Why does my Watt Bike Atom slow on sandy surfaces?

Morning all

I have a Wattbike Atom and usualy ride around 32kmh. Today I chose a new Watopia route ‘Road to ruins’. My ride was great until I hit the sand on the Jungle Circuit. This slowed my speed by around 30% and no matter if I incraesed my cadence and Watts, it was as if my rear wheel wasn’t gripping.

Interstingly riders using turbo’s whizzed past me.

Is this just me or has anyone else experienced this. If yes, is there a fix as it has deterred me from exploring new routes which are not on tarmac surfaces.

Thank you, Derek

It slows you because Zwift’s algorithm to calculate your speed takes into account the road surface as well as a lot of other factors. Sand/clay is slower than tarmac.

The type of bike that you’re riding is also a factor, e.g. an MTB or gravel bike will be faster in the Jungle than a road bike.

Other riders will have been slowed too.

Thank you Steve. It explains my poor performance perfectly.


In Zwift races that include the Jungle as part of the route, you’ll often see racers stop at the start of the Jungle, quickly change to an MTB or gravel bike, then carry on racing. And the reverse at the end of the Jungle section. Such is the speed loss on a road bike this is well worth doing in a race, as long as you do it fairly quickly.