Pace Partners Weekly Update - W/C 4th July

Any chance of making them heavier, maybe again influenced by the average weight of people who ride with them?
I had an issue again with Diego on the Ocean Lava Cliffside Loop at the weekend when I rolled off the front and lost the multiplier, despite keeping some power on to avoid the supertuck. At 105kg, gravity still wins over trying to sit up and generate drag.

But I’m still the biggest fan of Pace Partners - it’s the best thing about Zwift and more-so since the introduction of dynamic pacing! Keep up the good work!

My last reply was to someone who had the opposite problem. Damn bell-curve outliers! :grin:

Assuming there’s an uphill before the downhill, sag climbing is gonna be your friend. Obviously you’ll be flirting with being dropped out the back, but at 105kg you should have the watts to close that gap in short order.

:+1:

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That value (75kg) was the average weight of D riders on the platform at the time.

Fair enough! I can’t complain if you’re making changes based on facts :wink:

Yeah, that’s the plan for next time… It shouldn’t be a problem so long as I don’t go too hard and overshoot! I’ve got the Premier Power badge, after all :slight_smile:

I did get dropped once on a downhill when pace partners first launched on Makuri Islands and I wasn’t concentrating (I was changing music or something equally stupid). Without dynamic pacing at that time plus they hit a -6% gradient while I only had -2% and they were gone!
Slightly embarrassing!

I still mess up. Off the front and off the back. I find having low expectations of myself reduces the potential for embarrassment. :joy:

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Great routes this week. Last week really were terrible. After riding them every day the prior week, I ride none last week. You need to leave a couple of routes on Tempus Fugit style rides. It’s a mileage thing. I saw people who ride Diego last week, 2 people, averaged 18.6 vice 20.3 the week before. Most rode partial rides and quit when get hit the hills.

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Thanks Alan - I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ll be using a rotation of 8 rotes, 6 flat.

I like riding with the Pace Partners , however , doing a long ride , the enevatable happens…i need a loo stop.

Is there any way we can have a pause button ,that enables us to stay with the PP without scoring drops or xp, until we come back riding .

Or

Can we have a reconnect button so we can rejoin the PP without having to exit the ride n rejoin, so we keep our long ride in 1 not 2 or 3 sections .

Thanks. I missed that one. I’d think the best would be to rotate keeping one or two on the TF type routes. Love 5e RGV one this week. Thanks for the response. I just got off Draft and it was a huge crowd even compared to week before last.

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Why not just exit the ride for your loo stop and then rejoin when you’re ready?

I don’t get why that’s a problem on a long ride, given that on a long ride your Drops bonus is cycling (sorry!) anyway, so you’re not losing much. It’s not like the Drops multiplier keeps going up the longer you ride ad infinitum.

Because I don’t want to have 3 strava entries , just 1. Also i want the data on one file .
Doing a normal ride on zwift , you can pause by going, end ride to menu, then hit the back key, to take you back to ride screen to continue with the ride .

But with PP, you are then miles behind them.

Thats why.

When the “Ride with a Friend” functionality gets restored, will that enable what you’re looking for?

sad that the 3wkg is going away :confused:

Dynamic Pace Partners:
@James_Zwift
When I open up zwift, the guide under pace partners says, “Hang out and find new friends in a steady ride led by one of our pace partners”. This sentence is the only “documentation” I can find regarding Pace Partners in game. If someone googles zwift pace partners, they might come across this article from velonews:
“Pace partners are bots in Zwift that ride at perfectly steady paces, allowing players in the game to draft and stay at a targeted effort”
https://www.velonews.com/gear/tech-wearables/zwift-adds-three-new-pace-partners-to-watopia/

Unfortunately, these steady rides are becoming more and more less steady.
Unless the rides are flat and with a small group one is unable to stay at a steady effort or targeted effort. That again, is unfortunate.

