I’m wondering if there’s anything that can be done with the zwift 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.
hmmm… I’m going to add something to this - on reflection, under-weighting myself would have no effect if the course is mostly flat would it as what matters is actual watts being produced, all under-weighting would do is make me have a higher w/kg read out. I’m not sure what the solution could be apart from … stop whingeing?
On flatter rides, FTP or average watts would be a better guide than w/kg for Zwifters to decide whether the ride is right for them.
In real life, I see group rides identified by the group’s average speed on the course.