Pace Partners Not Consistent

My experience both pre-release and post-release is the Pace Partners don’t hold their pace. The last three days I’ve ridden between 60-90 minutes with Maria in Watopia on the flattest possible course. She advertises herself at 165w @75kg. I’m 76.6kg and this morning I started with her and finished with her and averaged 195w for 90 minutes. Granted, I spent some time off the front at a steady pace, but no efforts, and each time she caught up with me without me stopping or doing anything other than pace. This just doesn’t seem right. At times I’ll be sitting in the blob and 165watts feels fine. At times I’ll be sitting in the blob and I’m going 210 watts. Dynamic pacing would account for this sometimes, but it’s pan flat. There is only one 2% short bump on the route and I’ve seen this at 0% as well. I don’t get it.

I’m not sure how tall Maria is but if you’re taller then you’d need to put out more power to overcome the extra aero drag

all the pace partners are about 5 foot 9 inches. I’m 4 inches taller. I wouldn’t think that would make an 18% difference, but regardless, it’s not just the pace, but the consistency. Why does she change pace so much for no reason.

I’d prefer an option for constant pace as well, but the reason is clear: people like dynamic pacing. It was a popular change. When I want a constant pace I have to ride alone. I turn off trainer difficulty, pick a gear, and pedal a constant cadence. It’s not that fun compared to having a pace partner, but sometimes it’s what I need.

The other factor to consider is bike/wheel choice (if you mistakenly rode a TT or gravel bike)

She changes pace because of the slight changes in gradient.

I’ve been riding with them since forever and my experience is very different to yours. Your average w/kg should not be exceeding hers unless you are consistently riding off the front.

FWIW I just finished an hour with Maria and averaged 2.03w/kg (161w) (I’m 79kg at 1m85)

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I did the 45’ PP Graduation Ride on Saturday riding alongside both Jacques (3.2 W/kg) and Yumi (2.9 W/kg) in the same small bunch.

I averaged 2.71 W/kg (57.3 kg @ 1.75 m).

are you using Road Bike? if you are using anything else than Tron or Rear Disc Wheel you will also need to put out more power…your W/kg would suggest that you might be on a TT or Gravel bike.

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I’m on the tron bike.

It’s drafting within the bunch and your time off the front will impact, “efforts” or not. The PPs get a huge tow to close the gap on you if you’re on the front.

A few of us played a game with Brevet on Saturday to work as a team and to keep Brevet off the front at all times, one of us had to be in front of him constantly. It was insane how hard it was (and I have a 4.8wkg FTP and can ride with him in Z1 in the draft). I was riding 100w higher than I’d just averaged for 1hr 30mins in the pack.

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Thanks, I suspect this is the issue. I’m not sure if that “tow” is more than the typical draft provided during “group dynamics,” but I think it does seem like it really matters whether you are in the front part of the group, middle, or rear. I think this is all well and good, but the zwift washing machine effect and just the way group dynamics works, you can’t really determine where you want to be. I could try riding behind the PP at all times, but then I’d probably be riding pretty inconsistently myself to try to make that happen.

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It’s the same draft, but the groups are generally bigger than you might see in a normal ride.

Difference between the dynamics of the bot and your human peers, in a seemingly similar situation in an event or race is the bot doesn’t soft pedal when it approaches the front, it ploughs on relentlessly. That creates fundamentally different physics.

Wondering if having TD on 100% could also have a difference ,especially on the decents where you will have to put outt more power to keep level with the Pace Partner, as the percentage is reduced slightly on TD.

I have it at 50%

Trainer difficulty should not affect the power you have to put out though correct?

What can happen is the Maria Group “D” (I think) and Coco group has people who are really very decent “B” or higher cruising along on a flat course so they can do the speed easily at the front and they tow the group along faster.

If you try one of those pace partner rides where the group is much smaller you’ll notice it’s much different.

Coco and Maria groups would be a lot smaller if they were sent over the Mountain Route more frequently. :wink:

Amelia Anquetil used to go up Epic KOM. It was one of the best groups. The w/kg was as advertised and the group mostly stayed together.

Came here after a very frustrating experience with D. Miguel, who is supposed to cruise along at 1.6 w/kg.

I found myself flying off the front when I was steady at 1.5, and found Miguel up my butt and past me when I was at a steady pace well over 2 w/kg.

Is there any reason that a computer-created pacer cannot manage to hold the stated pace? It doesn’t seem like it would take a rocket scientist to program that.

Also, while I’m at it, why don’t they use the fence feature so we could have a dependable visual cue for when we out-pace the pacers? Sometimes I’ll get the “let em catch up” cue. Other times, nothing and then a prompt to join a pacer.

I think I’ll just ride by myself if I can’t find a group ride at the times I want to ride.

Miguel’s pace is 1.8 on flats, something like 1.6 on 3%+ descents, 2.0 on 3%+ climbs (I might be off a little but the base pace is 1.8). These differences are intentional. When you pick a pace partner on the home screen, the number you see reflects what they’re doing at the moment, not the pace on flat terrain, so it would show up around 1.6 if they’re going downhill. It takes careful attention to modulate your power to stay with the pace partner and in the group draft, especially if your weight differs from the 75kg of the pace partner.

Thanks Paul. That’s helpful. Is there a way to ascertain the target pace on flat for any of the pacers?

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