Zwift - wattage question

wonderturtle

Well-Known Member
I don’t get why I’m so slow in zwift.

i think I have it calibrated right - ie when im in a flat section on Zwift I go a similar speed to what I would do in the real world (20 mph give or take) and my wattage is usually in a range that is similar to what Strava says I do in the real world (in the general range of 150).

But on Zwift I am one of the slowest riders (sometimes lower 1/5 of riders) yet, while I’m not getting on a podium anytime soon I am stronger than that in real life.

further when I look at the wattage output of others on Strava (including those that are stronger than me) their average wattage output isn’t much higher than mine in the real world ..... yet on Zwift it seems a large segment of the riders are riding 250+ Watys (and higher) and ride by me like im standing still

Summary: I seem to be calibrated right (to what I do in the real world). And my wattage is similar to what strava says I (and others do) in the real world. I am not in the slowest 20% of riders yet in Zwift I am.

Thoughts?
 

jShort

2018 Fantasy Football Toilet Bowl Lead Technician
Team MTBNJ Halter's
150 watts is enough to do 20 mph?
 

kearneyb

Well-Known Member
Check your weight in your profile. I believe zwift requires weight in kilograms and not pounds. Everything in zwift is based on watts/kg. If you used pounds instead of kilograms it will reduce your watts/kg by a factor of 2.2.
 

wonderturtle

Well-Known Member
150 watts is enough to do 20 mph?

I’m talking ranges/ averages. I’m on a dumb trainer so I don’t know if that matters. But can hit +30mph on steeper downhills at way below 150 watts. And be below 5mph on an uphill yet I’m above 200 watts

here’s my ride today - averaged out to 19mph and 142 average watts.

today’s course was pretty flat. If I go ride sandy hook on a windless day and average 19mph I am far from the slowest 20% of riders. Far from the fastest for sure. But no where close to where I am in Zwift (really friggin slow).


7F234B34-7706-4978-9AE3-C1BD90810C5F.jpeg
 
Last edited:

wonderturtle

Well-Known Member
Check your weight in your profile. I believe zwift requires weight in kilograms and not pounds. Everything in zwift is based on watts/kg. If you used pounds instead of kilograms it will reduce your watts/kg by a factor of 2.2.

pretty sure I did the conversion but will check. Thanks !
 

Patrick

Overthinking the draft from the basement already
Staff member
When I think of your riding it is endurance - i think the zwifters are hunt-or-be-hunted.
there is the gaming aspect. I hate those little dots riding away from me.
Give me a carrot, i'm going to get it. (well, at least last winter anyway)

Do a D race - see how it goes. You'll know where you stand in the Z-world!
i don't think there is a lot of cheating in the JRA crowd - but this time of year brings out the
indoor triathlete training. they gotta hit their numbers!

Edit - if you don't have a power source, all bets are off.
 

wonderturtle

Well-Known Member
When I think of your riding it is endurance - i think the zwifters are hunt-or-be-hunted.
there is the gaming aspect. I hate those little dots riding away from me.
Give me a carrot, i'm going to get it. (well, at least last winter anyway)

Do a D race - see how it goes. You'll know where you stand in the Z-world!
i don't think there is a lot of cheating in the JRA crowd - but this time of year brings out the
indoor triathlete training. they gotta hit their numbers!

Edit - if you don't have a power source, all bets are off.

what do you mean “power source” ?
 

Pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Dumb trainer is tough with power; what are you using as the rest of your setup?
 

wonderturtle

Well-Known Member
Found a similar ride on what looks like the same route. 142w and 19mph doesn’t seem that far off.


could it be the Zwift riders are, on average, really strong? That is, it tends to attract the more hard core (ie those more dedicated than your average weekend warrior)?

... and that I am simply in the slowest 1/5 of Zwift riders?

I mean, I think that explains PART of it but people commonly pass me in Zwift like I’m absolutely standing still. Sure, really fast riders can swiftly drop me in the real world but no where close to the way they do in Zwift (like they are 2x 3x faster)
 

Dave Taylor

Rex kwan Do
Zwift’s algorithm doesn’t favor larger riders at all. You can go very fast staying in a draft but on your own it can be tough. Not sure how new you are too it but tou can see the elevation grade you are currently on in the upper right. Also, make sure you aren’t on a tt bike as u can’t draft. Make sure to calibrate your trainer as well.
 

Pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Do a flat loop and report back. I think it’s hard to have the full Zwift experience and be accurate without a power meter or a smart trainer.

for example i did one of the flat loops, 90 minutes, endurance pace, at 21.8mph. The mph is not realistic at all, but my weight and power numbers are realistic to what i would do on the road.

i don’t think Zwift is a real life simulation and they don’t claim to be.
 

choop

Well-Known Member
I don’t take speed estimates or distance very seriously. They aren’t real world accurate at all. The only thing that matters is time @ power.
 

iman29

Well-Known Member
I’ve been on Zwift since 2015 with my dumb trainer (Cycleops Fluid2) HRM and speed cadence sensor and that’s it.

As mentioned above check your weight setting and double check all your sensors are correct. Not sure how long you been on but there’s a lot of good information on YouTube or Zwift support about “ my Zwift avatar goes too slow” etc.

I never pay attention to the “virtual”
Speed as it has nothing to do with your outside speed. However I would agree with above comments my virtual power (zPower) is pretty close to what I am doing outside or if I Compare it to a real event like a TT race.

Agree also as a bigger rider (6’2” and 185-ish ) it’s harder to ride solo due to the way they have it programmed.

One trick in Zwift is if you go downhill you slow pedal or stop pedaling you will
Go faster due to the game dynamics and virtual gravity.

I suggest to check the mobile app or events page and try a few casual events with the understanding that there’s a good population of people who are riding around for fitness and don’t need to put in fake weights to cheat. The Zwift races tend to have a bit more virtual doping.

Hope some of that helps.
 
Top Bottom