Group Ride Leader Control (Tools)

having the ability to pick from a set of pre-defined messages to choose from as a ride leader would be ideal; a few examples are: “front ease”, “maintain current speed”, “regroup”, “do not chase fliers”, etc. - maybe 5 to 10 would be ideal. This would also create some further common language in organized leaders.

leaders have a few other pieces of data on the screen they can see:

  • total number of active riders in the group
  • time to first rider from leader
  • time to last rider from leader

Access to a boost mechanism that allows the leader to move to the front of the group


Do you want to spend your entire ride micro managing a few flyers and their consequences?

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@lukas_ranicar: it is not about micro managing flyers is is to make a more manageable group.

Let me try to explain my ultimate tool for a ride leader.
So the leader has a button to enable extra drag/gradient to those out front, the further the more drag/gradient.
The tool can be use for many reasons, one would be to bring back the flyers, the other and this is my main request is, we have rides were we let the group go at their own pace over a hill but then it is hard to bring them all back, the fast guys need to soft pedal for a long time if they want to wait, but if I had the tool I could press the button and they can still ride hard but we will catch them at some point. Also some rides have a mini race at the end if the ride leader can push the button 5 min before the race it will help people to come back to the group.

it need to something we can turn on and off, it is not to punish anybody but to help them get back to the bunch.

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I completely agree, you need one button. By micro manage I meant you don’t need a list of ten suggestions for people to choose to follow. From my experience that fails big time.
One button to rule the all.

@lukas_ranicar: Yes just one button, I don’t want to pick them one by one, that will be to much work and no one will do it. It is hard enough to Type, talk and keep your pace.

“You are leaving the group, please return the group or suffer the consequences.” Then the rider out front self-destructs. Do riders have the option to leave if the group if it is too slow?

To start, I have never ridden off the front of a group ride. I find it more engaging and more fun to try and stick as close to the ride leader as possible and tow people who may have had a dropout back up the group, BUT…

I think people join group rides and then ride off the front to find other people who want to ride at that pace. It would be nice if zwift would add the ability to invite a group of people and ride together. As it exists the only option is to get lucky and find a group ride at exactly the pace and exactly the time slot you have to ride on the events page or somehow try to ride with a friend and keep up with each other in the chaos of passing and being passed but hundreds of people a minute.

Where I ride, you dont join group rides based on speed. You show up at the weekly shop ride at the allotted time. One week you hang back, the next week you shoot off the front and look back to see who’s coming with you. One week you’re the fast guy, the next week the cat 1/pro mtn bike guys show up. The shop employee hosting the ride doesnt yell for people to come back, to slow down. You just get out there and have a good time. I dont understand the constant wall of text ride leaders throw up on screen about riders the group will never see again. It is very annoying and nearly ruins the ride experience.

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I think a ride setting would be good, so you have the regular group rides as they are today and people are free to fly off in front or hang with the bacon, or a restricted group ride where more than XXX seconds in front (or behind) for a sustained period (with some warnings) will drop you back in to free ride?

Might be worth a bit of a test and learn to see what the reaction in. Most group rides that I have been on (friendly or shop rides) people stick together. They may sprint up or down a hill but then regroup. It would be a pretty crappy group ride if everyone just did their own thing and took off.

Most of these ideas only work if the ride leader is keeping to the ride description. Group ride this morning was supposed to be a “cruise” holding 2.5 w/kg. Ride leader was pulling 3.5 - 4.0 w/kg.

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What ride was that and who was the leader.

PM sent.

As a ride leader and sweep, I typically ignore the fliers. The rides I lead and sweep are paced at 1.0-1.2 w/kg and 1.4-1.6 w/kg, specifically catering to beginning Zwifters and those wanting recovery rides. The problem with fliers is the newbies are overwhelmed and follow the wheel in front of them, not the yellow beacon. Worst case: the newbie blames the ride and group, and doesn’t bother joining that group or any group again. A pity.

I have two suggestions:

  1. Donut Cannon. When a flier gets a predetermined distance ahead of the lead, the ride leader can send a warning then “fire the cannon” if the flier continues flying. Graphically, this could be funny as well as useful. As the flier is hit by animated donuts, each one adds, say 5 lbs (2.27 kg) per donut. See how much they fly packing 20-30 lbs of donuts! If they slow and rejoin the lead, the donut weight magically comes off.

Alternatively, the lead could press a button, the Zwift blimp flies over and drops donuts on the fliers with immediate weight gain. Of course, all the donuts hit the fliers and are not wasted hitting the road.

  1. Richmond Prison. Same scenario: flier is sent a warning and if they don’t comply, they are sent to Richmond. For a week. Now, I love Richmond - for mellow group rides with a sprint every lap. But Richmond hasn’t been on the schedule for 2 months, so it’s probably a lonely place. This would teach the flier the value of companionship.

I really want to see ZHQ step up and give ride leaders some tool to deal with fliers, don’t particularly care which one, just something.



I often participate in group workouts. In those rides the riders are “rubber banded” so regardless of power/speed, the group essentially stays together, no rider can ride ahead of the group. Seems to me that Zwift could incorporate this feature into group rides to keep the group together.

