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.