# Why Speed Should Be the Main Metric in Zwift

This is a fair point (copied from IV?), but has little to nothing to do with your original post, which was about categorization:

Please choose which one you want to debate. Using speed for categorization would be a terrible idea because it’s a terrible predictor for performance, independently if speed, w/kg, pure watts or any other metric is displayed.

I’m not sure how useful that would be in a race scenario. If you’re in a group then you’ll know everyones relative speed depending on if the rider is moving through the field, dropping back or staying put in their position. If the rider is up the road in a breakaway then their speed is only relative to the terrain they are on. If they are going 35km/h on a 2% incline vs a -2% downhill that’s very different information and not useful unless you know exactly what terrain they are on.

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Using kilometers per hour (km/h) as a measurement is more intuitive than using kilograms over watts, especially in practical scenarios like cycling.

For instance, when riding Alpe Du Zwift, if your goal is to complete the ride in under an hour, you need to maintain an average speed of 12.5 to 13 km/h over 55 to 60 minutes.

If you’re a single rider trying to catch up to a group, understanding the group’s speed in km/h is beneficial. Because of the drafting effect, the group will ride with less effort (lower watts) compared to a single rider.

Knowing the group’s speed in km/h allows the single rider to gauge how much faster they need to go to catch up, making it a straightforward and effective measure.

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I’d argue for that context it’s far less intuitive to use speed. Speed will naturally fluctuate as you go between 6-13% on the Alpe. If you want a sub hour climb it’s much easier to concentrate on maintaining 3.3w/kg as that can remain fairly constant regardless of incline.

Speed is only helpful if it’s a pan flat course like Tempus Fugit. If you’re on a rolling course then you’ve no idea if the group ahead is going full gas up a climb at 35km/h or soft pedalling down a descent at 35km/h. It gives you no idea of how hard the group is working for you to modify your effort.

If you think using kg/watts is the best way to catch up to the group, that’s fine, but there are issues. Riders in a group need less kg/watts to maintain 25 km/hr compared to a solo rider.

The power of choice is important, and I believe Zwift should give users the option to display either kg/watts or km/hr (or mph) next to other riders.

Note I have use km per hour to ride up the hill over kg/ watts.

I get what Matthew is saying in this case.

It’s purely beneficial when you’re a solo rider after either falling off, wanting to catch up, or, break away.

Once you’re in a blob / group, yes correct, speed is basically useless.

If you’re not in a group, it’s extremely hard to judge if you’re catching or not. This is true for us doing deep sweeps, where we can be pushing sometimes upwards of 2w/kg above pack pace, and we still have to wait a solid 20-30 seconds to find out if we’re even making any progress on the main group. Depending on the course we might not really be able to see them visually, and map references don’t really do justice either.

Which for the record; sitting at 5w/kg or more for minutes on end is not comfortable for obvious reasons; and knowing if we’re making progress or not is important… before asking the leader to slow the pack down for us to catch; which again, is a judgement call we have to make while doing some hard sweeps. (or, in the case of a race… bridges)

Best solution here would be a way to click / tap on that rider side bar and have it switch between speed / w/kg.
I can’t say I’d want to stare at speeds majority of the time, but I absolutely see the benefit in many scenarios where knowing it would be beneficial for on-the-fly judgement.

Beyond that, I still don’t see a use for it as a metric.
Only for reference during rides…

It’s actually very easy to keep an eye on the time gap indicator. With speed alone, you wouldn’t even know if the front group slowed down (you gonna catch) or hit a hill (bye bye).

BTW, indieVelo shows speed instead w/kg because it is a metric that is more realistic to know (according to them) and w/kg gives too much information, which may ruin race strategies.

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Which I said it’s difficult to gauge; because in most situations it is.

Just because you run into the scenario that a blob is perfectly tight of 10 people around a leader, doesn’t mean this can be judged if people are falling off the pace of the group.

I didn’t run through a handful of scenarios of how or why it’d be handful for funsies; it’s because I can think of tons of scenarios where it would’ve been useful in my cases each day / week as I’m doing this.

The reality is; Zwift still doesn’t offer us to track where we are compared to the ride leader at all times except being near them when the beacon light itself is visible.

An example of why this is bad; say you run a fenceless ride, get ahead of the beacon, beacon slows down and you aren’t aware… without checking the map on compaion; how do you know where the beacon is? The story is equally true if you fall drastically far behind.

Sure you can use the time gauge if things get extreme; but… that’s also been in a buggy state for some time; and shows people behind you, as ahead of you at times.

There are lots of things that could make sweeping easier; including a rear “push fence”, that should be deployable.

w/kg may give too much information in your opinion, but it’s not entirely useful until you see a spike; and mostly irrelevant once again, in a bunch and group ride or blob.

However, I disagree about it ruining race strategy… if it’s “ruining” your strategy, then it sounds like your strategy could use more work to deal with the shortcomings.

In Zwift, users have different preferences for displaying information:

1. Pure watts
2. Kilograms over watts
3. Speed in km/h or mph

All I’m asking for is the option to see other riders’ speed in km/h. While this information may not be useful to everyone, it is valuable to me and others who might want it for the reasons I’ve mentioned before.

I understand that not everyone prefers displaying speed in km/h, and some might prioritize kilograms over watts. However, why not let Zwift users choose their preferred display option.

Here is image what I want in Zwift

If you weigh 70kg, then in this image your kilograms over watts is 0.26.

Watts over kilograms might be more useful !

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