Feature Request: Bring back static pace bots please

I accept the need not to clutter up the UI further.

If you were able to add a third set why would you not choose to bring even more users into the Robo Pacer fold?

If France needed Dynamic pacing then fine Watopia or Makuri could move to Static pacing.

I’m very impartial and happy to use either but I can’t for the life of me understand why Zwift would remove something that many users (even if they are now in the minority) have had and used for several years. Certainly make the improvements that you have but can it be ‘additional to’ rather than ‘instead of’?

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Because I don’t think it adds value.

I think for those that want to go and hold x pace for y period of time and put Netflix on, they can already do that, just not with a Pace Partner, so they’ll go a bit slower.

I also think it’ll result in groups being split up and the experience being poorer.

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You can also do this without using Zwift at all. But, it happens to be more fun with Zwift and a consistent pace partner and a bunch of other people sharing the same experience.


Well that response from James at Zwift is honestly pretty disappointing and dismissive. A single post that at once dismisses all concerns, states that the current solution is “perfect” (despite several users in this thread stating why it doesn’t work for them) and knee-jerking to defense of the existing setup rather than seeking to understand customer concerns.

The fact that James dismisses steady zone2 riding as “ad nauseam” shows a clear perceptual bias and a lack of appreciation of fundamental training concepts used by athletes within structured training plans. That’s understandable, given that this is a developer that is posting this rather than a coach or exercise physiologist, but where something is not an individual’s area of expertise, it would have been nice to believe that they would seek to understand and learn, rather than dismiss out of hand.

Its a shame that it appears as though the pacebots are a single developer’s “pet project” and that they took this thread as some kind of personal attack, as opposed to seeking to understand why the solution doesn’t work for everyone and thinking about how you could make it more inclusive. I feel that before the developer in question gatecrashed there was a consensus building that there was room for both static and dynamic pacing, for different usage scenarios.

Its not about whether dynamic pacing is preferred by 90% of users (it may well be), its that the solution excludes that 10% who are looking for steady paced riding in a social environment. There’s no reason to exclude these users and refuse to provide a solution that works for them. Its a pretty odd hill to pick to die on.

Frankly, James, I find your attitude a little unprofessional and disappointing to see. Its not what I expect when providing feedback and seeking a more inclusive solution. It would be great if you could un-trench a little, read the thread in full and consider if you can work with the community here rather than shutting down requests for improvement and taking the platform forward.


Speaking of appreciation of fundamental training concepts, isn’t the change of pace currently rather minute, certainly not big enough to have any real impact on any kind of structured training? (Yeah there may be lots of people who think you have to do prescribed workouts to the last decimal point or it’s a waste of time, but that’s their problem…)


I rode with the pace bots before, during and after the changes. The dynamic pacing is a huge improvement for me. I used to climb with the bot only to get shelled out the back on the descent - I’m a light rider and often work as hard to stay in the group on the descent than on the climb before it! It now feels so much more natural and would be a massive step backwards to remove it, so I completely agree with James.

One of the bots also falls in the middle of my Zone 2 and I can stay within the zone up and down hills so that isn’t even a problem - and I certainly don’t need to “attack” the hills to stay with the bot even with the slight pace increase. I’ve never ridden to within a few watts outside as I always vary a little with the terrain. I agree with what Anna said too, a minute or two here and there going into low Z3 isn’t going to ruin your training, it’s not some kind of magic on/off switch between Z2/Z3, it’s progressive, and I believe a slight power variation within a session is actually more beneficial, especially for those on less than 7-8 hours training a week. I don’t believe holding exactly the middle of zone 2 (for example) has any significant difference to drifting around from low Z2 to high Z2 and averaging in the middle.


7 of the 9 routes are pretty much flat. I suspect a look at a power file for riding those routes (assuming you’re trying to ride steadily) would show normalised power within a watt or two of average power.

In fact, I just looked at my most recent one. 2hrs30. 100km on Volcano Flat with Coco. NP 174. AP 173. Solid, steady low tempo ride.


[quote=“Anna Ronkainen [AEO], post:25, topic:590929, username:Anna_Ronkainen”]
Speaking of appreciation of fundamental training concepts, isn’t the change of pace currently rather minute, certainly not big enough to have any real impact on any kind of structured training?

Really depends on the route. I could share screenshots of pre and post dynamic pacing rides to show the difference, you’ll see that the dynamic pace even on some routes that are relatively flat does result in zones shifts pretty easily. How much that makes a difference is really dependent on how long the hills are, but the dynamic pace is definitely enough to shift zones on a hill.


