I’m writing here on Zwift as sort of a last ditch effort. I’ve tried so many other avenues and all it has led to is confusion.
I’ve been an amateur cyclist for many years. I mostly ride an M5 Carbon High Racer recumbent and sometimes ride a Mountain Bike. On my rides I almost always ride with the A group. I typically average 20+ mph for the entire ride.
As the winter months approached, I wanted to find a way to keep riding. I had less time to ride as well so an indoor option seemed like the right move. I did my research and settled on getting a Joroto Spin Bike and Favero Assioma Duo Power Meter Pedals. I figured I could use the power meter pedals indoors and outdoors and it might help me understanding more about my training.
However, here is what has happened and to Favero’s credit, they’ve been trying to figure out what the issue might be, but still can’t explain it. The power meter pedals on the spin bike result in wattage that is considerably less than any other bike.
For example, I’ve done the same test many times now. Using an average heart rate of 133 on a one-hour ride, here are the average wattage results for the ride:
- Spin Bike - 116 watts
- Recumbent - 206 watts
- Mountain Bike - 209 watts
I recently did a Zwift FTP test on the spin bike and my FTP came back as 174. However, as you can see from the data above, on any other bike outdoors, I can maintain 200+ for an hour at a low heart rate. My guess is my FTP is probably closer to 230 - 250 if I did an FTP test outdoors.
If my fitness was truly at 174 then that would be fine, but first, I don’t think it is, and second, I have the outdoor rides to reflect data that it isn’t as well. Not being able to produce adequate wattage has me getting destroyed in Zwift and it doesn’t make it enjoyable. Probably the most annoying thing is how difficult it is just to stay in “E - Everyone” group rides. My heart rate will spike out at about 175 - 180 whereas everyone else is coasting along at 120 BPM. In these “E - Everyone” group rides, I still end up being almost dead last and I can forget about doing any segment sprints.
I’ll try to recall all the things we’ve tested:
- Numerous Zero-offsets / Calibrations before every ride
- Ensuring crank arm length is accurate
- Changing out the crank arms on the spin bike
- Testing with Bluetooth and ANT+
- Testing across different platforms: Zwift, Garmin Edge 530, Rouvy, iPhone, RideWithGPS, etc.
- Tested across different bikes: Spin, Recumbent, Road Bike
So after all these tests, the results come out completely the same over and over again. The spin bike’s are just considerably less for some reason. As I said, Favero has tried to help. I’ve sent them numerous FIT files and they’ve looked at all the data. They acknowledge that the Spin Bike results are very low compared to anything else, but they can’t explain why.
In the event anyone has seen anything like this before, please let me know. Thanks for any help.