Zwift is tough for bigger cyclists!

(Matthew Conway) #1

As a larger rider, 6ft3 and 235lbs, I’m struggling to maintain interest with zwift, there’s a lot of terrain with hills and having these rider stats makes it depressingly boring. I’m currently putting out 250w (zpower) over 10-15minutes just to maintain a speed of 7-10mph up most of the climbs, and anything over 10% I get to watch my rider looking as if he’s about to give up on life speeding along at 1-3mph whilst everyone breezes past. All the meanwhile I’m in a world of suffer and pain putting out 300w! It’s just depressing!!!

So please zwift, let’s have more flat routes please (i.e. 0% the entire route, with NO hills) I don’t care for virtual hills (they don’t prove anything).

(Jerry Bob) #2

try doing a 45 or 60 min ‘free ride’ workout … this flattens the course to 0% and all your power generates speed…no inclines or declines.

(Salvatore Iovene) #3

Jerry, he’s probably on a dumb trainer (mentions zPower too), so the problem is not excessive resistance. He complains that his avatar is too slow.

Probably should do some 10% climbs in real life too and come back to tell if the avatar is still too slow.

Sorry op, hills be hills and 235 lbs puts you near the very end of the bell curve. Yes, most people will be faster than you, just like in real life.

(Paul Allen) #4

There are flat route in all the worlds, but they do have some short sometimes steep hills.

The more you ride the more power you should be able to put out and you should also drop some of those pounds making you faster.

Using zPower is not very accurate as far as estimating power.

(Matthew Conway) #5

I’m not complaining about the speed of my avatar going up a hill, I’m merely asking for more flat route options. Watching your avatar slog it’s way up an computer improvised version of box hill in 11-12mins is no fun at all.

I never said I expected to be speeding up hills, in the real world getting up a hill is rewarding because it’s, well, the real world! And significant hills are always going to be challenging for bigger riders like myself.

FWIW, the biggest climb I’ve ever ridden in the real world (

Distance  14.3mi

Avg Grade  6%

Lowest Elev  754ft

Highest Elev  5,075ft

Elev Difference  4,321ft

Climb Category  HC

My result:

Avg Speed 7.9mph

Time  1hr 49m 47s

I’m not expecting to jump on Zwift and suddenly make it up a virtual hill at twice the speed…

(Matthew Conway) #6

I appreciate that zpower is not all that accurate, but for my needs, it’s perfectly adequate.

I use an Elite Qubo Fluid trainer which has a pretty consistent resistance even when the oil is heated… And because I use the same setup each time I ride indoors the calculated power is more than adequate.

If I do a 30minute session riding hard once a week, over time I can see that the average zpower is slowly increasing as I get fitter week on week, which is good enough for me :slight_smile:

(Gerrie Delport) #7

Hi Matthew, 


You are not the only big guy in Zwift (lets just say 235lb would be nice), hills are hard and in real life they are even worse. But there are at least one route on each of the Courses that are pretty flat.

see this website:


(Paul Allen) #8

So you can better determine what route to take:


(Ben Holmes(USMES)) #9

As a fellow Clydesdale, I can relate. But, we have two options; Loose weight or gain power. I was a Cat 3 team diesel in my 30 and early 40s. Now at 54, I focus on endurance. On zwift you do have one other option, loose virtual weight. If you want to know what you would be capable of at 25lbs less, then do a route at real weight with full resistance (smart trainer) and then come back and drop 25lbs and do it again. Once you see the difference, it WILL make passing that ice creame stand easier.