Newbie w/kg question - can't find answer anywhere

Hi guys. I’m new to Zwift and cycling in general. I have not just jumped on here without trying to find the answer myself, but none of my searches specifically address my question.

I am using a Wattbike Atom, so my figures should be pretty accurate.

I weigh around 98/99kg. On my last ride I averaged 2.7w/kg (260w) and finished the ride in 1:15:05

When I compared those stats to a similar sized rider holding the same Watts he finished in 1:07:19

What am I missing? Two riders weighing the same and putting out the same avg watts should have pretty similar times I would have thought. But I’m missing something. Please help.
Are his tactics or when he puts down his power enough to make that kind of difference?


It’s double draft in Tour De Zwift, that’ll make a world of difference if that’s where you both rode?

Do some research on drafting in Zwift.

Also bike choice will play a part.


Average watts does not tell the full story. If he used more watts on the climbs where you loose the most time he could still have the same avr. Also drafting as Stuart mentioned.


Plus you are taller so you will have more drag in Zwift.

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Thanks guys. Some of those things crossed my mind but I didn’t think it would add up to almost 8 minutes difference.
I also just found out that a TT bike doesn’t draft. I literally just changed to a TT a couple of days ago and this was my first group ride. And as someone above mentioned this ride did have double draft. So now I’m wiser and I’ll change it up on the next ride.

Thanks everyone.


On the plus side I can make some quick gains with some tactic and equipment changes :grinning:

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If you look closer at what watts/kg those who are in front of a group produce, compared to you when you are in draft, or when you compare the power before you got onto someone’s wheel and after that, you will find that the numbers for the difference can be as high as 20-25%. If the other guy was drafting behind someone strong all the time, his 2.6 w/kg in draft could be easily equivalent to your 3.0 to maybe 3.2 or more watts/kg without draft. It makes a lot of difference. Eight minutes, 12-15% difference in time, sounds perfectly possible just because of that.

The way how I look at it, though, the result does not matter too much (unless you race for the sake of racing and winning), but the power which I can generate and sustain and how it compares with what I was able to produce in the past does matters. One does not win any prizes or money in those races, but one wins improvements in physical shape :).

Thanks for the explanation :+1:

Yehh I totally agree with what you say, as I am new I am just trying to make sure I fully understand the inner workings of everything and that I’m using it to its best. Even during this one post I have learned a lot. Ideally I wish Zwift would have a PB Ghost Rider to compete against myself, as really all I’m ultimately interested in is bettering my own rides. Which is why this was my first group ride since I started. I usually just ride alone and compare my previous times etc.
But its always worth a comparison to see where and how improvements can be made.

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Another thought, Alan, the bike which you are riding also makes a difference. If you are new on Zwift, you probably got the two basic Zwift bicycles and have not earned enough drops to upgrade them yet. On an hour long ride, bike can make several mins difference.

Regarding comparing yourself to yourself, as an idea, you could pick a ride which you like and ride it as a race from time to time and write down what your average power and completion time was. You can also ride behind pacing partners, those glowing riders which move around at fixed values of watts/kg.

Not quite minutes. The slowest frame is 27.5 seconds slower than the fastest frame on a 51 minute test. (Not including TT, gravel, and MTB’s)

First I’m learning about these. Thanks for that.

Hi Alan, welcome to Zwift!

It sounds like the TT bike will have made a big difference to you and here’s a helpful article on drafting which you might find useful:

With “double draft” in the Tour de Zwift making the slipstream even stronger than other events, I find I finish furthest up the order when I start fast and cling onto a group of other riders who are faster than me, as well as saving as much energy as I can for the climbs.


Thanks all. Just finished TdZ Stage7 Long Ride - 46:21
The suggestions and advice here made a big difference and pushed me on to a new FTP. Absolute hardest ride I have ever done :slight_smile: But lovin the motivation that come from Zwift. Beats the gym spin bike any day.


Good to hear! I find there’s nothing as motivating as always chasing that “next wheel” in the TdZ!

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I somehow didn’t know two things mentioned in that article… 1) The rider will go up on the hoods as a visual indication they are drafting, and 2) The Tron bike doesn’t have that visual cue.

So maybe there’s a good reason not to use the Tron bike… Wonder why they don’t give Tron riders a visual cue for drafting, that seems odd.

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The Tron bike doesn’t have hoods, so I guess that really makes the question “why did they make it without hoods?!”
But the reality is by the time you’ve earned the Tron bike, drafting should come so naturally you don’t need that visual cue any more.


Though the Tron bike is achieved by a lot of climbing, where drafting isn’t as valuable.

Buy ironically the Tron bike isn’t amazing at climbing, it’s more of an allaround-er, so it could use a bit of a draft indication anyhow.

I think the best thing about the Tron is that the avatar don’t drink and does not change positions in and out of the draft.

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Wouldn’t the position change be something you can use to know for sure you can lower your wattage a bit before visually seeing your avatar going too far forward? I’m new to drafting so find I end up overcompensating in both directions, so having some visual seems to be useful. Maybe when I ride more it won’t be as important.