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(M .) #1

Hi, I’m wondering if there’s anything that can be done with your algorithm to help lighter riders ride with equals in organised rides?  For example, I recently rode in a WBR 60 minute ride that was designed to take riders up to short intervals at 4.5w/kg on a fairly flat course.  BUT as a 58kg rider I was seriously in trouble because when the group is riding at 4.5w/kg I’ve got to put out over 5w/kg to keep up even if I’m in the middle of the group with full draft.  As it happens my FTP is 260 so at 58kg I can ride around 4-5w/kg but sustaining over 5w/kg for any length of time is a struggle (and I’m 58yrs old).  One solution for me would be to underweight myself eg put my weight down to 53kg or so for such rides but I wouldn’t do that as I race and zwiftpower tracks weight changes so it wouldn’t look good to see me messing about with my weight.  I know that lighter riders are at a disadvantage on the flat but advantage on hills, but of course group rides that are designed to stay together will more often choose flatter courses to prevent the group breaking up on the hills.  So … I reckon this will also mean that women will struggle (I’m male) because women tend to be lighter than men and most rides (unless designed exclusively for women) are dominated by male riders.  I’m not sure what the answer is but one idea would be for weight changes not to be tracked to zwiftpower unless racing (ie only show weight changes for races, not other events).  Otherwise if nothing changes it’s dispiriting that I cannot ride with people around my w/kg.  In real life courses ridden by groups are often less flat than zwift, unless I suppose you’re in Holland (although I enjoyed the sportive I did this evening on zwift which was pretty hilly and enabled me to finish 18th out of 357 riders). Thanks for reading this. 


(Tim Camden WBR (C)) #2

In real life, just because you generate the same W/KG as another rider or even  if you put out the same watts, there is no guarantee that you will be able to ride with any other rider.  In real life, groups tend to form and stay together because its more fun that way.

With Zwift, your always alone so there is no social deterent to prevent others from just crushing it. The truth is, IRL, if everyone crushed it all the time, we would not ride in groups. When we are in a group, everyone is probably generating different power and W/KG because we all weigh different and our equipment is different.


(Zee Kryder) #3

actually, light riders are faster on the flats. Heavy riders are faster downhills only. The best thing for you is to join group workouts, where you will stay with the group all the time. Or, choose rides that are not above your ability. It is true most rides go above their range but often there are ones who hang together near the back as well. A few people experience significant lags on their computers. Visually, they see themselves in the group, but in the game they are off the back by a hair.

It can also be your bike. If you have the entry level bike with standard wheels, you will have to do 5.0 w/kg to stay with a concept biker/cervelo +808’s biker riding at 4.5 w/kg. But, everyone is even in group workout mode.


(Nigel Doyle) #4

Any group ride that has you doing 4.5 w/kg even for brief periods is going to be a hard ride and some people may get dropped. This is where group workout mode shines as people with different FTP’s all get rubber banded together.

Personally I just train by myself doing workouts. 


(Akathe Squid) #5

I’m not sure I understand the request here. Flat riding depends on watts not watts/kg. Any disadvantage you have is due to your power output. “in general” heavier riders put out bigger wattage at a substantially proportionally less drag. So your request is like a heavier rider asking Zwift to turn off gravity.  Suck it up and enjoy your power ratio on the climbs and remember that 200lb guy with an FTP of 350 who’s crushing you on the flats is at a loss on the climbs - can’t have it both ways.


(Andre Hufschmid) #6

Why should a lighter rider get a boost? This does not make sense. If somebody can’t keep up then join another ride. Zwift should be realistic and this is what everybody loves. This would mean that a heavier rider gets a boost uphill which results in everybody riding the same speed…what kind of logic is this…none at all. Signup for a race or ride that is in your ability.


(Lisa Stone) #7

If a group ride is based on a w/kg average, then the OP is right on with the frustration that light riders are at a disadvantage for these group rides.  There is no way to predict whether riders will be 85 kg or 60 kg.  Rather, at some point, it makes sense to base the group rides for a wattage average rather than w/kg.


(Matt Turtles KISS (B)) #8

I get what OP is saying. I’m a light rider and was also wondering about other options for categorising races apart from w/kg.