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Zwift questions and impressions

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Zwift questions and impressions

Old 02-25-20, 09:35 AM
  #276  
Dan333SP
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I talked a coworker into trying zwift by just buying a $40 speed and cadence sensor and he loved the first handful of rides he did. Then he complained hard because he tried a race and was promptly smoked by most in his division who all ended with w/kg numbers well above the division's max. I held back on not laughing because shocker- its a game and cheating happens in even the most meaningless of competitive situations. He now gets it and just ignores any results that are significantly over the max.

I would love to be on the road in 4min. Its like 10-15 for me for some reason and at times frustrating. 2 different laptops, same result- slower than me on a climb. If it werent nearing the end of cold temps, I would strongly consider buying an AppleTV and trying the Zwift App to see if that loads faster.
Zwift is pretty slow to load on a laptop, and mine is relatively fast. That said, 10-15 minutes is far too long. Mine probably starts up in 1 minute, and then the pairing process with my devices (HRM, cadence, smart trainer) can take another minute or so if the signals are being wonky. Once everything is paired, the course I select will load in 30 secondsish,and then I'm golden for the rest of the ride.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:46 AM
  #277  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I would love to be on the road in 4min. Its like 10-15 for me for some reason and at times frustrating. 2 different laptops, same result- slower than me on a climb. If it werent nearing the end of cold temps, I would strongly consider buying an AppleTV and trying the Zwift App to see if that loads faster.
Yeah, I always seem to be in the 5-10 minute range at best. My wife tries to be helpful when I mention that I haven't had time to get on yet this weekend or whatever with a, "well, dinner won't be for another half hour, so why don't you go now?" Yeah, half that time would be getting started (and/or cleaning up afterward) and I'd like at least an hour of actual riding time for it to be worth it anyway. I guess I'll try to find time later...
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Old 02-25-20, 09:51 AM
  #278  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I would love to be on the road in 4min. Its like 10-15 for me for some reason and at times frustrating. 2 different laptops, same result- slower than me on a climb. If it werent nearing the end of cold temps, I would strongly consider buying an AppleTV and trying the Zwift App to see if that loads faster.
I'm using an Apple TV ethernet connected (not WiFi) to a 73" 4K TV. Connection is fast and no delays whatsoever. It feels like I am right in it. When I'm bombing down a hill and see a hairpin turn coming, I have to look down at my front wheel or I will lean into it and hit the bumpers LOL.

