Reaction to the auto-braking


(Christian Wiedmann [X] 50) #1

Here is my reaction to the auto-braking after riding the training race today. I accidentally hit 0 watts on the descent when catching up to the pack. I nearly got dropped.

I think the braking is too strong (at least for the pace we were riding at).

I’m also not convinced that the issue with drafting is the lack of brakes. I suspect lag in power reported is much more of an issue. I find if I anticipate the juncture with a group enough it’s relatively easy to catch their wheels without passing them. Also, if the speed differential is not too high the braking of the wind resistance when I come out of their draft pops me right back into the draft as long as I don’t overreact.

I would really like the auto-braking to be an option that I can turn off. I find that I would never use it and it really hurts if I want to invoke the auto-calibration of my power meter by coasting for a few seconds.


(Craig Hoskin) #2

Yea agree, I even found on a ride today, whilst on a downhill and solo … that I almost failed to be able freewheel down the hill as was possible previously.


(Simon Arthur) #3

The braking should be user-activated, it doesn’t make sense when you’re doing 65km/h downhill with the trainer free-wheeling while your Zwift comes to a complete stop in a couple of seconds!  If people need a brake-activation to get in a draft, then make it user-activated from their smartphone or keyboard and get rid of the universal braking!


(Matthew Thompson) #4

I agree, don’t see the need for it.


(Rony Vega) #5

I agree with everyone, specially with Simon Arthur comment.


(Jason K) #6

So there was actually a bug with auto-braking in the initial implementation where it was cranked up too high. Way too high. >.>;;

We released an update last night that should solve this issue. Give it another shot, and let us know what you think!


(Jeff Rooney [X](CVR-B)) #7

How about making the braking a keyboard command, say the left arrow. And make the right arrow a ‘forced’ tuck position, so the rider can get aero when in a group, not just down fast descents.


(Francois Coppex [X][Velosophe]) #8

I’m with Jeff on this one. Really not sold on the idea that no pedaling means braking. Moreover it takes too much time (1 or 2 secs) in order for the power to go down to 0, hence if the braking feature was intended to make it easier to draft it is not very useful because it kicks in too late due to that delay. And finally when it kicks in, the combined effect of putting zero power and braking has proven, at least for me, to be too effective and tends to yield the opposite effect, i.e. it gets me dropped.


(Francois Coppex [X][Velosophe]) #9

One of the latest Zwift Training Race (18.08.2015 “Early Birds”) has proven imo to be a pretty good beta-test example of the weakness of the current braking implementation.

Trying to stay in the draft sometime requires stopping pedaling and then there is moreover a delay of a few seconds until Zwift updates the power again, and even then the avatar may still overtake the front rider due to momentum. As a consequence of this I’ve been dropped about 1 km before the finish line mainly due to the lack of an on-demand braking system (e.g. by pressing a key). Indeed, the timing of the leader’s final acceleration was just when I stopped pedaling in order not to go out of draft, but my avatar had too much momentum and still went out of draft by overtaking the leader resulting in a sharp decrease of the speed. My avatar was still holding 0 watts already quite a few seconds after the leader started sprinting. Adding to that the small 2 seconds Zwift delay in updating power output it was sufficient to get me dropped out of the draft (more than 10 meters behind) before my wattage went up (this can be seen in the youtube video of the race at 1:12:15 onwards).

Otherwise with a braking key I would just have kept putting a given power output while braking, with the effect of not going in front out of draft and still putting sufficient wattage in order to anticipate the sprint and cater for the 2 seconds delay for Zwift to update power output (I suppose that releasing the brake key would result in almost instantaneous release of the brakes in Zwift).


(Pat Cryan ZVA) #10

add me to the pile of folks who aren’t that pleased with the new auto braking feature. At 230lbs, I should not be slowing down while descending a 7% grade if I opt to coast the hill for a quick breather (as I do on the real asphalt), if anything I should be picking speed.