No drafting effect felt

(Claude Biron) #1

I’m using a Tracx Neo and I’ve never felt any effect from drafting a rider or a large group.  On the road, there is a noticeable reduction in effort riding behind a rider at speed, and up to 40% less effort in a group.  In Zwift, no reduced effort is felt, which makes it pointless to go into deficit trying to keep up to riders or a group.  Am I missing something?

(Paul Allen) #2

Were you using a TT bike within Zwift?

(Claude Biron) #3

Says I’m using a Zwift carbon bike, so not a TT. Curiously, I don’t notice any boost coming from using the VAN power-up, and I’ve experienced drafting behind a large truck.  

(D. Patchitt) #4

Claude I am also using a neo and riding the Canyon bike and like you I feel no effect from group riding or power ups. When looking at the data later there is no sign of drop in wattage/cadence or speed to suggest the effect is working. The only good thing is you (like me) can say it is all your own work / effort.


(Gerrie Delport) #5

I don’t think it is something that you feel. To me it is more that you can maintain a higher speed at lower power. 

You should try to ride/draft in a group for some time check you power and then drop back and and see how much power you need to keep up with then but not being in the draft. 

(Claude Biron) #6

Read D. Patchitt above. There should be a 30% reduction in resistance for the same speed as in reality. Something is wrong with Tracx Neo’s and drafting / boosts .

(Michiel van der Wal [HIK] (B)) #7

Claude, I think that the drafting in Zwift is just not implemented in a way that you are expecting. I’m also on a Tacx Neo, and there’s just no change in resistance when I’m drafting. When you loose the draft, then your speed is lowered in Zwift and it’s very difficult to get back in the draft when the group is ahead. More info on this on

In the Tacx Trainer Software I used before I moved on to Zwift, the drafting was implemented by lowering resistance. I did prefer that, it felt more realistic and better.

(Claude Biron) #8

“In the Tacx Trainer Software I used in the past, the drafting was implemented by lowering resistance. I did prefer that, it felt more realistic.”

Exactly. Simple programming change to lower resistance for same speed when drafting.,  Zwift seems to be able to control resistance and it knows when you’re drafting so .,.,…

(Gerrie Delport) #9

I might be wrong, but i don’t think the trainer does anything when you draft i just think your virtual speed in crease therefore you can keep up with the bunch while producing less power.


“Exactly. Simple programming change to lower resistance for same speed when drafting.,  Zwift seems to be able to control resistance and it knows when you’re drafting so .,.,…”

But then they will have to differentiate between smart and dumb trainers. also not all trainers (brands) react the same. 


(Claude Biron) #10

They already differentiate between, so they know.  The Tracx Neo implements road feel, like going over cobbles, which is quite realistic. If you’re drafting, and they know you’re drafting, reduce resistance 30%-40% for the same speed.

(Mark Hewitt) #11

Exactly, as above, the Neo only changes in resistance for gradient it does not change in response to the draft - I think the reason being there would be too many changes too quickly with coming in and out of it - however your virtual speed increases for the same effort, so you can effectively back off.

(Jelle de Jong) #12

Same at my @Tacx Neo. @Zwift can you check if neo users can have draft in the near future?

(Ken Ridout) #13

Close the Gap!


Why?  There’s no reward when I do!  The effort is exactly the same.   

I"ve been in a drafting position behind someone for a good while on the 0% grade and then move up front to take a pull and the wattage is exactly the same!  Drafting should have the same effect as a bit of tailwind . . . but it has no effect at all on Zwift.  They could REALLY make Zwift-riding more realistic if they mada wide cone-shaped draft area behind cyclists that actually creates a reduced power output. 


IT is what it is, but I think they could improve in this area. 


(Gerrie Delport) #14

Ken: Zwift have a draft formula. You can test it, find a group ride and ride in the bunch look at the power you need to stay at the same speed as the group, now fall back so that you are about 10 seconds behind them now try to maintain the 10 second gap and see how much power you need to maintain the gap or even try to close the gap.

when you are “in the draft” you wont feel the difference you will notice that you are going faster for the same effort or differently stated if you ride into a bunch and you maintain the same power you will just ride thru the group to the front.

You will see your avatar change position from down in the drops to sitting up right when he is in the draft zone. 

Also if you are on the TT (time trail)  bike you wont have a draft benefit at all. 


EDIT: I just realize i repeated almost the same post from almost a year ago with a bit more detail. Lesson learned read the full post with all comments.

(Ken Ridout) #15

I’m glad you answered, even if almost exactly the same answer as a year ago, long before I subscribed.
I will do as you say.
I e often wondered if my experience was due to my improper setup. I connect my Hammer as a “Power Source “. Have not tried the other setting, programmable. Would that make a difference? A few weeks ago, I inadvertently selected a time trial bike. But reading the community posts alerted me to my mistake. Still, drafting on Zwift hasn’t been felt. I’ll keep trying.

(Claude Biron) #16

Your experience matches mine. The experience of drafting feels nil and doesn’t even remotely copy reality. Coming up to a group should be a relief, rather than an effort to stay with the group. Reality would be a 50% decrease in effort while keeping up.

(Gerrie Delport) #17

Ken: you should connect your hammer as power source and controllable trainer.

It should look like this.

Claude: In reality you would see a maximum of a 30% reduction in drag if you are in a big bunch. Do your self a favor and do the test as I described you will see that the drafting work. 

(Ken Ridout) #18

Did did the test today to try to “feel” the effects of the draft 

I don’t know if “realism” is a goal of Zwift.  Climbing seems to approximate real life climbing.  But I can not tell any difference between riding in or behind a pack as compared to dropping off the back.  They feel the same to me.

In real life, maintaining contact is of ultimate importance. Once the draft is lost, it’s hard as heck to get back in.  On Zwift, it’s just as hard to ride in the group as when off the back.  Otherwise, Zwift is realistic enough to keep me interested in 2 or more hours at a time (albeit more difficult than riding outdoors with a group). 

So without the obvious decrease in power required to maintain a speed when in a draft, I just ride it like a time trial with people all around and in front of me.  Trying to take turns pulling doesn’t seem to help.  

Maybe my Apple TV Zwift is connecting my Hammer as a Power Source and a Controllable Trainer automatically.  When I select one, it may be selecting both. Mine looks like this:

Cadence is from my Garmin cadence sensor.  I can’t figure out how to also get my heart rate monitor to connect.  The two Apple TV ports are taken by the Hammer and the cadence sensor.  

(Claude Biron) #19

I have the Traxc Neo smart trainer, with all devices provided by the trainer, except heart rate monitor. Your characterization of the “drafting” experience in Zwift matches mine exactly. I too have given up being motivated to lock onto a wheel to make better time or to work with someone to stay ahead of other nearby riders. I do enjoy trying to better my PR’s on a given course. I’m currently engaged in doing FTP related workouts where the trainer is controlled in ERG mode.

(Gerrie Delport) #20

This is a bit funny to me.

I think you are the only two people not complaining about the “blob” effect on zwift.