The only thing with running an Apple TV is you can only connect three Bluetooth sensors. To connect more you need to run the Zwift companion app. In my experience there is a trick to reliably connect the fourth sensor to the companion app. I don't know if it's a bug or an Apple thing...but.... before you select the fourth sensor to connect, you have to open the companion app on your phone and WAIT for the gray screen. Then select the fourth sensor on the Apple TV. It will tell you that there are no more Bluetooth ports left, and ask if you want to connect it via the companion app. Once you click yes (here is the glitch), it will appear to be connected...but you need to wait a few seconds because it will then tell you "no signal" (this happens all the time). All you have to do is click the sensor on the Apple TV to UNPAIR it, then pair it AGAIN...then it will work every time.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:55 AM
  #279  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Once everything is paired, the course I select will load in 30 secondsish,and then I'm golden for the rest of the ride.
Wow seriously? Mine loads almost instantly after selection.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:24 AM
  #280  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Wow seriously? Mine loads almost instantly after selection.
Normally how long course loading takes depends on what world the course choose is in. If you always ride in the world of the day then the course does not need extra loading time, but if you always choose Watopia it has to switch worlds and can take some time.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:26 AM
  #281  
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My computer (I run it on a couple year old desktop - but it's one I built more as a home theater with only 16 gb ram and couple year old video card) only takes a minute (or at most 2) to load zwift. It's just that it takes me a while to get everything together, put on some shorts and shoes and my hr strap, load up the companion ap on my ancient tablet, get the fan running, realize that I forgot the fan or my headband and get off the bike to get one, realize that I forgot my water bottles and go upstairs to get them, then make sure I've got everything paired, get a show running on half the screen (or get some good tunes going), that it just feels like it takes forever. Could be that I need to do it more than twice a week to get a better routine. Oh, and since I'm running it on a projector, it takes a minute or so to get the projector warmed up and running before I can get things started, and I usually need to hunt down my earbuds and get them paired so I'm not blasting stuff out on the speakers.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:28 AM
  #282  
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Originally Posted by esarhaddon View Post
Normally how long course loading takes depends on what world the course choose is in. If you always ride in the world of the day then the course does not need extra loading time, but if you always choose Watopia it has to switch worlds and can take some time.
I mostly ride Watopia...no delay at all. Maybe it's my ethernet connection. The only thing that has a slight delay is when I select to join an event and that only takes 3-4 seconds (at most) for it to "port" me over.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:37 AM
  #283  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
I mostly ride Watopia...no delay at all. Maybe it's my ethernet connection. The only thing that has a slight delay is when I select to join an event and that only takes 3-4 seconds (at most) for it to "port" me over.
I was bored just now so timed how long it takes for my computer (Win10, 4790K, GTX1660) to open Zwift. 22 secs from hitting 'lets go' to the pairing screen. 1 second from 'Ride' to starting in London today, but 11 secs from hitting 'Ride' to start in Watopia. I can see how if you have a slow machine the world switch could take some time.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:41 AM
  #284  
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Originally Posted by esarhaddon View Post
I was bored just now so timed how long it takes for my computer (Win10, 4790K, GTX1660) to open Zwift. 22 secs from hitting 'lets go' to the pairing screen. 1 second from 'Ride' to starting in London today, but 11 secs from hitting 'Ride' to start in Watopia. I can see how if you have a slow machine the world switch could take some time.
That's crazy...Are you on WiFi? My ethernet is 75 up and down via Verizon so it is consistent.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:44 AM
  #285  
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As mentioned above, loading is instantaneous if you are riding the world of the day. Otherwise, if you switch worlds, loading also depends a lot on the type of hard disk you have. The old spinning platters are gonna be a lot slower than NVMe SSD drives.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:46 AM
  #286  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
That's crazy...Are you on WiFi? My ethernet is 75 up and down via Verizon so it is consistent.
I am on DSL but not WiFi. Only 12 down, 1 up.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:05 AM
  #287  
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I'm running it off of a 2013 13" 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Everything runs super smooth out of the HDMI port and it'll go from totally turned off to riding in Watopia in less than a minute. The battery will only last about an hour with Zwift hammering the GPU, so it stays plugged in.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:23 AM
  #288  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Yeah, I always seem to be in the 5-10 minute range at best. My wife tries to be helpful when I mention that I haven't had time to get on yet this weekend or whatever with a, "well, dinner won't be for another half hour, so why don't you go now?" Yeah, half that time would be getting started (and/or cleaning up afterward) and I'd like at least an hour of actual riding time for it to be worth it anyway. I guess I'll try to find time later...
Well my comment about how long it takes to load zwift sparked a funny and good discussion. I should probably have clarified that from the time i click to open the program on my laptop to when I can start pedaling is the 10-15min timeframe. Almost all of that is loading, where zwift suggestions appear telling me i should drink some water or i should thumb another rider. I run it on an older but nearly empty laptop and have tried it on a newer higher power laptop too.

Anyways, i started laughing when I read your post since its so similar to the conversation ive had many times over the last few months with my wife. A 40min hard ride = an hour of time in total between setup, riding, and recovery due to being a pile of goo afterwards.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:43 AM
  #289  
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Cypress you have done a much better job than me in verbalizing the rational behind the subject. Good job.

Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
I got hooked on those rollers back in 2009 and can't imagine using anything else for stationary riding. No special trainer tires, no weird torque forces on a captive bike frame, easier on the "undercarriage" because the bike isn't rigid... It's as close to "outside" as it gets.
This is my first year indoor training, actually have been away from cycling for years and only just started back a year ago. My fitness while not awful, left a lot to be desired.

