"Heavier rider is always faster". Was it actually changed since that two years old test by Bruno? SOLVED

You don’t need a study you can just grab some results from Zwift power to show that. Heavier riders usually put out a lot more power than light riders

Just for fun, look at the TTT on Greater london flat. The heaviest rider had to average 303w while the lighter rider averaged 185w.

go to zwift power and grab the results of a big race, pic one of the Zwift races that does not have any start groups and no filtering, then plot rider weight vs finishing position, you will see a linear relationship, that heavier riders tend to go slower.

I’m not talking about in Zwift though. The OP said he reasearched some stuff in real life and found his answer. I was looking for that data. I have seen the Zwift data :slightly_smiling_face:.

  1. Heavier riders will always be faster in the flat by a lot! Zwift don’t seem to implement this like in real life! Bummer!!!
  2. Heavier rider till a fix point at xx% climb will be faster than a lighter rider albeit both pushing same W/kg! It’s simple physic.
  3. The higher the power-output especially of an heavy rider the harder it will be staying in slipstream. I don’t seem to find that in zwift.

Did you see my post above, the heavy rider had to hold 303w to stay with the light rider that only did 185w. does not look like the heavy rider has an advantage here. O and IRL the heavier riders will winn the light riders on a flat road. Go compare track cyclist vs tdf riders, on a track weight does have very little effect because it is pancake flat.

Yes this is true, because until a certain xx% climb the heavy rider will put out a lot more power at the same w/kg. 100kg @ 3w/kg = 300w 50kg @ 3w/kg = 150w

Watch Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, Gent–Wevelgem. Alle winners weight around 75 kg ±5 kg.
Weight is hardcoded totally different to IRL physics.
The equation lacks serious IRL studying!

A track is pancake flat yes in one of your case the heavy rider wins in the other not???



Besides groups aren’t moving 40 km/h because of sling shot hocus pocus magic fidibus and everyone is pushing at 3 w/kg - No! Groups move at 40 km/h because someone in front is pushing it at minimum of 4 w/kg. And those with around 4/kg pushing in front aren’t light weight or fly weight wannabe domestics these guys are quite “heavy” 70 to 85 kg pushing around 300 to 340 W. If mass is rolling it is rolling! Therefore triathlets use heavier rims in most cases!

Read this:

2019: World track gold winner Matthijs Büchli 90kg

2019 TDF winner Egan Bernal 60kg

This is true, but the rider does not actually roll, or at least those that I see riding bikes. So rider weight and Moment of inertia has nothing in common.

triathletes don’t use heavy rims because it is heavy, they pick rims that are very aerodynamic and aerodynamic rims are just more heavy because of the wheel profile. If heavy wheel was an advantage they would use solid steel wheels. Also because most triathlons are relatively flat they can have heavier equipment but more aerodynamic.

Yes exactly what i said above:
heavy > Light - on the flats
light > heavy - on the hills

What does it mean for zwift?
In the flat the fly weight still push more w/kg and outclass heavy weight rider - funny isn’t it?! :man_facepalming: Of course not it’s dumb and still bummer! This is a BUG nothing else and nothing more and should be fixed!

Keep in mind that a heavier rider might win the TdF, too, if they only had to go a Kierin distance.

I would rephrase that
Power full > Weak - on the flat
light > heavy - on the hills

Weight play very little role on the flat roads, and that is the point I am making. A rider can lower his weight to be faster on climbs, but he can not increase his weight to be faster on the flat.

It mean they got the physics correct, zwift behave like the real world. Good job.

Why do you say it is a bug? because of the way zwift use w/kg to assign racing groups. I would not call it a Bug it is a good starting point. In fact the w/kg groups started from the community when we started racing log before there was racing in zwift.

I know you are not reading anymore and ready to post some unrelated links. But if you are: The title of this post is “Heavier rider is always faster” and not w/kg race categories. And all my post show that heavier riders are not faster.

Powerful riders win flat routes and Light riders win climbs. Just like IRL

You can paraphrase what i was saying over and over gain BUT point is heavy riders don’t have the advantage they should in ZWIFT in the flat.

80 kg pushing 320 W (4 w/kg)
60 kg pushing 240 W (4 w/kg)

Heavier rider would outclass the light rider in real life not in Zwift!


  • Equipment (bike + clothing ~ 8 kg) alone is braking speed by 10 % for the 80 kg rider and around 15 % for the 60 kg rider.
  • Rolling resistance has bigger negative influence for the light rider. The heavy rider with more absolute power will suffer less from drive resistances compared to the light rider. Heavier riders with less w/kg but more absolute power will drive faster by a lot.

There is a tendency but it doesn’t behave like in real world.

Powerful heavy riders win on climbs against less powerful light riders on climbs.
You can play it all over the day … Just like IRL.

Heavier rider is not faster on zwift vs real world. Because in zwift there is no real freewheeling. If you are on group and doing heavy effort and stop cadence for few seconds, z will put brakes on. Irl thats not the case (on flats)when heavier rider have momentum. Z have don this mayby because that it is ment to be a good training platform. This good enaf for me.

Mayby it is imbosiple to make all right algorythmics how weight, height, aero/wighth, tyresize, positions, road smoothness, wind, ex effect on riders speed on sertan watts. They are all cestimations. And i*ll take that.
Irl is easyer now when you can freewheel a little pit.
+120kg zwift rider

The most savage place I’ve ever created.

From what I’ve seen in other posts 4% is not steep enough to override a pure power advantage. An incline of 8% was mentioned.

I don’t believe that Zwift put the brakes on when you freewheel. The difference to real life is that IRL most people aren’t used to the dynamics of a peloton in which everybody else is putting down threshold power (whilst churning at the front in an unrealistic fashion), most are used to the dynamics of their friends coffee shop group ride.

Go to the front, in the wind, of a hammer-down peloton and try freewheeling, see how quickly you disappear out the back. Just look at the wake off the peloton when the sprint trains are in charge of a pro race. You aren’t going to get away with freewheeling long there. If you do you’ll look a lot like you have the brakes on.

Given that even on my cheap as chips smart trainer, I can essentially freewheel down the entirety of the Alpe and VenTop (and the downhill bits of the Epic KOM descent) I think it is clear that Zwift does not apply the brakes when descending with zero power.

After all, you can only invoke your avatar into the supertuck position by stopping pedalling and applying no power whatseover.