Drafting benefit.

I’m using a Kickr on my Zwift ride and despite using a Mac, a PC and now an iPad Pro, I can honestly say that I have never seen or felt any benefit from drafting. This is a big shame since there is no reason to cycle in a group, or even try to jump on a wheel of another rider. Does anyone else REAL see the benefit? Am I doing something wrong?

 

What kind of bike are you using within Zwift. They each have different drafting properties and the TT bike as no drafting at all.

Hi Paul,

Over the couple of years on Zwift, I used all sorts of bikes, but most recently I use a Dogma 65.1. I don’t think this is a TT bike. (it doesn’t look like one).

What trainer do you use? Do you see an advantage drafting? …reduced watts? …increased speed? …easier to pedal?

I really love Zwift, but this is the one area that lets things down for me. I really want it to work. May be I should submit a ticket…

Tim,

I know they changed some of the drafting benefits and aero of some bikes (The Tron bike now has better aero than the TT bike, WTF).

I don’t us any bike but the TT bike since it is the closest to my personal bike (Felt S32), so I don’t get any drafting benefits (don’t really want it either). I do get a lot of people trying to draft off of me, but lately they cannot stick to my wheel. 

Seems drafting is not that great within Zwift anymore.

Cheers Paul,

I’ve celebrated a few too many birthdays; I need all the help I can get :slight_smile:

The drafting effect is significant, but you feel it most at higher speeds (like in real world.) 

If you do a race, you’ll definitely feel it when the pack pulls away when you lose contact from the last rider…

Disagree Matt Von Wahide. In the real world I can feel the benefit of cycling at 20mph behind a single rider, 4" 10" from the lead riders wheel. If I try the same in Zwift I never feel the benefit, same goes for a cycling in a bunch of 30 riders. In the real world I might be stressed out doing 18 mph on my own, in a group of 10 i’ll be doing 25 mph coasting much of the time. Never experienced anything like that in Zwift. :frowning:

May be there is something wrong with my setup?

I don’t think the draft is as pronounced in Zwift either, but it’s there. I don’t think wind is modeled, and that is a huge difference on the road. The thing that I don’t think is modeled well at all is large pack riding. I think that should be improved…

What trainer are you using?

 

I’m using a Kickr.  I’ll log a ticket, because for me there is definitely zilch affect when drafting.

Yeah, I have a Kickr (and a Neo, and a Drivo).You probably are getting the draft effect, but it’s more subtle than you might expect.

I wish Zwift would display the wattage savings on screen for drafting…

You won’t “feel” the drafting benifit. You will certainly notice it trying to bridge or if you get dropped or attack because you will need a BIG effort compared to the group in those situations.

Well I logged a ticket and sent my log files for an analyst to analyse. Apparently there are quite a few lost packets over my WiFi that could be causing an issue for me.  I am going to extend my network for my next ride, so I’ll report back after.

Hi Matt, is there any difference in drafting across the different trainers?

I have difficulties drafting and I assume it is because my trainer’s (Tacx Vortex) power signal lags behind the effort, and I guess this is why I almost always pass the rider in front of my instead of drafting, no matter how cautious I am. I wonder if there is a difference across trainers in this respect, whether getting a better one would help.

Well,  I have quite a collection of smart trainers, so I have a good basis for opinion…

Currently, I have a Kickr I & II , Tacx Neo, Elite Drivo, and Stac Zero (with a power meter), and several others. I put in a fair number of hours on Zwift.

I would say there is definitely a difference in the realism of drafting between trainers. If there is significant lag in  the response to slope or losing the draft, it will affect you ability to hold wheels and gain the draft. With the trainers I have, I would not say that differences are not pronounced, however in terms of the “amount of draft” or perceived amount of draft.  The Drivo is the most “realistic”: feel to me. I find the way it responds to varying loads is the most natural. Drafting in Zwift is not particularly realistic in some respects, so it’s all relative anyway and subjective. 

One thing to note is that there IS a big differences in the wattage reported by the various trainers. I have seen 30 watt difference between some trainers, which is huge in a race. I know the trainer vendors don’t want to hear this, but there are significant differences. Who is to say which is correct… hard to say. 

During races, some times I hammer 30-60 seconds at 4.5 - 4.8 W/kg in front, but the other riders easily follow me at 2.8 - 3.5 W/kg. If I drop power at 3.6-3.8 W/kg, I rapidly fall at the back, although the other riders who overtake me show 2.8-3.5 W/kg.

Many times I need 3.8 - 4 W/kg to stay in the middle, if the leading cyclist shows 3.5-3.8 W/kg (although the drafting effect should work exactly the other way around).

I think it is rather a wrong data processing in Zwift and poor (or non-existing) draft effect.

Sorry guys, there is zero drafting in zwift. My wife and I have tested it on computrainers and used powertaps to verify the wattage changes. There is zero effect from being in a group, it is all psychological. We have both raced for 20+ years and the races and group rides are totally unrealistic as far as the drafting is concerned. And no we did not use the TT bikes.

Drafting does work on Zwift! It is easy to fail to understand it like Hank Saha! But, try riding steady at 3w/kg and note your speed. Then on same stretch on say flat but of volcano circuit get someone else doing same w/kg I from of you and get within 1meter and you will find you will still go sane speed but now only putting out 2.5 w/kg
It does work and is very obvious. In races there are some smoothing averages going on so it’s not quite as on-off in the draft and out of the draft but it does work

LOL, ok…I only post this because this may be the downfall of Zwift and I like Zwift.

Do you know what a powertap is? My wife ( Cat1 Road,CX and MTB) me (cat2) take turns pulling on a flat road in Zwift using the Computraners and verifying data with powertap. I pull @ x watts she drafts, we switch and I draft @ 0 meters no change in watts on CT or PT. The data is the data. 

I personally do not care if they address the issue or not. There many new entries into this field looking for a weakness like this. Zwift should own it or fix it and not try to tell people they are drafting wrong or that it is their imagination. 

 

 

 

LOL, ok…I only post this because this may be the downfall of Zwift and I like Zwift.

Do you know what a powertap is? My wife ( Cat1 Road,CX and MTB) me (cat2) take turns pulling on a flat road in Zwift using the Computraners and verifying data with powertap. I pull @ x watts she drafts, we switch and I draft @ 0 meters no change in watts on CT or PT. The data is the data. 

I personally do not care if they address the issue or not. There many new entries into this field looking for a weakness like this. Zwift should own it or fix it and not try to tell people they are drafting wrong or that it is their imagination. 

 

 

 

It’s definitely there. I wonder if there are some differences with the setups people have. It’s definitely not nearly as significant as real life, but it’s there. You can feel it when you see your avatar sits up. The thing that’s annoying is that the 3D rider representation of the riders in front of you does not correspond with expected drafting benefit. I have seen 4 riders near me and in front of me and in the real world I would be definitely getting a draft benefit.

Zwift would be A LOT better if everyone was using the same trainer because of all the variables, but that’s never going to happen…