Pace partners are completely useless now

It seems Pace partners are no longer affected by riders around them.

The obvious results are that they are completely useless now.

It became really hard to stay with them because they’re way too slow on flats and descents, ignoring the pack dynamics.

You are the second poster to mention this recently. 2 posts here means that we may safely conclude that this new Pace Partner “physics” is affecting countless riders (many of whom are not paying attention to such subtleties). Other posters have previously suggested that Zwift remove some of the so-called “game physics” from the Pace Partners, and simply put them in Time-Trial bike mode. I would speculate, not having ridden with a PP recently, that ZHQ is experimenting with just these sorts of changes. Bizarrely, these changes are often released into the regular game (without any notice), in order to test rider feedback of just the sort that you posted here. Of course, Zwift has been soliciting PP feedback from every participant in EVERY PP ride, which feedback (even in anonymous, summary form) has not been shared with the wider population frequenting these boards or elsewhere.

I’ll be keen to experiment with the effect you describe to make my own determinations and assessments. Thanks for sharing your feedback!

Why would they change this? Pace partners are the best thing in Zwift over last couple years. A never ending group ride. Removing drafting for this makes no sense and will prevent a group from forming. In fact, the pacer bots should use double draft.


Removing draft for the pace partner itself (while still allowing others to draft the PP) makes a lot of sense with how the pack dynamics (new or old) works. I have seen Coco jump forward in the pack by several bike lengths in an instant due to some quirks with the draft, and if others follow suite, it just creates even more jumpiness throughout the blob.

Anyway, for the ad hoc group ride functionality, even the PP itself isn’t essential as long as there are enough riders. I for one have found that the best long base ride experience for me is in the blobs in front of Coco (basically among other flyers from the PP group).


I generally ride in the same position (ahead of the PP), unless I’m doing intervals or other workout functions simultaneously (see my other posts on this). The factor that you’re probably not taking into account is the PP proximity drops-zone “game” within the game. When the PP falls to the rear of the primary peloton, and then alternately zooms to the front of the same peloton (as a result of so-called “game physics”), there is no real-time display of the PP position (ahead or astern, how far, and rate of change). This data was conveyed with an animation in the HUD, very briefly, with the update made at the end of January, and then abolished the next month. Major fail. For those that seek to maintain a position within the drops multiplier zone, AND stay just ahead of the PP, these seemingly random changes to the PP position WITHIN the peloton, make that task quite challenging. The proximity animation (based on the well-tested “close the gap” function) should be brought back into use, which would solve these and numerous other common PP complaints, such as “where is the PP?” etc.

I am totally taking that into account (drops shmops, unless we’re speaking Dutch). As a bonus, moving far enough ahead of the PP also stops the constant on-screen “Rejoin pace partner” (or whatever) nagging.

This is what I would expect; they’re supposed to set the pace, not be influenced by other riders, surely.


I think then they need to be faster as Coco doing 2.5 means to stay in the group you only have to do like 1.5 to 2. With group rides if a leader is doing 2.5, he is getting the same draft as everyone so to stay with him you have to do 2.5 also


If the Pacer can’t draft, then it will be much easier for groups to ride off the front which defeats purpose of a group ride. Also, very different than IRL. I really liked the way they had it, seemed very realistic. Bowie pace was perfect for a hard 1 hour ride.


Bowie is riding at 3.2, I typically average 3.0 for a one hour ride in that group.


Maybe just ride up a group. I’ll try Brevet next time I want a PP ride.

Obviously no use if you’re riding the A group.


