Zwift and cadence/power grinding seems to work better than spinning

finding Zwift kind of weird. I am a 90+ cadence rider on the road most of the time, but I find if I do the same power at high cadence in Zwift I am slower and get dropped from a group, than doing the same power at around 75-80. Not sure what is going on because power should be power but that is what I am seeing so far. Not sure if it is Zwift issue, a calibration issue on my Wahoo, or just some strange anomaly. Anyone else seen this?


Hi @roger_lynn, I can’t say that I have seen this. As you said, power is power so it shouldn’t matter what your cadence is. Cadence has no effect on avatar speed in Zwift either.

When you say you are doing the same power at a lower cadence are you changing gears as well? Otherwise how would the power stay the same right?

What is the gear ratio on the bike you are using for Zwift as well?

Yes, I am changing gears since otherwise higher cadence would mean more power. I have a compact upfront (50-34) and a 12 - 28 cassette (standard 6700). I find this more often on easy climbs, say 1-4% than on flats but I can’t say for sure because I really started paying attention to it on the ride I did yesterday. I found myself doing lower cadence on my Zwift rides than outside and was trying to figure out why, because my non-Zwift trainer rides were usually higher cadence than outside and I ride outside as much as possible and only hop on the trainer when I have to. But the trainer and Zwift are only a month or so old and I before that I was using a smart trainer that was not friendly to Zwift but still simulated road gradient changes. I am going to play with it some more this week since it won’t be a good week for outside here in Colorado. Going to play with it some more, maybe with a power workout so I can see if the speed differs say if I do a minute at 225 and 90+ and then 225 and 75 on both climbs and flats.

same here, 85ish outside, 65-70 inside … it’s just a weird habit i picked up, and one other guy i know IRL does it too. as long as you can do the power it’s never caused me any real issues, although expect to have to let your body recondition itself if you do an extended period (multiple months ie: 4 months over winter) of indoor only training with no outside work. otherwise, don’t worry about it