Zwift-specific bike fit?

Inspired by this thread.

That got me wondering… would a bike fit optimized for Zwift be different than a fit optimized for outdoor riding? Most people ride with a traditional outdoor bike fit so that their Zwift training transfers over to their outdoor riding. Your outdoor riding position has to be comfortable, allow you to produce power efficiently, and be aerodynamic.

But let’s say you’re an indoor specialist who does 95-100% of their riding on Zwift. Aero doesn’t matter at all - you just need to be comfortable and generate power efficiently. In Watopia, holding 300w in a praying mantis TT position is exactly as fast as holding 300w sitting bolt upright, and you can probably do the latter more comfortably and at a lower heart rate. Should we be riding with “long and low” outdoor bike fits, or would a more upright (or otherwise different) position make more sense?

Most people, ultimately, ride in Zwift not to generate more watts by tweaking their body position but to ride better outside during warm months. Also, most users take their outdoor bike and attach it to Wahoo Kickr or Tacx and do not want to mess up with anything related to their preferred bike set up / saddle.

Who cares how many watts one generates in Zwift, if it is not relevant to real life cycling?

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Who cares how many watts one generates in Zwift, if it is not relevant to real life cycling?

Lots of people? I mentioned “indoor specialists” who do 95-100% of their riding on Zwift (or otherwise indoors). I personally don’t mess with outdoor riding unless it’s a special event with full road closures - it just isn’t worth it anymore. eSports teams and racers would also want any advantage they can get for racing on Zwift.

Sure, in such circumstances it is a reasonable question to ask, how fit can be optimized specifically for indoor cycling. What I meant to say, is that there are quite a few people who do a lot of riding indoors during cold months but return to outdoor riding when it is warm. Whether or not outdoor riding is worth it, I suppose, depends on where you live and how much traffic you see in your area. I can very well see how bike riding can be a peril in major metro areas.

With fully adjustable and fully integrated bike trainers it should be easy to test a variety of settings.

I have a dedicated trainer bike and it is a more upright relaxed fit.
I previously was of the mind set that I wanted it to be just like my road bike but guess what, IRL road riding and Zwift are two different things.
Out doors, I never get numbness of the groin, on Zwift, I did all the time.
I changed the indoor bike to a more upright flat bar with padded bartends (like a Tron) and it’s way more comfortable.
I don’t worry about position.
My MTB and roadbike are different too.

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