Ebikes

I think i’m seeing ebikes riding with the bots. They pace the pace partners making it harder for everyone else. They might not realise they are annoying but its going to ruin the experience for a number of people. I can already see the A bot numbers falling which is sad. I have no idea why you would want to ride an ebike in a virtual world but it seems to be happening. I have no problem with them outside of races and pace partners.
Zwift can you help? Surely AI can spot these things? It going to be bad for subscriber numbers long term if the ebikes persist.

Hi @Mike_Lyons_9259

Welcome to the forum.

How do you know that they are on e-bikes?

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A bot numbers have been low because less people have that kind of pace. Maybe some don’t like this big jump in pace needed on hills with A specifically nowadays.

I have ridden 3 times with Constance group this week, 40km each time. I didn’t observe any instances of “E bikes” as you called them, Two days a very strong rider at the front, but I know he is very fast anyway. I can usually spot the riders with dodgy power readings.

I use a heart rate monitor all the time now, our riding group made it mandatory, no HR then you have to leave.

People dragging the pace partners along has always happened for years - probably no easy way to prevent it.

Good question. What i’m seeing is one or two riders surging to the front and then dropping back repeatedly. So possibly switching on assissist and then off perhaps. I have no idea how these ebikes work. But in any case still doing 6 w/kg after 80 or 100km. Could just be a strong rider but why would someone that strong ride like that anyway?

I ride with the A bot 5 or 6 times a week. Numbers were low but have climbed but then seem to be dropping agian for me. I just ride between 4 and 5pm Thailand time.

Recently, I noticed a rider pacing the pace bot and can see a number of the regulars at that time swapping to the other A bot. Could be coincidence but perhaps not. I considered the same. I reported what i suspected, the power was so high at times, next ride he had dissappeared. He just was surging to the front and then dropping back over and over again.

Seriously, the last thing i want to do is police these rides.

Hmm yes 6w/kg after 80km is suspect.

We must have joined at different times.

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Most of what i see with the A bot is ppl hanging 3 - 5m behind the bot. So that surging was noticable.

That could just be people on Dumb trainers that is not setup correctly. It could also be spin bikes with speed sensors.

Next time see if that rider has a lightning bolt indicating they have a Powermeter.

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Good point but at the end of the day it has the same effect. That is, altering the pace of the bot.

You can’t really alter the speed of the bot with just one or two riders.

Also if you ride with the bot you get the same power saving and will also faster if there is a big bunch in front of the bot.

I don’t know the algorithms Zwift is using but looking at my power numbers if someone paces the bot i need more power to keep up.

Not if you are in the draft with the bot. Then you get the same benefit.

Catching up will be harder.

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Actually Gerrie you can.

With the old Amelia Anquetil bot in the jungle it was possible to push the pace up ahead of the bot, then she would get the draft and speed up.

This could be done to drop a struggling rider in the group, particularly near the wooden bridge. You would wait until they were a certain distance behind the pace partner then do this trick.

Result was a big enough gap would quickly form that the rider at the back would lose the draft and be dropped.

With normal bots (less powerful) you can get three or four riders pushing a bit faster at the front of the group and the group will go quicker.

I will need to see that, it would be interesting. LOL

Because that bot will go faster but so will anybody else in the draft, because the bot is just like any other rider, but the bot keep the same power, so if you sit in the draft with the bot you don’t have to change anything and stay with the bot.

The only reason I would think this can work is the struggling rider is already out of the draft so the bot will get the draft benifit, but that is true for any group ride, the draft give you a bit of help and once you are out of it you are gone.

This is where possibly newer riders, or those with short attention spans, like me, struggle. Once your out of position and lose the draft … your dropped and don’t have an “easy/realistic” way to get back on!

That’s where the real world bunch riding experience helps, you watch the gaps carefully. That’s how I can stay with the A grade group at the moment, certainly not because I have their fitness.

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Does lag and somewhat inaccurate positioning play a role here? For someone still learning how Zwift works, could it be that their avatar still looks like it would be in the draft while they’ve already dropped out? Even a second or two of lag would make a big difference.

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Just use the visual distances and don’t get more than a bike length away from the pace partner.

As soon as you see even a small gap appear you want to push the power up to close that gap.

It’s very important for group rides like Cycle Nation 100km on Tempus. They do 3.2w/kg (C) with double draft on, so the average speeds are really high. With 100+ riders there if you get dropped you cannot get back on.