Pace partners too fast

With yumi group just now, pace on Tempus is way too fast for the watts/kg. 30km in 42 minutes.

About 40+ riders off the front pushing the pace faster.

With 200 riders in total the speed goes too high and lighter riders have to push big watts/kg to avoid getting dropped with all the surges.

42.8km/h average…

I reported something similar with Coco the other day on Tick Tock (40.7 kmh @ 2.76 W/kg).

Found it to be one of the more challenging PP rides I’ve done in a long while (more Jacques-like than Coco). Certainly didn’t resemble any kind of steady-state ride in the slightest (for me, at least).

I went back again for another 12km with average 42.9km/h and had to do mini sprints at 4.5-4.8w/kg at 44km/h to avoid being dropped.

Wish something could be done. Or teleport the guys at the front to Constance group where they can enjoy pushing the pace.

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pack dynamics 4

I never entered any of those events so I don’t know what it was like. I don’t race in Zwift. Hopefully it helps.

I have felt the paces are higher on the flat routes this week because lots of strong folks are joining whatever the flattest route is to knock off the Rapha 500km challenge as fast as possible. Yumi, Jacques, and Coco all on flattish routes in Watopia, but especially with Yumi on Tempest Fugit, the pace has been pretty high because probably fastest way to cover ground at a given effort at the moment.


Someone in the chat asked “why is yumi so fast” this afternoon. Someone else answered that it was even faster 2 hours before.

The Jacques group was slower and easier to follow.

Probably right, all the fast riders are trying to finish Rapha as fast as possible on the flattest route.

The group can only add so much draft before they break away, the Robo Pacer is on a set power number so 20-40 people in front will giv max draft after that the Robo Pacer will just keep the same pace.

there will be a difference between the single RP and one in a group, but the group does not to be that big.

The RP can’t go at infinite pace since the riders in front can only break the wind they can’t pull the RP

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Are you basically saying that it didn’t happen? The rides are saved. Next time I’ll use the video capture.

I had intended tomorrow to be a no-riding day but if there is a big group there I’ll capture a video and you’ll see what the RP is doing.

Another rider I know did 60.1km with Yumi Pace Partner in 1h:24min:41sec, 42.6km/h average speed, too fast.

I don’t say it didn’t happen. I am saying there is an upper limit to the speed of the RP and that it does not need more than 40 riders to get to that upper limit.

Also it’s the speed that is fast, the pace partner is doing the same power, so in theory you shouldn’t have to work any harder regardless of the speed (of course if you got dropped, it would then be harder to get back on)


If the RP is on or near the front and setting tempo, you often find yourself doing 0.5W/kg less than the advertised pace in the draft, in fact this is my experience for most pace partner rides. However, in situations where the PP is being dragged along by stronger riders, then everybody in the group has to do the advertised pace (at minimum).

In any event, I feel like what this OP is complaining about is having to ride the advertised pace instead of hide out in the draft, which, while understandable if you’re used to hiding out in the draft, is nonetheless not exactly what you signed up for when you chose the “pace” and also I don’t think understanding the game physics is rocket science…it’s easy to see what’s going on and it makes sense.

I’m also a lighter rider so I have to do more w/kg anyway, while some bigger riders get away with less w/kg. One of our group verified that.

I can push the pace more now - but I just wasn’t aiming for that on that time or with that particular pace bot.

I never remember this being like that in the older days of the classic pace partners even with the big groups that formed.

There’s no reason why it should be any different, especially on a flat route. They still behave in the same way.

would the speed of the front of that group of 40 not be affected by the 40 in front of them and that group the 40 in front of them and so on?

so if you have a group of 200, the ones at the front would make the people behind them quicker and so on all the way back to the RP, would this not result in a faster pace than if the RP was in their own little blob of 40 people without anyone in front of them?

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No, that is not how draft reduction work, once you get to minimum steady state draft you can’t reduce it any more, there is no pulling effect.

You can see that at row 5 the wind speed reduced form 86% to 18% and as you move back it become constant.

The pace partners themselves may be behaving the same way (of course they are, constant watts are constant watts), but the way it looks from the perspective of other riders (those near or behind the pace partner, anyway) has changed quite a bit since the introduction of PD3, definitely for the worse.

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Interesting Gerrie, thanks.

Are there similar data available for different-shaped Zwift packs i.e. more of an overall blob-shape rather than the one depicted above (sorry, don’t know what the correct mathematical term is for a typical Zwift “blob”; ellipsoid?).

That is the perfect shape to have the least amount of people work.

I have not seen papers like that because having a flat line of riders will be very inefficient,
Once you have a flat front the drag reduction start even earlier since you don’t have those side effects.

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I’d wager, if you ride just in front of the pace partner you might find it a bit more normalised…

I have no idea why, but riding in front of the pace partner feels like a bit more of a steady ride, whilst riding behind you seem to get the concertina effect of a peloton - perhaps it’s pack dynamics but you should get that in front of the PP