Add Braking As Speed-Limited Corners for More Dynamic Racing

Despite efforts to make racing more dynamic — and some success in it — the nature of Zwift currently makes it more akin to TT effort than bike racing, and this will probably always be partly true. However, there are things that can help. One of them is braking.

Braking:

  1. creates power fluctuations closer to real racing unless course is designed to avoid cornering
  2. reduces the power of groups against breakaways and bridging efforts

Requirements:

  1. no additional hardware or software controls required

Mechanism for an initial implementation that can be later improved:

The simplest way to achieve a braking effect would be through forced reduction of speed or power in corners. This can be done either through capping speed or power. Which of the two (or something else) is better needs to be tested, both have pros and cons, but equally either one of them could be used for an initial implementation.

Earlier topic: Braking / speed limiting in corners

Speed limiting is already implemented in that one U-turn in London (only in one direction) so basically it’s just a matter of adding similar limits at appropriate values in more places…

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Agree completely. I don’t think it should be power capped, just speed, and importantly the speed that you can carry through a corner should depend on the size of the pack around you.

The ultimate example is descending from the Epic KOM. In real life a solo rider can often descend faster than the peloton, yet on the Epic KOM a peloton can whip round tight bends at 85km/h. It makes any effort up the epic KOM pointless. You basically have to wait at the top and then descend with a group.

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Would be smart if there was some user input element to it, say if the braking was harder (so you slow down more) if you don’t ease off the power accordingly. This would be more realistic than the corner in London where everyone increases power because they know they’re about to be slowed down by the game but don’t want to be caught out. It would add an interesting extra skill/tactic to racing, knowing how and when to minimise the impact of braking.

I take a few pedal strokes off on approach so I can stamp on them on the way out and gain a quick easy power boost.

Oops did I just give away my secret? Luckily no-one reads these forums :slight_smile:

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@Anna_Ronkainen
Do you have topic reference (link) where it’s writen/explain how it’s work ?

@rue for my point of view, “breking” on virtual bike for me make no sence and will make more complexe the game.
(In real life, we all riding differently, we can breacking at different moments according to riders position into peloton …)

For my point of view, it will be more intersting to get more + / - elevation on laps (this is visualy more “realist” than a corner)

Ride on

I’m sure it’s somewhere on Zwiftinsider but I couldn’t find it. How it works is that your speed is limited to 32 km/h at the apex of the turn, and I guess the limit gradually (but pretty quickly) approaches that value as you get close to the turn.

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Here is a clip of the speed dropping to 33km/h on the London turn.

I don’t think it change any of the riding stile.

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On RGT the UI shows you how much Watts you save when you are drafting, and the drafting sweet spot is very narrow. You get the best draft only when you are exactly behind the rider. You can be saving 80 Watts, while the guys on both sides of you only 40 Watts. Which means there is one perfect spot for drafting behind each wheel and only one rider can occupy it at a time.

In the corners the group gets rearranged, with the riders who were occupying the best drafting positions, suddenly finding 2 or 4 meters gaps in front, and there savings from drafting start to disappear in milliseconds, if they don’t react at all they are out the back. So corners act like a way to reset the fight for positions, which actually matter.

If it’s a fast A cat race (or TTT team) doing 45kph there’s a huge loss of kinetic energy at that point and you’d be well advised to stop pedalling and get a small rest before powering out of the turn. It’s only a few seconds of course but all the work you do going up to the corner is 100% wasted.

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O yes James, I agree there are some waisted power, but if no one accelerate out of the corner then it is only a small waist that everyone waisted.

But to your point if every corner was like that, we would probably quickly start to race differently.

It would be more pronounced that if you enter the corner with to much power your avatar take a longer turn and that will cause you to loose draft and position. But I think the data the just not fine enough.

It’s, what, 4 km to the finish from that corner, so making a real attack there is pretty pointless. All tight corners being like that (at appropriate values) would create a different race dynamic (or at least they do on RGT).

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There’s the dynamic, but it’s also a different physiological strain. Repeated accelerations create their own difficulty — for the most part it would be negligible on for example RGV. But start adding corners with 20/30/40 speed limits, gradually you get closer and closer to actual crit racing. And all along that spectrum it will have some effect both physically and tactically. Plus the group advantage reduction.

Yes, of course, I see the physiological strain as a part of the race dynamic and it makes positioning in the group more important as the accordion effect often makes it even more straining to ride further back in the group. I have no idea what I’m doing, but some sections in RGT crits make me feel like the person in a revolving door who enters last but exits first…

The lack of limited-speed corners in Crit City is really a missed opportunity to create more interesting racing.