Option to toggle auto-brake on/off/delay

Auto-braking was never a thing in the original beta. At some point this was added in with no option to toggle off or put a delay. This was one of the features I liked most about the original zwift. You could, like real life, coast and fiddle with your phone, food, whatever, and wouldn’t have to start from a dead stop. Granted, some people like it (I don’t get it, but that’s your preference), but at least give an option to toggle it off for a long coast down or a delay (30s, 60s, 90s, etc).

Auto-braking was not part of the original zwift beta and I’m surprised it was added and stuck for this long. Can this be set to a toggle item (off-coast down completely; 10s; 30s; 60s; etc)?

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To appeal to the marketing/money types :grin:

What is the average amount of time spent on a single Zwift session? In the days without autobrake and even on the tiny loop that was Jarvis, I was easily spending 2-3+ hours on a session no problem. Once auto-brake became a thing, I found that my overall experience was negatively impacted given the annoyance to ride the same amount of time with zero coast. I went from Zwift evangelist to ‘meh’ precipitously. I would suspect others are in my camp whether they were part of the old days or don’t see the big ‘a-ha’ from outdoor riding to indoor on Zwift. To me, it really is replicating the trainer experience of riding the trainer when the beta was replicating the outdoor ‘feel’ while riding the trainer.

I suspect with this quality of life tweak, you would increase the length of the average zwift session per user and subsequently increase their user engagement by being active in the session for longer, as well as the continued want to ride more during the week. If people see those numbers going up, you might be able to recruit more Zwifters that weren’t convinced or people that haven’t made the swap yet. I know I would certainly come back.

I do understand folks that like auto-brake and even like racing with auto-brake on, but that’s why I say, make it a toggle. If you like it, then you keep it. If you don’t, then you aren’t forced to endure it.

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Where are you experiencing this? From what I understand, the only place with any sort of ‘auto braking’ in Zwift is the U-turn in London, and even that (again, from what I understand) is only going one direction. I can’t say that I’ve noted any issues with this, as my avatar does take a bit of time to coast to a stop.

It’s everywhere, unless you’re going down a steep hill. Ride with a pace partner, miss one or two pedal strokes to adjust your shoe, and you’ll find yourself slipping backward or even dropped. It’s not a dealbreaker for me, but being able to coast more realistically on the flats would be nice especially on long rides. I got my Volcano 25 laps badge yesterday… 3 hours of constant pedaling in the saddle. IRL I’d have the option to stand up and coast for 10-20 seconds every once in a while without coming to a complete stop or losing too much speed.

On the other hand, I did a ride on RGT and stepped away for a natural break at the top of a mild hill (1-3% gradient). My avatar was still rolling when I got back to the bike :joy:… so the adjustable delay is a nice idea too. In that case, I would’ve preferred for my avatar to stop.

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What sort of trainer are you riding? What is your Trainer difficulty set at? Again, I have no issue with this, so I’m hoping we can figure out what’s going on for you. Even on a moderate descent (like from the end of Titan’s Grove near Saddle Springs down toward the Epic KOM turnoff) I can get off my bike and go to the bathroom, refill my bottle, or whatever, and my avatar is still rolling along when I return.

Riding a Tacx Neo 2 on Apple TV or iPad with TD at 100%.

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Kickr Core, TD 100%, Windows 10. I don’t remember the exact numbers but I did try coasting down that hill recently. Don’t think I came to a complete stop but I was barely moving by the time I got to the bottom.

I have the exact same complaint. I have the Wahoo Kickr, and Zwift seems unable to apply braking/resistance to the Kickr when it applies auto-braking in game. Because of this bug (which is still not fixed), if I stop pedaling and my avatar slows down, I have to either stop my Kickr flywheel manually, wait for it to stop, or pedal like a maniac to register enough power input to get the character moving again. I wouldn’t be nearly as frustrated if Zwift made sure to make the resistance on the bike match the resistance it applies when braking my character, but because I can’t turn this feature off AND the trainer keeps spinning even though my character has stopped, it makes using Zwift for rides very unrealistic and frustrating.

Please fix this.

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@Nigel_Tufnel Me personally, I use both a Wahoo Kickr but prefer to use my Lemond Fly-wheel & powermeter (still best ride feel IMO, but jet engine loud). Both systems it does this, if there is 0 watts input, the system either immediately or at some point will apply a braking function (different than a physics function on a >0% gradient). I do not want this myself, but I could see how some people like @CouchTo1200K would value the delay to catch those instances. My ideal is that the only two functions that slow you down are gravity and wind resistance. IRL, this is also the case, you tend to want to use brakes as absolutely little as possible for best ride flow.

This kills me too.

It did the 3R endurance ride today and the moment I stopped pedalling at 43km/h this autobraking kicks in and I’m at 33km/h in no time.

