Pace Partner New Ride Routes [March 2021]

You spent 4:18 between 125-150 watts;
You spent 16:12 between 150-175 watts;
You spent 18:48 between 175-200 watts;
You spent 13:03 between 200-225 watts;
You spent 4:21 between 225-250 watts; and,
You spent 1:15 between 250-275 watts!

C.Cadence spent 100% of her time at 165W (2.5W/kg). If your coach told you to go out and ride for an hour at 70% of your FTP, you would certainly get a FAIL on this workout! The keyword in your comment is “unconsciously”. If you want to ride “unconsciously”, then sign on to an “E” group ride with rubber-banding on. You can watch a movie without so much as a conscious thought about cycling. I choose to ride with intention, consciousness, and with fitness goals.

“Lighter riders could also hold 2.5 W/kg, but they rode faster. I don’t think they had a higher W/kg than me.”

This is nonsense on its face. If they “rode faster” (faster than whom? the PP or YOU???), they would depart the peloton. And your second assertion is purely speculative. And anyone who has ridden with the PP for any length of time, and is paying attention, KNOWS that the PP will repeatedly alter her position within the peloton on the FLATS too, from the rear, to the middle, to the front - randomly - as a result of interactions with the other riders and their random behavior. So, your assertion that the “group was pretty tight” says nothing about the behavior the PP herself. She moves through the group randomly.

I’ll bet you had difficulty keeping with the Pace Partner when you first experienced the ride feel. Heck, I’ve seen professionals (Llama VIDs) who were surprised at the difficulty at first. But I think you’ll also find that as more persons ride more frequently on varied terrain with the PP, riders will improve. You should also remember, you don’t have to change the way you ride hills, or change the hugely stochastic nature of your ride pattern - you just need to know where the PP is (in front or behind), how far away, and the rate of change of that distance. Ride any “natural” way you like. Change the gradient bias (“trainer difficulty”) on your trainer to smooth the hills out. Fall to the back of the peloton, and race up that hill if you wish. Run off the front, and reset the drops multiplier. The PP will catch up when you tire. Ride in whatever manner feels “natural” to you… but the PP should remain at a known, predictable pace on all terrain, at all times. It’s up to you to vary your ride experience around that nice steady heartbeat. All it requires is a little skill (practice), and some concentration. Or not. Do you really care whether you stay in the “drops multiplier” bubble? Is that what this comes down to? In real life cycling, people go faster downhill and slower uphill, in relation to their flat pace. Just like the PP. But you do you.

The Pace Partners are a brilliant feature, with huge potential ahead. Want to pound the hills? Drop to the rear of the PP peloton and burn to the front on the climb. Or, go ride with the myriad groups that ride in this strange way that you call “natural”. With the option of changing between TT bikes and non-TT bikes, the PPs are the most terrific, RELIABLE, training mechanism on Zwift. BTW, 'bots are not “natural” - and expecting them to be that which they are not… is not natural.

I’m trying to improve the 'bot experience given the tools that have already been demonstrated, tested, and deployed in the production environment. That means using and expanding the FANTASTIC proximity animation that was deployed in January with release 1-0-61217, and then, unfortunately, watered-down to un-usability in February. Let’s talk about wish-lists… in the future.

Please keep this on topic and peaceful.


This topic was automatically opened after 18 hours.

You got me there Wes. I watched TV and talked to my son while he was lifting weights. I had no fitness goals in mind. I must admit that this ride was only to observe the group dynamics on the hills.

I don’t care where the PP is in the group as long as it acts in a way that makes the group stay together. If your only goal is to ride at 2.5W/kg flat for the ride, not caring about what others around you are doing, I guess an ERG workout would be just as good or better.

The PP is still in FutureWorks status (work for the future), which makes me think that the PPs are under development and that Zwift is looking for feedback on what works and what does not. So adding some wishes to the wishlist is not for the future. I think this is the best time to do so. When PPs are out of FutureWorks status, proposed changes or improvements will be harder to get in.

Bots can be as smart as you want them to be. The PPs could e.g. stay in the weighted center of the PP group while making small adjustments to make sure an average W/Kg is kept. With AI, it could learn how to pace to be the perfect group leader for any terreighn. They don’t have to be as static as they are today.

