Pace Partner Dynamic Pace Testing [March 2022]

What about the D bot? Is that going to be tested as well?

I do agree. I don’t think the pace should increase on the Climbs, in fact I think it should either stay the same or be reduced. The climbs is where people find it most difficult to keep up.

A slight decrease in power on the downhill will be helpful for the smaller riders.

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It is the downhill I struggle with, go figure :slight_smile: But this is a good idea to smooth out the ride.

A good option would be dynamic & static pacing bots - dynamic increases w/kg on inclines and decreases on declines and static continues as per our current bots.

That is the ever lasting difference between lighter riders (probably you) and heavier riders like me (100 KG and 1,92 meters high).

an extra 0,2 w-kg means an extra 20 watts uphil for me.

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I can often reach 4-5 w/kg on a decline with Brevit or Cadence depending on pack size.

I thought though that using w/kg pretty much equalizes uphill speeds amongst a weight-varied field of riders? If this isn’t the case, then hitting an uphill and the commensurate change in effort required would be tied to whether the PP you’re riding with happens to weigh more or less than you do.

I would like to know why Zwift chose to make the PPs all different weights – I would think from a predictability standpoint of knowing what to expect switching from one PP to another, if all PPs were the same weight (and height for that matter) it would be more clear cut.

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A bit more going up, a bit less going down makes for a more natural ride.

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Yes this is mostly true, but on a flat road where the speed is high a rider can hang in the draft and still stay with a group, but as soon as the road goes up the speed reduce and therefore also the advantage of the draft. So a rider can ride at lower w/kg on the flat by sitting in the draft but on the climb that rider has to be at the same w/kg as the leader/pace partner.

When I used to lead group rides we would reduce the pace a bit on the climbs to keep the group together. It is easy for the stronger climber to wait a bit than for the sprinter type to go up faster.

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I think I understand what you’re saying, but the PP’s themselves (I think) are also taking advantage of the same draft in the blob on the flats. At least the PP rides I’ve done, the PP himself is typically surrounded on all sides. Eg. Dan is doing 1.5 wkg while drafting, so everybody else drafting should be doing 1.5 wkg (weight equivalent anyways). So hitting an uphill, it’s still relative isn’t it? A bit more effort added of .2wkg being added on the uphills I would think would feel more natural and what we expect IRL riding.

I think this actually more an argument more in favor of encouraging the deployment of pace partners at levels in between what we have now (like 2.0) than against dynamic pace setting. I think more levels are already in the works; more levels of pace partners plus dynamic pacing based on terrain seems like a win win.

P.S. If the inclines give trouble, one can also elect to ride with them when they’re on their flat routes (like Tempus).

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This isn’t going to be good news to people who are already near their limit in Coco groups. :rofl:

(It seems odd to me using pace here to mean power. I always think of pace in terms of speed.)

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EDIT: Ok, so apparently the change hasn’t come in yet. I realized I rode a route with more elevation gains than the last few rides with Cadence (300+m over the hour compared to 100ish m over the hour), so I think that was the main difference. If I were to request a change of cadence it certainly would not be to increase speed up the hills however as it’s already an issue for my scenario. I weigh more than cadence by about 25lbs, maybe that’s the issue.

Well, I rode an hour with Cadence today. I didn’t like the change personally.

Cadence happens to be at a reasonable spot for a Zone 2 ride for me, so that’s my personal use case for Cadence. But, on either Titans Grove or the Titans KOM I realized I was in the back of the group and I actually dropped far enough back to get the warning that I was pulling too far back, while a lot of the others seemed to be far enough away that I was losing draft. I upped my wattage a bunch (up to mid-tempo) but it didn’t feel like I was catching up on the hill, so I spiked my power to Z4 for a good 15-20 seconds to catch up - totally threw off my heart rate, so somewhat messed with my Z2 workout, after that I was much more concerned it would happen again, so instead of a totally chill ride I was always worried about keeping next to Cadence the whole time, and as a result I was overcompensating when drifting back and spiking power more than usual both up and down.

In short I felt the power differences I needed on this ride through the course undulations didn’t allow me to stay in Z2, so it wasn’t as good for me as my last Cadence rides for my use case. That said, I don’t know if others use pace partners in this way or not. I imagine people that are much heavier than Cadence will find relatively large fluctuations on the hills are required to keep pace.

I didn’t think the testing started until next week ???

There has been no change to Cadence pace this will happen on Monday

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Worth noting also, that per the announcement, this only affects Coco in Watopia – evidently not her Makuri rides.

I went back to my previous hour sessions with Cadence to see why I noticed a difference (partially to see if I was going crazy).

This time I was on the Sand and Sequoias route which gave me 327m of elevation in the hour, the last couple of 1hr long rides I did were on another route that gave me about 100m of elevation in the hour.

I had to average +12W average over the hour on Sand and Sequoias which was ok, but the variation due to the hills and weight difference between myself and Cadence must have been what I was feeling. I’m only 25lbs heavier than Cadence, not sure if that’s enough to really make a huge difference, but if I were asking for a change to Cadence in this test it would certainly NOT be to have them go faster up hills.

I rode with CC for a while today and Titan’s Grove frustrates me. I end up soft pedaling on inclines so not to ride off the front and then hammering the downhills to not fall to the back of the pack. Maybe it would be different on a sustained climb but the rolling terrain doesn’t play nice with the way CC rides today.

Hopefully the upcoming changes won’t make CC go uphill faster, but just make CC not slow down as much.

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It isn’t about her going faster surely. I didn’t think I was that unusual in finding that my power output naturally increases when going up an incline, even though I am travelling more slowly, whereas Cadence’s doesn’t as, as a result, she drops back and I have to hold back to stay in the group with her.

I am not going faster up the incline but I am putting out more power.

By the same token, Cadence keeping the same power output going down a decline generally bumps me out of the back quite quickly, because my 2.5W/kg equates to 230+ watts, which is quite tricky to achieve with the downhill resistance, and trickier to maintain for long (possibly the limits of the trainer as much as my legs).

If one is going to be adjusted, surely both should be … I for one generally don’t descend at the same power output as I ride on the flat.

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I agree that both incline and decline power needs tweaked to help with the pace, and it sounds like that is the plan. Focusing on one at a time makes sense to me though, and working on the incline first seems reasonable since a majority of the pack is riding in front of CC. Once it is working as intended then make changes to the decline power and see if that has any affect on flats and climbs as well. If you change both at the same time there could be interactions that you don’t realize and you are constantly readjusting both setting and never finding ideal.

Think of it like fitting a new bike. Most will dial in the saddle height, then fore-aft, then bar reach, bar stack etc. Then tweak each one individually until the fit is dialed in. If you change multiple settings at once you never know which change is helping or hurting your fit.