Always have to push out more w/kg in group rides

Hello. There is so much inconsistency in Zwift. I have been riding for a few years but noticing it in the last few months. Today I was on a ZSUN slowish ride- 1.7-1.9. I had to ride at 2.3 to stay just ahead of the group. I took my eye off the screen for a second and I was immediately spit out the back. I got back but had to ride really hard to stay with them. Felt more like a race than a ride. I finally slid to the back and riding at 2.2 on my own felt easy but 1.7 with the group felt really hard.

I weigh 48 kg but I don’t think that’s the isse. Why would 2.2 feel easy alone and feel so tough in a group? I don’t know how to ride in a group anymore. I get no group draft benefit at all.

I’ve check Zwiftayzer and have no drop outs.

On the flats (where most group rides take place), raw watts are far more relevant than w/kg. At your weight, 1.9 w/kg is 90 watts. For a typical 75kg rider, they’re doing 142 watts at that same 1.9 w/kg, so they go much faster. You’d have to do nearly 3.0 w/kg to put out the same watts as them, and therefore to keep up.

Pack dynamics have changed in recent months meaning there is much less ‘sticky draft’ which may be the difference you’re noticing, but it doesn’t change the fact that as a particularly lightweight rider you will always need to put out a far higher w/kg than the advertised group average.

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What Dave said is the main issue, just wanted to check that you’re not using a time trial bike which don’t receive a drafting benefit.

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Dave has almost certainly identified the problem issue, but I would like add to the aspect that Paul raised. It’s also possible to be riding what one thinks is a road bike, but is actually a gravel bike, which has a higher rolling resistance on tarmac and which therefore requires more power to keep up at the same speed, despite being in the draft. This may not be Deborah’s case, but it’s worth being aware of in cases like this.

A week ago, I joined a sub-2.0 W/kg group ride. After ten minutes one of the participants asked in the group chat why for the last month he’d found it so much harder to keep up, having to put out around 2.4 W/kg even in a bunch where everyone was doing 1.9 or so. I observed his avatar using Fan View in Companion and saw the slightly chunkier tyres of what turned out to be a Cervélo Áspero (gravel model).
After some back-and-forth during which he doggedly claimed to be using a road bike, he eventually tried changing his frame… and rejoined the group to say that he was now able to keep up within the advertised W/kg. :wink:

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Yep, plus mountain bikes are even slower (on tarmac).

The best group rides use a mix of metrics to advise how fast they expect everyone to be going, including actual speed at various points.

sounds like a weight to power issue, I have same issues when riding with the BOTS esp downhill when instead of cruising i have to put the power down due to my weight to keep up > it is your weight me thinks i weight 57 kg and have a 4.2wkg and suffer on the downhills