ZwiftHQ sent an email blast today announcing an immediate increase in the monthly subscription price, from $10US to $15US. Subscribers from other countries may see their price increase by a greater percentage, with some complaining of an increase of 75% or more. Existing subscribers have the current price locked in for one year.

Why the price increase? Here’s how ZwiftHQ explains it:

We raised our monthly membership in order to continue to make Zwift a bigger, better and more beautiful experience to help you improve your cycling performance and achieve your fitness goals. From a scrappy little team that could all fit around a table and share a meal, Zwift’s staff continues to grow with programmers, artists, designers, testers, community managers, coaches, and an around the clock support staff working to help Zwifters when you have questions…

Here is the complete text of ZwiftHQ’s email:

Three years ago, when we founded Zwift, a lot of people told us we were nuts. There are simply not enough cyclists to build a long term business, they said. But being cyclists ourselves, we knew they were wrong. We knew that there is not a more vibrant, dedicated, passionate group of people in the world than the global community of cyclists. Moreover, we knew that this community was being woefully underserved when it came to riding indoors—remember how boring indoor training used to be? Your continuous feedback and awe-inspiring 147 million miles (237 million km) of riding—that’s 650 roundtrips to the moon—have helped us to shape the product as it stands today and what it will become tomorrow. Thank you.

We have come a long way with Zwift since the beta release, and we have some exciting things planned for the upcoming season. We just rolled out our lush new Mayan Ruins expansion of Watopia—currently my favorite stretch of road on Zwift—and we recently began piloting Group Workouts, which marry the social fun and motivation of group rides with the targeted training benefits of workouts—try one and let us know what you think. You’ll see even more events to choose from and new training plans are being added to our library. But we have so much more that we hope to deliver to you: new gameplay features, more maps and expansions to existing maps, improved social riding experiences, better guidance in reaching your training and fitness goals. The list goes on, and on.

The team too has grown. Every day we work at building the team that can bring you an awesome and constantly improving experience to help you improve your cycling performance and achieve your fitness goals. From a scrappy little team that could all fit around a table and share a meal, Zwift’s staff has grown to over a hundred people including programmers, artists, designers, testers, community managers, coaches, marketers, and an awesome support staff working to help Zwifters when they have questions.

In order to continue to make Zwift bigger, better and more beautiful, we are updating our membership price to $14.99 per month, effective today. As a way of saying thank you, however, to the awesome Zwifters who helped us get here, your pricing will not change for one year. If you happen to suspend your membership during this period and come back, you can still enjoy your current pricing level. (Visit our FAQ for all the details.)

At Zwift, we take seriously our mission to help more and more Zwifters achieve their fitness goals by making training fun, rewarding, and effective — and we take great pleasure doing it. We are grateful to all of you, and we look forward to seeing you on Zwift!

Ride On,

Eric Min
Co-Founder and CEO

The Zwift Riders Facebook group is all abuzz with the news, with a post from Zwift’s Eric Chon currently showing 311 replies in just a few hours. As with any price change, there is no shortage of strong opinion on both sides. Some Zwifters are saying the price increase seems especially ill-timed, given Zwift’s recent outages. Others are taking it all in stride, saying it’s still well worth the money.

Personally, I’m not surprised by the price increase, given Zwift’s user survey a few months back probing our thoughts on various price points. Nobody likes price increases, but I certainly won’t stop Zwifting because of an extra $5/month. Like all Zwifters, my hope is that higher fees can fund more rapid improvement in game features and stability. If that’s what happens, then this price increase is a successful move in my book.

What about you? Chime in below with your thoughts.