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Zwift Race Question

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Old 10-17-17, 01:42 PM
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Zwift Race Question

I'm looking at picking up a Tacx Vortex Smart trainer. The trainer has a max wattage of 900 so I'm wondering if I would be able to race on Zwift with this trainer or if I would get dropped on the final sprints?
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Old 10-17-17, 06:59 PM
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It will work. The only high wattage section in a zwift race is right at the start. When you get out of the gates it will be VERY tough. The final sprint is not usually that high of wattage.

Check out the DCRainmaker reviews of trainers this year. He recommends against the vortex smart unless you are in Europe and can get it for crazy cheap.
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Old 10-17-17, 08:42 PM
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I can get it for crazy cheap here which is why I'm looking at it. Don't want to spring for the kickr if I can make this one work.
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Old 10-17-17, 10:33 PM
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I personally wouldn't want a trainer with only a max of 900 watts.

Racing on Zwift isn't like racing in real life. I'm almost never freewheeling when racing or group ride on zwift. Thus you're not likely to be all that fresh at the end.
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Old 10-18-17, 03:26 PM
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Are you doing a lot of 900+ watt sprints? Seems like something absolutely pointless to worry about.

If you're going to do a sprint workout, you need to do that on the road, anyway. Having your frame locked into place isn't too specific (nor likely good for your frame).
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Old 10-18-17, 05:13 PM
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not many ppl putting down 900w at the gate either from what I noticed.
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Old 10-18-17, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Are you doing a lot of 900+ watt sprints? Seems like something absolutely pointless to worry about.
I don't think thats an outrageous number. Seems extremely low for a max output for a trainer
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Old 10-18-17, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by hammer down View Post
I don't think thats an outrageous number. Seems extremely low for a max output for a trainer
For a trainer? Again, how many times are you doing that? That's pretty much a full-on sprint for most people.

I genuinely don't know why you'd be trying to top that out on a trainer anyway.
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Old 10-18-17, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
For a trainer? Again, how many times are you doing that? That's pretty much a full-on sprint for most people.

I genuinely don't know why you'd be trying to top that out on a trainer anyway.
I think you'll find the answer in my initial post.
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Old 10-18-17, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hammer down View Post
I think you'll find the answer in my initial post.
So your answer is "once", in the final sprints, regarding whether or not you'd be dropped.



I'm going to go with a "no" for that one as well. And as I opined twice already, indoor training isn't the time to work on your sprint.
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Old 10-18-17, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
So your answer is "once", in the final sprints, regarding whether or not you'd be dropped.



I'm going to go with a "no" for that one as well. And as I opined twice already, indoor training isn't the time to work on your sprint.
I didn't ask for advice on how often. It's not the point. If it's only once or twice a week then it's worth it to get a different trainer.
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Old 10-18-17, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hammer down View Post
I didn't ask for advice on how often. It's not the point. If it's only once or twice a week then it's worth it to get a different trainer.
Then it sounds like you already have your answer, right?
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Old 10-18-17, 07:32 PM
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You can view race results on Zwiftpower.com and get an idea of peak watts being put out for short bursts of 15 secs. Many races show each riders max 15sec sustained output in watts/kg (also shows 1 min, 5min, etc). I checked a few random races and i dont see many riders hitting 900watt 15 second effort. I could be interpreting the stat wrong so check me on that.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:34 PM
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Thats a good resource, thanks
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Old 10-18-17, 09:14 PM
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Can you put out 900 watts? If so, for how long? Can you put out 900 watts at the end of a race?
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Old 10-22-17, 09:45 AM
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Yes and yes, hence the reason for the question
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Old 10-22-17, 11:36 AM
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This is clearly an important subject for you, OP. And as such, clearly being limited to 900 watts is going to have a devastating effect on your ability to unleash the wattage bazooka at the end of your fictional video game race.

So definitely don't hinder yourself, there, and just go for broke. Maybe the Tacx Neo is better suited for your megawatts?