I launched Zwift on November 13th. I think on my second ride I let the program select the route and that was Watopia Mountain route. I didn't even make it to the village before turning back to the barn. I then spent a week doing laps around the volcano, then a week on some easier hills. 3 weeks into my Zwift journey I decided to try the Mountain Rout again and made it all the way to the radio tower. I rode to the tower several times again and then on Dec 29, at level 10 I joined a group and rode up the Alpe. Since Nov 13, I have been to the tower 7 times and up the Alpe 15 times, I expect to get the Tron before March 15th. Had it not been for Zwift or the ability to use an indoor trainer in the winter none of this would have happened.

So yes I'm somewhat optimistic about this year. I currently don't recognise my own legs, I cannot get over my increases in endurance, decreased HR, breathing and the sheer number of miles and feet that I have climbed in my house during the winter and at night. I have about 10 route badges to go and not looking forward to the biggies (PRL full, 4 horse, so forth), just thinking about riding a rigid bike for all those hours make me question my sanity. For sure I'm going to fabricate a springy thingy base for next year. Thanks for plainly stating the truth of the matter.
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Old 02-25-20, 12:16 PM
  #290  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Velodrome is a fabulous place to do stuff outdoors. You able to ride geared there? You local to me - Northbrook?
I live near the Jerry Baker Velodrome East of Seattle.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:16 PM
  #291  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Wow seriously? Mine loads almost instantly after selection.
I was referring to world changes as someone mentioned after my post, and it probably is less than that, it just feels like 30 seconds when you've finally gotten kitted up and have limited time to actually ride. My laptop has an RX460M gpu and an AMD A10 processor, so it's not state of the art by any means but it's fast enough to not be a limiting factor with Zwift. After pairing, if I choose to ride in the preselected world it launches instantly.
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Old 02-25-20, 02:03 PM
  #292  
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My main delay is in the getting to be able to click the "let's go button" and the time it takes from getting there to the pairing screen. Compared to that, the getting to the actual world is minimal. I've finally figured out how to mount my keyboard (with a mouse touchpad) on my bike so I can get loose and be ready when it pairs so that I can go after that.

I'm riding Sportscrafters rollers (with the progressive resistance roller and the bigger flywheel roller) but with the fork stand because I am too afraid of falling after major leg surgery last year (and I only did a few times with the rollers before that). I've got the rollers on a homemade dolly that sits on another board with tracks for the dolly wheels and elastic bands providing tension to the dolly so that it can move forward and backward some. Unfortunately the whole setup makes it even taller and makes me more scared about the effects of falling on my leg. Not sure I'd be able to have my tablet (for the companion app) or the keyboard there if I wasn't locked into the fork stand. Now that I've got the keyboard mountable, I've thought about doing away with using the companion app, but I like the better map you get on there than the big screen and I like being able to click on the arrow of the map and give 5 people at a time thumbs up. Plus, I don't care about that old tablet, so I don't mind getting sweat on there as much as I do on my keyboard.
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Old 02-25-20, 03:10 PM
  #293  
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
Cypress you have done a much better job than me in verbalizing the rational behind the subject. Good job.



This is my first year indoor training, actually have been away from cycling for years and only just started back a year ago. My fitness while not awful, left a lot to be desired.

I launched Zwift on November 13th. I think on my second ride I let the program select the route and that was Watopia Mountain route. I didn't even make it to the village before turning back to the barn. I then spent a week doing laps around the volcano, then a week on some easier hills. 3 weeks into my Zwift journey I decided to try the Mountain Rout again and made it all the way to the radio tower. I rode to the tower several times again and then on Dec 29, at level 10 I joined a group and rode up the Alpe. Since Nov 13, I have been to the tower 7 times and up the Alpe 15 times, I expect to get the Tron before March 15th. Had it not been for Zwift or the ability to use an indoor trainer in the winter none of this would have happened.

