After getting the buffalo bike awhile ago and hearing that it is the heaviest bike, I wondered just how much of a difference that it could make. For my heavy test I used the Buffalo bike with the Disc wheel. The disc wheel is currently the heaviest wheelset on Zwift I believe. For the lightweight test I used the Cannondale Evo with the lightweight wheels. The lightweight wheels are no longer the lightest wheels up the Alpe. They have recently been replaced by the new Roval Alpenist wheels.
The buffalo bike turned in a time of 80 minutes doing 3wpk up the Alpe. Really slow for that many Wpk. I predicted that it would be around a 5 minute difference between the two. The buffalo bike was definitely slow, but I didn’t think that it was this slow. The climb that the test was run on the Alpe Du Zwift and it is 3,440 ft over the course of 7 miles. It is around 8% average and peaks at around 13%. This test was done using a 30kg rider holding 90 watts (A kg lighter than I currently am to make it a more precise test – 90/30 = 3).
The Cannondale Evo turned in an amazing time of 70 minutes doing 3wpk. This used to be the fastest bike but is now 2nd to the S-works Aethos. It is also tied with the Specialized Tarmac Pro and Bridgestone bike. The difference of 10 minutes shows just how much time you can save by changing your bike frame for different terrains. If you currently do not have the Cannondale or the Specialized I would recommend getting one of those because it will make a big difference in your Alpe, Epic KOM, Ven-Top, and any others climbs that you do. If you have a lot of drops and are over level 32, I would get the Aethos as it is the fastest climber on Zwift.
This test was very successful and this test shows just how much equipment can affect your times in Zwift. Even though the way to see the biggest difference is to get stronger, equipment can still help you go sub 1hr on Alpe Du Zwift. I hope you found this post interesting. Any questions or comments, leave a comment below.