Drafting issues lately

I have been noticing it more and more that drafting has become more difficult.

I suspect something has changed but it does not seem to impact everyone. Riders seem to get stuck to slower riders as the bunch pass them instead of being stuck to those that is going the same pace.

It seem easier to stay in the front of a group than in the middle. Same reports from the WTRL TTT today,

Have you notice the same.

Noticed something similar on TdZ Stage 5. My group was chugging along at 2.3w/kg catching a small group ahead. I noticed a rider in the group ahead had a power drop or took a break cause they went from 2.0w/kg down to 0.4w/kg. Right as I get to them their power goes back to 2.0w/kg but their speed is slow because of the decline in power before. Zwift sticky drafts me to then and i instantly lost 10km/h on my speed even though my power was constant.

Rightly pissed me off and a few choice words may have been yelled towards Zwift as I lost my group and had to put in a hard effort to catch back up. To make it better this was about 8km from the finish of the stage and I burned too many matches getting back to the group I dropped from but was with the whole ride I didn’t have much left for the after party climb.

The only solace I took from it is that it was a ride and not an official race, but still irked it cost me probably 20 spots in the final.

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Not sure I’ve noted any changes in either recently, but have never been a fan of the sticky draft. Tired of approaching from behind at a reasonably faster pace and getting stuck, then having to up power significantly before I can continue on my way. This doesn’t happen IRL, and I don’t understand why Zwift ever implemented it in the first place. Not a fan of their drafting algorithm, either (especially double-draft).

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Agree! Many users have complained about this. It’s especially bad up hill.

SO many! :pleading_face:

What got me lately is it happens on flat roads more and more.

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Been having this since the steering updates last year, as others have as well (seen same comments from WTRL racers since then too). Learnt real quick to stay at the front of the pack otherwise your effort goes up and distance you cover goes up - doesnt matter whether its Pace Partners, group rides or races.

Re sticky draft - havent noticed a change and dont like it. Get annoyed I have to apply a solid burst of effort when I catch someone, just to break free and then go back to same power and gap that person.

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Noticed this Tuesday on Stage 5 NYC and again yesterday on Stage 5 Richmond. Someone else mentioned it in the chat. Up until that point, I thought maybe I was imagining things. Maybe we all are :man_shrugging: But, something definitely feels different about the draft. At some points, I thought maybe it was disabled but it was inconsistent in this regards. Again, it feels different.

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I have similar (unpleasant) experiences… but discovered quite accidentally (yesterday in TdZ Stage 5) that this phenomenon works in BOTH directions. To wit, I was a part of a small blob plodding along at 2.7 W/kg. The group was cohesive and disciplined. However, when overtaken by a group of 4.0W/kg cool kids, our mini-peloton was blasted to smithereens! Some riders were sucked in to the overtaking group… some were sucked out. Of course, at the next ascent, these riders all found themselves solo and without any benefit whatsoever, net/net. I tested this later when being overtaken by a strong group, it was VERY easy for me to stay at the front of the pack without pushing the same power, or at least so it seemed to me. I don’t like the non-realistic effects, but I have no choice but to keep these effects in mind when interacting with other Zers.

I have noticed something has changed with the group rides/sessions, in that im having to do at least 0.5 w/kg more than the Beacons advertised pace. Its a change ive only noticed in the last couple of weeks.

Is it a rider weight thing? im 65kg

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I’ve been getting more frustrated by sticky draft recently, bit I’d put it down to a couple of things - the fact I’d read an article on it (which made me more aware), and the fact I’ve been riding lots of TdZ, which I think is in double draft…?

Have we always been told to “close the gap” when in the middle of a pack as much as we are now? I do often think “I’m in the middle of the pack, what am I supposed to do?!”

No, it was very noticeable difference for me from Sept update when they added steering support. I noticed the drafting change since then too.

That is my impression as well, all kinds of strange things happening around avatar movement/physics since the Sterzo update.

I did have a feeling something changed when steering came in but I dismissed it, thinking “there’s a tiny minority of Zwifters who currently have steering - they wouldn’t make things worse for 95% of people.” I’ve been working on the assumption that it may look different but that the mechanics still work the same way - e.g. you may not look like you’re drafting someone but you actually are.

I’ve been having trouble keeping up in group rides lately. I default to the position, “It’s me.” But sometimes, I’m not sure. There seems to be no benefit from the draft effect and the numbers don’t make sense. I used to be able to hang with faster rides if I could establish and maintain a position in the draft. I could get sucked along. Lately, I get dropped from the group even when my power and speed are at or even a little above the group members. It’s weird. My power meter seems to be working fine. I understand the concept of Wattage on flat courses. My interface is an original Apple TV. I’ve wondered if that has something to do with it. Maybe I’ll try using my Mac Book. Then again, it’s probably just me.

It’s probably you, but here are a couple of possibilities:

  • Did you switch to a TT bike? If so, no draft for you!
  • Depending on the group ride, the draft effect may be disabled, original draft, or double draft.
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I tend to blame most Zwift problems on local internet connectivity. I have rarely had a problem that could be attributed to the actual Zwift platform. It has generally been bulletproof for me. I really have no complaints about the platform’s reliability. That’s one of the reasons why I suspected my recent problems with drafting were not directly related to a problem with Zwift. It was either me performing badly or the way I interface with Zwift. I recently made a change in the way i utilize Wi-Fi at my home. Since then, the draft effect has been working well. I wonder if the amount of bandwidth other devices are sucking up might effect the way Zwift performs.

I have also seen drafting go away, and also resistance has gone way up and power way down. This all started the day after I did TdZ stage 2 up the Alpe. For reference, for the last few months I had been doing a B group ride 2x a week in the morning with no problem. When the issues started, forget B group–I was getting dropped by C group. My avg power decreased by about 40-50 watts. Drafting stopped working, and downhill resistance decreased only intermittently. It has been like pedaling in quicksand at times, even on the flats. I use a Wahoo Snap Kickr with a MacBook. I did two weeks of troubleshooting with Wahoo, seems like the device is fine. That leaves Zwift. Seems like if this many people are seeing an issue, then something at Zwift is awry.

This post to which you replied is over a year old, so I don’t know about ‘this many people’ seein an issue. Your situation seems to be generally isolated, so my guess would be something on your end. I have seen other threads about resistance issues with Wahoo trainers, so you might want to search the Forum for that topic.

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