Would km/h be good in event descriptions?

In a lot of events which are flat of just undulating, w/kg doesn’t provide much information regarding speed and clearly a 60kg rider is going to have to put out considerably more w/kg than a 90kg rider.

A few group rides include this information but wouldn’t it be good if this was the norm?

It would be rather difficulty to set a speed since it is constantly changing due to the elevation change. Also bigger groups goes faster than smaller ones.

Also a 60kg rider has to put out considerably less wattage than a 90kg rider.

Best is to find a ride that is about 60%-70% of your ftp/weight.

On the flat the amount of power required isn’t significantly different for riders of different weights and downhill a heavier rider needs less power. Average speed is what I’m suggesting

I don’t think it would help, speed is greatly effected by the draft as well as the terrain and even bike choice.

Also I don’t want to join an event and have to read a bunch of chat messages complaining that people are going 20 kph when they’re supposed to be going 18 kph

Just my two cents worth…

HQ gives event creators two choices: w/kg or average speed. Most do seem to use w/kg, which only has meaning as an equalizer while climbing, and many routes are flat to rolling and by no means steady-state efforts.

WSR has used an average pace window of 27-32 kph for nearly our entire existence with great success, coming in very close to 30 kph consistently. My speed as event leader typically varies as low as 15-20 kph and as high as 60+ kph depending on the chosen route, but the average pace is solid. The only time we emphasize w/kg is during uphill efforts, and I try to keep close to 2 w/kg for those bits, again with great success in keeping riders grouped.

Overall, I think most riders understand average speed/pace a lot more than w/kg.
The bottom line is still: know the route you are riding and how your “game controller” works on that course :slight_smile:

Ride On!

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At my events, I always mix up the use of specific speeds on roads less than 3% and w/kg from 3% and above. It has worked pretty well for me and provides clarity for riders to keep together as a group.

Besides that, I provide information about the terrain ahead to the group so we can use the gears properly to manage the pace (eg. false flat ahead, 2% rise followed by descent). It is no rocket science to read speed in kph/mph and effort in w/kg. Those who chose to ignore my instructions are those hugging the fence and/or already sent packing by the boot.

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I would disagree here a 60kg rider @1.8w/kg need to do 108w and a 90kg rider @1.8w/kg need 162w/kg.

I use the w/kg just to make it easy for riders to pick a ride that will be in there ball park. My rides have a range of 1.8w/kg to 2.5w/kg, as a bigger leader I stick to the low end of the range and most of the group will fall somewhere in the middle. I never exceed the top of the range on any climb.

The danger with speed is that a strong leader can keep the speed at say 30km/h even on a 3% climb this will split the group very easy, the leader are still within the set parameters but a lot of riders can’t keep up with that.

Some rider leaders are very good at controlling the pace Like @Phil_Ruokis_WSR, I did a lot of his rides when I started.

In my rides I never mention w/kg, I urge the riders to just keep with my pace.

A rider doing 108kw will never keep up with a rider doing 168 on the flat.

I think a rider doing 108kw will be faster than any tdf winner. LOL

Yes the heavy rider may be a bit faster if it was perfectly flat but not by a lot, that is why we use a range of w/kg so heavy riders can ride at the bottom of the scale and light riders at the upper end.

Just to put this in perspective. This is results from a Team Time Trial event using Road Bikes the course was Greater London Flat. The 3 riders was drafting of two stronger team mates (5 in the team) you can see the lightest rider averaged 185w while the heavy rider did 303w. That is a big difference for a flat route. but looking at the w/kg they are in the same ball park.

Ok. Thank you for this.

The real differences for cyclists of greatly different weight are significant on the flat but maybe Zwift evens this out.

I had assumed that Zwift mirrored what happened in the real world whereby power to weight is only significant when climbing.

It’s very important when considering which metric to use that there’s an understanding of steady-state versus a mix of efforts. A 30 kph “average” is not necessarily a flat 30 kph for the entire event. There’s also group draft to contend with - it’s not unusual at all for me, at 83 kg, to be moving at 40 kph while only tapping out 0.8 w/kg due to a large group “blob” in action.

Perhaps many are confusing w/kg in a mixed group context with the concept of % of FTP which is commonly used as a workout metric: with % of FTP being equal between two riders of different abilities, both riders are experiencing the same degree of effort relative to their individual abilities (an hour at 90% FTP will feel just as hard for an elite rider’s fitness level as the same hour at 90% FTP would for a rider of lesser fitness) - but, if they were riding together, they would certainly not remain grouped for long. This accounts for the “rubber band” feature in group workouts - if there were no banding, group workouts would splinter quickly.

Every event will have a different feel based on route choice, event type, and riders in attendance - understanding how each of these metrics works in context (speed, w/kg, %FTP, group draft variables) helps all riders achieve personal success during their rides. @Patrick_Ascenders_As makes a great point about that balance of concepts, and I try to use similar communications to riders during WSR events.

Great back-and-forth, folks - love this kind of discussion.

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Great points. For avoidance of doubt, I’m suggesting adding ave speed not substituting