Fix drafting /racing

I love the program but I kind of get the feeling that a lot of very simple features are wrong or lacking. Very very basic stuff that is puzzling to me.

1- Drafting seems completely broken and seems to massively advantage mostly heavy riders ( especially on the descents ) while not giving them any penalty for being taller or bigger ( when they are, sometimes they are just chunky dudes lol )

  • drafting distance and area seems off. You can draft just the same from 5-6m back as you can just sticking to a guy. The time at which you get back in a draft is also somewhat awkward so when the gap is this large sometimes you leave the draft unknowingly or suddenly and now you basically have a 3-4 bike length hole to make up instead of just 1 foot like in a real group ride/race

  • drafting doesn’t seem to scale with speed, it seems like just a flat %.

This is obviously not at all how it works and while it might not matter if you’re pushing 150 watts, races are different. I do A races and I see guys in the front pulling at 4.5 w/kg while the entire pack is steady at 4. This doesn’t replicate a race situation at all, especially at the stated speeds in zwift. The averages on flats are often in the 45+kph which would require the guy in front to be pushing massive watts compared to the guys in the pack. Easily double, not just like 20% as it is now.

  • Downhill drafting makes zero sense. Again same problem. In a race, in a pack, you don’t pedal in downhills. In zwift, if you don’t push the same 4/kg as on flats you get dropped. I CONSTANTLY get attacked on descents, often just by mistake. Given the speeds, gaps grow extremely fast and suddenly and closing gaps on heavy riders seems extremely hard. 


Feature suggestions:

  • Races still award XP powerups, even at lvl 25. Just has to get fixed at some point.

-Fix the max speed for a race start. Never did a road race where everyone started at 600w from the gun just to not get dropped. If you just limit the max speed and increase it gradually over 30s then this garbage will stop. It’s not a problem for me because now I know, but everyone who tries races for the first time will probably be pretty surprised that they get dropped right away and can’t ever get back because the first minute of every race is 6-7w/kg and bridging gaps is almost impossible in zwift.

  • Allow powerups to be enabled/disabled by race organizer. 


I love the program, I love the races as they are a good workout, but a lot of these flaws really make it frustrating as hell sometimes and they remove a lot of the fun of both racing and riding in a group. What’s the point when you are basically TTing the entire time since the draft is so awkward / broken?


 well on the race start, come over to where
I am from this how we do it. go out Very hot smash the whole group a part :slight_smile:  .

LOL @ capping max speed for race start in a “race”. it’s a race.  the goal is to be faster than other riders and drop other riders = a fast start is one good way of doing this.  you go out hot and drop as many riders as possible asap, drop half the pack within the first few minutes and your probability of placement immediately doubles, that’s why it’s an effective strategy, i can only imagine that those who can’t do 5.5w/kg : 3mins are the ones upset with it… well, I can’t sprint >1000w, this would be like me calling for a max watts on a sprint because I have no chance at it.  if you’ve never done a road race that starts at 600w, imagine if you and a group did… whatever happens, likely guaranteed top spots right there, everyone else would be blindsided, the time gap would be worth the pain.
If a cap ever comes in, guess what’s going to happen after the pace car signals go… 600w…  bridging gaps is almost impossible because the riders strong enough to do it are already with the group ahead, i’ve seen it done, but only happens if someone who should be in the lead group was asleep at the wheel… or when there’s a ZPower in the trailing group that tows everyone back in to the legit riders who just killed themselves to create a break, but THAT is another topic altogether…

I don’t get dropped from the start but it’s not because of my strength, it’s just because I know to start going 600w before the timer even hits 0. 
I’ve never done or seen a road race where everyone sprints form the start. Most races I’ve done had neutral starts as well.

The only races that were like zwift races were crits and cross, which are HORRIBLE experiences for the start because so much of the race can be decided by where you are in the pack. In stage races I’ve done, they put the GC leaders in the front for the crit because it’s stupid to be at the back, you’ve basically lost already unless you’re stupid strong. Same for cross where you get better starting positions as you win / place better.

I think that’s not really what you want to replicate for zwift and that it’s also a terrible new user experience. I remember my first race lol. Just left there in the dust as the top 10-15 guys sprinted away into the sunset. Wtf is that. You don’t even start from the signal, you have to start pushing 400-500w a few seconds before so that once the race actually starts, you’re at high watts already. 

It’s just kinda crap. A neutral start to 40kph ( 25mph ) would mostly fix this as the pack would stay together, like in a real race. Feel free to try and explode a pack in a more fair way instead of just exploiting a flaw of the game mechanics.

And again I saw this after like 40 A races where I know exactly how the start will go down and where I never get dropped by the start sprint. Personally I kind of enjoy the unfair advantage of being “in the know” because every single race I see me and 10 other guys just making a big gap with all the other unsuspecting people stuck at the line.

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I’m sure that in the future the option for neutral start will be implemented. At least give the race organizers an option to set it up. Sometimes i have got in the bike with only 50secs remaining without proper warming up and it only can get to injured going from 0 to 2 minutes at 600w.

Drafting is OK, but peloton inertia is quite high. I tryed a lot to break C peloton and you needed to push 4.0w/kg to leave a 3.2w/kg group. Because you know how hard is to leave a group, unless you are Tim CatWrith, the race is boring until the last sprint.

Of course races still award XP powerups, even at lvl 25. If you don’t do that, a lvl 25 rider will have a better probability for power ups because two of them are not in the roulette.

Downhill drafting is true that can be a problem. But i don’t know how is in a real race. When cycling outside i go very slow downhill.

Zwift Starts = 3,2,1, LETS DOOO THIS!!

The neutral start is already implemented, it’s just that you aren’t rolling on the roadway.  At the starting gate, all riders have the option to be spinning their legs in the starting gates, ready to launch whatever wattage is being pushed by the strongest riders when the gate drops.  

As for being unfair to newbies, that’s life (and racing).  Zwift is trying hard (and doing a fantastic job) creating realistic scenarios.  Go watch a Cat 5 race and you can usually tell who in that group hasn’t raced before–there’s no better way to learn than to experience it.  I got dropped like a hot rock in my first two races and then realized there is a lot more I need to pay attention to.  It’s no different in Zwift!

I was looking to flag the drafting issues as well but from a different perspective. I don’t feel any change in tension (kickr snap) in the draft, I see the wattage go down on screen when drafting but i still need to pedal just as hard for the same speed. Is there some setting I’m missing since it sounds like you guys have it working?

And just a note about the hills favouring heavy riders, that is actually what I as a heavy rider (95kg/189cm) have experienced in the real world. I actually can sit up straight trying to intentionally slow down a bit and still go faster than the small guys who are in an aero position (everyone coasting).

And for the start, they could just set it up that your avatar won’t start to move unless your trainer is at 0km/h. You wouldn’t need to enforce the graduation of speed. If someone wants to sprint out of the blocks they can but doing that from 0 you burn a match which would change the dynamics of racing making it a bit more strategic (and therefore more interesting I think) Spinning up just before start also uses a lot of energy but its not the same if you can build up to the high wattage compared to a cold start IMO.