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Zwift, I don't understand
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: salisbury

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Zwift, I don't understand Reply with quote

Been using Zwift this season, and really enjoying it, however, there is something I don't get: I think that I am a pretty good cyclist, FTP around 275, sub 2:30 HIM and 5:20 IM bike, I ride with a pretty good club and can hang onto the fast riders, however, on Zwift I get comprehensively dropped. For example did a ride today at 3.0 to 3.5 W/KG for 1 hour, and I averaged 3.3 W/KG and it was hard, but I was dropped by 90% of the group, in fact the group were 5mins ahead of me at the end. Firstly to do that speed I would need to be at or above 4 W/Kg, which would be just possible I think, but how is it that so many riders can put out that sort of performance, and why do I never come across them on the road.

It is pretty much the same story whatever rides I do on Zwift. Is it that Zwift attracts some pretty good cyclists?
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a few things.

Firstly - coming across on the road, it's pretty unlikely for someone who's fast to come across someone who's also fast, you only come across people very different speeds to you - so you tend to see lots of slower people and few fast people.

Secondly - zwift is used for short intense intervals, outside people rarely do those, and when you're going easy, you don't notice others going fast.

Thirdly - drafting matters in zwift, so as soon as you're gapped, you're gapped, and need to get back into the draft, so you will need to work harder to hold the wheel, 3.5w/kg (or probably more likely doing 6w/kg to hold the draft regularly) would've maybe kept you in the group.

Fourthly - there are lots of good cyclists on zwift, I know lots who have 4w/kg for an hour and more.

Fifthly - zwift equipment matters - ride more, you get faster stuff.

Sixthly - People cheat their watts. Whilst Otter probably does have over 4.5 w/kg for 20minutes, she's not the 65kg we scale her up to. Some people just cheat for giggles.
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FatPom




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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
There's a few things.

Firstly - coming across on the road, it's pretty unlikely for someone who's fast to come across someone who's also fast, you only come across people very different speeds to you - so you tend to see lots of slower people and few fast people.

Secondly - zwift is used for short intense intervals, outside people rarely do those, and when you're going easy, you don't notice others going fast.

Thirdly - drafting matters in zwift, so as soon as you're gapped, you're gapped, and need to get back into the draft, so you will need to work harder to hold the wheel, 3.5w/kg (or probably more likely doing 6w/kg to hold the draft regularly) would've maybe kept you in the group.

Fourthly - there are lots of good cyclists on zwift, I know lots who have 4w/kg for an hour and more.

Fifthly - zwift equipment matters - ride more, you get faster stuff.

Sixthly - People cheat their watts. Whilst Otter probably does have over 4.5 w/kg for 20minutes, she's not the 65kg we scale her up to. Some people just cheat for giggles.


7th, racing on the road 'in real life' is different to triantelopes that seek a constant power output. That means little in a race. As the famous boxing quote goes 'everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face' Very Happy
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
Thirdly - drafting matters in zwift, so as soon as you're gapped, you're gapped, and need to get back into the draft, so you will need to work harder to hold the wheel, 3.5w/kg (or probably more likely doing 6w/kg to hold the draft regularly) would've maybe kept you in the group.


Wouldn't you need a full Smart-controllable trainer to enjoy the full effects? (ANT+ FE-C)
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moonmonkey02




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
Sixthly - People cheat their watts. Whilst Otter probably does have over 4.5 w/kg for 20minutes, she's not the 65kg we scale her up to. Some people just cheat for giggles.


This.

just like they do on Strava by driving around in cars with their garmins on the dashboard.
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

moonmonkey02 wrote:
jibberjim wrote:
Sixthly - People cheat their watts. Whilst Otter probably does have over 4.5 w/kg for 20minutes, she's not the 65kg we scale her up to. Some people just cheat for giggles.


This.

just like they do on Strava by driving around in cars with their garmins on the dashboard.


Most of the time that's easy to spot though. Much like when someone goes running using their bike; breaking WR pace whilst going about it, or their pace is all over the place because they manipulated a file Rolling Eyes

You can pretty much guarantee anyone who gets one of those U'oh emails, when they lose a KOM/CR is going to check out who/how it was done.
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
jibberjim wrote:
Thirdly - drafting matters in zwift, so as soon as you're gapped, you're gapped, and need to get back into the draft, so you will need to work harder to hold the wheel, 3.5w/kg (or probably more likely doing 6w/kg to hold the draft regularly) would've maybe kept you in the group.


Wouldn't you need a full Smart-controllable trainer to enjoy the full effects? (ANT+ FE-C)


You'd need a smart trainer to notice that it was easier to maintain a particular speed when in the bunch (and one of the really flash ones that simulate downhill too).
However you don't need a smart trainer to actually need to put out less watts to stay in a bunch as opposed to catch it.
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

moonmonkey02 wrote:
jibberjim wrote:
Sixthly - People cheat their watts. Whilst Otter probably does have over 4.5 w/kg for 20minutes, she's not the 65kg we scale her up to. Some people just cheat for giggles.


