Zwift’s popularity has grown exponentially, with over half a million users and possibly more. It is the talk of the indoor bike community. Anyone with an smart trainer will have heard of Zwift, if not already.
Peloton is a hugely commercialized brand with extensive marketing, but Zwift has grown more consistently due to word-of mouth from the riding community. It is different from alternativeslike Sufferfest or Trainerroad in that you can interact with other riders and the trainer.
Climbing is one of our favourite things on Zwift. Climbs are something that we look forward to every day on our rides. They are also fun because they are timed segments, which allow you to track your progress against other riders as well as your own PRs. It is an incredible achievement to be on the leaderboard for a difficult climb, especially when you ride with highly-trained riders from all over the globe.
These are our top picks for Zwift climbs right now. Not necessarily the most difficult (OK, one of them is), but they are our favourites to do.
Fox Hill. Course at Surrey Hills
Zwift Surrey Hills Ride
1.86 miles, 512 feet vertical. Fox Hill is our first stop. It’s a great way to see how much fun we have. We love the variety and beauty of Surrey Hills rides. Fox Hill is a short but steady hill.
This will test you. This section of the ride is often considered a good recovery after a long, enjoyable ride. Even if you take it slow, you won’t be able to lose your pack. Fox Hill is a great choice if you are looking for an easy ride. It is important to maintain speed and position. Fox Hill’s lowest elevation is 36m and its highest elevation is at 156m. The elevation difference is 120m. Although the average grade is approximately 4%, there will be instances when you climb at an approximate 11% grade. You must be ready for the start. This hill will throw the double-digit grade at your face in just two minutes. Only the end of the segment has any real coasting. Fox Hill is quite popular so you will be able to compare your results with other enthusiasts. You can also enjoy beautiful
scenery along the climb, which is a bonus for this simple climb.
Innsbruck KOM (forward), Innsbruck course.
7.43 km. A great ride through the Austrian Alps is a must-do. The Innsbruck KOM climb, which follows the UCI Worlds Lap Course 2018, packs a punch. The segment’s lowest elevation at 296m is 696m. Thus, the elevation difference of 400m is. The Innsbruck KOM Forward has an average grade rating of 5% and occasionally will have you climbing to a grade of around 12%. Although the ride starts flat when you leave Innsbruck it quickly becomes an incline. It will take several minutes of hard climbing without much rest. Innsbruck KOM Forward will provide you with beautiful and inspiring natural scenery all around. You can also use the timing and landmarks around you to your advantage as you turn for the last corner.
The breathtaking “real” Innsbruck region
The Forward KOM segment follows the Reverse KOM route. Both courses are almost symmetrical and meet at the top of the mountain. Zwift allows you to do the loop in either direction, but it will prefer that you do it clockwise. This is the “Forward” route. Enjoy the sprint, climb the hill, adjust your pace and keep hydrated while you are on this route. To your right, you’ll see the Swarovski Crystal Worlds Giant. This is a magnificent face that was created piece by piece by a 3D artist.
This is a 30-minute segment for a “fit but not elite” cyclist. It is also popular so you will have plenty of riders to compare to. There were currently 750 riders on the leaderboard when I last rode it. You’ll be able to enjoy a lot of it, but not as tired and sore at the Road to the Sky.
It was hard to pick just one climb on the Innsbruck course. This is our favourite climb. However, the reverse route can be a great climb as well as the longer rides that combine these routes.
Leith Hill, Surrey Hills course.
1.95km. 7% incline. Although a grade of 7% might not seem like much, when you’re on the Leith Hill climb, it will feel like you are climbing for 10 minutes, you’ll wish it was closer to 4%. This climb is more like a 10%+ grade. This climb is fast enough to keep your chainring turning and short enough to allow you to go anaerobic for some time. It can be done in the same session that the Fox Hill climb.
This course is not flat, so you will be able to climb a lot. The segment begins at a different point than other courses in the British capital. This allows you to climb quickly and bypasses the usual flat London start.
