Pace Partners FAQ [August 2020]

Hello ,
I wanted to do a long ride with a pace partner . About 3 hours . In zone 2 .
I chose Coco . It’s my category (C) . But the pace was too fast for 3 hours
So , i stopped and chose the D category . But this time , it was too slow ,
especially in the hills . I am disapointed . I thought it was a good way to ride with others riders … I’m gonna try Coco in a workout for one hour .

I got reset at 2.0 yesterday (slow decay from 2.0 then reset at 1.0)

Yeah, I’ve noticed this also. On the one hand, part of the challenge is to effectively keep pace with the pace bot. Also, I could use a TT bike which would help reduce my variability with the draft. (Do pace partners get any draft benefit?) But on the other hand, it feels too quick to drop out of the ride and need to ‘reaquire’ the bot. Especially in the rollers with the B bot. I find myself doing a lot of micro adjustments to not get too far ahead or behind, and honestly, kind of kills the mojo a bit.

I guess my opinion on improving it is to widen the window on keeping pace without all the warning crap. The bot even says something like dropping back for intervals or whatever — honestly pretty impossible as it is. Let me sprint ahead or behind WAY more than I can now. After say 100m, display a message like it does now, with a 30sec drop warning. Otherwise, display nothing— let me zone out and enjoy the ride.

The issue I was having was on a climb to the radio tower. It was very easy to get ahead of the PP and even stopping your cadence you couldn’t slow enough to get back in.

The flats with CC or BB are pretty predictable - there are wonky surges still, but the Esses with DD seems a bit yo-yo like, for some reason the Sequoias with BB doesn’t seem as bad, but that’s probably because I’m working to hang on :wink:

The drafting issue (which relates to a distance issue) I reckon is the cause of the surging - I hit up a pace-bot yesterday for pre-race warmup and had to exit as the surging was so dramatic. The D & C pacebots are more pronounced due to number of riders, whereas I suspect B is less so as it has significantly less riders.

Would it help those trying to keep the pace to ride in ERG mode ZwiftHQ? Also, if all choosing to ride with a PP were forced to a non drafting TT bike might that help with the draft creating inconsistent power needs and speed? Finally, is Double Draft off with PP rides? THX.

Set trainer difficulty to 25% or less. PP rides with it at 0 essentially. That will help with consistent power output and “pace”.

I should like to see Zwift experiment with running the Pace Partners and making them EXEMPT from the so-called “game physics”. Here’s a link to some detailed feedback I provided to ZwiftInsider today… I think cyclists would obtain VERY different ride experiences joining with a 'bot under “Game Physics” ON/OFF conditions.

Regards,
@Wes_Free

E grade pace partners required for those of us not quite up to D level thanks, 1-2.4 is such a wide range, maybe 1-1.6 for E and 1.6 - 2.4 for D.

G

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I’d like to see a more realistic variation in w/kg between flats, climbs and descents. When the Diesel Pacer is at a constant 1.5 w/kg it’s hard to go that slow on the climbs and hard to go that fast on the descents. It would be better to go 1.5 on the flats, 2.0 on the climbs and 1.0 on the descents.

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Strange… I have the exact opposite viewpoint. IRL do you not slow on climbs and accelerate on descents? Why not change gears to accommodate the different terrain geometry? That aspect of the Pace Partners most annoying to me is how the interaction between the PP peloton participants and the PP interact under “game physics” causing the PP to move randomly from the back of the pack, to the front, to the center etc. with no apparent predictability. This forces a cyclist wishing to stay with the Pace Partner to vary their power output much more dramatically than IRL. Perhaps it is this aspect that you are perceiving, rather than nominal speed changes? One of the most valuable aspects of the Pace Partners, for me, in the context of structured training programs, is the ability to stay in ZONE (whether HR or power). So, when I want to do a recovery ride, I go with Diesel Dan. When I want an endurance ride, I select Coco Cadence. And when I want to push threshold power, I’ll spin with B. Brevet. Steady power output dependability is crucial to adhere to these structures. I just don’t know what the solution is. At present, I use these wild power swings as part of my training, but also would like to be able to target ONE power zone at a time in-ride. This is certainly not the case now.

