SDW Online Cycling

Latest Online Cycling News
  • Congratulations to our winners of the 2023 SDW Online Club Champs and The Henderson Cup - Jacob Arnell and The Henderson Plate - Lydia Godfrey. Click here for full results and here to watch a replay.

  • The 23/24 Zwift Racing League season is underway. To get involved, please first register at WTRL and then contact Lee Oliver to for team allocation. . 

  • If wishing to join SDW to partake in our online racing only, check-out our Online membership option here

  • Join our SDW Zwift Club in the Zwift Companion App. Search for and follow Lee Oliver SDW in the app and he will invite you. 

  • The club has funded two Wahoo KickR Snap smart trainers to loan for free to members. Contact Julian Fussell for more info.

  • Our very active online cycling community chat is now on Discord. Members can join here to keep in touch with latest events

  • To take advantage of our new SDW Racing Zwift club kit, update your app and check your kit garage, If not there already, please share your Zwift ID with Lee Oliver 

  • If new to Zwift racing, be sure to join our ZwiftPower team - go to teams and search for Southborough

Note: Please see file downloads at the bottom of the page for helpful guides and resources.

SDW Online Racing 

The Southborough and District Wheelers have an active online racing community catering for all levels with male, female and youth riders participating in a busy schedule of racing and group ride events.
In early 2020, the lockdown limits on outdoor group cycling led to our regular Sunday group rides going online. As the numbers grew, so did the appetite for racing and the advent of the British Cycling South East (BCSE) Zwift InterClub Competition led to the formation of our online cycling community for group riding, training, racing and a lot of banter. 
At our 2nd attempt, SDW won the BCSE InterClub Competition as well as the following London Lockdown series, beating some of the largest clubs in the South East. Since then we've enjoyed a lot of success, taking it to the mega online cycling clubs in numerous global series including regularly fielding up to 50 riders in the prestigious Zwift Racing League


So as a club member, how can I get involved?


Join the SDW Online Racing Facebook group and our SDW Discord chat group.  This is the best way to keep in touch with various group rides and races we all take part in, plus where you can get lots of friendly support to get you started.


What do I need to get involved?

  • Software/Platform: Most of our club activities at this point are on Zwift. Zwift is chargeable however check your BC membership rewards for occasional Zwift new joiner offers. If you are looking for an alternative to Zwift then other great platforms where you might find Wheelers include IndieVeloRouvyBKoolSufferfestTrainerRoad and FulGaz 

  • Bike: You will of course need an indoor bike set-up be that a turbo trainer, a static bike (e.g Wahoo KickR Bike or Wattbike) or rollers. Zwift will allow you to use a standard "dumb" trainer or rollers with regular speed and cadence sensors. But to get the full experience and be eligible for all race results, then you will ideally need a "smart trainer" that has an in-built power meter. Alternatively, you can add external power meters (cranks, pedals or other) to your dumb trainer set-up however a smart trainer that changes resistance enables you to properly compete and experience the gradients in the course. Popular models include Wahoo Kickrs, Tacx Neos, Saris H3s and Zwift's own ZwiftHub but there are an increasing number of models to suit budgets. DC Rainmaker and ZwiftInsider provide good trainer reviews and comparisons.

  • Apps: For Zwift you will need the Zwift game app on your tablet, mac, PC or phone.  The Zwift Companion phone/tablet app is a must to accompany you from your mobile while riding. From here you can also easily sign up to events and follow and message other riders. Note you must have the app on the same network as your main Zwift platfrom app for them to work alongside each other while riding. Within the app, search SDW to find fellow club Zwifters.

    For many events we also use the Discord app to enable us to communicate to each other during rides - an essential in Team Time Trial races. Join the main SDW Discord channel here and check the SDW Online Racing Facebook group for the relevant SDW Discord sub-channel  for your event. 

  • Screen: PC, Mac, ipad and AppleTV are your options with bluetooth or ANT+ connections. Alternatively, some use a phone as a screen and cast to a TV.  Refer to the Get Started and How to guides and videos on the Zwift websites to review minimum hardware requirement specifications.

  • Wi-fi and Sensor Connectivity: All of these platforms do require relatively fast, strong and stable wi-fi and depending on your own set-up and provider, may require a bit of bespoke configuration to get it all working nicely for you. Similarly, Bluetooth or ANT+ interference can cause sensor issues. If you are experiencing buffering, drop-outs or crashes then do check the troubleshooting guides on the platform websites.

