Distance or Gap Bar and Draft Effect display

In real life we use visual cues to stay in the draft. It’s easy to judge the distance between your front wheel and the rear wheel of the rider in front. If the gap is too big or growing, add power. If the gap is too small or shrinking, ease off a bit.

It’s not so easy to judge that gap in Zwift. Mostly I’m using views where I’m looking from behind my avatar and can’t even see my front wheel.

Maybe what’s needed is a Distance or Gap Bar: A thin vertical bar on one side of the screen representing the distance to the rider in front. Distance from 2 m down to zero. You could adjust your power to stay in the draft based on the gap and how fast it’s growing or shrinking - just like IRL.

This would be most useful when trying to draft off a single rider, or a small group. In a large group, a Distance Bar shouldn’t be necessary.

In either case, it would still be nice to see how much drafting benefit we are getting - a display of watts saved or a percentage of power vs. what we’d have to put out to maintain the current speed in the absence of any draft.

Zwift drafting is a skill of yoyoing as I see it.

While there is a draft indicator in Zwift displaying your distance to the rider in front, the draft mechanisms in Zwift go beyond that indicator and don’t represent everything going on. You could be at 0 metres to the rider in front thinking you are good, but your draft calculation could be decreasing rapidly, which you would only figure out ~10 seconds later when you are 3 meters behind doing the same power.

I speculate the hidden draft physics in Zwift increase and decrease with time behind a rider. ie. if you are entering a draft the advantage increases until you hit 0 meters. Then there is a specified amount of time until the draft decreases regardless of your 0 meter behind position, and you fall back at a calcution until you counter the math.

As more of a TT’r, I’ve been working on my Zwift skills which seem to require a good amount of short bursts and recovery after.

I don’t think I’d want a true draft indicator on screen. I think it would take some of the fun out of it.

I agree some sort of draft indicator would be nice. I think what percentage of the full draft effect you are taking advantage of would be nice.

On a related topic since you mention the views; I think a handlebar view would be very useful. I have tried the 1st person view but it gets a little difficult to actually gauge distance, a handlebar view which shows your handlebars and front wheel would be useful imo.

Take away the silly drop counter and give me this!!


Yeah, but the again you have to take into account the riders height and weight in front of you to get the drafting watts right. If you know you’re drafting of a much heavier rider and he accelerates on the flat, you have to put in more effort, than he does. But, how should you know this in Zwift?
Outside you would see this, but no chance in Zwift.

Zwift DOES actually reflect a rider’s weight in the build of their avatar (although not height). Next time you use a feather power-up, watch your avatar shrink.

But regardless, what’s being requested is a better indicator of distance to the rider ahead and of the draft benefit. Those would be useful whatever the size of the rider in front or the current strength of the draft.