Regarding the addition of dynamic pacing:
Firstly, zwift already had a mechanism for dynamic pacing. It is called topography. When a route goes uphill riders have to put out more watts to stay with the pace partner than when they are on the flats. This is dynamic pacing.
Now, one might say, that’s not true, when there are a large group of riders, they pull the pace partner faster on the flats, and then riders have to ride the same pace on the flats as they do on the climb. However, for the people at the front that were pulling the pace partner along, now they have to slow in order to stay with partner. Although there are slightly more pace makers than there were before, the way you have handled this is by adding dynamic pacing so even the people pulling the pace maker may have to increase wattage and the people at the back now have to increase wattage even more. I don’t understand how this solves anything related to a steady ride.

Diluting the experience. You have mentioned that zwift may limit the number of pace partners:

“We’re likely to end up with 8 Pace Partners. We don’t want to add more than that at a risk of further dilluting the experience, otherwise we’ll never end adding more and more because someone isn’t happy that their exact request isn’t taken account of.
I think is a bad argument (slippery slope) and is just an arbitrary number. If 8 zwift bots incorporates some magic zones that 8 includes everybody, great, but I don’t think so. I believe you could have, let’s say 20 bots, another arbitrary number, and take care of the “vast majority” of user requests. I don’t think the comment “we’ll never end adding more and more” is a very useful.

I also think, saying you’re diluting the experience is not correct, especially at high w/kg. Currently, as you go up in pace, there are fewer and fewer people using them. Does this mean in today’s game, zwift thinks I have a worse experience with A Pacer than I do with B pacer and likewise, I have an even better experience with C than with B. I would hope not (that is why there is more than one pace partner already). I may be wrong, but I don’t see many A and B riders complaining that the problem with a pacer is that there is not another person following the partner. Instead as w/kg values go up, it would be very likely that person using the bot is trying to incorporate that bot into their specific training more and more. Zwift users at lower abilities have very different experiences and how they use zwift is very different than higher abilities. Not adding more A and B pacers because it would “dilute the experience” goes against everything I know about A and B riders. Instead, adding more would allow high ability users to integrate them into their workouts and it would not affect C and D users at all.

This is one of your comments in your back and forth with Kenny_Mcallister.
“I’ve seen you join Coco a number of times recently so it can’t be that bad?”
and
“Genuinely happy to receive all feedback, both good and bad.
I was just curious as to why you continued to ride with something that you didn’t like.”

From reading Kenny_M’s comments it appears that he really liked the consistency of past pace makers. If you are “genuine” and “actually curious” to why he rode with the pace maker I’ll do my best to answer for him – if he hasn’t answered for himself yet; it’s because, the pace makers are a really good feature, I would say, thousands of users like them, and the ones that don’t, aren’t affected. He doesn’t dislike the pace makers now, he just likes them less, and wish that we could have a little consistency. If you genuinely didn’t understand why he decided to use a part of a service he is paying for, then I’ll leave it at that, else, it seemed in poor taste. If you’re really looking for what people like the most, why can’t zwift just make 10 C pace bots and see which routes people like the most.

[Link to Last Week's Discussion] (https://forums.zwift.com/t/pace-partner-weekly-update-w-c-27th-june/586219/7?u=callum_shayer_vision)

Setting the Pace Partners so that they could not use Non Draft.
There was a short-lived trial where the pace makers were set to non-draft. This may have worked well if there was any information about it. Or, if zwift just set everybody who started a ride with a pace maker to a TT bike. Because this was removed, and this TT bike never seemingly even an option as an automatic, it seems very likely in my head, that zwift is intending to keep the bots as they are – which are follow based (the goal is to follow the pace partner, not lead the pace partner). Dynamic pacing should not be implemented for those who want to go faster and are already leading the pace partner, rather they should be told, just move up to a higher level pace partner.

