UPDATE: Zwift released update 1.0.9778 on 2/1/16 which modified the Buffalo bike’s weight and CdA. This slowed the bike down considerably, making it the second-slowest bike in the lineup. I’ve left the original article intact below. If you want to find out what the fastest bike is now, check out this post.
Many people don’t realize that the various bikes and wheels you unlock in Zwift are modeled realistically, giving you different aero and weight advantages.
I’ve been running some lap speed tests on Richmond (see lap data, and some of my observations) and made a startling discovery just last night.
The fastest* bike on Zwift? It’s the Buffalo Fahrrad.
Yes, you read that right! The humble Buffalo bike, the ~50lb single speed with a coaster break, is faster than the Cervelo S5. Obviously the bike doesn’t have weight 50lb on Zwift, otherwise nobody would have ridden it for the WBR event.
In the real world, Buffalo bikes aren’t built for speed: they are built to be reliable, heavy-duty and low-cost. Buffalo bikes are built in Africa, with the goal of changing the world by providing low-cost transportation. Read more about the real-world bike specs here, and more about WBR here.
The unlock code for this bike was only available to Zwifters for a short time back when World Bicycle Relief worked with Zwift to do a “Ride On For WBR” event on December 5th, when Zwifters were tasked with riding 100,000 miles together in 24 hours to raise funds for WBR. (We did 126,089, by the way!)
*: the TT bike is actually the fastest, but since it’s not allowed in races I don’t include it when considering which bike is the fastest for everyday Zwifters.
Important note: this post contains speed test results for Zwift frames or wheels. These results may change over time, and a bike’s performance relative to others may also change. We don’t always revise posts when performance rankings change, but we do keep current, master versions of our speed test results which are always available. See the frame charts, wheel charts, and Tron vs Top Performers for current performance data.