My avatar never stands and rarely goes aero -- what's up with that?

(> Happy Runner) #1

In a big group ride, everyone stands as we climb a hill.  Not me.  I’m cranking bigger watts to get up the hill just like everyone else in the group, but my avatar never stands.  Sometimes when everyone is aero, I will be aero also, but mostly no.  

With the KICKR, I definitely feel the hill and the increased watts needed, but just never stand up.

Any idea why?

(Bastiaan Gaillard [HIK - C]) #2

Hi Happy Runner,

It is a combination of gradient and cadence. I have read here on the support forums that the gradient has to be 3% or higher and the cadence around 70 RPM. But I cannot find an official answer from Zwift unfortunately. You can find out when doing a ride.

(Michael Shirey) #3

Your avatar is standing and going into aero way more than your seeing on the screen.  When I’m riding with my girlfriend and we are looking at each other screens I’ll see myself stand and in the aero position way more on her screen than on mine.

(Kevin Lutz) #4

The gaming engine is causing everyone to stand based on the gradient of the hill regardless of their cadence. To get your avatar to stand, you must drop your cadence below 70, but that only matters to your screen. Your avatar will be standing on everyone else’s screen simply based on the gradient of the hill.

Similar thing applies to the aero position. It’s all based on cadence and the gradient.

(> Happy Runner) #5

This is great info from both Kevin and Michael – I thought I was just dogging it when everyone else was pushing it.  Thanks!

(... david (aka "setuid")) #6

This KB article I wrote may also help:

Why does my rider sit while other riders are standing out of the saddle?

Sometimes you’ll notice that when climbing an ascent in a group, or even alone, your avatar will stand up out of the saddle and sprint up the hill, while others in your group remain seated but still keeping up with your power, speed or pace.

Why does _your _avatar stand while others are seated? (or vice versa, others stand up and sprint, while you remain seated, keeping pace with them)

This is not a bug at all; it’s just how Zwift visualizes your rider’s power on the segment.

We’ve noticed through extensive testing that this appears to be related to a _rapid _change in either cadence, or power, within a very short period of time. In other words, if you’re doing 22mph @87rpm cadence, and hit the bottom of a hill and decide to sprint up that hill, you’ll increase your cadence from 87rpm to say, 95rpm and your speed will jump from 22mph to 28mph to start that sprint. Zwift sees that and rises your avatar up out of the saddle to visualize that increased effort. 

A rider next to you may achieve the same result, but instead of a rapid jump from 22mph to 28mph, they take theirs gradually through the gears, going from 22mph… 24mph… 26mph… and slowly increase their cadence to bring up that speed, so they stay seated. 

There’s also a change when you exceed 459W of power, such as an all-out, full-gas sprint. Your rider will stand up and get out of the saddle to charge down the road as fast as your legs can carry.

So if you want to jump up, gear down and increase your cadence fast, and you’ll rise up (and your workout will be more cardio or aerobic than if you stay seated). If you want to stay seated, just ramp up your power and cadence gradually and you’ll remain in the saddle (resulting in a more anaerobic or muscle-building workout). 

(> Happy Runner) #7


Thanks for the reply and very interesting article.

Could you comment on Michael Shirey’s observation that he saw himself as seated but on his girlfriend’s screen, who was riding in a concurrent but separate session, he was portrayed as standing?  Is seems to be at odds with the assertions in your KB