D category racing

Question 1: Yesterday, I joined a cat D 1.3 to 1.6 ride: the SZR Beginners Ride. Very soon, I found myself having to pedal at 1.8,1.9 and 2.0 (for me that is a struggle) to catch up and I never succeeded. I think I was the last one or one of the last ones crossing the finishing line. What did I do wrong?

Question 2: I have a Kinetic smart rock and roll trainer. I always find myself having to pedal at the same intensity whether going uphill or downhill. So, I never get a break; I must constantly pedal hard to move. How do I change this? Or is this just the way the trainer is made?

Good morning Ginette.

Question 1: Response
I had a quick look on Zwiftpower.com and it seem like the ride leader was going well above the max for the ride. Also the leader name state 95kg so if you are lighter than 95 you have to produce even more power on the flats to keep up.

Question 2: Response.
do you pair your trainer as a power source and Controllable. And do you have FE-c as a paring option?

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Hi Gerrie,
Reply question 1: I weigh 70k. Does this mean the race advertises itself as a Cat D 1.3-1.6 but it is really a lot more?
Reply question 2: Just checked and the power is In ride 04504 Controllable. Should I unpair?

No you got your paring correct. It should be Power and controllable.

So I am stuck with pedaling hard all the time? During the race yesterday, the leader kept saying Please regroup and some racers replied they could not because they had no brakes. With me, if pedal with less intensity, the speed, wattage goes way down super fast.

going back to question 1.

If the ride leader is 95kg and riding in the limits (1.3-1.6) then to stay with the leader you wil have to do (1.75-2.2)

That is normal you power should drop to 0 when you stop pedaling but your speed should not drop so quick. Don’t use a TT bike for group rides.

Hi, Ginette,
I had the same issue when started with Zwift: couldn’t get with the group at the advertised power.
So, when they advertise something like 1.3-16w/kg, this mean that up the mountain the group could go something like 1.8-2 w/kg (in rare cases, if you are lucky, the group will keep something like 1.6-1.8w/kg).
For the uphill, actually with your weight you should have some advantage over the more heavier riders. For the downhill or 0% elevation, as Gerrie already mentioned, you’ll probably need to give a little bit more power.

And I’m not sure that this is your Kinetic trainer issues
I would suggest to try and find some group E social rides, unfortunately they are not so popular those rides with averages around 1.3-1.6 w/kg.
But the main issue is when the group is riding faster than advertised power. I had several rides like this and after mentioning this to the group leader he slowed down a little bit. The second part is the whole “social behavior” - when some people riding ahead too fast, hopefully Zwift will integrate soon the “group fence” that could help to keep the whole group together.

Thanks Adam. I wonder if I can go to «erg off» when racing? Would that make things easier? Don’t know.

Don’t know… never tried the Erg mode. I’m riding as on usual bike, by changing my bike gears. Probably someone else with more experience could suggest something on this one.

ERG can only be used in Workout mode.

You can try to lower the trainer difficulty slider in the settings menu, but in the end you still have to produce the same amount of power.

This is an issue I find in group rides and just riding in general, and I’m getting passed all of the time. I’m only about 57 Kg, meaning that when I’m at 75 watts, my rating is about 1.3 … yet a 1.3 for a 95 Kg lead means that I would have to push it to 2.2 … doesn’t seem quite right. So advertising a D ride at a 1.2-1.5 really means nothing to me, and I’ll never keep up!

Well…yes, it might be a good idea to advertise it correctly indicating a so-called “standard weight and height” of the rider when advertising w/kg. This way people will at least have an idea about the effort needed for the event.
For the differences in weight vs speed…well this is physics, the Nature itself, the way the reality is made, this is how our world was built. We cannot go against it )).
So, this is “similar” to the real life where you could encounter the same problem when riding in the group. But…in the other hand, you’ll have big advantage when going uphill over those who weight 95kg…

Advertising watts or W/KG will always be inaccurate when comparing different riders.
Why not just cut to the chase and ask the “real” question.
The one that you ask in “real life”.

What is the SPEED?
IRL, if you are going to join a group you ask what’s the expected speed - average 20 mph or 16-18 mph (US rides).
Of course, I think Zwift speeds tend to be 3-4 MPH faster than IRL.

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The heavier rider will need to generate more Watts (I know too well from being ~105 kg), however I thought that the point of everyone riding at the same W/kg equals riding at the same speed.

On flats it’s about just watts and that is where the lighter riders struggle to keep up and on down hills it’s even worse. You need a good ride leader that adjusts their watts (and w/kg) to keep the group blobbed.

I find the same problem in rides advertised for, say 1.4-1.8 w/kg. I am a ~60kg rider. I will be riding along at 1.6 w/kg and be passed by a bunch of riders riding at less w/kg than I am. I will never keep up with a heavier leader riding at the same w/kg as I am. To say nothing of the folks riding off the front at 2+ w/kg. What we need is a setup where rides and riders are grouped according to actual watts produced on a long flat section. That would eliminate the weight factor. As an example, if a ride was advertised as 70 to 100 watts, or 150 to 200 watts, riders would know what they could expect, and whether or not they would have a reasonable chance of riding with the group, and not dropping way behind the sweep.


Good points that is made here.

I made this table as a guide to see how hard a ride will be.

I made the assumption that most ride leaders are around 80kg (if they weigh less then it will be easier)

So you can see if the Ride leader (80kg) ride at 1.6w/kg he will be at 128w. So if you weight 60kg you will have to ride at 2.1w/kg.

So I would suggest if you are a light rider to pick rides that is a lot lower than your usual riding pace.

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Selecting rides with a lower stated w/kg range is a good workaround. However there are very few group rides at levels much lower than a minimum of 1.5 w/kg. Just a few beginner and recovery rides. Need more easier rides, or more lighter leaders.

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Look for the TeamZF rides the “beginner Zinger” is a nice ride.

There is a few good beginner rides, you just have to find the ones in your time zone. Also Look for “The Heard” they also focus on beginners. I know they were looking for people to lead rides maybe you can lead one of the rides.

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