Pace Partner Dynamic Pace Testing [March 2022]

To be brief, I don’t like the dynamic pacing. I much prefer a single steady state.
Don’t try to “fix” a rider problem with smarter software. Rather, riders should learn to control their efforts (same as on group rides).

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Group rides tend to put out more power on inclines. Like dynamic pacing.

This isn’t about fixing a problem with smarter software, it’s mirroring how most people increase power when they hit a hill because there’s increased resistance.

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But everyone does it in a different way.
Whose behaviour are you trying to mirror?
The behaviour of a majority?
How do you know?
Do you know that a “majority”, which puts out more power on uphills and less power on downhills, would like to have this behaviour mirrored by the pace bots?
Or are most people satisfied with the pace bots like they were (are)?
You don’t know.

Because I have Pace Partners on my second monitor all day long.

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Neither do you to be fair. They have had a survey pop up on pace partners since their inception, I’m sure Zwift has got a pretty good handle on how they are utilized and what people think of them.

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They’ve got user feedback from the post-ride Pace Partner surveys, forums, and probably other sources (in-house QA and alpha/beta testing?), as well as all the power data for every ride anyone has ever done with a pace partner. I’d guess that they have a very well-informed idea.

People tend to communicate and comment on what they dislike, not what they like.

Dangit James! I got my hopes up for new tarmac additions. Like the long rumored Mt Fuji.

15k ride with Pace Partners daily. Approx 7k with Coco. If there was an issue I would know.

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Something that I’m sure everybody would love is realistic cycling dynamics, like you not coming to a halt dramatically when you stop pedaling.

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Which is completely unrelated to pace partner dynamics.

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I know but you went the realism route with people putting out more watts going up hill and I just had to say it…sorry

Have you noticed people still spreading out even after the adjustments on the pace? I was curious if you got the desired results of a tighter group? Have more people been riding with the c bot? I really enjoy the group rides with a pace between 1.9 and 2.2.

I was extremely excited when Zwift debuted the Pace Partners. This, I felt, was THE feather in the cap for Zwift.

That is, until Zwift started the ‘dynamic pace’ experiment for Coco Cadence in Watopia.

I don’t race. Instead, I do LSD rides, typically more than two hours each session. The original Coco presented the perfect ride companion who helps me maintain a steady pace. The tweaked, dynamic Coco no longer fulfils this function.

The original Coco served two groups of riders remarkably well:

  1. Those who wanted a more spirited / harder ride could always ride ahead of the Pace group. I believe Zwift’s records would show this was a regular occurrence.

  2. Those who wanted a steady pace could stick with Coco for as long as they desired.

In other words, a rider could still get ‘dynamic’ pacing by varying his own effort level with a steady Coco.

With the new ‘dynamic’ Coco, Zwift has written off the steady group altogether. Riding with Coco now is just like another tempo group ride. Those of us who want to ride at a constant pace have no recourse.

The current dynamic Coco’s w/kg varies between 2.5 to 2.7 (or higher?) even on the flattest route which is Tempest Fugit. Depending on the actual weight of the rider, this can translate into an effort level ranging between 2.4 - 3.2 w/kg or more. One can observe this happening within the blob on parts of the route over slight and momentary inclines when some riders need to increase their power to avoid getting dropped.

On routes like Sand and Sequoias, this effect is even more severely magnified and the result very punishing as the long inclines require sustained high power output to keep up with Coco.

I suppose at the end of the day, it boils down to which way will the executive decision swings at Zwift HQ. A dynamic Coco is a very different bot from the original steady Coco and will preclude those riders who want a steady ride from joining. On the other hand, a steady Coco can accommodate those who want a dynamic ride as described earlier.

Every group ride in Zwift is a dynamic ride by default and until the Pace Bots came onto the scene, there were no steady pace rides. I certainly hope that Zwift can take the above into consideration.

P.S. Yes. I know Coco is still going at steady pace in Makuri. However, I cannot ride in Makuri - the downtown neon scenes induce a degree of nauseous motion sickness in me. I would not mind it as much if Coco in Makuri were dynamic paced and Watopia Coco remained steady but I suspect that Watopia remains the most popular world for a multitude of reasons.

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Please check out the new thread with updates:

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FWIW Coco never exceeds 2.5 on Tempus.

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