Drafting in Pelotons Needs to be Increased

After riding Zwift all last winter and then riding outdoors in big group rides this summer, I would like to recommend that the drafting effect be increased in large Zwift pelotons.

In Zwift, I find that you have to produce around the same wattage in the draft as the rider on the front. If a rider on the front is doing 4 w/kg, then you have to do close to that to stay with the group (say 3.8 w/kg).

In real life, the lead/front rider can be doing 4 w/kg, but riders in the draft only need to be doing around 2.5 w/kg to 3 w/kg.

The result I find is that large groups in Zwift break apart too easily. This makes for constant regroups and unrealistic races.  Just my two cents.

That would be more realistic, no doubt about it.  

The downside would be that once the marginal rider was dropped, they would be dropped permanently and have no chance of catching up.  In your example, a rider in the draft who is getting a good workout at 2.5 w/kg would have no ability to maintain 4 w/kg for any sustained period.  

As you say, currently a rider has to produce around the same wattage in the draft as the rider on the front, meaning that any rider in the group is capable of achieving the wattage of the lead.  In other words, currently you can’t be a slacker and rely on the draft.  You have to find a group that is similar to your ability.

I think a company strategy of Zwift is the social side (unlike TR) so they have an interest in making it so everyone can stay in the group.

Well see i want Zwift to be as realistic as possible and drafting in real life is way easier than on Zwift (flats). I’ve also noticed that the drafting impact is very low. I need to produce almost the same power as the lead which in real life is significant different. Of course it depends on the topography, wind, surface, position of the rider in front and other things. I understand that nobody wants a rider doing 2.5 - 3 Watts/Kg hanging in behind you when you’re going 4 Watts/Kg but in real life that’s probably about what happens. Getting into the slip stream of a rider producing less watts isn’t that easy either when the faster rider hammers by.

Agreed here make the drafting more like real life. Sometimes drafting is the only way to stay with a strong group, so I say recreate that effect. As it is if you’re dropped your gone for good… you can’t tell these strangers “hey mates wait up a second.” Happy if a rider at 2.5 is dropped by a 4.0 guy they aren’t catching up anyway. 

If you want a steady state workout maybe opting out of the (greater) draft assist could be incorporated. Or, ya know, just ride on the front, like real life.

Agreed Agreed Agreed. In the middle of 50 riders on the flat at 28 mph, you should be doing about 100-150 W, but you need to do about 220W. 

The program needs to coordinate how many riders are in front of you - lead, 2nd wheel, 3rd wheel, 4th wheel, middle of pack, last rider.  

Also, you should get a small boost if you have a rider behind you. If I want to really work out (which I occasionally do) I’ll mix in the front and do work. But if I’m at 178 bpm i need to sit in, and not at my FTP just to hang.  

So unrealistic.  

Don’t make us work so hard all the time. Give us the option to sit in or work.