I did a C group ride with a human pacer today.
It was far more realistic. I felt like I was maintaining a relatively constant cadence, and keeping with the group without any weird coasting or sprinting required.
Granted, this was a flat course. Maybe I need to try a C-Robot ride to see if the issue is being mismatched to the group.
I’m not sure I should ask this question but :
Are you aware that Robo Pacers use ‘dynamic pacing’ ?
In particular this bit:
A Note About Dynamic Pacing
Cycling RoboPacers use dynamic pacing, increasing power by up to 10% uphill and decreasing up to 20% when descending. This provides for a more natural overall pace, as riders on smart trainers instinctively boost their power on climbs and decrease it on descents. Just like outdoors!
When a Robo Pacer tells you they are doing 2.1w/kg they are only doing this on a pan flat course, not a hilly course.
If you ride with a human pacer (group ride leader) and they advertise group ride at 2.1w/kg they will generally stick to that on flat, uphill and downhill.
This forum thread is “ Bring back static paced bots please’ - possibly exactly what you are looking for. If so upvote top left hand corner post 1.
Sorry if I have missed out on irony or sense of humour somewhere ?!
I guess I probably just need more experience with the robo-pacer.
And, as I said, maybe choosing a higher rated group. And getting used to the behavior on hills.
Still, today’s human pacer felt almost like real life - fairly consistent effort for 60 minutes at 2.2 - 2.3 w/kg - and yesterday’s robot didn’t feel normal at all. The effort felt much more inconsistent
No, I guess not, but the perceived effort is somehow more consistent
Spin up a Coco Classic on Tempus, just like the early days
Other routes will always need some sort of dynamic pacing, as you get on a Group Ride,
and no matter how well run the Group Ride is people always complain about the pace,
especially if they’ve not read the ride details and/ or listen to the ride leads/ sweeps/ helpers.
Tempus doesn’t have a 3% climb or descent so dynamic pacing never happens there. It’s probably one of the reasons why people flock to the robo pacers on that route: they don’t actually want dynamic pacing to happen.
I don’t know if Zwift refined the dynamics, but it’s not an all or nothing on the power changes. That is, at 1% the RP wattage increases, at 2% it increases a bit more, etc.
Miguel here is 135 watts at 0%. See changes for 1% and 2%. Wattage seems graduated up to a max.
Q: How does Zwift adjust the pace when RoboPacers are going up or down a hill?
A: Since most Zwifters pedal harder on uphills, and rest on downhills, the RoboPacer will follow natural pedaling habits to keep the group together: on a 1% gradient, the RoboPacers will put out 3% more power; on a 2% incline, 6% more power; and on a 3% gradient, 10% more power. On a 1% downhill, the RoboPacer will decrease their power by 6%; on a 2% downhill, 12%; and on a 3% downhill, by 20%.
Thank you, I was mistaken. But I think the reasons remain the same:
- People like a steady pace
- People like high speed so the pretend miles tick over faster and the terrain zips by faster.
- People like big groups, which are self-reinforcing. More people on Tempus = more people on Tempus.
Probably more it’s the flattest and fastest route so the easiest to knock off 80km in under 2 hours.
I’m not sure why we got the dynamic pace bots given everyone hates them.
One thing, lots of C grade folks love doing 5-6w/kg up short hills so perhaps Coco could do that too?
i cant say i use them enough to feel strongly one way or another about them but it was pretty nice being able to ride with a pace partner and not have to look away from whatever crap i’m watching on eurosport every 2 minutes to check whether i’m still there
I wouldn’t want to overstate my case. I really do not know if everyone loves them, hates them, or doesn’t think about it at all. The forum will of course collect comments from people who are dissatisfied more than those who are happy or don’t care. This would be a great topic for a Zwift Advisory Panel survey that asks people which pacer they use, what type of terrain they prefer to use with a pacer, whether they think the pacer should ride steady or surge up hills and back off on descents, etc. If the answers about dynamic pacing are fairly evenly split that would simply mean they must offer both dynamic and not.
I suppose virtual distance may look impressive on Strava.
It is interesting to see that dynamic vs static pacing bots is still being discussed on Zwift, and that the comments for and against dynamic pacers can still be quite passionate. I cancelled my Zwift subscription some time ago, and one of the reasons was that I was denied the option of a non surging pacing bot by Zwift. I now use Wahoo RGT and Fulgaz. Both offer pacers and I can decide whether I want them to provide dynamic or static pacing. From what I can gather most people on Zwift prefer dynamic pacing, but still over 40% of those who voted preferred static pacing. It is very strange that Zwift cannot seem to provide dynamic and static pacing bots, allowing the customer to decide, when other platforms seem to be able to. I always got the impression that there was an element of Zwift knows best what you want with this particular issue. I will keep checking back but for now I won’t be renewing my Zwift sub.
YES! Remove PD4.1 from RoboPacers to eliminate race dynamics and the associated surgefest.
I suppose the same applies with virtual races or virtual elevation. Nice but not the same as the real thing.
I was really struggling with the pacer groups after the change to 4.1. Then yesterday I decided to look into things and spent some time reading through these forums. After learning essentially how the new update works I rode over 2 hrs with Maria on Tempus to see if I could make my experience fun again. During my ride, Coco pulled through on the front side of Tempus and I tagged along with that group to see if what I was doing with Maria worked as well with Coco- it did. I rode in front of the RP mostly but tried to spend some time in the back to experience any differences. This is what worked for me and it worked so simply I wish I’d have read about things earlier.
Keep an eye on the RP but focus on the few riders ahead of you- these are the ones you have some stickiness to. That means try to ignore movement occurring beside you. Some of these are probably people suffering like I was before. Find the power range that keeps you attached to this small group of riders in front of you. Most importantly, find the lowest power that keeps you from falling off. This is your “relax” power. If your small group doesn’t move much relative to the RP then you can relax and enjoy the ride. After a couple of hours I could close my eyes for a few minutes and find that I hadn’t moved much relative to the RP. Ahead of the RP this is very easy to do.
If you ride behind the RP things are different. I have to admit that there is a sense of impending doom when you get behind the RP- fear of being dropped. I think most or many riders experience the same thing so it gets a little weird in the back. If you slowly increase your power you will notice that you just don’t make up much ground trying to pass riders to get back to the RP- this is where I was suffering before. You can try relaxing- go back to your relax power and you should find that while you won’t move up, you also won’t get dropped. I could only do this for a few minutes- too hard to not panic and start trying to move through the pack. I might keep working on this.
If you want to move forward in the pack, it’s easiest if you just go like you mean it- sprint for a few seconds; you’ll move forward quickly. Then settle into your relax power and you’ll stick to a new group of riders again.
I can’t believe how much better the dynamics are now compared to before. I will try on courses with more climbing as soon as they come up again with Maria and Coco as they suit me. Hope this helps anyone still struggling.
Reading the other locked topic it appears there was a bug making it more difficult to move forward than it should have been. If that is resolved things might be more normal.
With steering enabled you can use another option, steer to the far edge of the road and overtake everyone this way (without being limited by pace dynamics).
Alternatively stay with the less popular robopacer groups (with small numbers of riders) and there you won’t notice the pace dynamics limitations as much.
This was my experience with the faster groups (I primarily rode with Genie and Constance).