Pace partners too consistent in the climbs and downhill

I find the pace partners too problematic to follow. (edited to avoid confusion)
People do not ride like them, not by a longshot!
In every single climb, diesel dan slows down like he hits the brakes, and when you hit the top, i often have to get out of my seat and push 4-6wkg just to keep up as he’s really going at it.

I find it nearly impossible to stay with it and when i loose the partner, well it kinda ruins the experience and workout.

My suggestions to improve them (constructive feedback)
Make the follow area bigger (a few meters more)
Make him more visible when you have chosen “ride with pace partner”
Make him slow down slower on the climbs, keeping his momentum longer.

I definitely feel the same way. I love the concept of the pace partners, and some of the execution.

I’ve only ridden with Diesel and Coco, so I can’t speak to the others. Coco is on a flat course, so she’s pretty consistent. But Diesel Dan is nearly impossible to stay with through the esses. Right away, your being warned you’re too far ahead, so you basically stop for a second, then he blows past you. After two laps where the drops bonus reset through the esses, I left the group.

I love the concept of a consistent w/kg ride. But since we all treat those rollers a little differently, maybe a little more grace period before resetting the drops bonus would continue to incentivize riders to stick with the partners more. Again, I love the idea behind pace partners, and am glad these were added. Could just use a few tweaks.


Dan Diesel is a big guy weighing 82kg so he slow down on the climbs.

Maybe give Dan some motivation on the climbs, climbs is his weak point.


Huh. At around 190cm and 87kg (down from 93kg 14 months ago, due in part to Zwift), I’m probably not likely to give Dan a pass on that. :wink:

I tried riding with Dan once, and it was almost impossible to go slow enough on the climbs to stay with him.

Please put DD on the flat course and put CC on a more rolling terrain.


This would make more sense. Or just get the partners to ride like normal people.


Okay, how blind am I that, until you referred to CC, I hadn’t noticed that they were AA, BB, CC, and DD in order of difficulty? Pretty obvious, but I just totally missed that.

And yes, switching Coco and Dan might make sense. But I suspect there will still be the issue of how Coco reacts to the essess.


I think the range is too wide in Diesels rides. 1 - 2.4?

For a long-time rider that has been off the bike too long or for real beginners, 2.4 is tooo hard to maintain. Love the idea tho. A local outdoor group has regular rides that have up to 6 different average speeds. Maybe a E pacer would be good.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Add more pace partners in category D

A lot of normal people slow to a crawl on hills. DD is 82 kg, what about people that are 100+ kg

I think it is great that DD is like a real person.


well, i ride with two guys that are 100kg+ and even if we take it slow, we still FLY past DD when the climb start.
Let me rephrase that: We need to STOP pedaling before the climb because DD slows down too fast.

I have a much better Idea, add the pacepartner multiplyer to normal grouprides that is hosted by community groups that way it will motivate all riders to STAY with and arround the rideleader and not take off like maniacs and push the pace :slight_smile:

@Wes @Shuji_Sakai


I find the pace partners very frustrating to ride with.

The bubble around them is very small, and difficult to see in a group. Go out of it for what feels like just a few seconds and suddenly your progress bar is reset, no matter if you are sprinting to catch up or have stopped pedalling to drop back a few meters! Very demotivating which somewhat seems to go against the whole point of them.

Feels like a couple of easy fixes: (i) make the bubble around them bigger (perhaps a gap measured by 1 or 2 seconds rather than virtual meters which don’t really mean anything) and/or (ii) don’t reset the progress bar every time anyone drops out of the bubble and then renters it (or at least only reset it if they’ve been out for a significant amount of time like 1min)

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Real people naturally increase power on a hill

Yeah, definitely agree with the first one. Make the bubble MUCH wider… like 100m or more. Usually I’m trying to zone out, maybe check my phone, jump off real quick on a descent to grab something, do an interval, etc, and find the pace partners needing way too many fine adjustments to stay with them. Add in the normal lag and it is frustrating.

Not too concerned with progress bar/drops … not a bad idea, just… does any one really need more drops? I do enjoy the gamification aspect, for sure, but just honestly don’t care about the drops.

As with all the pace partners, Dan pushes the exact same power on all terrain. Same watts versus gravity means slower speed. Likewise, Dan travels faster downhill. Why? Because he pushes the same watts going downhill as when he’s on the flats and uphill. The game physics are the same. You can confirm this by “watching” one of the Pace 'bots. Drop into the game, don’t bother pairing your devices, choose Watopia, and select a pace partner. Then, Ride with Dan! When Dan appears on-screen (ignore the pedal assist warning that pops-up), click on his name at the right. You will now be “Watching” the world through Dan’s “eyes”. Of course his speed changes - but his power output does not. The extreme variability that we all experience in keeping pace with these 'bots is induced by game physics. In other words, Dan is affected by the dynamics of drafting (or not) by the other riders in the peloton, in the same manner you are. I have found using perspective view 9 (“drone” view) helps me to keep track and match speed changes.