  • ZwiftPower: If taking part in Zwift racing leagues, you will need a ZwiftPower profile and race category. You gain your ZwiftPower category (A, B, C or D) by competing in Zwift events with your category determined by your w/kg and few other factors. Once you have joined ZwiftPower, go to the Teams sections and search SDW to join our club team.  This is a helpful How To Guide to getting set-up for racing with ZwiftPower

  • Tags and Kit: For Zwift, it's helpful to add the tag SDW to your surname in your Zwift Profile (and this should feed through to ZwiftPower also). When in a racing team there may sometimes be extra tag requirements shared with you for each race. To take advantage of our SDW Racing Zwift club kit, update your app and check your kit garage, If not there already, please share your Zwift ID with Lee Oliver

  • Other: Fans, towels, sweatbands and lots of fluids are highly recommended, together with a well stocked fridge of beer for that post-ride reward and suffer selfie in our Discord chat rooms. 


  • GP Llama - a great independent review guide with lots of how to guides and test videos across platforms 
  • ZwiftInsider - the go to bible for all things Zwift. Follow them on Facebook too for weekly event updates and more
  • Zwift Community - follow this Facebook Page for links to live streaming of professional and community race events
  • Zwift Hacks - alongside the Zwift Companion App, a great resource for searching and signing up to events
  • Zwift Hub - a helpful tool to track your progress against Zwift's courses and badges 
  • British Cycling South East Zwift Community - home of the BCSE leagues and us good local club banter
  • WTRL - Organisers of the Zwift Racing League and Thursday Team Time Trial series. Check-in here for upcoming events and latest results and see the document below for top tips on TTTs
  • The HERD Racing League - A great racing community on Zwift whose series we regularly take part in. Follow them on Facebook and look out for their Pink Tron weekly podcast. 
  • The Zomunique - a go to resource for all things indoor cycling across all platforms including some great getting started and tips pages for IndieVelo.

Common Questions:

  • How do Zwift meet-up club ride events work? Most of these are now set-up via our Zwift SDW Club which you can find in the Zwift Companion App. To be added to the club, add SDW to your Zwift name and follow Lee Oliver SDW via the Find Zwifters feature in the app. I can then invite you to join. Then look out for us promoting club rides during the winter season via Dsicord and the app. 

  • How do I enter my first Zwift race? Use the Zwift Companion App to browse through events and pick one that suits you in terms of distance, climbing and format (details on the format are in the event description). Then choose the Category you feel comfortable with based on your anticipated w/kg (FTP/weight). Not sure - then start off in D or C and see how you get on. E cat is for women only but women can enter any other cat if they choose. If you enjoy your first races then set-up a ZwiftPower account (see above) and start to get ready for some competitive racing. 

  • Why are the race result in the Zwift app different to ZwiftPower? ZwiftPower is used for official results and filters out those that are racing in incorrect categories or with dodgey data. Although all people in league racing will have a ZwiftPower profile, not all Zwifters do. So you can often find your final ZwiftPower results many places higher than those on Zwift itself. Note: ZwiftPower can take a few hours to update as data gets synched and placings validated.

  • I'm not up for racing but can I still ride with other Wheelers? No problems - there's always someone up for a free-ride. Just post a message on the Facebook or Discord pages above. Zwift also have regular group rides and training programmes you can take part in at any time. Use the Zwift companion app to browse the events for group rides, free rides or select a training programme.

  • Does trainer difficulty setting (Zwift) make a difference? In short No - it is effectively virtual gearing and just down to your preference. If you have a narrow cassette range or prefer to avoid too many gear changes on a lumpy route, a lower setting will reduce the range of gradient and resistance. But watts are watts and it won't affect your in game performance which is still based on your absolute power output irrespective of setting.  For Zwift, there is lots of info on ZwiftInsider and here's a good GP LLama video to learn more.

  • Does it matter what bike and wheels I select? InZwift, yes - you can buy (using your earned virtual Drops currency) or earn (according to your achievement levels) upgraded bikes and wheels with some better for climbing, rolling or flats. Full tests and comparisons are on this ZwiftInsider page.

  • What can I expect from my first race? Pain and a whole lot of fun. Race tactics apply just as in real life as well as getting to grips with the gaming aspect of the platform. Search ZwiftInsider for basic and advanced Zwift racing tips.

  • What is WTRL?  WTRL is an official race organiser that run both the Zwift Racing League and the WTRL TTT Leagues. The latter is an excellent and addictive format that takes part on Thursday nights and we regularly enter teams for this. Look out for team invites on our SDW Online Racing Facebook group as well as guide in the documents below on how to sign-up and compete in a Zwift TTT