For large groups, I would imagine that parameters be set such that the “rubber band” would allow the group to stretch out to accommodate the number of riders, with random ordering, always keeping riders close to the leader. This would also keep the newer/slower riders as part of the group so everyone can enjoy the social interaction and benefits of a group ride. No rider left behind. Maybe have a minimum power threshold set.

Unless I have totally misunderstood the group workout “rubber banding” to keep the group together, this seems like an easy and effective solution? Have I missed something?

Thoughts, ideas, comments?

@M_Ghoate. Group rides is a bit different than Group workouts. The idea is to manage your own pace and stay with the group, with the rubber band you just have to pedal and you will stay in the group and that is not what we want.

It should still be possible to drop off the back if you don’t ride at the leader’s pace, the whole point is to try to stay with the leader, so yes some will get dropped and that is fine it is motivation to train harder.

My suggestion was to make it more challenging for people that goes off the front because the pace is just to slow, it is not to penalize anyone.

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Yes, you’ve missed the entire point of group rides: meeting the challenge of staying with the ride leader, building the skills necessary to ride as a group versus flying off the front, and those days when you’re really struggling to stay with the group so you’re not dropped. Rubber banded together would mean no challenge at all besides that you keep spinning.

If the rubber banded effect were incorporated in group rides, all the ride leaders and sweeps I know would stop leading and sweeping - it would be pointless.

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OK got it, thanks for the clarification. I appreciate the explanation on the rubber band effect and now have a better understanding of the group ride’s intent. Take care… Ride ON !!!

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i always find it amusing and pain at the same time to see people go anywhere and not riding in the group. sense? here are my thoughts:

  1. open group ride (like in any other online game, ingame!)
  2. set if participants can leave a group and ride at free will (but seriously where is the sense here???) or will stay x meters infront behind group if w/kg differs in high of y to the group leader z
  3. set if people who wont match the w/kg for a certain time get a warning sound and notification on their screen yes/no
  4. set if group ride will end for people not matching the requirements yes/no (w/kg is higher/lower then X)
  5. set if leader always lead in front of group yes/no (this will interact with, change some modifications in point 2)
  6. set if pace of group leader is limit yes/no (anyone will be as fast as the group leader but not faster)
  7. set drafting effect of your group ride equal or in high of (in %) to the vanilla zwift mechanics yes/no (no would mean no drafting effect :open_mouth: and no super velocity boost :scream: just because its a group ride :cold_sweat:)

of course something like that could be available to all kind of group rides like training, races (sepcial in some point), or whatever else hmm coffee or ice cream rides maybe pizza, coke or pommes rides too … :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :wink:

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Did my first Zwifting only this week, and did my first group ride only today, so everyone please feel free to take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

My belief is that any solution should be passive and simple (so the leader can focus on leading), non-confrontational (to keep things fun and friendly), and non-punitive.

That in mind, my vote is for a progressive-wattage bubble in front of the leader, with no need for the ride leader to have to do anything to create it. It would simply be ‘on’ all the time during every group ride.

As an example, the power required (based on the individual’s personal metrics) could progress 3% per meter of lead, or something. Perhaps by 15 meters of lead it would become seriously high. We’d leave it to the Zwift quants to decide how to progress the wattage.

To me, such a solution feels consistent with the spirit of a group ride; that is, keeping the group together — though perhaps not the spirit of learning to have self control.

But it also solves a problem -for- flyers. What if someone wants to ride with that particular group, but at a higher wattage, or they want to temporarily pour out the wattage for whatever reason — well, a bubble facilitates that. It’s a benefit, a tool. It becomes a zone they can thrash against until they decide they’ve had enough — whether that’s the whole ride or only a few seconds — and when they decide they’ve had enough, the group will still be right behind them, ready to be rejoined.

Furthermore, if someone accidentally gets out in front with a big group of flyers, not realizing where they are relative to the leader, the wattage increase would be an obvious but gentle indicator.


This is a good idea for some group rides. But there are many group rides that have planned sprints or finish with a mini-race – you would definitely want the wattage bubble turned off for those events.

The capability for the leader to erect a mobile laser barrier, attached to the leader’s rear wheel, and pull everyone back behind that barrier, seems like would be really useful before the start of a mini-race.

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There’s definitely a lot of times group ride controls would be good, and then some that it wouldn’t - so I agree, they’d all have to be optional.

When I lead the B group ride, some of the B group take off and ride with A group for a while, which I think is totally fine - I’ll be ready to pick up anyone that falls off.

The one challenge is for people that get dropped, but who really would like to ride with the group. Perhaps there could be an option for riders to “teleport” back to where the leader is. They could only use it occasionally, but then it’d give you another chance to meet up with everyone instead of just being alone behind (especially if it was technical issue - that’s the worse). Most of the problems on the front come from trying to slow down and wait for everyone to catch up. If people could automatically catch up, then there might be as big of issue with the front.

Another feature could be a display of your average watts or watts/kg compared to the leader (maybe a one-minute rolling average) - then you can know exactly how much less/more you should push to stay with the leader.