My 10 year old kid is struggling on flats


My 10 year old is 142 cm and 32 kg, all correctly set in the app. He has his own account and starting to do a few events here and there. He recently climbed Alpe du Zwift in around 100 minutes.

Today he intended to join Tour de Watopia on the Flat Lands, he was well over 3+ w/kg but couldn’t keep up with other rider going at 1.5 w/kg. This brings him down and does not motivate him to keep going.

In real life he is a decent cyclist and you do need to push on the pedal to follow him.

Can something be done?
Is this considered the correct behaviour of the simulation? (taking account weight of the bike).


The way I understand it is that on the flats it’s mostly about total watts output.

This may be an oversimplification, but:
Your son is outputting 32kg@3W/kg = 96W
Let’s say the other guy was 90kg@1.5W/kg = 135W

Your son will have a hard time keeping up with him on the flats and on descents.
On the other hand, when climbing, your son will most likely fly as he can keep 3W/kg more easily than others. Weight and W/kg is of more importance on positive gradients.

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Make sure he is on a road bike and not a TT or gravel bike. TT bikes do not get the benefit of the draft and gravel bikes are quite slow compared to road bikes.

I can see difficulty trying to follow a single rider so target well-attended events to get pack drafting. Follow one of the pacer bots to see what level to determine where he can comfortably follow.

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Unfortunately, low comparative watts are going to make for a struggle on flats.

In these large group events, there’s often a few handfuls of people at the back who generating lower watts and going at a lower watts per kilogram, so he might try finding some people back there. Sometimes at the start of these events, people will announce their intention’s of w/kg or watts target in the chat to find like minded riders. He could try that in a group and see if anyone wants to roll at the speed he’s rolling at.

On I related note, they used to be some unofficial kids events on Zwift we’re waiting. Watts wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

Very kindly, @Oliver_ZRace_Central used to write about these sometimes and list what they were. Are you still doing that Oilver? Are there still some kids events on a regular basis?


Thanks for tagging me on this one. I remember being a 30kg rider who had to push ~2-3 wkg to keep up with the 1.5 groups. There’s not much you can really do about it other than improve your drafting to become a more efficient rider.

I hosting a U16 tour in November that would be a great opportunity for him to ride with others his age: Tour4Kids 2023 - ZRace Central


Thanks you @Oliver_ZRace_Central. I have registered him for the U16 event, he is thrilled already :slight_smile:

And thanks for organising.