Leith Hill allows you to explore the English hillsides and take in one of Zwift’s most beautiful climbs. This thrilling trek will take you through beautiful countryside and allow you to climb. You will reach Surrey’s summit via beautiful stretches of steep grades. All the heart-racing, hard work is totally worth it.
The Leith Hill segment allows you to ride South England’s highest point from the comfort of your own home. We should also mention that Leith Hill, the real-life Leith Hill, is part of Prudential RideLondon.
We would have tried to make it there in person if we had known that the Surrey area, just southwest of London, was home to so many rollers. Zwift will be our temporary solution.
Alpe du Zwift, Watopia course.
The “Road to the Sky”, the most popular Zwift climb, was introduced in 2018. This climb, which is a staggering 3753 feet high, will test your endurance and may be one you can only do a few times per year. Zwift responded to requests for more difficult climbs with the phrase “be careful what your wish for”.
Watopia offers a bit of everything to you
The Watopia segment, which includes Alpe du Zwift (a formidable climb inspired by the stunning Alp d’Huez), is the shortest. This course is ideal for freeriders who want a smooth ride. It starts on the beautiful pier right next to the seaplane. You’ll be greeted by the first climber right after taking off. He will take you straight to the bottom of the jungle, before you turn right and begin the Alpe du Zwift ascent. This jungle section is a 10 minute warmup with easy wattage. This section is not the place to push it. You will need the leg strength later. Don’t worry about power output. You will have your chance.
You will be able to tell when the climb begins after about 10 minutes of easy riding. You will need water and a towel because this climb has very few flats. The climb will last almost the entire time. Grades range from 4% to 14% with an average grade at 8.5%. The segment ends at Alpe du Zwift. After that, you can do a celebratory loop up the top, which is a flat and short option, before going back down.
Road to the Sky measures 19.5km (12.1 miles). It has an elevation gain up to 1135m (3726′), and leads to 7.7 km (4.8 mi) and 79m (260′) at Start Pier. The climb is on a constant slope so you should be prepared to work for about an hour depending on your level of power. Watopia course, just like other Alpe routes is only accessible to Zwifters of level 10 or higher (last time we checked). However, you can access it via an official group ride, before reaching higher levels.
Ven-Top, France Course
19km, 8% average grade. Extremely difficult. Zwift’s Ven-Top climb was added in 2020 with the France course. This climb is based on the legendary Mont Ventoux climb in France’s Cote d’Azur. The Alp d’Huez is located in the Alps. However, the real Mont Ventoux is found in a different area of South France, near the beautiful Mediterranean coast and Provence. Let’s not get into the geography.
Ven-Top is actually 300-400 feet longer than Alpe du Zwift and requires a greater effort. The average grade is 8%, compared to 8.5%. The false flat is just enough to start your heart rate up, before the incline really takes off. Before reaching the top, you pass Chalet Reynard as well as a memorial to Tom Simpson. This is another difficult climb that you should save for an A-day. It’s a lot like the Road to the Sky.
The Alpe du Zwift is a consistent climb, but you’ll notice Ven-Top loaded up in the middle. As we said, the beginning is more like a false flat. Although the final sections are not easy, they can be tamed a little. The middle 1/3 of the segment will require you to dig deepest. Extended sections at 9% or higher are also required. It will be worthwhile if you make it all the other way.
It is a difficult and long climb. It is not as popular as the Alpe climb, so we think the Alpe climb is the most iconic Zwift climb. This is the best Zwift climb, if you are looking for the longest and hardest climb.
These amazing rides are great for testing your skills, enjoying some breathtaking views, and engaging with other riders. You can improve your performance by staying seated. A rocket plate will provide extra comfort and help you to relax. You’ll be faster, more powerful, and you’ll enjoy these virtual segments even better.
These are five amazing Zwift climbs. Our team has compiled some tips for the perfect Zwift setup.
Try them out and let us know your thoughts. You can also share your favorite climbs below.