Your chosen bike frame and wheelset both affect speed in Zwift, so you’ve made a good choice by doing a little research to help you choose the best tool for the job. This research especially pays off in time trials, “the race of truth” where every second counts and there’s no chance of hiding in the draft!
TT Frame Tests – Introduction
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.
So we’ve ranked all the TT (road frames are ranked here) against each other based on their actual performance on flat roads (2 laps of Tempus Fugit) and a long, steep climb (Alpe du Zwift).
Some frames perform well on flat roads while others are nimble climbers. Some are all-arounders, performing well on flats and climbs but not quite able to beat the specialized frames on their own turf.
Charts last updated September 23, 2022
TT Frame Timings, Stacked
This chart shows actual timings for flat and climb tests, in seconds. The shorter the bar, the faster the bike.
- 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.
TT Frame Timings Scatterplot
This scatterplot helps you see how each frame performs on both flats and climbs. The further left the dot, the faster it is on flat ground. The further down the dot, the faster it is on the climbs. So down/left is good, up/right is bad!
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: assume you had only the Specialized Shiv S-Works and Felt IA to choose from for a TT race in Bologna. You know you want more of an advantage on the decisive and steep climb, so you pick the Specialized Shiv S-Works even though the Felt IA is ranked slightly better overall.
Frame Time Improvement, Stacked
This format lets you easily see how frames perform across both flats and climbs in terms of actual timing, and compare that performance with other frames. This is useful for selecting the best bike frame for your race course, and may be an improvement over the percentile chart above since it is based on precise timings and not percentiles.
To be precise, this chart shows how many seconds a particular frame improves on the time of the lowest-ranked frame for both the flat and climb tests. So the Felt IA 2.0’s flat improvement of 33 seconds means it is 33 seconds faster than the Zwift TT on our flat test.
We’d love to know what you think of these charts, including suggestions for improvements. Share your comments below.