Is it worth buying wheels / frames

Hi folks, I hope all is well.

I am level 19.5 and have 2,550,123 drops as it stands. I unlocked the Zwift Concept / Tron bike at level 17 and am riding around on this.

Thus far I have the following bikes: Tron, Trek Emonda, Spec Tarmac Pro and the three standard Zwift bikes. The Trek I got from the climbing challenge.

I have the following wheels: DT SWISS ARC 1100 Dicut 62, ENVE SES 3.4 and the lightweight Meilenstein ones from the climbing Alpe challenge.

Is it actually worth buying any frames and wheels at my level, or should I just stick with changing the colour on my tron unit I am like level 40?

I am 6 foot 4 and weigh just under 90 kg, so racing and stuff on Zwift is pointless for me.

zwiftinsider.com has all the information you could ever want on which bikes and wheels to choose, which ones are faster, etc.

Basically, the tron is still the best all around bike unless you are doing massive climbs (I think). One of the new frames might be about the same or slightly faster, but I can’t keep up with all the changes Zwift makes. And they seem to change attributes a few weeks after a new frame is released anyway so it gets slower for some reason? Then you have the bug with the dura ace groupset making certain bikes slower right now… so I just stick with the tron.

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Having read those and some others it appears I’m best served just using my Tron for the majority of routes. If I decide to get the 25 badge for the A.D.Z I will just use my Spec Tarmac Pro and the lightweight wheels I won.

Can’t see the point in buying the Canyon or anything as it will be a waste of drops.

Perhaps a TT bike?

I would add a mountain bike and gravel bike to your garage for the mixed terrain and dirt sections of Watopia and Makuri.

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Hi @Happy_Slugger,
I fully agree with what Mike’s written so far. Perhaps one of the most useful pages in Zwift Insider on this question is the one with the scatter plot comparing the tron with a selection of frames and wheels for both climbing and flats: Speed Tests: Tron Bike vs Top Performers (Scatter Plot) | Zwift Insider

If you’re looking to get a much better TT frame than the standard Zwift one, the Canyon Speedmax CF SLX Disc is the fastest in game at the moment. Combine it with the fastest wheels you can afford. You do need to be at level 26, but you’ll be there soon.

It’s definitely worth using/having an MTB for the jungle area in Watopia, where road and even gravel bikes are quite a bit slower. The ones that you can buy in the drop shop are marginally faster than the Zwift model that you will own already. Gravel bikes are only the fastest choice in a couple of Makuri Islands routes, so very much a ‘nice to have’ at most, at the moment.

In the end, we’re shaving seconds rather than minutes off an hour’s effort, so I understand people who stick with the Tron for almost everything. I do that much of the time, too, but I do like some variety. The drops aren’t doing anything while accumulating in our accounts, so why not spend them on shiny new stuff every now and then (even if it does clog up the virtual garage).

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I wouldn’t worry about saving your drops now for stuff 20 levels later. If you spend all your drops now you’ll easily earn enough for all the shiny things you want in the time it takes you to get from level 20 to 40.

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The only other bikes you’d want are Aethos and the Cervelo S5 2020 once you are able to afford them and at the right level. Zipp 353 wheels are pretty good too. Meilenstein wheels you have are great for climbing. IRL should be fairly aero too, but Zwift cares little for that.

Otherwise you have Tron bike.

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I too wouldn’t worry about saving drops for later, but not spending them left and right on supposed marginal gains means your garage will stay easier to navigate…

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You’ve had sensible advice on frames, I’m going to bite on the “racing on Zwift is pointless”. You are heavy enough that you’re well suited to Zwift’s racing. Though it also depends a lot on your sprint. But you should be able to ride comfortably with the front group of whatever category you’re in, without tipping over the category limit. Which is what zwift racing is all about…

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I have the whole garage now and only use 3 bikes the Tron and the Buffalo bike with a disk wheel or TT bike for races, stick with the tron jack of all trades

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Yeah sorry should have elaborated a little on that point.

