Hey all! I just got the 100kph badge after failing out of it a few times and thought I’d share a few tips. I am a decidedly vanilla, Cat-D, 75kg rider so if I can do this, there’s a darn good chance you can too.
Bike Frame & Wheels
I failed this using the stock Zwift TT bike so it’s possible you’ll need to level up enough to buy something more aero. I happened to hit L26 recently and unlocked the ”Canyon Speedmax CF SLX Disc”, known to be one of the more slippery TT bikes. If you’re not at L26 yet, the Cervelo P5 is available at level 15. I already had the Zip 808 wheels (L13 unlock) but the very good DT Swiss ARC 62 are available at level 6.
I suspect - after failing my first attempt - aerodynamics play a part. However, I also mis-judged when to use Aero-Boost and apply power during my failed attempt. If you’re successful with the Zwift TT bike, let me know!
The Radio Tower descent is probably the most accessible place to try this as it’s along several routes in Watopia (Epic KOM or the reverse). The super easy, almost-feels-like-cheating-way to get there: Join Pace Partner A. Anquetil while he’s riding the “Three Sisters” route and nearing the KOM arch.
Riding through the Epic KOM arch, I didn’t get the Aero Boost power-up the first time so I dumped it, rode to the Bonus Climb (aka “Radio Tower”) turn point, went around the corner and then U-turned back to the KOM Arch, with another U-turn to go through again for another chance at the Aero Boost. (took me a few tries)
EDIT: You must be riding a non-TT bike when crossing the KOM arch - Aero Boosts aren’t awarded if riding TT-bikes.
Once you have the Aero Boost, head up the Radio Tower climb, go slow, even setting “trainer difficulty” to OFF if you just want to zone out at a constant wattage and cadence. Take special note of the sections with the steepest gradients - there are a couple of corners around halfway up that hit 16-17%. You’ll want to remember where those are (maybe take a screen capture for later review) so you’ll know when to activate aero-boost and spool up your wattage on the descent. On my first attempt, I think I got antsy and activated Aero Boost too early which had it running out before hitting the steepest sections.
Prep & Descent
Once you’re at the summit, stop early so you have some runway to get up to speed before the descent. Take a breather (especially if you just did the entire Epic KOM without the pace partner help) get off your bike, stretch out your legs, have a coffee.
In your garage, equip fast TT bike & wheelset (change camera angle to confirm it took), in Settings, dial trainer difficulty to “OFF” (0%) to prevent spinning out, and consider having a secondary device running the companion app for easier Aero Boost activation.
- Starting the shallow descending section of the loop, ramping power up (I held about 300-350Watts) - if you hit about 85kph here, you’re on track to make it.
- DO NOT use Aero Boost too early (wait for the steep corners farther down)
- Approaching the first steep corner, ramp up power (I doubled mine to 700Watts), hit aero-boost if you haven’t already. You should hit 90-95kph here and see speed climbing. The second steep corner comes fast so you won’t have to hold this for more than a few seconds (and Aero-Boost only lasts 15seconds) as gravity assist in the steep sections pushes your speed up.
I suspect there’s a large stretch where you can hit 100kph and it’s between the two steepest sections - if you miss it on the first 17% turn, you’ll still be accelerating down and can hit it on the second. The kiss of death is if you go hard or apply the Aero Boost too early where it won’t stack with the gravity assist.
My terminal velocity was 105kph, just before the last turn near the bottom of the Radio Tower hill. (look carefully at the mini-map in the image below - also note my Aero Boost is just about to run out…)
TL;DR: fast TT bike & aero-wheels, trainer difficulty to 0%, don’t sprint or hit the aero-boost too early - the steepest sections of the Radio Tower hill are closer to the bottom.