If deliberate rather than a config error, bit weird that this hasn’t been communi…

okay :rofl:


Clearly, you’ve misunderstood, as others often do. My comments are directed towards those MANY OTHER RIDERS, besides your kind-self, who DO have an interest in pursuing the drops multipliers. The skills one develops in staying at a particular position within the peloton are essential to many other activities (including racing) in Zwift, especially for newer riders. With the new HUD options, our screens can certainly be made less cluttered, though it’s not at all clear whether the “Rejoin” message is included in those options. I’ve joined others in the past suggesting that the PP zone drops zone be expanded. One of the recent changes made the drops zone size variable, and speculated to be a function of group size - but, as usual, Zwift has not really shed any light on this whatsoever. Given the new group dynamics AI updates (which are still quite broken), most skilled riders would be able to maintain a steady distance ahead of the PP, without violating the drops zone (and activating the message that annoys) - but ONLY IF we are provided with proximity data that’s meaningful. Even while maintaining position at the front of the peloton, there’s quite a big difference between how far you are ahead of the PP when the PP is at the front of a given peloton, and when she is at the rear. Worse still, there is no relation between the distance ahead at which that annoying message pops-up, and the distance at which the message stops and the drops-multiplier clock is re-enabled. At present, riders are simply not provided with the animation and data necessary to adjust our position accordingly.

Surely, one who makes such an observation has not spent sufficient time with the Pace Partners. It’s been clear since their October launch that the PPs are indeed affected by the often erratic behaviors of all the other riders in the same manner as a non-robotic participant. I’ve not yet confirmed the behavior changes suggested in the original poster’s feedback. I’d like to hear from those who actually and extensively tested the ride experience under both circumstances, so that I might compare it to mine own.

Mixed metrics leads to wrong conclusions/assertions. It’s not valid to compare speed with W/kg without taking myriad other factors (bike frame selection, road geometry and surface, rider size etc.) into account. It’s always been quite possible to ride at a lower power output (W/kg) than the PP or a given ride lead. You will probably find that your speed will be on the order of 3-5kph slower than the C category Pace Partner if riding solo at the same power output “in the wind”. Likewise, if you are dropped by a group doing 2.5W/kg, and you maintain 2.5W/kg, starting at say 500 meters astern of said group, the distance between you and that group AT THE SAME POWER OUTPUT, will continue to open/lengthen for the entire remaining duration of the ride, as a result of the “game physics”.

In my woeful experience with group rides on Zwift, the number of ride leads that maintain a consistent power output akin to a PP (NO - NOT average or weighted average or normalized power) can be counted by the fingers on one hand. The always-on, always-open consistent group ride experience offered by the PP is a terrific option, especially now that the routes have expanded.

Positioning oneself so far ahead of the PP that the nagging on-screen “rejoin” function goes away seems defeat the purpose of riding with the PP in the first place. Funny how many times the “close the gap” reminder (including a distance!) pops-up in the same location as the previously VERY useful PP proximity animation. I submit that providing the rider with an always-on analog indicator as to one’s relative position to the PP would eliminate most, if not all these nagging complaints.

You are wrong. You surely haven’t understood my comment.


Putting aside the fact that your observation is in violation of the community standards against personal attacks, I’d be most keen to understand exactly what you DO mean. You may safely assume that if I didn’t understand your comment, and two other commenters ALSO did not, then your comment was at best opaque.

Please keep the thread on topic.


You’re right, Wes, that wasn’t warranted and I retract it.

However, you haven’t understood my comment I think. I said:

This is what I would expect; they’re supposed to set the pace, not be influenced by other riders, surely.

I’m not sure why you think this means I don’t understand how Pace Partners worked, nor assumed I haven’t ridden with them. I’ve done enough sessions with Coco/Cara Cadence to know how it worked.

What I am saying is the way they work now is how I would have expected them to work all along. Ride along at a fixed pace, as if on a TT bike.

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This would make sense, this way the pace will be the same if there are one or 200 riders riding with the pace partner.

So this change will mean that most people will now ride with the next level up Pace partner.


Now instead of having the pace partners at the low end of the category, put it to the high end so dan at 2.4, Coco at 3.1, Bowie at 3.9 and Amelia at 5ish. That way they will keep the same speeds as they used to and will be more like the racing categories. You can then add another partner at 1.5 or something for slower riders