Average wattage can’t keep up

I tried to do a group ride averaging 2-2.2 I was averaging 2.2-2.5 while in the bunch and I still couldn’t keep up…after a while I just gave up
What am I doing wrong?

Chances are…nothing.

It’s very common for group rides to go off at a much quicker pace than advertised.

Once you’re out the back you’re done for.

Ideally you need to be mid pack to get the best drafting benefit. Recent pack dynamics suggest being just in front of the yellow beacon is the optimal position.

I’ve been spat out the back of many a group ride.

Don’t be disheartened, try some other ones and you’ll find that not all are like what you’ve experienced.

I agree with Stuart, some groups are just faster than expected! It also depends on your weight and the terrain. If you are light and it’s flat, for example, you will have to put out more watts/kg than a heavier rider. Just as in real life!

I do feel your annoyance though! Nothing worse than doing more than expected and people still going away.

Try another group ride, they do tend to vary a lot even for the same advertised average w/kg.

Make sure you’re not using a time trial bike, they don’t get the draft benefit.


The wattage expected in group rides can vary hugely so I wouldnt worry as such about a one off like that.

Whilst they may average 2.1 w/kg by the end of the ride, there could be prolonged periods of over that obviously have to be met.

That is before considering weight differences that completely screw it up anyway, as you will find out what kind of group you prefer to be in based upon what speeds you can realistically maintain rather than w/kg by itself.

e.g. for me at 60kg, joining a 2.5w/kg group is going to end up around 2.8-2.9 w/kg on the flats due to power output and actual road speed.

As said already, if you go off the back & lose the draft advantage, your done. Expect to be putting 3.5-4.5 w/kg for some time to get back on, especially if double draft is on. Sometimes its easier to log out & back in if its just started.

I find often on the “faster” rides, start off faster than the advertised av power, then settle down to the yellow leader doing the advertised power out put •within* the draft of the pack ie, going faster than they would be otherwise.
If you lose connection, the power w/kg you need to catch up solo may be beyond you.
Why many social rides have red beacon sweepers that try to set up a draft with several “stragglers” putting out an increased output for a “short” time to try and catch up !

As Matt said is within the first 30min(?) of the ride, it may be best to log out and back in , to be late started from within the pack.