I’m a big guy, my sports at school and throughout adult life have been long distance running (half marathon kind of distances) power lifting and martial arts. I’m still recovering from ankle injuries from almost 18 months ago. I fractured my left ankle and it took almost 6 months to heal…I then had an accident on my birthday and tore all the ligaments in my left ankle again, that was 6 months ago…I’ve not been out running since. So I’m using zwift as a way to keep active and do something whilst recovering. I don’t tend to go ■■■■ for leather on it as my ankle just balloons and I’m in pain again, so I kind of just play it as the day allows. I’m not really interested in racing on zwift and I’ve watched some videos online that show how height and weight impact riders on zwift, so see little point unless I want to play the game (so to speak) and wake up one day 70 kg and 5 foot 6 lol.

I’m just enjoying doing something for now if that makes sense.

I appreciate all the comments above, thank you very much.

Should add that some of my best Zwift rides have been aided by my previous prescription of liquid codine lol

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I am 6 foot 4 and weigh just under 90 kg, so racing and stuff on Zwift is pointless for me.

Try this instead:

I am 4 foot 6 and weigh just under 90 pounds, so racing and stuff…

No more racing issues :wink:

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Yeah, I’m not about to start changing my height and weight on the system to gain a speed advantage, I don’t see the point. Just enjoy it as it is and accept any / all limitations of the system and my build lol. I’m only in competition with myself :+1:

I do often believe I’m the largest person on the game sometimes when I’m riding around, everyone appears smaller than I am in game.

That is definitely not true, your “heavy” is my goal weight and I race.

In all seriousness though you still shouldn’t count out racing. I mostly only do racing so far (but probably need to do some of the workouts/routes eventually). Even though I’m lagging behind at the back of most fields, I’m finding the racing is really pushing me; much harder than I’d push outdoors/in real life.

In one race there was a climb that took 15 - 20 minutes if I recall. I couldn’t quite keep up. On the descent I made up almost 20 seconds on the guy in front of me. It felt gratifying that I could keep up to someone who “chose” a lower weight than me (and I’m only 170 lbs!!!). I lost a sprint at the end, but none the less had fun and got a great workout.

The disadvantage isn’t just weight, but also if you happen to have a trainer that more accurately shows your power (or even underestimates it). I’ll constantly be finishing towards the back of the rankings but I’m okay with that. Come summer time, I’ll be keeping up with people in the real world that I had no chance in keeping up with before Zwift. I just can’t imagine that someone who’s sandbagging/weight doping is getting the same quality of workout as myself. It must be boring (not to mention, a much less effective workout) to spin most the race and only ‘exert’ themselves at key moments.

If the sandbagging gets fixed, I think that racing will become even more enjoyable. But even as-is… it’s a blast!

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My avatar looks a lot bigger than most and thicker set.

I’ve always been strong, parents used to get me to move the stuff around the house rather than my brother lol.

I’m not a body builder, just a big(ger) guy. I squat, deadlift, bench, chins three times a week also and have my little martial arts gym and weights set up in my garage.

I often find I’m sat there at peddling away, showing a greater w/kg and someone tiny passes me doing half what I am doing. Going up hill, I have the lungs and can quite happily power uphill, but still get left for dead by others that have avatars half my size :rofl:.

I’m not worried about it, or moaning as cycling isn’t my sport, I appreciate that. Martial arts is my sport and I’ve been doing those since I was 5.

if someone’s passing you in a free-ride doing half ur w/kg, it’s likely they’re getting pulled along by a “keep everyone together” group ride rubber-band.

unless it’s happening in races, i wouldn’t worry about it.

also in zwift races, if you can ride at the cat limits, the heavier you are, the faster you go (at same w/kg), so heavier riders actually have an advantage on majority of courses apart from pure climbing races. lighter riders won’t be able to overtake you without getting DQ’d for WKG. (only exception to this is if their raw FTP lets them exceed the cat limits, but this is for very lightweight riders only and is not particularly common).

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FWIW, I’m both taller and lighter than you, which means at the same W/kg (eg, any given category limit) I am automatically slower than you on all terrain, whether it’s up, down, or flat, dirt or tarmac, whatever. Being a 53-year-old marathon runner I also invariably have the weakest sprint in any bunch. Nevertheless, I manage to enjoy racing, though it would be better still with a more intelligent pen/category system.

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Cheers for the responses.

I’m not looking at racing and my post was about buying new equipment, etc.

Maybe one day I’ll have a look at races, but currently it’s not a priority of mine, but I really do appreciate everyone’s comments.

I’m happy just burning calories whilst my ankle completes its recovery and I will move back to running (although I think I will keep cycling and my zwift account also).