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Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself WHY your “wattage” increases on the climbs? It’s not magic, you know. You push more power… unconsciously. Of course, YOU TOO, can push the same power going up the Alpe as you were in the Jungle below. Try changing your gears. As you’ll see as the Pace Partners (PP) expand their venues to more and varied terrain courses, which I totally support, you’ll need to learn new skills. Did you know that you could push the same power going up the Alpe as down? That’s precisely what the PP is doing now. And, just as in all Zwift races, if you permit your focus to wane for even a moment, “while hardly putting any wattage through the pedals at all”, you’ll be dropped by the PP (or your competitors) like the proverbial hot potato, with little hope of regaining the peloton. One cannot be reading a book whilst riding with the PP, and that’s certainly not what they were designed for. The tools for doing “unconscious” riding are already available: ERG mode; free-riding; E group rides and workouts with rubber-banding etc. Riding with the PP is about learning pack dynamics and skills, which are essential to IRL riding, as well as racing in Zwift.
Luck! Ride on.

Not sure what it was about my comments that makes you think I don’t understand any of that, or need you to educate me, I was simply observing how it appears to work, not making any kind of value judgement about it.

And whilst learning pack dynamics might be one of the benefits of the PP, I haven’t seen anyone claim that is what “… riding with the PP is about …”. It certainly isn’t promoted that way by Zwift, and brings us to your comment about those skills being essential to IRL riding as well as Zwift racing. The point being made earlier in the thread is that the PP keeping to the same wattage when the road goes up and down is not how packs work IRL … they unconsciously push more power going uphill and less going down.

I occasionally race on Zwift. For fun. And rarely ride in a group in real life. I will ride with the PP If I want to get some quick miles in and have some fun. Nothing more.

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I don’t like the way this topic is going.

Let’s just accept that there is differences and that is it.


This topic was automatically opened after 21 hours.

As I have been going back and studying ALL the User feedback concerning the Pace Partners, I thought you might be amused to learn that I submitted, at a time when my opinion about such matters was still evolving, something similar to what you just suggested – back in December. [In the FAQ section on Pace Partners]


A lot of different things people would like to see. My personal wish list for the pace partners is:

  • Make it easy to find them if one does not start by joining them. Maybe show a colourful dot where each one is on the map? I quite like starting with a lazy warm up and join when I feel like. Or on longer rides play the “find the bot” game and then follow them for a bit. Breaks the monotony.
  • Slightly more natural power variation. E.g. -0.20 w/Kg downhill, +0.20 w/Kg on a short hill. Longer climbs should keep at the advertised w/Kg.
  • A few more options. The gap between levels looks large at the moment.


Don’t they show up on the map already? Like this:


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Yeah, but only if you happen to ride past/be passed by them. If you’re not within a few hundred metres or are on a different bit of road you’ve little to no idea where they are.

I guess the idea is that we can bring up a map of the whole of Watopia with big dots on to show where they are at the moment.

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Can you not see the whole map on the Companion app if you pan around? Not tried.

I don’ think you can zoom out all the way, so it’d be a case of panning around. I imagine trying to follow all the roads in Watopia that way would be quite horrible from a UX perspective. Not 100% sure though - like you I haven’t tried.

IIRC you still only see the nearest 100 zwifters as little blue dots even when you zoom way out. You don’t see everyone all over Watopia, or whatever world you are in. However, seems like they could just add the PP so they always show up?

There are three zoom levels on the mini-map. One shouldn’t have to choose a particular zoom level and then pray that the A category Pace Partner is “around”. Why do I mention the A cat PP? Because his microscopic dot on my screen (which is many feet away from my trainer) happens to be red in color, which contrasts with the other rider’s dots. But the C category PP indicator is ALSO blue, making her difficult to resolve from even a close-up view. Therefore, the aptly-named mini-map cut-out you’ve selected for display here provides a highly twisted, shall we say exploded “view” of the actual state of affairs.

Given the prevalence of comments relating to the Pace Partners mentioning some flavor of “where are they”… I’ll take this opportunity to suggest that Zwift simply make the proximity animation always on, indicating where the PP is in relation to the rider (ahead or astern), how far she is ahead or astern in meters, and the rate of closure or opening (by varying the speed of movement of the animation icons). We don’t need actually SEE the PP on the map or within the PP peloton, but simply reference the PP proximity animation to determine whether to slow or accelerate.

BTW, the barely visible red dot in the mini-map is NOT indicating the position of the BLUE Pace Partner… but it does give a more realistic sense of proportions.

I think it will be hard to visually indicate where the different PPs are, in relation to the rider, in a way that makes it easy to find and join them. The PPs can be in a different route in Watopia than you, so such indication is only helpful if the rider is on the same route as the PP.

What I would have liked, is to directly join any of the PPs without having to leave Watopia (exit). Then I can just start a ride in Watopia, select my bike, do an easy warmup and then join a PP. My current activity would have to be automatically saved and a new one started with the PP.
A natural place to access this “join PP” functionality, would be on the pop-up menu and with keyboard shortcuts. Press the button, select a PP (same popup as from the select route page) and you are automatically taken to the PP of your choice.