Zwift Community Q&A: Neil Ostenfeld

Zwift Community Q&A

Neil Ostenfeld

Something that we will be doing on a regular basis is featuring those people who make Zwift racing and riding what it is today:

Indoor Specialists.


Today we asked one Zwift’s top A-racers, Neil Ostenfeld, some questions so the community could get to know more about him.  Read up below!

How did you get into Zwift?:

I got tired of other apps pretty much sums it up. Bought a wahoo dongle with a 30pin adaptor for my iPad and little did I know.


How long have you been riding/racing bikes?:

I’ve been riding bikes since I was probably 5 or 6. I ran XC and Track in HS and rode MTB for fun, then bought a road bike in 2010. Power meter shortly after that, then started racing in 2012. Raced for 3 years until my daughter was born.

What team on Zwift are you on?:

Team Type 1. My wife lives with a Type 1 diabetes.

What trainer/power meter do you utilize?:

I use 3” Kreitler rollers with their Killer Headwind fan unit and a single flywheel. I run a SRM Dura ace 9000 52-36×11-28 setup on my road bike.


What kind of fan do you use for cooling?:

I have the Headwind unit running off the front roller which give a very direct stream on my face, and a UtiliTech Pro floor fan for my body.


Are you a morning person or a night owl?:

Definitely a morning person, but my schedule usually forces me to ride in the afternoon or evening.


What’s your pre-race ritual?:

Taping up my towels on my handlebars and top tube.

What’s your favorite “staple” (regular) race?:

I’m pretty opportunistic, but I committed to doing the WTRL Team League on Saturday mornings all winter and had a blast. So many awesome series starting up on Zwift it’s hard to pick just one.


What’s your favorite Zwift group ride?:

Definitely enjoyed the KISS Base rides. always a tight group with a killer sprint to finish it off.


Do you think Zwift racing is different from outdoor bike racing? If so, how is it different to you?

So different! Zwift is like a stampeding herd of rhinos. Everyone is on the gas all at the same time. IRL is like a cheetah stalking a gazelle. All is calm until all hell breaks loose. That’s a dumb analogy, but I guess to sum it up Zwift: 275w or 375w IRL 120w or 450w.

What kind of fuel do you use to keep yourself going while riding?:

Gatorade pretty much.


If you could race anyone head to head on Zwift, who would you pick?:

So many great battles here. Maybe there could be some Zwift Madness bracket challenge. I’m going to call out last years Zwift National Champion Adam Zimmerman because we are similar sprinters and have had quite a few drag races over the past few months.

Do you ride/race outside in addition to Zwift? If so, what discipline(s)?:

Definitely, when it’s nice and dry I’ll opt for my MTB, if the trails are closed or friends are riding I’ll ride road.


Do you feel that Zwift has helped your fitness for outdoor riding? If so, how?:

Zwift has been such a great tool for maintaining and building fitness. It used to be if the weather was crap, or I couldn’t ride until night I’d skip a training day, now I don’t have to.


What one tip would you give to Zwifters looking to improve their racing in-game?:

Practice drafting. Get better at using the least possible amount of energy to make it to the finish with the group you’re with at least if you’re trying to win. Alternatively do crazy stuff during a race, throw an unexpected attack and see what happens. That’s what I love about Zwift races, if you don’t do well just try another one tomorrow!

Where do you see eSports for cycling going?:  

I’d love to see live events at bike shops all over. Show up at a shop. Race with other people at shops all over the world. Or just with people at the shop. Hard to pin down where it’s going yet but I can’t see it going anywhere but up.


What’s your favorite Zwift memory?:

Either helping TT1 win the WTRL Team League, or finishing 4th this year at US Zwift Nationals.


Who’s your biggest fan?:

Probably my dad. He’s subscribed to my YouTube channel and I’m pretty sure he watches all the races since he always asks me about them whenever we get together.


What’s your favorite post-race food?:

Peanut butter and honey sandwich with an espresso.

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