I’m not sure how 10% more power on hills was determined. If the goal is to follow and draft off a pace partner, exceedingly more common at high levels, this can be a big jump. Pace partner 3.0 does 3.3 on a climb, 3.3 to 3.6/3.7, 3.8 to 4.2, 4.2 to 4.6+.
This indicates the jump that the pace partner does, not the jump that the rider following the pace partner does. Now, from the paragraph above, I “believe” that zwift is designing pace partners to be followed, or else (if they were to be matched, zwift would put all pace partners on TT bikes and put yourself on a TT bike) so we have to think that the average person, using the 3.0 pace partner, might really only be going 2.7, a user using 3.3 pace partner could tag along at 2.9-3.0 etc etc…. 3.8 > 3.2-3.4 and 4.2 > 3.5-3.7. So based on topographic dynamic pacing, I already expect to go up 10% to match the pace partner on the hill. Now, with extra dynamic pacing, I have to go up 20%, even more for High B and A pace partners. This really gets to a point where the rides are no longer steady, and in fact, just intervals. (And that how in fact I use A partners, it really just is an interval ride)

The comment below echoes that conclusion

[type or paste code here] (https://forums.zwift.com/t/pace-partners-weekly-update-w-c-4th-july/586381/19?u=callum_shayer_vision)

I like the attitude, and I’m not against it, it just doesn’t follow the goal of how pace partners are currently marketed.

So, conclusion:
I would like to see some more consistency in routes so I can plan ahead. If you look at my history you would see that I really enjoy using pace makers. I looked forward to it in the past. With the current changes, it’s much more, well, this is the best I’ve got at the moment so I’ll use it.

I don’t think adding more pace partners dilutes to experience for anyone, and definitely adds to it for high ability riders.

I think that you should add dynamic pacing, just make it its own thing. I would definitely use it. If you changed the route on items, so that I got some easy vo2 max intervals in without having to slow way up for B to catch me that would be great. Hilly route or figure 8 reverse, but dynamic pacing at 30%. Hey everybody, get your steady efforts on our bots that go on the flats (or up hills, but go 10% slower on the hills so you really keep people in the same zone) but also, say, on your interval days say go to interval pace partners and we have a bot doing 1-4 minute vo2 stuff, and another doing loops of 15 minute climbs. People could choose a different level pacer if they are doing long vs short intervals, I might do A for vo2, and B for 15 minute etc.

Hopefully, you can see that I’ve put some time and effort into writing this. I know I pay for this service every month, and if you make it slightly worse, I won’t just quit because I like what it has to offer, but there are ways to benefit all users (I think with very little structural code work) regarding the comments in the paragraph above and I would encourage looking at implementing those.

Also, I’ll be riding Beach Island this week as that is the flat route. Would really dislike moving down to an even lower number of pace partners than the 11 that are listed now.

Is this the only place I can find routes for upcoming days?

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There does seem to be some what of a painting one selves into a corner.

We can only have 8 bots
We only have 8 bots so cant have a mix of dynamic or non-dynamic bots
We only have 8 so must support the lower tiers and are reluctant to add more bots to the top end.
We only have 8 bots, so will have 6 flat routes and only 2 hilly routes

You have limited a set of choices by applying that arbitrary number of 8 bots.

I understand there is not a want to have load of bots on the same world - But when everyone has the new UI you could put one or 2 bots in each world (e.g Innsbruck - Climbing, Yorkshire - Dynamic pacing, France - Steady flat rides etc) alongside stacking Watopia\Makuri with the bulk of bots.

Hi Callum,

I’ve mentioned a number of times (appreciate in various different places) that there will be an 8 route rotation, which should allow you to plan your routes vs various different partners.

Note - I have only said that there will be 8 Pace Partners in Watopia. I didn’t say that was going to be the total number of Pace Partners.

Yes, here and Zwift riders are the places that I post the routes for the week ahead. Once the testing period is complete there’ll be more information available to allow everyone better visibility of what’s coming up.

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Hi James, just reviewing this as entered tonight - are those wkg accurate and deliberately set at the highest range of each cat.
Also, do they have dynamic pacing or steady paced?

Hi - Intentionally at top of category, no dynamic pacing.

I kept an eye on the 10am race, which whilst relatively poorly intended (not a surprise at that time) looked relatively close.

Thanks for confirming on both points.
I just checked that one as well on ZP - about a 90s spread across most of the results which seems to have them set up in right ball park, am hoping for a few more entrants for the 18:00 one.

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