This.


Whenever I've watched zwift, I've seen very few obvous cheats riding around, I'm sure there are some, but I suspect a lot less than described, and even then it'll just be a few % at the edges.

I know plenty of cyclists who have ftp's well over 4w/kg, and plenty of guys 15% heavier than Matt with the same w/kg who will hurt him badly on the flat zwift (the aero properties on zwift appear to not scale with weight quite as much as real life - ie they still assume those with bellies or massive shoulders can get as aero as someon lean or weak)
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TRO Saracen




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cheats/bandits I can deal with - very simply I don't do the races, but it is annoying when you sign up for a group ride at 3.0w/kg and get blown out the back at 3.5.....and you have to concentrate/not get off for a p&ss/slow down to take a drink etc as once off the back it is VERY hard to get back.

The Group workouts are another angle, you are all attached to a group as long as you are pedalling regardless of w/kg and do a workout issue I have with this is that you are moved randomly around the group so your screen actions do not relate to your pedalling.

Be better if you were 'above' target Watts you move to the front, if you start drifting below target you slide to the back etc.

I'd say 90% of my Zwifting is just plain solo workouts. Waiting for the day that TrainerRoad and Zwift combine....
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone used the Tacx or Bkool apps with the 'live' videos? Are they any good?
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
Anyone used the Tacx or Bkool apps with the 'live' videos? Are they any good?


i haven't bought a video yet on Tacx because most of them are too short for me....i'd live to buy the whole course not a section of...


...but believe i have one coming for xmas, so will let you know...
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Jgav




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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRO Saracen wrote:
it is annoying when you sign up for a group ride at 3.0w/kg and get blown out the back at 3.5.....and you have to concentrate/not get off for a p&ss/slow down to take a drink etc as once off the back it is VERY hard to get back.



That's the one that gets me, the start of a lead ride and I'm right up at 4w/kg just to stick with a bunch which is supposed to max out at 3.5. Once I got dropped and spent the next 20 mins trying to get back on (set a new FTP trying to do it) and came nowhere close. Gave up and settled into a nice 3w/kg to finish the course.
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jgav wrote:
TRO Saracen wrote:
it is annoying when you sign up for a group ride at 3.0w/kg and get blown out the back at 3.5.....and you have to concentrate/not get off for a p&ss/slow down to take a drink etc as once off the back it is VERY hard to get back.



That's the one that gets me, the start of a lead ride and I'm right up at 4w/kg just to stick with a bunch which is supposed to max out at 3.5. Once I got dropped and spent the next 20 mins trying to get back on (set a new FTP trying to do it) and came nowhere close. Gave up and settled into a nice 3w/kg to finish the course.


Five people with 3.5w/kg FTP's will be able to rotate the front of the bunch at over 4w/kg - so yes, if you get dropped, you would not expect to get back on with just 4w/kg.
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Jgav




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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
Jgav wrote:
TRO Saracen wrote:
it is annoying when you sign up for a group ride at 3.0w/kg and get blown out the back at 3.5.....and you have to concentrate/not get off for a p&ss/slow down to take a drink etc as once off the back it is VERY hard to get back.



That's the one that gets me, the start of a lead ride and I'm right up at 4w/kg just to stick with a bunch which is supposed to max out at 3.5. Once I got dropped and spent the next 20 mins trying to get back on (set a new FTP trying to do it) and came nowhere close. Gave up and settled into a nice 3w/kg to finish the course.


Five people with 3.5w/kg FTP's will be able to rotate the front of the bunch at over 4w/kg - so yes, if you get dropped, you would not expect to get back on with just 4w/kg.


I understand that, however it wasn't a race it was supposed to be a friendly group ride with a ride leader.
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JaRok2300




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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
Anyone used the Tacx or Bkool apps with the 'live' videos? Are they any good?


I haven't used Tacx but used to use Bkool live videos when I had a subscription. The live videos were Ok but I didn't find them that engaging as a lot of the time it was just a solo ride looking at the scenery. Other riders appeared as a kind of marker on the screeen but you couldn't actually see them. The animated routes were better in some ways as you can see other riders.

As well as real life riders riding at the same time as you there are the options of Ghosts (real life riders who've ridden the route before) or Bots (AI riders with different characteristics) You choose all of these when setting up the route and it shows you their times and fitness levels so you can pick people similar to you.

Ultimately I found I didn't take much notice of the screen so let my subscription lapse and now I can still ride the routes but I just get a map and a profile to show where I am along with the various metrics.

Edit - it's been a year or more since I used those features so may have changed with updates in the meantime.
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