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A Sneak Peek at The ZiZZO Challenge!
At ZiZZO we love all types of bikes. We have a few self-proclaimed “roadies” on our staff who have raced in their younger years. We have mountain bikers who love getting onto some flowy, single-tracks weaving through the forest. Some of us like it low and slow- just taking in the sights of a nice cycling tour. For many riders, having different bikes for each discipline is a must.
Over the last 5 years the term “gravel bike” has exploded onto the scene. Simply put, a gravel bike is kind of like a mountain bike with no shocks, road bike drop bars and slightly narrower tires for all around use. “Roadies” love that light carbon fiber and downhill mountain bikers are all about big tires and full suspension. And of course, there is our ZiZZO line of bikes that have this unique space-saving, folding capability with a solid quality and build at an affordable price.
ZiZZO is founded on having a fun riding experience that is for all ages and fitness levels. But we started wondering how does a ZiZZO Liberte stack up against those bikes? Could we conduct an unbiased test to figure out which bikes were more efficient? Can we compare apples to oranges? Let's think this through. Contrary to a few crazy YouTube videos... taking a ZiZZO Liberte down an expert level mountain bike course is not advisable. We concede the best results belong to a $7000 mountain bike. ZiZZO vs. road bike vs. gravel bike vs. mountain bike... let's do this!
HOW WE ARE GOING TO DO IT
What if we mapped out multiple courses on pavement and timed one rider using all four bikes? Then could we get a better idea how they matched up? How can we possibly know that the rider produced the exact same effort?
Simply put: by using a power meter.
We have obtained the latest power meter pedals which will be taken on and off each bike to perform each test. Once pedaling, a power meter sends the signal to the computer on the bike displaying real time wattage output, and our rider just needs to hold the chosen pre-determined average watts over each course with each bike. The computer is synced up to Strava to record the stats for that course and at the finish line we can see if we came close to our chosen average wattage/effort. Then if the same effort was achieved for each bike, we can look at the times of the completed courses and compare.
Even though each bike has its unique characteristics, we are making zero modifications to make any bike lighter, more aerodynamic, or roll faster/slower.
Our competitors include:
1. A carbon road bike that weighs 18.5 lbs. with 28mm tubeless tires at 80psi and Shimano 105 group set.
2. A downhill mountain bike weighing 31 lbs. and is full suspension (front/rear shocks) with top-of-the-line Shimano parts and 29-inch wheels with heavy duty tread.
3. Our aluminum gravel bike weighs 24 lbs. and comes with 42mm wide tires with mild tread and Shimano Sora group set.
4. Our own ZiZZO Liberte weighing in at 23 lbs. with 20-inch wheels and Shimano Altus components.
Course 1 is a 4.2-mile flat course that is in a rural area in the shape of a square. Winds are always 5-8 mph west to east. The plan was to average 200 watts per bike on this course
Course 2 is a 3.4 mile rolling course with minor gradient uphill. 200 watts was the goal to average.
Course 3 is a 2.6-mile climb averaging 6.1% gradient uphill on Mt. Diablo. 250 watts was the target to hold for each bike's effort.
Armed with some GoPros and help from a few friends we decided to take each bike and ride each course attempting to achieve the exact same effort. It is very hard to get exactly the same watts generated per bike but we were determined.
Now that you know the details, which bike do you think was the fastest on the flats, rolling and hilly course? Video 1 to be released soon! Stay Tuned!