Group rides and races - disappearing riders

Most time I do group rides or races, at some point in the event, all other riders disappear. Sometimes this is brief, maybe for <30s, other times it’s for >15 minutes. Regardless, if its a race or a fast group ride I get dropped so the event is ruined. Almost always, riders will come back and things get back to normal.

My partner uses the same set up as me, with the only difference being that she doesn’t use an hrm ever. I also run a powrr2max power meter alongside the Zwift set-up, but this isn’t connected to Zwift (ant+ connection to a Garmin Edge). She NEVER has the problem with disappearing riders.

So I’m wondering what’s going on here and why this only happens to me. I know Zwift will say its a WiFi or internet problem, but I find that hard to believe given I’m the only one having the issue in the household. Unless of course ant+ signals are somehow interfering with the WiFi, but I’ve never heard of that happening.

This never happens while free-riding, only in events.

My Zwift set up is:

Apple tv 4k
Elite Direto OTS
Garmin ant+ hrm bridged through NPE cable

Does anyway else have a similar issue and/or have a solution?

Thanks.

Have you tried without the HRM ? If you say that’s the key difference between your use and your partner’s, why not try to eliminate the HRM as the issue?

I don’t think it’s ever happened when I’ve not been using the hrm, but then it doesn’t happen every time with the hrm. I guess I need to ditch the hrm for a bit and forget about results in Zwiftpower. That wouldn’t explain why I never have issues in free rides with the hrm and I still haven’t found any reports of ant+ interfering with WiFi (only the other way round).

You might also try changing your WiFi router setup so that it uses a specific channel (like 1 or 11) instead of the ‘best’ channel. Sometimes if the router changes channel in the middle of a ride it will cause a disconnect between the ATV and the wireless network which Zwift then has to try to reconnect, but you’ve lost the other riders (and your ride) in the meantime.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve now set to a fixed channel so will see what happens over the coming week.

If your partner also does NOT tend to do large group events, that might possibly maybe just maybe explain a situation in which your router is momentarily searching for an optimal channel to transmit what would be slightly more streaming data for you and your group events (i.e. more stuff going on on the screen).

The only group rides she does do are the big ones so it’s not that. The issues I’ve had have been on rides with as few as ~100 riders.

I did discover today something that definitely does interfere with the WiFi - a baby monitor. I had it nearby during today’s ride and had the worst drops yet - constant riders disappearing and then reappearing, then eventually the complete loss of all riders for a few minutes. When the monitor was switched off, instantly everything was fine. But the way riders were dropping, while worse, was the same as I regularly experience so there is something interfering with the WiFi I think.

I didn’t use my hrm today and was on a fixed WiFi channel and other than the issues due to the baby monitor, things seemed to be okay. Too early to say all is well, but I’ll keep going without the hrm on the fixed channel for a bit before trying the hrm again.

If all else fails, I’ll run a network cable to the apple tv instead.

Thanks for the help.

I never had dropouts before (and our basement bike room ATV is about 4 feet directly below the 1st-floor router), but FWIW I also at some point decided to run a short cat-6 line from the router to the ATV and have had it hooked up like that ever since.

I have been the only person in the rider list for my last 3 races. As soon as the event ends (or I quit) it goes back to normal. What’s more annoying is that I can see all riders on the route during the event, not just those involved in the race. So it’s easy to get dropped by getting caught in the draft of a large non-racing group. I love Zwift, and racing on Zwift, but this is a pretty large step back.