Per the Speed & Power calculator at kreuzotter.de:
- a road bike,
- hands on the drops,
- rider: 172 cm
- rider: 71,3 kg
- bicycle: 9.5 kg
- temperature:20 °C
- altitude: 350 m
- grade:: 0%
- wind: 0 kph
- tires: road
pedaling at 100 watts, speed is 26 kph
pedaling at 200 watts, speed is 33.8 kph
Scenario A: If Zwift and a Zwifter use the same assumptions, and had 34 kilometers of Zwift flat roads, pedaling against 100 watts of resistance, in 1 hour Zwift would show 26 kilometers traveled.
Scenario B: In the same conditions, but the trainer is set to provide 200 watts of resistance, and the Zwifter is pedaling in the same gear on the trainer bike, at the same cadence, after 1 hour Zwift would show 33.8 kilometers traveled – but the bike wheel on the indoor trainer would have gone around the same number of times as in Scenario A.
Indoor trainer wheel revolutions and virtual world distance are not the same.
And that’s just in the simplest conditions of constantly flat road. Take the scenario of coasting down Alpe du Zwift. That’ll last for minutes. In Zwift you’ll travel kilometers. Indoors, your wheel isn’t going around at all. It’s still. But coasting down a mountain is a realistic simulation of outdoor cycling.
In between flat roads and a mountain descent are other conditions where a trainer wheel revolution and a virtual world distance are not the same.