Alpe Du Zwift is an exceptionally popular climb on Zwift. It is also a direct replica of the IRL climb, Alpe d’ Huez in France. The climb is also often used to set PR’s, new FTP, and go sub one hour. However, it can be quite tough to improve your time on this daunting climb. In this article, I will be going over different ways that you can improve your time without additional power.
In some tests that I have run, riders can save ~10 minutes off of the slowest bikes time up the climb. This is huge for riders who are looking to get every last second out of their effort. However, the difference between some of the top climbing bikes is not as great as the gains from the slowest to the fastest bikes. From the top 10 frames, riders can probably save ~20 seconds depending on how hard they are going up the climb. Check out Zwift Insider’s guide to the top climbing bikes here: https://zwiftinsider.com/fastest-bike-frames-for-climbing/
A key part to increasing your speed in Zwift is to find riders who you can draft. If you have people you can draft behind, you can use your energy more efficiently. Also, riding with other riders up a climb like the Alpe really helps pass the time and give you that sense of competition. A complete list of all events that have Alpe Du Zwift in it is available here: https://zwifthacks.com/app/events/?key=63cab87eaa894
HoloReplay + Pacing
The HoloReplay feature kind of fits into pacing because you can set your HoloReplay to your personal best, allowing you to visualize how far ahead or behind you are relative to your personal best. You can also set it to most recent, which will compare you to your most recent times. I have received some comments about negative splits, but I just find negative splits pretty hard to pace on a climb like Alpe Du Zwift; however, this still can be done, I just don’t personally find it as effective.
Knowing how long it will likely take you to climb Alpe Du Zwift is pretty important. This will allow you to pace yourself better, and really get into that mindset. However, there aren’t really amazing formulas to find the amount of time it will take you, but for the average rider, ~ 75kg, 3.2 w/kg is required to get ~60 minutes. This formula will not work for lighter or heavier riders. This is because raw watts does have a huge factor in Zwift, so lighter riders will need to do more than 3.2 w/kg, heavier riders will need to do less.
Thinking about how tough the climb is is not going to help you get to the top. However, thinking about the incentives to complete this climb will. There are a few cool things about this climb that I feel really should be highlighted.
- Riders have the opportunity to see the Yeti!
- There is a spinning wheel at the top that offers in-game prizes.
- The scenery as you ascend the climb is astounding, especially the Northern Lights.
I hope that these tips help you improve your time, and if you have any other tips that you would like to share, please leave that in the comments below. Thanks for reading! Ride on.