When it comes to cycling, Power to Weight Ratio (PWR) is a measure that allows a comparison of a cyclists abilities even when the riders vary in size. The Power to Weight Ratio of a rider is determined by dividing the average power generated over a specific duration of time by the rider’s weight. For example, Rider A weighs 80 kgs and averages 270 Watts on a 20 minute ride, so their PWR is 3.3 Watts/Kg. Rider B weighs 75 kgs and averages 275 watts on a 20 minute ride, making their PWR 3.6. Thus, with a higher PWR value, rider B is likely to have an advantage over rider A. PWR is widely used to compare cyclists’ abilities when it comes to climbs, and determine who is likely to climb faster.
Logically, riders with more muscle mass are likely to be able to generate more power, but they also have a higher weight to carry. Smaller riders are lighter and have less mass to carry, however this could also mean lower power output levels. Often, the most successful riders, especially when it comes to tackling uphill tend to be small built but with the ability to generate high power output.