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I rode an absolutely even 1.5 w/kg pace (erg controlled by the Wahoo app) to test whether Dan would match my pace. No. Not when I rode my normal bike, not when I rode the same Zwift Concept bike that Dan uses, and not when I rode a TT bike.

Our relative positions changed back and forth some. I tested the Tron bike the most, and I rode away from Dan eventually, even though at 82kg he’s a bit heavier and thus his 1.5w/kg at 123 watts is a bit more wattage than mine.

I wonder whether Dan’s uneven speed on the same terrain/incline is due to the drafting simulation. Sometimes he seems to be stuck, suffering from sticky draft, and other times he seems to slingshot forward.

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Glad to see some progress on route rotation…

Would be nice to have a couple different wpk options per category, especially in the D/C/B groups next…

Just seeing this Patrick… but there is a middle option that you can use: Ride with a Time Trial (TT) bike. In your case, select Diesel Dan, and you will find, because the drafting “physics” are exempted with a TT bike, you will need to push about 10-20% greater power than you would if you were riding with a non-TT rig. Enjoy!

If you look more closely, you’ll see that the “drops” multiplier will increase (by increments of x.2) until it reaches x2.0, and then it doesn’t “reset” back to x1.0. What actually happens (watch your drops progress bar - it reaches x2.0, and then slides back down to x1.0. Previously, this maximum was set to x2.5, but Zwift changed that, without so much as even mentioning it in the update release notes. If you keep riding with the PP, the sequence of multipliers will again increase back to x2.0 every 5 minutes or so, as long as you maintain proximity. What we need is a continuous proximity indicator (animation) showing at all times, in all views, whether the PP is ahead or astern, how far, and the rate of closure. The drops indicator bar should not blink in and out of existence as it does now, and it should remain visible in the HUD to the extent a rider remains within the zone. And the proximity animation, which was present in January for the duration of one update, was excellent - even notifying the rider whether the PP was in front or behind. But then, this animation vanished again. They almost had it right! Turning the drops multiplier clock on and off without any warning or consistency is not helpful to a consistent ride feel, and does not inspire confidence in the multiplier game.

Yes, you’re responding to a post from October last year. At the time of writing, I recall the multiplier was 2.5 max (my post was about a ride on October 10th, two weeks before the GPLama video you cite). I know about the decreasing bar; that isn’t what happened. I described accurately what happened at the time.

The problem, of course, is that your now-inaccurate post is still floating here on the forum unaddressed, which leads readers to make incorrect conclusions. You could take down the post, and readers would not become mis-informed. However, when readers see my response, they will come to realize the facts of the matter as they stand now. This is not about your post. It’s about accurately conveying information to the community. My reply was addressed to those NEW readers of your content.

Make that clear then. As it stands you were responding to me.

Do you not realize that the REPLY function is the only method for attaching content to the correct context? What are the qualifications required for becoming a “Wayfinder” if not to understand how to use this forum? This is a public forum. Unfortunately, in English, we do not have a plural form of the word YOU, as with many other languages. Assume, as with ALL my posts, that I am addressing the plural YOU - the entire Zwift community. Not YOU, Daren. A reader following this thread could not be more clear about that fact from a simple read. You could delete the original content that I was responding to, rendering my response moot. Else, my reply remains accurate, current, and valuable to the Zwifters who read this forum. Do you think your incident was a bug? Is it repeatable? Has it been happening to you again and again? If so, perhaps your concerns are better placed elsewhere than in an FAQ concerning Pace Partner functionality, likely read by huge numbers of interested Zwifters.

Select D.Diesel (or whatever is the name of the “D” category Pace Partner at the time) - but first change your frame selection to a Time Trial (TT) bike. By so doing on these slightly heavier frames, you will also have some component of the so-called “game physics” suspended (especially drafting), forcing you to push more power than the PP. This will definitely force you to push power levels between the D and C level PP. Other riders will still be able to benefit from your draft, but you will effectively be in the wind. This works very well for me.