Good luck with your upcoming Zwift season.
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Old 10-22-17, 01:36 PM
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just reduce your weight until your w/kg is commensurate with what a real trainer could handle. Like everyone else on zwift.
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Old 10-22-17, 02:15 PM
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900w ceiling would be a bit frustrating even if it's a theoretical thing. Meaning maybe in real life a 1000w sprint is your max, it's still higher than 900w. I can sustain, at least for 5s (that's what Zwift displays when ending a ride) 1000-1100w semi regularly, so having a "no cap" SRM is nice. If that was capped at 900w that would be disappointing.

The jump is worth something. If you can get a good jump in a Zwift sprint, with the ~1 second built in lag, that's a tremendous advantage in a sprint. Or, in my case, a huge deficit to make up if someone I'm following goes a bit early (I don't race so I'm just sprinting for time/jersey). My sustained sprint probably isn't 900w for more than 8 or 10 seconds on the trainer but it's certainly higher than that for 5 seconds.
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Old 10-22-17, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
900w ceiling would be a bit frustrating even if it's a theoretical thing. Meaning maybe in real life a 1000w sprint is your max, it's still higher than 900w. I can sustain, at least for 5s (that's what Zwift displays when ending a ride) 1000-1100w semi regularly, so having a "no cap" SRM is nice. If that was capped at 900w that would be disappointing.

The jump is worth something. If you can get a good jump in a Zwift sprint, with the ~1 second built in lag, that's a tremendous advantage in a sprint. Or, in my case, a huge deficit to make up if someone I'm following goes a bit early (I don't race so I'm just sprinting for time/jersey). My sustained sprint probably isn't 900w for more than 8 or 10 seconds on the trainer but it's certainly higher than that for 5 seconds.
Fair points. If all else fails Ill just have to change my weight to 90 pounds and dominate.
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Old 10-23-17, 05:05 AM
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Old 10-23-17, 06:36 AM
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I don't do Zwift, so I don't know how that trainer would impact things there. But that said, 900 watts isn't all that much, and it seems like a really low limit for a trainer.
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Old 10-24-17, 06:00 AM
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I race cyclocross and have done a few races on zwift. In cyclocross I have done a few sprints that were around 1000-1200 at the end of races. However, on zwift I rarely hit over 600. the racing is just different even in the pack you still have to pedal a good bit to stick in the draft. Also, even if I am fresh and just try to do sprints on my trainer I dont get anywhere near to my real life max. It just feels weird to sprint on a trainer and I cant do it very well. I always go out side if I need to do sprints. All of that being be said, from what I have read here, I think that it will always bother you if you dont get one that can go higher. its better to get what you want and have peace of mind than to have that nagging feeling in the back of your head.
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Old 10-24-17, 08:22 AM
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If I were to get a smart trainer it would be this, without question or hesitation

E-Motion Rollers (Smart Rollers, wireless rollers, or traditional resistance) ? Inside Ride
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Old 10-24-17, 09:23 AM
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I think of note here...if you're a rider who knows they are capable of doing >900 watts then you're a rider that's using a power meter on your bike already. Use that power meter and NOT the unit built into the trainer as it will be more accurate and not have the 900 watt limitation.

Also note that the max power for 950 Watts (it's 950 per the Tacx web site) is rated at 40kph which is only 25mph. My guess is that if this specification is actually a real concern then you're going to be going faster than that...which means the max is actually different (but I'm not sure how).

Given what I've seen in this thread...I'd suggest spending the coin on a Flux or Direto at a minimum if you're going to spend real time doing Zwift. I was going to get a Direto myself but they weren't in stock and was able to get a 15% discount on a Wahoo KICKR. So now I have a trainer I'll never outgrow or worry about if it is holding me back in some way.

Edit: I just looked up the KICKR Snap as well. 1,500 Watts and 12% max incline as opposed to 950 watts and 7% of the Tacx Vortex Smart. If you can't go direct drive the Snap is no doubt a better choice given your concerns about the power limit.
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Last edited by Grasschopper; 10-24-17 at 09:33 AM.
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