UPDATE: after this post the Alpe du Zwift was released, which gave us a much longer climb for better testing. It also gave us the Meilenstein Lightweight wheels! See the more conclusive results of those tests.


Our speed tests have shown the TT bike to be faster than any other bike on Zwift. But the TT bike isn’t the lightest bike, only the most aerodynamic. Because of this, some of the lighter bikes actually beat the TT on longer climbs.

Here are the climb times up Watopia’s Epic KOM as well as the steep radio tower climb.

Epic KOM Forward (Strava segment)

TT with Zipp 808 @ 450 watts: 17:37
Cervelo S5 with 808 @ 450 watts: 17:40
Concept Z1 (Tron) @ 450 watts: 17:40
Trek Emonda with Meilenstein Lightweight @ 300 watts: 23:33
Cervelo S5 with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 23:34
Concept Z1 (Tron) @ 300 watts: 23:34
Trek Emonda with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 23:38
TT with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 23:39
Trek Madone with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 23:39
Canyon Aeroad with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 23:41
Trek Emonda with Zipp 202 @ 300 watts: 23:44
TT with Zipp 202 @ 300 watts: 23:44
Zwift Aero with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 23:45
Cervelo with Zipp 808 @ 150 watts: 41:41
TT with Zipp 808 @ 150 watts: 42:18

Climb to Tower (Strava Segment)

Cervelo S5 with Zipp 808 @ 450 watts: 4:33
Concept Z1 (Tron) @ 450 watts: 4:33
TT with Zipp 808 @ 450 watts: 4:38
Trek Emonda with Meilenstein Lightweight @ 300 watts: 6:33
Cervelo S5 with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 6:37
Concept Z1 (Tron) @ 300 watts: 6:38
Trek Emonda with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 6:38
Trek Emonda with Zipp 202 @ 300 watts: 6:38
Trek Madone with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 6:39
Canyon Aeroad with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 6:40
Zwift Aero with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 6:42
TT with Zipp 202 @ 300 watts: 6:44
TT with Zipp 808 @ 300 watts: 6:45
Cervelo with Zipp 808 @ 150 watts: 12:51
TT with Zipp 808 @ 150 watts: 13:09

Observations:

  • More watts=more speed=more impact from aerodynamics. The TT bike is slower than the Cervelo S5 at 300 watts, but faster at 450 watts. This is because the impact of aerodynamics increases as you go faster.
  • Since the TT bike performs much better when descending, over a full loop course it is still the fastest bike. The TT bike descends the backside of the Epic KOM in 5:10, while the Cervelo S5 does it in 5:30.
  • The very best climbing setup is the Trek Emonda combined with Meilenstein Lightweight wheels (which are only available with a bit of luck after you climb the Alpe). Read more about that in Fastest Bike Frame and Wheelset for Climbing Alpe du Zwift.

Notes:

  • All tests were performed with a 75kg, 183cm (6′) rider unless otherwise noted.