I just want to stand momentarily to get out of the saddle (ease saddle pain) and I’m NOT physically able to pedal while doing that due to my injuries.

So I have to just get dropped, meaning I tend to quit rides early. Sometimes I get maybe a second to roll then I have to pedal flat out to avoid the braking and getting dropped.

Please let me disable auto brakes or let me roll in groups like I would when riding a real bike.

Kickr Bike / Mac OS Monterey and latest Zwift, 100% trainer difficulty.

My legs would have managed 80km out of the 100km I think, but not being able to stand and coast for a few seconds made it too painful to sit on the saddle. So I stopped at 60km. Feel free to flame away.

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There must be a way to stop the bike, so just delaying the autobrake a bit longer before it is triggered, should do it.
It might be that this feature is actually actively used to break. I do freewheel for short moments to slow down.
I don’t know how this autobrake actually works - the rules (when exactly it is triggered)
It could maybe be more intelligent and try to detect what you want to do (full stop/coast/brake).
I think this feature should work the same for all users. At least in races, it is important that the conditions are equal.

Does one of the keyboard shortcuts effectively stop the bike already (eg. the T key which goes to the garage)? Not all platforms (eg ATV) have keyboards though. Of course there’s the practice of bike swapping when the terrain changes mid-ride, where you want to do this quickly and your need to be stopped.

Should be a simple button available in the companion app to stop bike. My guess is that this autobraking exists in part to help deter sticky-watt phenomenon.

Entering the pairing screen stops the bike. Whether that is a good idea is a whole other thing, personally I think the “end ride” button is should be enough in terms of ways to stop the bike beyond normal deceleration…

Being able to coast every now and then without significant penalty would certainly make long rides a bit more tolerable.

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Most times when I stop pedaling I want to coast for a little bit - just like on a real bike. I’d be very happy to see Auto Braking disappear entirely. An option to toggle it on/off would be fine.

How about a keyboard command? Press “B” to brake.

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This was being discussed in another thread, and I suspect that coasting and braking are being handled very differently across users. Might be based on trainers, but might be something else. I’m on a Saris H3, and my experience coasting is very different from what people are describing when they talk about ‘autobraking’. Someone else with an H3 reported the same thing as me in that other thread, but another H3 user claimed to experience significant braking. The experience I and that other H3 user have is that it takes a significant time for our avatars to come to a stop, as @Nigel_Tufnel seems to be reporting above. If I stop pedaling on a downhill for example, I don’t supertuck for several seconds, as my wattage drops significantly but not immediately down to 0. And even when the wattage reaches 0, speed decreases in what seems like a ‘normal’ rate compared to IRL. Same for at least one other H3 rider, but again a third H3 didn’t behave that way. So maybe the difference lies somewhere else.

If I’m in a bunch on a flat and I stop pedaling, I’ll start to drift backwards, but I don’t see a 10kph drop within seconds as is being reported here. In short, my experience on Zwift in this regard feels very much like riding outside. I believe everyone else saying they are experiencing auto-braking. But I’m not seeing it myself either. So what’s causing the difference in experience?

Tacx Neo has downhill drive capability, meaning the trainer basically will spin the freewheel when you’re on a virtual downhill. I don’t know if this means the trainer ‘motor’ is actually contributing some number of watts on downhills in comparative manner to how gravity would contribute, and therefore Zwift isn’t seeing a 0 for watts on downhills. Also unsure how eg. a trainer difficulty of 0% would affect this.

Otherwise I was under the impression that the auto-brake functionality was global – IF your trainer displays 0 watts, and if you’re on a flat, autobraking to a stop begins after 3 seconds or thereabouts of being at 0 watts, and you will come to a stop if this is the case, in a faster manner than IRL deceleration would really be.

So maybe what I and others are seeing isn’t auto-braking not being applied, it’s that not all trainers drop to 0 watts as quickly as others.

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I’m the third H3 guy referred to above and yeah the auto brake is very strong for me. I could be rolling at 45km/h on flat and if I stop pedaling come to a stop within 8-10 seconds. Stopping pedaling for say 3 seconds in a large pack would easily see me drop 30+ riders back. There’s no coasting at all only easing up on pedaling. The other thing is that it’s like there’s a permanent brake drag/extra resistance so that I can’t hit anywhere near my IRL numbers - the resistance simply ramps too high too quick like a mag trainer with a too aggressive resistance curve.

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Count me in as also in favor of being able to turn this “feature” off. Riding along at 25mph on a flat, if I stop pedaling, I should not be slowing down 10 mph+ in a matter of seconds. The fact I cannot coast to readjust pad, or stretch legs has caused me to lower the amount of time I spend on Zwift. Used to do several hour rides, now, 1 hour is pretty much my comfort limit. Please fix this!!!

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I totally agree. This option should be built in. There is no comparison whatsoever with IRL riding.