So yes I'm somewhat optimistic about this year. I currently don't recognise my own legs, I cannot get over my increases in endurance, decreased HR, breathing and the sheer number of miles and feet that I have climbed in my house during the winter and at night. I have about 10 route badges to go and not looking forward to the biggies (PRL full, 4 horse, so forth), just thinking about riding a rigid bike for all those hours make me question my sanity. For sure I'm going to fabricate a springy thingy base for next year. Thanks for plainly stating the truth of the matter.
What kind of trainer do you have? I finally got a smart trainer and tried Alpe du Zwift on my first ride with it, but the wheel kept slipping when I set the realism to 100%, low RPM/high torque conditions at 300+ watts lead to wheel slip. Had to back off to about 80%, I guess it's the equivalent of putting on a much lower gear.
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Old 02-25-20, 04:25 PM
  #294  
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For sure it feels like getting ready for a zwift ride seems to have much more hassle attached as opposed to grabbing my bike and rolling out the door. Gotta get the tray table set up, move the computer, set up the fans, crack the window (a nice cold breeze seems to help the effectiveness of the fans), set the roller on the tire, plug in the trainer, make sure the ANT+ dongle is still in the computer, get my earbuds, move my phone charger so the battery doesn't run down using zwift companion, etc. And that's all stuff specific to zwifting. Still have to get bottles/food if needed, get bibs/jersey on, HR monitor, and shoes.

And while I do enjoy getting actual climbing work in because I don't live anywhere near a real climb, I do have to keep reminding myself that I have it on the default 50% realism. Once I get to a real climb in the future, I can probably pace it much better than I previously could have, but it will definitely hurt a lot more.
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Old 02-26-20, 06:09 AM
  #295  
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I had my first experience with their Crit City Race last night. I joined the C group and went into the race not really expecting much, knowing full well a lightweight like myself doesn't fare well against others on a flat course where raw power numbers play a larger part than W/kg.

Anyways, like any other Zwift races I started out hard for about 30 seconds, then dialed it down and eventually settled in a group somewhere around 24th-32nd position. This particular race went anti-clockwise around the track. Shortly after the starting line was a bunch of rollers, followed by a flat section, then a descent, then another flat section up to the starting/finishing line.

The rollers were where I could use my light weight to my best advantage. On the flats I was mostly at the mercy of the group -- depending on the pace, I'm could be slightly below threshold, but often at or above threshold just to keep up. I was at a complete disadvantage during the descent though.

Based on the first lap performance, I figured my strategy would be to use rollers to get ahead of the group. I could then have a very brief rest along the flat section while the group caught up, using the draft (van) power-up whenever possible to help with recovery. I had to push over threshold shortly before the descending part and then hold at least threshold just to keep up with the group, then after that just try to hang until the start/finish line. Rinse and repeat.

My mistake was to maintain the same strategy on the last lap. I figured after the descent, I'll hang with the group until the second last bend before the finishing line, then push hard until the last bend, then go full gas and sprint to the finish. Unfortunately right after the rollers, the group was already upping the pace and I didn't have a draft power-up at the time to help me. By the time the descending section came the group was already splintering apart. I just time-trialed my way until I was nearly at the final bend, then went full gas and managed to beat one rider in front of me to the finish. Overall position within the C grouping was 31/54.

Ignoring all the very early finishers, many who were clearly racing outside the correct group (4.84W/kg in group C, really???), I think it was a pretty fun and intense group workout especially if you just focus on racing the group around you and not chase people clearly out of your league.
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Old 02-26-20, 08:22 AM
  #296  
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I just ride... interesting hearing about van buttons, feather buttons, powerups, etc... I've never used them and would probably crash if I tried.
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Old 02-26-20, 08:59 AM
  #297  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
What kind of trainer do you have? I finally got a smart trainer and tried Alpe du Zwift on my first ride with it, but the wheel kept slipping when I set the realism to 100%, low RPM/high torque conditions at 300+ watts lead to wheel slip. Had to back off to about 80%, I guess it's the equivalent of putting on a much lower gear.
Hi Dan,

