Newb question - High cadence, low watts compared to other riders

Hey everyone,

Absolutely new to cycling and started zwifting a few days ago. I took part in a couple of races and so far I couldn’t figure out why my 122 cadence produced 364 watts while another rider was getting a 665 watts with 96 cadence.
This is just an example, it seems like most of the riders I raced with need way less cadence to generate the same watts compared to I am getting. I imagine this can’t be a generalized log error.

My gear is an entry mountain bike with Garmin sensors and a Blackburn Mag6 trainer. The trainer is supported and I’ve set the resistance to two as specified in the Zwift Support page.

@Dani_Cojocaru: Cadence + gear selection = watts. You can’t compare cadence and know whether one rider is producing more power than another. The same cadence and the same gear will produce the same watts (more or less, there are other, lesser factors).

Also, 364 watts is a lot of watts. 665 watts is a whole lot of watts. As in, unlikely for more than a very short period, outside of elite riders.


Your gearing is probably a part of this issue. MTBs have smaller gears than road bikes so your cadence will be higher with less watts.

Do you have a smooth trainer tire, or a knobby mountain bike tire? You should get a trainer tire if you don’t already have one.

Also the trainer probably has a lower power curve than others.


Thanks for the answers guys, I really appreciate it!

I do Mike, I have a smoother tire that according to its vendor is meant to be used with a trainer. Thank you for advising :wink:

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