Left behind after a short pause


Ive had a couple of instances of being left for dead in events after a short pause.  Scenario has been that I am riding along in the pack with leader at ease.  I then stop for a few seconds to do something such as tie a shoe lace, turn over the TV.  After this it is impossible to catch back up.  Not sure if this is a intentional and meant to simulate the aero benefit of being in the pack.

Has anyone else noticed this ?

Hi John,

Unfortunately, this is definitely the case. Zwift attempts to model real-world conditions (within reason) and the pack-draft is definitely part of it. If you’re in the midst of a real group ride, stopping for a second to re-adjust a shoe or other aspect will definitely mean you have to double/triple your efforts in order to re-join and the same goes for Zwift.

It was disconcerting on my first group ride as I miscalculated where the “back group” was. Someone actually slowed down so we could draft each other back into the group. But for a ride that was 2 w/Kg, I ended up staying at 3-4 w/kg in order to catch up. Once back within the draft, I was settled in between 1.8-2.1 w/kg. Having never really ridden in a pack outside, it was all new to me. :slight_smile:

Thanks Eric.

Makes sense.

This has happened to may many times in races on Zwift… It drives me crazy… it’s not like real life races at all. You coast a fair amount , tighten your shoes, stretch, adjust your…

In Zwift, you have to be prepared for full-on effort the entire race… 

It’s happened to me again. It isn’t realistic and disconcerting when you drop back for a few seconds and then can’t get back. I think the algorithm needs looking at.

Yeah, it’s one of biggest pet peeves. I suspect that this is intrinsic to how Zwift works.

I think the business need to allow support for so many different kinds of trainers makes implementing a more realistic physics model difficult without introducing other issues, but IDK, since Zwift obviously does not expose the details of their implementation. 

it’s not a good simulation of real life racing in most respects. 

Your best bet is to view Zwift as a game, not as a simulation of real life. It’s just a game that lets your push super hard…

Hi Matt,

I don’t follow. If it’s possible to ride together on different trainers then it should be possible to catch up after falling out of the draft.

The algorithm is too aggressive and should be fixable.


In my mind, it’s not so much losing the draft as how fast you decelerate if you stop pedaling - even for a second. If I need to tighten my shoe, I hammer off the front, knowing that I will have to gain a gap in order to stay in the group.  If you stop pedaling in group, you go off the back even if you are in the front of a group, which just doesn’t happen in real life (usually). 

In real life in a race, if you lose contact with the group, it’s also extremely hard to regain it…

Take laceless shoes, that’s one problem solved. Call your spouse to help fix all other issues you come across during a race :p.

But in all seriousness, as pointed out, this strain to get back is definitely felt IRL as well. There’s one big difference though with real life, making catching up on Zwift even harder. There’s no chance of physical collision in Zwift. As such, on Zwift people can continuously cycle ‘reckless’, there’s no crashing into each other in a pack, there’s no odds of being pushed onto the side of the road in corners, etc.

The latter are moments where a solo rider can recover some ground as it’s a lot easier to maneuver through turns solo then in a group. However, when you’re effectively riding nothing else than a straight line things toughen up.

For races this is fine, for social rides it’d be nice if there was just a quick ‘rejoin’ feature.

Apparently you  have not been married for a long time…

yeah, IRL races have all sorts of ebbs and flows that Zwift does not simulate. I have laceless shoes and in Zwift races if you stop pedaling even long enough to ratchet the buckle, you loose 30 places (or are off the back). 

There is only so much Zwift can model. I guess the powerups are an attempt to introduce some randomness, but I find them annoying.  The thing that I think is really most lacking is lack of wind. Wind plays such a large factor in many races, but I’m not sure it could be modeled in Zwift…

The modelling of wind on itself might probably still be quite doable, however without the actual force feedback from wind it’ll just feel extremely weird. And seeing as to how there are no Ant+/Bluetooth controlled fans on the market to facilitate this, I wouldn’t expect Zwift to put any serious development time into this.

But if they made the trees and banners blow in direction of the wind, you could see what direction the wind was blowing in. It would be cool to have long echelons, where you have to fight for a wheel to stay protected…