I'm using a Kinetic Road machine with InRide 3. I call this a semi-smart trainer. I use an inexpensive cadence monitor an a heart rate monitor. My bike has a trainer tire and I have the tension knob set at 3 1/2 turns which is excessive tight and combined with the trainer tire minimizes tire slip. The way my trainer works,Zwift supports my trainer and calculates the powder curve. I use the cadence meter really only because I wanted to verify that the InRide 3 calculates RPM correctly which it actually does, When riding up a steep grade say 12% in order to generate enough power to move forward, I have to select a high gear (as opposed to a low gear IRL). If I didn't do that, if I selected a low gear my RPMs would be too high for me to maintain.

But w/kg are w/kg. Currently I average about 2.6-2.7 w'kg with peaks of 3+w/kg when riding the Alpe. I'm riding right at the edge literally between my aerobic and anerobic threshold. I have been a C rider in Zwift for about 4 weeks now. I have a long way to go.
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Old 02-26-20, 09:12 AM
  #298  
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All the talk about login lag got me wondering. I do notice the delay when switching worlds to do a Watopia ride (Maybe 15-20 seconds? Never counted), but last night I did the London world and from hitting "Let's Go" on the opening screen to being in the ride was maybe 2 minutes total? And that includes calibrating the trainer after my 5-ish minute warmup.

I do kind of wonder if there is an issue with lag between power output on the trainer to what you see on screen. When I do Titan's Grove with lots of rollers, it seems like there is a lag between me putting the power down for a sudden steep hill and I wonder how that affects my avatar's speed. As far as I know, there isn't any way to hook up the trainer directly to the computer, though.
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Old 02-26-20, 09:14 AM
  #299  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
............
The rollers were where I could use my light weight to my best advantage. On the flats I was mostly at the mercy of the group -- depending on the pace, I'm could be slightly below threshold, but often at or above threshold just to keep up. I was at a complete disadvantage during the descent though.

Based on the first lap performance, I figured my strategy would be to use rollers to get ahead of the group. I could then have a very brief rest along the flat section while the group caught up, using the draft (van) power-up whenever possible to help with recovery. I had to push over threshold shortly before the descending part and then hold at least threshold just to keep up with the group, then after that just try to hang until the start/finish line. Rinse and repeat...............
About two weeks ago I did my first race with mainly flats. I was I think the London Loop with Box Hill. I was getting smoked, seriously smoked until we came to Box Hill. There I started passing riders left and right. This due to my light weight and hill climbing obsession. At the very end coming out of the underground tubes up the esculator I passed even more riders and finished in the middle of the C pack. For most of the race I was literally bringing up the rear.

I understand your frustration with racers that cheat. Most of the events on Zwift are run by clubs not Zwift itself. Some of the clubs have high standards, others have no standards. Usually Zwift Power will advise a DQ for those that are racing in lower classes than what their Strava data indicates or if they are weight doping and so forth. I recently went from 7th to 3rd in a race (lots of climbing) due to DQs.
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Old 02-26-20, 09:34 AM
  #300  
Dan333SP
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
I do kind of wonder if there is an issue with lag between power output on the trainer to what you see on screen. When I do Titan's Grove with lots of rollers, it seems like there is a lag between me putting the power down for a sudden steep hill and I wonder how that affects my avatar's speed. As far as I know, there isn't any way to hook up the trainer directly to the computer, though.
I think there's lag both ways, between the power you're putting to the pedals back to the game and also between the game and your smart trainer's resistance setting. Any set of rolling hills like the last bit of Watopia or the rollers mentioned above on the crit city course are hard to time with my trainer (cycleops magnus). If I'm doing a race, I usually just turn the variable resistance off because it removes the need to be hunting for the right gear at just the right second, but I still have to put out the same power to hang.

We should set up a bikeforums zwift event, would be fun!
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