Getting dropped on descents peddling while group supertucks


I am a light CAT A racer weighing 56kg during FRR stage 6 final race on descent from Box Hill I was peddling at over 4wkg the pack just over 20 riders were are super tucking. I was always within the draft all riders were on the Zwift Aero bike I chose ZIPP 858’s wheelset most riders were on similar my teammate was on lightweights. Around a third of the way down the descent I started to fall to the back of the group I upped my power to over 7 wkg but this did not help and I ended up loosing the pack. Having taken part in real life sportive’s I have never lost a pack on any descents so I feel something is not correct with Zwift’s algorithms. I use Wahoo Kickr Bike so power accuracy is +- 1% with ATV connected by Ethernet connection on a 300 Mbps internet connection with a sub 10ms ping time. This happens way too much on Zwift and frankly is destroying races for me I don’t expect special treatment for light riders but there is clearly something not correct I was glad my teammates witnessed it and straight after the race they agreed that something is not correct. I have completed a reset of ATV and a fresh installation of Zwift I am at a loss of what else I can do. Am I expected to peddle at 8-9 wkg on descents to stay with a pack super tucking?.

What happens if you try supertucking yourself (while in the group)? When you are pedalling your air resistance is significantly higher than in the supertuck. This may outweigh the benefit of your pedal power. A heavy rider descending a steep hill may be developing well over 1500W of gravitational potential energy if I’ve done my some right. If you are half their weight you only have 750W to play with.

I’ve found supertucking more reliable since the dynamics upgrade but that’s pretty anecdotal. I agree descents can be tough for lightweights (and taller riders). With the lack of braking/cornering, group speeds can get excessive IMO.

Thanks for replying

I have not super tucked for several months as I would fall of the back of the pack so I started to continually pedal on descents sometimes it works sometimes not. The average weight of the pack was 67 kilos so not a huge difference from myself I may try super tucking with PD 3.0 to see if things have improved.

54-55kg here… 3wkg should keep you relatively safe in a group on all descents as long as you make a small effort to match the initial speed of the group at the start of the descent. you can’t trust the supertuck in this game at our weight. it’s no better than before with the new pack dynamics


That’s what I would have thought I was well above that wkg and it was around a third of the way down Box Hill descent with no major change to the gradient at that time. I was paying attention obviously keen to get as much recovery as possible at no point did I stop peddling soon as I started to drift near the rear I upped the watts to over 7wkg and at no time had I lost the draft I was completely baffled at the time.

If I had to guess, I think 4wkg might be a little too much, because you don’t really want to hit the front of the pack on a descent either, since that kills your momentum too, and then you can be passed and dropped. I don’t know for sure, since I wasn’t in that specific race.

I always use the tron in every race also, so it could also be a quirk of the bike you were on. Those are the only two explanations I can come up with, but you can at least rest assured that it’s down to the physics of the game and not a problem with your hardware or your internet

Movistar Team Challenge // Round 2 Race 2 - Zwift definitely needs to improve supertuck physics. - YouTube < 52-53kg japanese premier league rider getting dropped through no fault of his own on the radio tower, time stamp approx 25 mins. it’s just one of those things you have to learn to work with, i’m afraid

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That’s just 3 people in that video. Sure, it happens. I have been dropped in supertuck descents in groups of about 5-8 (eg team time trials) and I’m over 80kg, but unusually tall. My wife is also 52kg and my impression is it’s a bit better recently but I could be mistaken.

Riding at 3W/kg seems to be the worst of all worlds though, the watts are hopelessly inadequate and the aerodynamic penalty will be substantially larger on any steep and rapid descent.

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We all were on Zwift Aero no choice you could change the wheelset I was never at the front of the pack around the front third and was matching the packs speed then all of a sudden starting moving rearward while pack speed was remaining fairly constant. The problem is it is very hard to practice in a non race format I do have the Tron bike and use it although I don’t like that Avatar doesn’t sit up when you are in the draft.

i’m just speaking from my own extensive personal experience, for me 3wkg works fine and supertucking doesn’t work whatsoever. i don’t think it’s remotely realistic either, but that’s just how it is. i think light riders like us get plenty of advantages in other scenarios regarding zwift physics, so it’s swings and roundabouts

I am not a lightweight by any means but I have witnessed that ( today even on the ZHR masters) where without reason I just started loosing time on the Fox Hill descent and no matter what I did I would just loose time on that descent . (pretty similar to your experience) I just had to grin and bear it until we got to the tunnel and try to chase back down again there . There is specificly something I think in play at the top of that descent as I have seen riders , possible realising something here , quite often sprint off and create a gap I wouldnt expect to be created and make it stick on the way down.

Strangely over 4 laps it only happened once. So it needs certainly conditions I guess that are not that obvious (i.e w/kg) to make it happen.

TBH I don’t think light riders get any benefits as in if we are alongside a heavier rider going up a climb if we both are putting out 5 w/kg he is putting out more watts therefore will go faster. If we want to match his climbing speed we would probably need 6 w/kg so we need to put out a higher w/kg on the flats and the climbs therefore a greater effort during the event. I am aware heavier riders generally don’t like climbs but I would have thought if a light or heavy rider is putting out the same w/kg it’s the same physical effort for both.

Can I weigh in as a heavy racer. If you are 10kg lighter you need to be 10 seconds faster over the top. Being so light you should blow the big guys out of the water on a climb.

There is a 40w difference at 4w/kg if the weight difference is 10kg. That’s a lot on a downhill.

That’s the whole reason why cyclist look at w/kg. Because weight is such a big penalty on the climbs. So a big guy saying he has a FTP of 350w sounds impressive until you realize it is only 3.8w/kg suddenly it is not impressive at all.

I’m not having a dig at heavier riders only that I think Zwift’s algorithm is a bit off. The event was CAT A 4.0 - 6.0 w/kg so blasting up Box Hill which is mainly draftable with the quality of the field certainly was not possible for myself and the majority of the pack.

Don’t worry I didn’t think you did.

Drafting up a hill what is that? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I just try not to :face_vomiting:


I am well aware it’s a game as such and it’s not the end of the world just annoying when you put a few hard efforts in climbing only to loose the pack on what should be a bit of recovery for everyone :woozy_face::joy:.

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I’m probably not as light as you, but at 68kg, I’m generally okay if I supertuck with a group (high B).

I haven’t super tucked for well over a year reason I was in a race descending from Epic KOM with two other riders the first section of the descent was ok we all super tucked and stayed together it was on the final section nearing the bridge where I lost them. This is why I stopped super tucking I also think it’s only in certain situations this happens which is the annoying part how do you know? once you start to loose riders in front super tucking there is nothing you can do applying the power only makes the gap bigger.

I’ve had a couple occasions where supertuck didn’t activate and I got thrown straight out the back :slight_smile: Generally I’ve found it to be fine though, otherwise I reckon you’re probably looking at around 4w/kg to hold.

I have no issues with the supertuck at 58kg.

I mostly try and do a few extra big pedals as the descent starts and as long as the group forms and the pace hit 40mph I can relax in the tuck position. I am extra wary of groups re-joining from behind or when the pace slows on the lower gradients but you have to trust the process

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