Exactly. Especially for smaller/lighter riders, women, and those with lower FTPs, zones can be relatively narrow bands in terms of power and it doesn’t take much to take you out of zone. Its exacerbated by the fact that pace changes can be much higher than advertised, because although the bot pace might only change by say 20-30w, the group almost always surges off ahead of the bot, even with dynamic pacing in place, so you drop out of the draft if riding steady too, exacerbating the effect.

Question it as much as you like, I can pick a bot with an “average” pace well inside my zone2, but be unable to stay in zone2 when hitting a hill. If the pace changes were not an issue then the flipside argument (“dynamic pacing is needed to help lighter riders on descents”) wouldn’t be an issue either - I’m not sure how you can possibly believe that lighter riders cannot stick with a static pace bot no matter how hard they try on descents, but believe that those same lighter rides can stick with a dynamic pace bot on ascents without even shifting zones. The mental gymnastics involved in some of these responses are truly impressive.

Let me flip this on its head - some of us clearly would appreciate some static pace bots. In what way would adding these detract from your experience in any way, given that you could simply choose not to ride with them?


Not sure about getting rid of it, but it makes the higher end bits quite a big split in riding paces…

I’m not sure if the uphill additional watts should decrease as the wkg gets higher, but keep the reduction on downhill so people don’t get dropped.

Take the 3.7wkg bot.

On the flat it’s probably actually 3.2wkg riding with it due to draft then on a hill this climbs up towards 4-4.1wkg. Whichever way you look at it, that’s a big jump - for me it’s 240w on the flat to 300w+ on a climb.

I’m not sure I’d describe that as ‘perfect’


Could be this is the case with smaller groups? Otherwise, typically what I’ve seen is the PP has a lot of riders in front as well as in back of it. Meaning, the PP is as frequently in the draft as anybody else. Rarely see everyone only riding behind the PP.

That was tongue in cheek, which I suspect you know.

Dynamic pacing has been in place for a year (with Coco) and six months for everyone else.

Dismissive? Possibly. I outlined how the pacing would be for our pace partners and I don’t intend on changing that.

FWIW I’m not a developer.

This is why I ran various tests on Pace Partners over the course of the summer. I’m sorry that you didn’t take part in these and provide your feedback at the time.

Some people did express their preference for static PPs when dynamic pacing was tested, in fairness.


But the goal was always to provide an experience that suited the majority.

I don’t want to provide a non-dynamic pace partner environment that is going to provide a poor experience for many, with groups splitting up and the Pace Partner being dropped. That wouldn’t be a good thing.


I don’t doubt the intention, the vast majority of feedback was positive about the change as I recall (and the engagement numbers appear to back that up). Just saying that there were definitely others that disagreed and they said so at the time.

‘Can’t please all the people all the time’ probably applies here, but at the same time it feels as though the minority opinion has been summarily dismissed. There has been no explanation as to why both preferences can’t be accommodated.


In fairness I think some even asked if there could be both :smile:

quote=“Dave, post:389, topic:581351, full:true, username:Dave_ZPCMR”]
Can’t think of reason why there couldn’t/shouldn’t be both types available, other than to prevent ending up with… lots of them.

For the record I don’t use them at all*, so have no horse in this race. AKA my opinion has no value. :rofl:

*Apart from CPU stress testing. :wink:

I think I’ve covered this before, but if I haven’t and it feels that I’ve merely dismissed it, I’m sorry.

Non dynamic rides were histrocially dropping the Pace Partner the moment there was any change in gradient. Adding these back will just achieve the same thing - I’ve been really consistent here.

I believe (and have seen previously) that removing dynamic pacing will result in a poorer experience for the majority, which is why I do not plan on having it reinstated.

There may however be a time in the future when riders can have their own personal pace partner that they can customise pacing on - but this would be a long way off.


I’m not talking about the relative merits of dynamic versus static though, or proposing removal of anything. I don’t doubt that dynamic is defacto the ‘best’ option if literally only one type can exist in coding.

Just saying that there’s no reason I can see that we couldn’t have both static and dynamic PPs in existence. Then people would have choice to use the style that they want. The title of this thread is antagonistic and suggests that a popular feature should be changed/removed - that’s clearly not the way forward. But I continue to think it could be supplemented to have a more inclusive appeal.


Because there would be large numbers of people that didn’t realise what they were joining and have a poor experience in doing so.

My experience is that a lot of people don’t pay particularly attention necessarily to what they are signing up for (I know I’ve done this in the past) and would not notice whether it was a dynamic / non dynamic ride.