Zwift Speed Tests: TT Frame Ranking Charts

Zwift Speed Tests: TT Frame Ranking Charts

We’ve been hard at work improving our Zwift speed testing methods to provide data that is both richer and easier to understand. Here’s our first set of results.

But Why?

While Zwift’s 4-star rating system for weight and aero is simple and easy to understand, performance varies even among frames with the same star rating, because the stars are just an approximation.

Additionally, it’s not always clear how a star rating translates to performance on the virtual road. How much faster up the Alpe is a frame rated at 4 stars for weight, compared to one rated 3 stars?

So we thought Zwifters would enjoy a more granular look at the performance of in-game equipment.

TT Frame Tests – Introduction

Today we’re looking at the performance of Zwift’s time trial frames. We’ve ranked all the frames against each other based on their performance on flat roads (2 laps of Tempus Fugit) and a long, steep climb (Alpe du Zwift).


TT Frame Timings

This chart shows actual timings for flat and climb tests, in seconds. The shorter the bar, the faster the bike.

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Notes:

  • Flat tests run on 2 laps of Tempus Fugit at 300 watts steady with an isolated 75kg rider 183cm tall, using the Zwift 32mm Carbon wheels. This test data is used for all flat results on this page.
  • Climb tests run on Alpe du Zwift at 300 watts steady with an isolated 75kg rider 183cm tall, using the Zwift 32mm Carbon wheels This test data is used for all climbing results on this page.

Percentile Rankings

Trying to choose a frame based on timing data can be a mathematical nightmare! Yes, you’ve got our timings above. But how much of your race is uphill, how much of it is flat, and how long is the race?

Percentile rankings make it easy to compare frames against each other and spot the top performers.

TT Frame Flat Course Performance Percentile Rankings

Note: the two sets of frames near the bottom (Cube Aerium-Specialized Shiv S-Works, and BMC Time Machine-Specialized Shiv) are only separated by 1 second. This could simply be a rounding error in Strava, so these 9 frames could be considered equal in performance on the flats.


TT Frame Climbing Performance Percentile Rankings



TT Frame Percentile Rankings, Stacked

This format lets you easily see how frames perform across both flats and climbs, and compare that performance with other frames. This is useful for planning your race strategy.

For example: you want a top-performing frame for a TT race in Bologna, so you know you’ll pick one of the longest bars. But you also want more of an advantage on the decisive and steep climb, so you pick the Specialized Shiv S-Works even though the Cervelo P5x is ranked slightly better overall.


Your Feedback

We’d love to know what you think of these charts, including suggestions for improvements. Share your comments below.

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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Mark Dux
Mark Dux
1 year ago

I would love to see how the tronbike compares to the TT frames. It could act as a control. Any chance you could add this data in the future?

Hector Fontanet
Hector Fontanet
1 year ago

I am a lvl 16 zwifter. I can buy a Cervelo P5 now or wait a couple of weeks and get the Specialized Shiv Disc at level 18. Which one would you recommend. I feel that I would use the TT bike on flat mostly.

Stephen B
Stephen B
11 months ago

How can you tell which frames don’t draft (TT don’t draft). Is that just dedicated TT frames, with TT in the frame description? Reason is just want to get XP on the power ups.

Zee Kryder
Zee Kryder (@zkryder)
8 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

@Eric Schlange Bologna needs a little clarification for a time trial (no draft) event, should I choose a time trial bike or something like the Felt Ar or the Tarmac Pro? As a non-race effort (PR), would I gain enough to switch frames at the base of the climb? It’s a bit similar to Watopia Mountain route and Innsbruck UCI route.I’m a bit confused on what to choose.

James
James
11 months ago

Would the tron bike be quicker than tt bikes

Ben Ri
Ben Ri
6 months ago
Reply to  James

Yes, if you just add flat and climb times you see quiet a big gap between the fastest TT and the Tron bike

Garry Kirkland II
Garry Kirkland II
11 months ago

I just picked up the Cervelo P5 and added Zipp 808 wheels (all as soon as I hit level 15). I’ll likely be riding this set up in the flats for quite some time. It looks like this set up would also do quite well on climbing TT courses, swapping in the Enve SES 3.4s for wheels.

anderfo
anderfo
10 months ago

For some reason, your numbers don’t match what I found in your speed test charts… (the google doc)
There the Shiv S-Works climbs almost 20 sec slower than P5x on the Bologna TT course, when they have the same wheels…
Can you check whether you have a little bug here somewhere?
BTW. in that test you never tried P5x with Zipp858. Based on the rest of the chart, I expect that to be the fastest.

Wilbert
Wilbert
4 months ago

Can this list be updated? I miss the BMC TT

Wilbert
Wilbert
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

thanks! That helped indeed!

Steve Gratz
Steve Gratz
2 months ago

So many options. I’m doing a TT race with friends on Insbrucking. I’m at level 50 with an abundance of drops, what’s the best set-up for the Insbrucking course? I know it’s only a few seconds, but it’s against friends.

Steve Gratz
Steve Gratz
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Great! I have those in my garage.

Darren Linkin
Darren Linkin (@darren-r-linkin)
2 months ago

So, TT bikes clearly faster than tron 2% about, and with better wheels maybe more. Wondering aboit nailing a segment during a stage (then finishing so it counts) and looking at redoing the champs course. Soft pedal the run in, then go all out for a lap. The way most races slaughter you then shake out I’ll likely be dropped by 8 km from front group, BUT maybe bail one lap 6ish km oh a p5 w 808s. Legal? Thoughts?

CJay
CJay
29 days ago

Has the new Canyon Speedmax been fixed?

Dio
Dio
29 days ago
Reply to  CJay

When you say fixed – Is this the one star for aero issue?
3 days ago and Speedmax I did 188W in 27:59
Today New Speedmax I did 233W in 27:43
That can’t be right?

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