However I find that the Pacer speed varies even on the flats. I tried riding with the B Pacer (3.2w/kg). I cant hold exactly 3.2 but was varying between 3.1-3.4, drafting, AND getting dropped! I’m taller than the average rider, but there were likely other tall riders in front of me in the pack so that should not have impacted Drafting too much.

I don’t understand why the pacer speeds up and slows down on the flats (almost like they are drafting too) and I don’t understand why when I’m drafting I have to put out MORE watts than them just to keep up? (Some of this may be the screwy Zwift drafting algorithm that keeps bumping me outside the draft bubble).

Anyone else experience this??

Bots speed up due to drafting (they do draft) and the groups seem to surge a lot more than typical rides. Also posted quite a bit in various threads are the issues that drafting in the middle of a pack seems to be off - for some its been since Sept - others more recently.
If doing a Bot ride, I’d suggest hanging out in the front of the group (where the group has thinned out) and anticipate the surges to stay there.

It’s not just your imagination. I’ve been studying this phenomenon for some time, including two 50km rides with C. Cadence just this week, during which rides I never departed from the 15m “drops zone”. Even though skills DO build in keeping in the PP peloton, after months of riding during which I developed the necessary techniques to stay in zone, I still find I must vary my power output through 100-110 watts in order to do so. Invariably, my weighted average power at the end of such rides comes in just below Ms. Cadence’s 2.5W/kg (I’m taller and heavier than she). But I ride with B. Brevet, too, and the same thing happens That’s how “averages” can be so misleading. You may have noticed that sometimes the PP will sometimes be located at the front of the peloton, in the middle, and at the tail end, and that these relative positions will vary continuously. The behavior was quite confounding to me at the beginning, and though still confounding now, I’ve developed hypotheses to help me explain the weird behavior necessary to stay with the PP:

  1. The size of the peloton (and network/processing latency issues with processing large groups);

  2. The relative skill level of the peloton constituents;

  3. The size and frequency of encounters with other, “non-joined” groups and whether they be faster riders overtaking the peloton, or a slower group being overtaken by the PP peloton;

  4. The terrain geometry and equipment selected by the rider mix.

The Pace Partners are definitely being affected by the so-called “game physics”, including the equally bizarre “sticky-draft” effect. Riders overtaking and blowing through the PP peloton can have strange consequences. Likewise, lower-skilled cyclists who are unable (or just not paying attention) to maintain a steady power output, have a tendency to rubber-band through the peloton, which then causes the PP to be so influenced. When one or more riders in the PP peloton suddenly pull ahead of the Pace Partner, this has the effect of accelerating the PP herself! She is then slingshot to the front of the peloton, where she is now breaking the wind and tends to slow again. Rinse Repeat.

You might find it a fascinating experience to join a Pace Partner ride using a Time-Trial (TT) bike! However, given what you’ve said above, I would recommend entering the group below your FTP level at first. I’ve suggested that Zwift should consider running the Pace Partner such that the game “physics” do not apply, in order to obtain a more consistent ride experience. That said, I’ve come to develop a appreciation for the random power changes I must employ to stay attached to the PP Peloton, and armed with knowledge of what to expect, now use these rides as a crucial component of my structured training.

I’ve had such abysmal results with so many group rides (races???) in Zwift (those which simply and consistently ignore their own group-ride pacing descriptions), that I’ve been keen to see the PP programs be dramatically expanded. Clearly this is quite possible, given that Zwift deployed costumed Pace-Partners on various courses for Halloween! So, PPs with no game physics. Pace Partners on every route. Individual (PR) Pace Partners. And more. These are all VERY doable…

You might have noticed that Zwift has taken my suggestions for improving the relative position animation of the PP in-game, which is extremely helpful (KUDOS TO ZWIFT!!!). I often use the drone view (keyboard 9 view) so that I know not only where the PP is, but also her rate of closure (or distancing) on my position. Knowing how these Pace Partners behave is an important tool in the training kit, and I just wish the scenery would soon change. Clearly, whether they’re on hills or not is still NOT going to change the dynamic you describe that already occurs on the flats. Look at my power stochastics from last night! As you can see, I’m in my second full round of x2.0 drops multipliers - never having been dropped or blown out the front…

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“Normal” is quite a novel concept actually. Whilst I think of myself as “normal”, as most people probably do, I find it extremely odd that so many feel it’s normal to push more power on ascents and less power on descents, as compared to some sort of “normal” power on the flats. My particular riding style targets power and HR zones, and so when I’m in structured sequences, I push the exact same power in all terrain geometry. Normal people should learn how to change gears and push the same power regardless of terrain geometry. What’s not “normal” is how the game physics (and the feedback loop it induces) causes the Pace Partners to randomly change positions from the front of the peloton, to the rear, the center and constantly changing their relative position in the group as a result of interactions with other (erratic, non-normal) riders!

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