Climb vs Descend


(Rob Toeppner) #1

This has come up before, so was curious if others are still seeing this.

I’m a smaller rider, so climbing is good for me, and I know the bigger guys suffer.  However, I still get dropped instantly as I crest a hill - people slingshot past me.

For sure, the bigger guys inevitably outpace me as a downhill section progresses, but I don’t get dropped instantly at the start.

Is there a peak that needs to be smoothed out somewhere in the modeling?


(Stewart G teamWBR) #2

Lately I have found it difficult to drop riders on the downhills and this shouldn’t happen as I am 95kg and can hold a decent power. I think it is too much in favour of the light guys at the moment. At least when the heavy guys got a help on the downhills we could catch up some of the distance lost on the climbs.

I don’t know if this is due to tweaking of the drafting or downhill pace adjusted by weight.


(Rob Toeppner) #3

Interesting how we’re perceiving complete opposites.   I did see mention of a recent update (yesterday?), so maybe something happened after my last ride that has nerfed (or improved, depending on your outlook) descents.

In any event, larger riders can still rejoice in the fact that they push the same amount of air as tiny riders on Zwift Island.  (Universal Cd.)


(Stewart G teamWBR) #4

Until a couple of weeks ago I would rapidly pull away from riders on the downhill but not really gain a huge amount. This was a bit too quick in reality but it gives the bigger guys a chance to get back a small amount that we lose on the climbs.

In the last few weeks I can be sitting around 300-350W and when I hit the downhill I picked up around 5-10m then pushed over 400-450w but the much lighter riders behind would just come back alongside easily without changing their w/kg figure. Something has changed as at my weight I should be pulling away from them. Not a huge problem as I mainly use Zwift for my own training but If I was in a group race I would struggle as I would find it hard to make up my lost time on the climbs. Could be a change to the drafting?


(Christian Wiedmann [X] 50) #5

Rob - what trainer are you using? The KICKR has the annoying feature that it doesn’t take into account the flywheel momentum when reporting power, so all the effort that’s going into making it spin faster at the top of hills is not reported to Zwift. Conversely, it gives this energy back as a power bonus when it’s slowing down at the bottom of hills.

I don’t know if this is the effect you’re seeing, but even at a relatively average weight (160 lbs), I have trouble holding onto wheels at the top of the Col.


(Rob Toeppner) #6

Thanks Christian - It is indeed a KICKR, and that definitely could be it.   I hadn’t thought about that.

I’ll try to make note of the boost you mention at the bottom of a hill.


(Christian Wiedmann [X] 50) #7

If you do confirm it, please consider  opening a ticket with Wahoo. I’ve done that already, but I figure the chance of their doing something about it probably is higher if more people report it.