Zwift tweaked the settings of all mountain bikes in a recent release, and they also added the Trek Supercaliber to our list of MTB options. So we figured it was time to publish some updated speed tests!
Here are the mountain bikes currently available (not shown: the stock Zwift Mountain bike):
We ran extensive tests to find out how each bike performs on climbs, flats, and on the Jungle Circuit. We found Zwift has added weight to each bike, increasing our Alpe test climbs by just over 1 minute. Flat tests increased by 8-9 seconds as well, which we chalk up to the added weight. Here are the results…
Flat Pavement Performance
Here’s how each mountain bike performed over two laps of our Tempus Fugit test segment (300 watts steady, 75kg rider):
- Trek Supercaliber: 55:41
- Scott Spark RC: 55:43
- Specialized Epic S-Works: 55:44
- Canyon Lux: 55:45
- Zwift Mountain: 55:53
The Supercaliber turns in the fastest time by a consistent 2 seconds, so we give it the win in this test.
By comparison, the fastest road bikes complete the test route in 50:25, while the slowest road bikes (Zwift Steel with 32mm carbon wheels) complete it in 51:40. So if you’re riding an all-pavement race, you definitely don’t want to be riding a mountain bike, because mountain bike wheels roll much slower on tarmac than road wheels due to Zwift’s Crr settings.
The fastest gravel bikes complete the test route in 53:47, which is what you would expect: the mountain bikes’ big knobbies and poor aero values make them slower than road or gravel rigs on pavement.
But how do the mountain bikes perform in other settings?
Here’s how the mountain bikes performed up the big Alpe du Zwift climb:
- Trek Supercaliber: 55:25
- Scott Spark RC: 55:31
- Specialized Epic S-Works: 55:36
- Canyon Lux: 55:42
- Zwift Mountain: 55:53
Again the Supercaliber comes out on top, well ahead of the competition on climbs. It’s certainly a lightweight rig!
The fastest road bikes climb the Alpe in 48:42, while the slower (Zwift Steel with 32mm carbon wheels) complete it in 49:57. So the heavy mountain bikes are well behind, as they should be. Because mountain bikes are heavy, they roll slower, and physics matter!
What about the dirt? This is where knobby tires should excel, and indeed they do. Here’s how the mountain bikes perform on one lap of the Jungle Circuit:
- Trek Supercaliber: 13:55
- Specialized Epic S-Works: 13:56
- Canyon Lux: 13:56
- Scott Spark RC: 13:56
- Zwift Mountain: 13:58
The four brand-name bikes turn in nearly identical performances, with the stock Zwift Mountain bike a few seconds behind.
The faster road bikes complete a jungle lap in around 15 minutes flat, while the gravel bikes do it in 14:11. But our mountain bikes shred some gnar and lay the hurt on all those skinny-tired, rigid-forked rigs!
Zwifters really only ride mountain bikes on dirt routes – unless you’re looking for a good workout in a group ride on the tarmac! So which bike should you choose in the Mayan Jungle?
Clearly the Trek Supercaliber is the standout performer here, as it will outperform the other frames on the crucial uphill portion of the circuit while keeping pace on the flats and descents.
Have you tried the new Supercaliber? What’s your go-to MTB rig on Zwift? Share below!