Make it easier to "stick" in the draft


(Aaron Deutsch - BMTR) #1

After a couple of weeks in Zwift I think I’ve mostly calibrated myself to slipping into a draft but I think this is a point where the game needs to break from reality a bit. It’s really difficult to drop the EXACT amount of watts required to trim your speed, tuck in, then not jump back out into the front or off the back.

Today I was riding on the flats at about 200 watts and to join a group coming up from behind I had to VERY GRADUALLY start trimming watts when the group reached around 17m and closing, then level off at exactly 168 watts to tuck in, then remain within 10 watts +/- to retain position. This is like connecting to the international space station!

It might be worth exploring giving riders in the slipstream a larger wattage spread where their avatar maintains position. Since we don’t have the same tactile input that we do on the road this will greatly enhance group riding.

Along with that leeway one would, of course, have to spike their wattage a bit higher to “break free” of the draft to take a pull. I don’t see this as a problem–on the road once you pull aside you’ll be blasted by the wind anyway, resulting in the required spike in effort.


(J Schaeffer (AMOROSO)) #2

Agree with the above. Improving the ability to stick needs work. Also, although I may not be seeing it, showing the distance behind the rider being drafted would help with speed modulation. Computrainer displays this number. Once you “close the gap” and see the “OK”, I have not found a reference distance displayed.


(Aaron Deutsch - BMTR) #3

Hey John, I think at the point you’re describing that you’d be <1 meter which is a pretty small distance. I’ve found with my stages power meter all I have to do is “twitch” for a pedal stroke or two and I’m up 20 watts which starts pushing me through the group.

On the flip side if I coast for a second I’ve already lost too much speed and if I immediately try to hone back in on the 168 watts referenced above I am already losing distance; 2m, 3m, 4m.

Then the unstoppable yo-yo has begun: 188 watts would not be enough to close it back up quickly and it seems like anything more than that and I slingshot past.

But I digress! :smiley:


(Craig Pate) #4

I’ve been fooling a bit with comparing my Computrainer rides with a couple rides using just my power meter and cycleops trainer. First thing that might help if you’re riding without a “smart” trainer is recording your data to your head unit at a higher interval. If its on 1 second the power is a bit jumpy…try 3 second. If you’re on 3 second…try 5 second, etc. Zwift is a 1 to 1 ratio of watts to speed if you’re riding a regular trainer, so those little spurts will certainly get you yo-yo-ing a bit. The longer the recording interval the longer it takes for your power meter to go up as well as go down.


(anon46748293) #5

I would disable drafting at all. I think it introduces nothing but troubles. In real life when racing the benefit is understandable, in game the benefit is zero since the implementation is less then impressive (not a developer’s fault at all but the nature of the Internet lags) and in many cases it causes a lot of distraction and irritation.


(Aldo Cella) #6

Agreed. I am using a Stages power meter and find it almost near imposssible to stay in a draft for any length of time, once in awhile I get it right and can stay there for 15 or 20 seconds as long as the rider in front of me stays completely steady.


(J Schaeffer (AMOROSO)) #7

I would hope that we can keep the drafting element. While I would like to see it easier to draft (earlier post), drafting is real world and learning to finesse the process is actually a skill that will have a real world purpose. One suggestion: like the real world a cadence of 90+ makes it easier to respond to speed changes. Also, some of the wheels out there are just not steady enough to draft. A real world issue as well.


(Aaron Deutsch - BMTR) #8

John: True, though you can also coast on a flat road in a draft and if you try that in Zwift you’re gone. :slight_smile:


(Aaron Deutsch - BMTR) #9

more specifically, yes, 90+ RPM does make it easier to modulate


(Darren Linkin (True 2.5)) #10

Seems to me that often when you are trying to draft it’s unclear if the person in front is content to ride at a steady pace in front or if they are slowing down a bit too…I haven’t had a chance to really test this out with a buddy but think it’s party of the problem.


(Mark McDonald) #11

I’ve also noticed some changes to the drafting effect, but am not entirely sure if it’s me or the program.  I do agree that the program needs to be a little more forgiving than in the real World since we are missing physical clues.

Personally, I like the drafting element. Trying to find a rider to sync with makes the whole effort more interesting and actually adds a bit of camaraderie to an otherwise lonely environment.  Some kind of indication that I am in a draft or being drafted would be helpful.