Newbie getting dropped

I have done a few group rides (HERD as an example) making sure I only join “D” groups and carefully watching the w/kg range (1.0-1.5) for the ride before selecting.
So we start and after 5 mins I’m a minute behind.
I look at the list of riders and notice the majority of guys are doing over 2.5 w/kg.
So I ride at the back with one other in the same range as me.
Kind of makes it a bit ridiculous to me. I appreciate people get excited but …
Are there any group ride (events) where the organizer honestly starts and stays in the range as advertised?

Hi @Laforce

Welcome to the forum

Did you start nice and fast, most rides start a bit faster than the suggested pace. But this settle very quickly.

Looking at the HERD ride it show the leader’s was on the correct pace.

I may be a bit biased as I am a member of the HERD but the 1-1.5 W/kg rides (e.g. FriYay, Thundering Turtles, and Mellow Monday) are led by ride leaders who are, the vast majority of the time, bang on the W/kg range.

Ignore the flyers who zoom off at the beginning and just concentrate on being in the Yellow Beacon group. Also make sure you’re not riding a TT bike (won’t get the draft benefit) or a gravel/mountain bike (you’ll have to push ~0.5 W/kg more to keep up).

If you find yourself off the back, message for assistance. HERD rides, more often than not, have a very competent sweep team stationed around the red beacon who can help you get back on.


Looks like the averages for all riders was somewhere like 1.7~1.8wkg.

Looking at the ride leaders stats, a 110 or 90kg lead doing 1.5wkg is quite different to wkg needed by a 70kg rider.

Mark … I just had a quick look at Zwifthacks, filtered the events by group ride and selected Cat D and found a couple over the next day or so:

  • Pack 1.5 Supportive - they look to target a fixed speed on the flats and an avg on any ascents. They are also a good bunch.
  • 3r launchpad 1~1.5

Not easy to find them as you have to open each event but certainly easier than Zwift’s scheduling tools.

The Herd lot are normally pretty good so I think your last Herd ride was an anomaly due to lead’s weight. And use the sweepers per Adrian’s post. Also dont be afraid to ask the beacons weight in the start-up pen and if its quite different from yours and they still target the advertised pace, then prepare accordingly (heavier they are, fast the pace is, lighter they are slow the pace).

Focus on the group with the yellow leader beacon, don’t get sucked in by any flyers. Herd leaders are normally very good.

Hmmm. Not sure about that Gerrie - I had a screen snip which at 8min in shows only E. Sebastian and I at the back and only the sweep at 1.4.
All the rest are above 1.5 - one dude at 4.7!.
The bulk were 2.22mins in front of us (and we were only 18min in).
No problem - I need to look for a geriatric group to jump into or go to setup and lie about my weight :slight_smile:


It is all down to the ride leader, if he/she stays at the advertised pace then all is good. However the ride leader and those around are riding in a blob so all have the benefit of draft, if you drop off the back of the group or are out of the blob then you will need to ride harder to get back on. I would expect to catch a 1.5 w/kg blob you will possibly need to ride 2.5w/kg.
There is some practice required to stay in the blob and a moments lack of concentration and it is possible to have drifted out the back, perhaps the riders you saw were in a similar situation to yourself and riding hard to get back on?

Ride your pace and don’t worry about others is the best advice/suggestion I can offer.
All “rides” are “races” to most participants regardless of what anyone says…it gets very annoying when the ride “leader” constantly asks for the front group to slow up and is ignored. Just let them go. If you want the ride to maintain a certain pace/power level/etc. then there should be a real “DQ Action” that really removes the rider/s from the event if they aren’t riding to the event’s listed levels…not the silly “red wall” that no one pays any attention to and actually moves forward as the front group moves forward lol it is just a joke.
Good luck and ride on !


Try again with the HERD they really do good rides. Also look for TeamZF.

One suggestion is start nice and fast and the slow to stay with the leader.

ZZRC are another great team who only ride at the advertised pace in group D and have great sweeps to help out if you’re struggling.

one other suggestion – practice riding with the D bot frequently. even if it’s just 10-15 mins at a time.

there’s a method to staying with the pack, and you do need to “get a feel for it”. particularly if the pace is a bit brisk for your abilities, you have to pay more attention to your positioning. the bots ride at a fixed w/kg, so there is a lot less variability in pace for a given gradient and you can focus on staying in the pack.

Don’t give up on the HERD rides. They are great rides.
I was in the same boat as you last year when I started. There is a learning curve to the group rides and how to position yourself for success.
If you can maintain 1.4 W/kg you will do fine.
They are big groups so there are too many people that think they are cool to fly off the front and try to lap the group. Stick with the ride leader group.

A few things I learned that might help:

Do Not fall behind the leader (Yellow Beacon) at the start. Start pedaling 30 seconds before the start time so you get out of the start pen with everyone.

Get a bit ahead of the leader as soon as you can. You might need to power up above 1.5-1.6 for a minute or two at the start.

HERD rides usually have a fence (red line on map) that is 10 -30 seconds out in front of the leader. The best group and draft is between the fence and the leader.

If you get in front of the fence, slow down a bit to get back to the group. DO NOT STOP! if you stop, the group will fly by and you will never catch them.

If you get behind the leader, it will take approx 2.0 W/kg to catch up because the draft is so strong. At that point, I just ride my own ride at my pace.

Hope This helps!
Ride On!


I’ve done a few Evo rides (the 160km rides) which are also quite well run and everyone sticks together.

There is also a Japanese group I’ve ridden with a few times (cannot remember the name) who also stay together very well and I must say they were such a nice group to ride with, so friendly. :grinning:

A trick is to stay near the front of the group. You don’t want to fall back with riders who are at the back or you’ll also go slower. When you get near the front just soft pedal a little bit. Not enough to slow down, just enough to match the pace of those around you.

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The Team Twenty24 ride on Thursday mornings is a good one where they actually stick to the advertised pace. It’s been a while since I rode with them but I remember AHDR and Cryo-Gen groups having really good discipline too. Or just ride with D. Diesel (pace partner) anytime.

I rode my first group ride yesterday with ZER - Zwift Easy Riders. Their pace seemed to be as advertised (.8 - 1.2) but I think it does require attention to stay in the sweet spot: in a “blob”, near the leader & behind the red fence. I fell off the back a few times and found myself having to push hard to get back to yellow beacon. I think it’ll get easier with practice.