Change to drafting? more yo-yo effect?

starting last week (i think), it seems like a change was made to how drafting works. there are so many psycho-somatic effects here that it’s difficult to say for sure, but here’s a list of odd behavior i’ve seen:

  • in a group ride last night, i was in the lead going down a hill. the group leader was 25m behind. suddenly, group leader sped way up and passed me, pulling the rest of the group with him. he wasn’t putting out more watts than me. after he passed, i then shot out ahead of him.
  • i rode with Bowie a few times, and i was really struggling to stay on his wheel. i’d shoot out ahead of him at 2.9wkg, and then he’d pass me and i’d have to throw down 3.5-3.7 just to stay near his wheel. normally, i can do about 45 mins with bowie, but this was so exhausting that i was falling out after 20-30 mins.
  • in a group ride, the leader passed me doing less wkg than i was, but i had to put out even more just to keep up with him. we were both in the draft.
  • there seems to be a “drag” effect towards the rear of the group that you have to overcome just to stay with the group, but it’s also really easy to shoot out of the front of the group
  • generally i seem to have to “surge” more often to stay in a pack than i used to.

anyway, just wondering if anyone else sees this or if it’s just me.

i do understand the concept of drafting and momentum, and some of the things i’ve listed could be seen as my avatar losing draft/momentum, but it feels more extreme than that to me.


We haven’t made changes to pack dynamics recently. Subtle tweaks are coming in the next release (v1.15.0) though

1 Like

Interesting. What’s the ETA?

Very, very Zoon™


Cheers. :+1:

thanks for the info, psyched to see tweaks are being worked on!

i suppose that means i’m just wimping out :slight_smile:

What can happen is at the back of the group you find people hanging on with much lower watts/kg and it often happens that Zwift sticky drafts you to them. So you have to put out 6-7w/kg to get past them.

If you don’t, you get dropped. On the Kickr Bike you can use steering to go around big groups much more easily and without Zwift putting artificial brakes on you.

there were some changes several updates back, here was my experience with it:

in short - yes - seems to be a lot more surgy at the moment for me too.

(edit: this was the update: Game Update - March 16th, 2021
Pack Dynamics

  • Over the last few months we have been testing a number of improvements to how riders in groups behave in Zwift. These changes are now rolling out to all users and should result in improved pathing of riders in large packs. Users should also notice fewer instances where other riders appear to ride through the dirt or off road.)

I’m starting to wonder if bike choice plays a role too. i switched from venge+rainbow disc to aeroad+enve recently. maybe that makes the flats harder when I’m on the rivet – enough that i blow up?

will try switching back to venge today.

That made me laugh. Thank you.

1 Like

the “VERY SOON” update is a complete Joke! 450+ races and this was by far the biggest clownshow ive seen.
Seriously got motion sick from watching the drunk antics of your excellent coding. (and yeah, I can do better)