopia and replicates the famed Tour de France climb, Alpe d’Huez. This 1,143-meter adventure is the longest climb on Zwift and takes the average rider about an hour to complete.
The average gradient is 8.5%, and if you dedicate yourself solely to this monster mountain, it will take 48 rides to unlock your Tron.
One of the more popular options for Zwifters in Watopia is the Hilly KOM. It’s appealing because the climbs are gentle and more manageable, and the length is shorter than the others we’ve mentioned.
But with ease comes the consequence of not racking up the meters as fast. That is why many riders do Hilly KOM as hill repeats, meaning that once they’ve summited a hill, they turn and repeat the climb multiple times.
Keep in mind that if you focus only on this ride, it will take about 1,000 rides to get your Tron bike. We suggest using this if you’re a beginner to build your climbing endurance and confidence or as a seasoned rider to break up intense workouts like Alpe du Zwift.
You’ll find this climb on the London courses and not in Watopia, and the ride features climbing Fox and Leith Hill.
There are about 416 climbs in the Surrey Hills, with the average gradient being 4% and the steepest pitch at 11%. On this course, you’ll climb Fox Hill, about 120 meters tall, and Leith Hill, 134 meters in length.
This course is great for riders of all levels and breaks up the monotony of doing hill repeats.
This climb is a favorite for many Zwifters because it’s set in the Austrian Alps and has some challenging segments.
You’ll ride over 125 climbs on the Innsbruck KOM with a total elevation of 400 meters. The average grade is 5%, but there are some occasional kickers at 12% to challenge riders of all levels.
If you focus solely on the Innsbruck KOM to get your Tron bike, expect to cruise through the Austrian region 125 times.
Is the Tron bike the fastest?
Just like real-world riding, different types of bikes suit different disciplines. The same goes for Zwift bikes. The Zwift Tron Bike is not the fastest package (frame & wheels) if you are a pure climber; nor is it the fastest bike if your focus is Time Trials. But overall, it’s an excellent all-rounder, and of course looks legit!
How long does it take to get the Tron bike on Zwift?
That is going to depend massively on how you commit to Zwift, how disciplined you are at turning up and riding, and then selecting the best routes to maximize your climbing.
One of the PEDALLERS team now has the Tron bike, but it took ages (years!) because they were flipping between different training platforms, only used indoor training in the winter, and didn’t focus too much on the routes. And the funny thing – just as they landed it in their garage, they couldn’t use it due to a Zwift bug that prevented unlocked rewards from being available in the Zwift garage!
We hope you better understand what the Tron bike is and what it isn’t. More importantly, we hope you’ve learned a tip or two to unlock your Tron faster rather than later so you can win races and claim KOMs!