I just left a sub 2.0 ride which started at 9:05 AM Eastern. At 30 minutes, I had ridden 9.7 miles (19.4 mph). My 20 minute pace was 157w, which for me is just a fraction under 2.0 w/kg. I left because I was more than 2 minutes behind every other rider in the group. This sort of thing has been happening on every single sub 2.0 ride in which I’ve participated in the last month. I could just as easily ride by myself using some other app or ride outside. If Zwift is not the app for sub 2.0 or sub 2.5 riders, let me know, I’ll find another avenue for riding. Keep in mind, 3.0 riders who boost their egos by crushing others in sub 2.0 rides, that your cost for using Zwift will only go up if the user base decreases.
Hear that complaint a lot.
2.0w/kg will just get people close to the same speed, meaning 2.0 for one person could be and will be faster than another. The bike/equipment used in-game can make a difference in speed also. Right now using w/kg is the best way to group people within Zwift. It is not perfect but it is the best they have at the moment.
That being said, for some reason group rides become ego fests. People tend to try and show off and the pace ends up being above advertised. The ride leader needs to take better control over the rides. Some ride leaders are better than others (some should be banned from being group leaders).
Just to throw this out there, I have not done any group rides/races and I never plan on doing on. Too many show offs, cheaters and egos.
Two parts of the course are most important for slower group rides.
First is the start. Groups often start fast, above target.
Second is hills. Even on a gentle up slope, groups break apart.
Groups seem to work better when the leader calls for a slow start, well under the target, and there are sweeps to help riders slower off the mark. And where the leader(s) are constantly monitoring the spread, and call for regrouping. With that, of course, it’s up to the will of the riders. If a bunch of riders get a gap off the front and keep riding the target pace, they’ll stay away.
Just like in racing, the draft is critical. A rider alone, off the back, riding at the target pace, will drop away quickly.
I did one other day that was stated as 1.5 w/kg and had about 50 people signed up at the start. Most everyone took off and about 30+ people did the entire ride at over 3 w/kg or a lot more and lapped the TWO riders riding with the leader at the back. There was myself and one single rider with the leader for 90% of the race… oh… I mean “ride”.
I can see why no one wants to lead group rides any longer.
There was a time when there were tons of group rides at all levels and people seemed to listen to the leaders and pay attention to the event description. Now, no one does, so there are no group rides.
There are 100 WBR races all day and every day. No group rides.
I certainly would not want to lead one with the way they seem to always turn out. I totally understand why no one wants to lead them any longer. It is unfortunate, but I get it.
As a group ride leader in the fall-winter months, I recommend a normal start 0.5 wkg slower then listed first lap w/kg.
From my experience there are always ones that want to push the envelope or ignore the rules. First, I warn them a few times. If it persists, I ask them to leave the ride to not upset the others. Often, they slow down or they leave. Sometimes riders pick group rides by mistake.
I can see how it can be frustrating. The bigger the group the harder to control the peloton. Especially, at the start or slight upward slopes like Steve mentioned.
I would recommend just taking wattage bazooka riders with a grain of salt and ignore them. Get them with kindness as they say!
Should be some updates soon to adjust group ride levels!
Just thinking out loud here: Wont it be cool if you are in a ride and as soon as you are 1sec in front of the ride leader your trainer resistance would double. that will slow people down.