I’d love someone to explain the math to me.
I’d assumed that given drag force is squared in relation to speed, that universally having such fast moving riders in game, further reduces the chances of breakaways etc. Given that an average Zwift race pack is already doing say 45kph, a solo rider would need to do crazy watts to stay away.
By increasing everyone’s cda to a more realistic number, would that really make any difference? Would it not just mean everything happened at a slightly slower speed? There’d be a tiny percentage advantage, as rolling and mechanical resistance would be a greater percentage of every riders power at lower speeds.
I’m 100% for lowering the average cda to better simulate average riding conditions IRL. Although as David said. There’s going to be a lot of people who freak out about records etc. I think these folk are taking this whole ‘records’ thing way too seriously, but that’s a sperate discussion.
I think in the long run, accurately modelled physics will be a very positive step. It’s going to happen eventually, so it’s definitely better to make these large changes earlier than later. Any delay, will only further entrench folks into perpetual stagnation.
There will always be dissent with change, even if it’s for obvious improvement long term.
These legacy physics decisions were probably not given the proper priorities when they were initially decided. I imagine having everyone super aero, riding in the most aero position was a cool idea at the time. However, the cumulative result makes it very hard to deliver dynamic racing.
The crux of the issue is pack speed. Somehow requiring only the riders on the front of a pack to match or exceed the breakaway riders effort has to be the target. This is incredibly complex without collisions. As currently we hold say 3w/kg, slowly drift to the front, slowly drift back, repeat repeat. Meanwhile we travel at warp speed.
I believe the target actually needs to be very accurate to real life. Not because it’s better etc. Because, the real life physics work. At 45kph you KNOW you’re on the front of the bunch, you’re doing 400w!!! Your first thought is normally, get me off the front…
That’s not remotely how Zwift feels. There’s close to zero perception of effort increase when you lazily churn to the front of a blob.
I feel that whatever changes, the single guiding principal needs to be to deliver that IRL experience. It’s those physics that make real bike racing so dynamic.
Without powerful draft, we’re all just doing a TT into a sprint.
We need to be able to hide, so we can attack. We also need anybody willing to match our attack on the front of a group to actually have to match it.
Deliver that, then we’re talking fun times
Thanks again for keeping at it.