General Tips for keeping up on a single speed/fixed gear

Hi All, I have a Saris M2 smart trainer, new Zwift as of this past winter and it’s been all around awesome! A life saver in fact. However, now that I’m getting stronger and faster, D. Diesel is too slow to be much fun anymore. I can keep up to C. Cadence on the flats and have trouble letting her “keep up” on the uphills, however, as soon as there is a downhill for more than about 15 seconds, the group is gone.

The thing that doesn’t make sense is, during these downhills, I can put out 4+ w/kg, spinning at over 100rpm, but still the entire group just shoots off and they are only putting out 1.5-2.5w/kg according to the on screen display. I try adjusting the trainer intensity, but it doesn’t really help that much either by the time I get the settings changed.

I know it’s not because I’m too slow (I’m not bragging as I know I’m also no powerhouse) because I can usually outclimb or out-flat(?) most people in a ride who are around my same skill/level.

Anyone have any tips as to what I can do in general?

Trainer makes no difference. Single/fixed gear makes no difference. Trainer intensity makes no difference.

It’s a simple speed/watts/draft equation. There is no reason why you should be getting dropped doing 4w/kg going downhill when everyone else is doing 1.5-2.5w/kg unless you are exceptionally light, riding the time trial bike (so not benefiting from any draft) or you are out of the draft of the group over the top of the hill. If you are too far ahead you may have paused pedalling to wait for the group who will then blast past you on the descent before you’ve been able to get up to speed to match their pace. On the other hand, if you leave even the smallest of gaps to the rider in front over the top of a hill then you will be dropped like a stone as the group draft makes groups insanely fast on downhills to the point that it’s almost impossible to catch them even if you are doing 4w/kg.

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Thanks for the reply, it could very well be that happened, but it would also mean it happens every time? I’m not discounting that completely because I’ve not paid direct attention to how close I am to people going over a hill. I’m not using a time trial bike (never do), I weigh 162lbs, which I think is on the lighter side as I’ve always been lighter than my peers.

I will also add, that if you think about it, in real life a fixed gear wouldn’t be able to keep up to a geared bike simply because your legs hold you back, however Zwift doesn’t necessarily know this. But I wonder if it’s sensing my legs essentially “braking” midway through the stroke and registering multiple small drops in power and if I’d be better off just getting up the hills and coasting (IE: stopping pedaling altogether) down?

Have you compared your cadences in/outdoors or tried a higher gear for the trainer? I guess it depends on the trainer and what else, but I for one certainly find that I spin out easily if I use a similar gear on the trainer that I have on my singlespeed.