Excessive Rider Culling destroys big ride feel


I just the other day did the kick off TDZ ride which had about 3000 people in it.

When I came to the start line there were about 950 people in front of me and 2000 behind me. All that was visible was a huge open space of tarmac in front of our tiny group of “non-culled” riders and then a huge open space of tarmac behind me.

This is because Zwift is “culling” riders so only about 100 of the nearest riders on the server are rendered on the client.

This may be great for performance, but in this case it completely destroyed all feelings of being in a big group event with 3000 Zwifters. I felt like I was alone in the world short of they tiny pod of people around me on the vast empty road.

Then, when we started riding for the even, of course the same problem persisted. I was just in a tiny group of about 100 people. I had no feeling of the big group or being in a big group ride. I had not feeling of trying to go to the front of the big group or falling back off the big group.

Please either give us a real hard technical reason why this extreme rider culling is being done on ALL CLIENT MACHINES - or fix it!

I was on a gaming PC and there was no reason for that unless Zwift servers are so weak and shoddy that they can’t send me on a gaming PC rig more than 100 riders at a time.

Surely the servers are modeling all of the riders, so why if one has MAX settings turned on and is on a beefy PC does one not see any riders because of this excessive culling?

Cull for a 10 year old phone client.

Do not cull for a client that can handle it.


I think this was done so that the slower PC’s and phones could handle these big events. But I do agree if someone is running on a gaming PC they should be able to see more than 100 riders.

It will be nice if Zwift could scale the rider count according to the user PC specs, instead of focusing on the minimum spec of any user.


I agree entirely with this. It hugely diminishes the feeling of being on a massive group ride.

Plus I’ve found it confusing, even though I’ve been on Zwift since 2015. For example, in the Eric Min Thanksgiving ride a couple of months ago, I joined the ride and saw the huge gap in front of me in the starting pens.

But the ride beacons were visible way out in front, just behind the barrier. I thought “Oh, Eric must be having a head start.” I just didn’t twig that the vast expanse of emptiness was actually populated by hundreds of other riders.

This manifests itself in the map overlay too:


Here it looks like the beacons are way off the back. Of course, it’s likely there are riders all the way between them and the small section I’m being shown. Same in reverse, obviously.

It’d be much more engaging to be shown as many riders as my PC can handle while still maintaining a baseline performance and frame rate.

One would think this could be tied to the display settings. Someone running Ultra 1440 can probably handle 500 riders or more, no? It’s not like there are loads of particle effects to worry about, nor is it a game where targeting and precise positioning are paramount (e.g. a large scale PvP battle in an MMORPG or FPS).


Even if I couldn’t see all of the other riders, I would like to at least see all of their “dots” on the mini-map - that way I can zoom out and see exactly how far ahead the leading riders are (and how close I am to the back of the pack!). I don’t think that should be too difficult for a semi-decent PC to be able to handle.


Just what i wanted to say @Steven_Robinson.

Even in smaller groups the minimap showing only 100 riders is not optimal. Like when you lead a group ride with 200+ riders there can be 100 riders of the back and you wont even know.

Also why remove blocks of riders surly they can only remove every second or third rider at least then you won’t see this open spaces.


I agree, there should be MANY more riders on screen on systems that can handle the capacity. The current limitation is woefully inadequate.

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I would also like to see the whole group or at least something more than what it is now.
One of the problems I have is keeping an eye on riders that are on my favorites. When they drop out of that 100 rider limit I end up moving back and forth through the group trying to find them.
It is kind of discouraging to get friends new to Zwift to join saying we can ride together and encourage each other and then lose them 10 seconds into a large ride.

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I definitely agree. At a minimum, the number of riders should scale with the computer’s capabilities.

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This makes sense, especially given the mini-map is already a limited portion of the game world. It’s not like having to render thousands of riders to the horizon.

It could have a different (optional?) presentation too, perhaps. For example, displaying as a heat map to indicate blob density, rather than individual dots when there are many riders together.

This is from a website click mapping heatmap, but it illustrates the idea. The “hotter” the area (white is hottest), the most clicks (riders) there are.