New to group rides

I have been using the training section on Zwift and really enjoy them. I have been doing them without changing gears which is what I think I am supposed to do. I tried my first group ride today and didn’t change gears. It was an E group ride and was riding at the recommended rpm and cadence. I never made it passed 30th. Should I be changing gears in the group rides?

Hi @Sarah_Bierden

You are doing workouts correct :100:.

In group rides and non workouts you need to change gears.

Thank you Gerrie. Since it was an E ride I was able to keep up with the cadence the whole ride. Would changing the gears move me up in the ride?

It could help if you was not at a comfortable cadence.

So changing gears can lower your cadence if it was to high or the opposite.

Good advice from @Gerrie_Delport_ODZ already.

I’ll add: when doing a pre-programmed workout as you’ve been doing, Zwift is in “erg” mode and ignores inclines you encounter in game - you’ll feel resistance based on what the workout is programmed for. (say, “60 seconds at 100Watts”)

When “free riding” (no workout, just riding the game, with a pace partner or by yourself) Zwift is in “sim” (simulator) mode and you’ll experience increased resistance as you go up a hill, decreased down. You can treat that exactly like you would riding a bike outdoors: shift as you see fit for optimal comfort, speed, power.

I think I found your ride log via the Companion. You did “Uphill Battle”, right? I believe that’s a group ride with a workout built in. If I understand correctly, that would make it function like an erg-mode workout - no reason to shift gears. (minor point: in erg mode, select gears that make your chain-line straight)

Is there a way to know if a ride is in erg mode

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Yeah! When you sign up for an event, the event details will indicate it’s a “Group Workout.”

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So a workout is erg a ride is self pace? I feel silly asking this but it’s a huge learning curve


Not silly at all - this is all like learning a new language, we all had to start there.

Any workout (one you select to ride solo, or a group ride that has a workout built into it) will automatically put your trainer into “erg” mode. (trainer changes resistance based entirely on the intervals programmed into the workout, not inclines in Zwift’s virtual worlds) No shifting needed.

Picking a route to ride solo without selecting a workout would let your ride at your own pace - pedal as lightly or hard as you like, shift as you see fit.

BTW: I peeped your other rides. You’ve been doing nearly all workouts except a couple of rides a month ago.

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The event banner will have a workout logo


Ask anything we are all happy to help.

Only rides that has the workout segments on the left side of the screen will be in erg mode.

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That’s what I thought. I wanted to move into group rides and racing but wasn’t sure where to begin. Would your recommendation be to start in E groups based on what you see in my training tides?

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You’ve got some pretty spicy workouts behind you already (McCarthy Special being a biggie). I’d give a Cat-D RoboPacer ride a try - D.Bernie at 1.4W/kg. If it’s too easy, step up to D.Miguel, too hard, try D.Taylor.

How do I find those rides?

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I found them CJ. Thank you for all your help.