Pack Dynamics 4.1 - Test Events

I experienced the exact same with Coco, particularly at the base of climbs.
Everyone around mentioned and noticed it as well; so something is definitely wonky at the bottom of larger hills. I tried watching Coco from spectator at times, but saw nothing out of the ordinary power wise.

But it was… extremely apparent.

Our blob would hold quite steady, around her, and then seconds later she’d be 10+ meters ahead of us out of nowhere… very peculiar.

It was only at those bases of climbs things produced issues though; and was definitely an issue with the pace partners.

Large group ride around Makuri 40 this morning felt fine; it was very apparent how short the draft out the rear of the packs are nowadays; seems like one or two bike lengths and there’s nothing there anymore, which did “feel” weird to me.

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That does sound strange. There is no kind of special behavior at the bottom of hills. We haven’t heard such reports from races or group rides :thinking:
If someone can get a recording of such phenomena we appreciate.

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I wonder if going into the climb at lower speed is a factor in this perceived difference

There are a few things to consider now when talking about Robo Pacers:

  • If you are near the front of the group in the beginning of a climb, there is no “slingshot” effect making the start of the climb feel harder perhaps.
  • if you are closer to the back and are not alert, you might loose draft easier, if (or when) the pace increases, because of the new draft behavior.
  • the new dynamics also tend to string out the packs a bit more, so in smaller pace groups you might have reduced draft at times.
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if only the video recording feature was allowed on CPUs that can totally handle it :sweat_smile:

yeah; I didn’t ride very long last night, just an hour, but once others started talking about it too I started paying closer attention.

I don’t know if it was just well timed, but it was almost like what happened a few months ago where the bots would plow through blobs; not quite as extreme, but very reminiscent of the same thing. I didn’t sit around long enough on spectator to just make sure, but when I was watching things … seemed normal.

I didn’t ride with any others, just Coco, and it could be one of those one-off weird random occurrences.
But since a few people mentioned it, I figured it might be worth someone looking into to spot any odd jumps in speed or the like.


I know this is minorly anecdotal and probably not the most accurate to go off of, but just to have on record:
it was Neokyo All Nighter; the route with that rooftop climb.
Right before the climb of the rooftop, which is flat, I had a bump in speed from 18.7 to 21.9mph on the first lap.
Second lap, same place, we again went from 19.3 on the flat, up to 22.4, again this is before the climb even begins.

I don’t know if this will be super evident, but here’s a screen grab of the speed from Garmin.

This section is flat; there should be zero reason for a speed to change.
One lap seems like a fluke; but two laps, and others in game mentioning it; figured it’s worth bringing up.
Capture

Which CPU do you have? I don’t think the rollout is complete even for the CPUs they think can handle it. If you have one of the CPUs mentioned in the linked comment you will probably get it eventually.

I spectated Coco the other day when you turned PD 4.1 ON in Makuri and i think i noticed the same weirdness that is talked about.
My feeling was that Robopacers are on PD4.0 and riders around are on 4.1.
Robopacer was never stoped from passing a rider with higher watts it would slingshot to the front.
Could it be that the pacers have there own PD setting?

There have definitely been issues in the past along these lines. So I think so, yes. I seem to remember us being told in the past that no, that wasn’t a thing, and then it being discovered by Zwift that yes, actually, it is a thing.

I think slingshot is the best way to describe what I saw on Turf n Surf with Yumi yesterday.

On both climbs I was having to push between 3.2 and 3.7w/kg to stay just ahead of Yumi. Both climbs have sections around 4 to 5% over longish sections and if I held this power I could generally stay just ahead of Yumi.

I think the slingshot happened when the gradient slightly eased. Of course, it’s possible that my power could have slightly dropped as the gradient eased, but I don’t think the slingshot of Yumi was solely down to that.

I had to kick again to catch Yumi, which I did every time, but it did mean there were quite a few surges on the climb.

As I said on my first post, my overall feeling about 4.1 is very positive, so I’m only raising this issue to see if others have seen it - it looks like they have. If it’s possible to address this, then it just makes the 4.1 experience better!

No that’s not possible, unless there’s some problem we’re unaware of with loading server settings. The pacers are updated with the latest 1.45 version.
Besides, if that was the case we would be seeing the same behavior everywhere not just in certain parts of the world.

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Deja Vu?

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i didn’t really think anything much of it at the time since i only rode a few test races but one of the things i noticed as a consequence of a stronger draft is that shallow climbs are very easy to rest in the draft on but nearly impossible to ride at the front on

Observations after couple of group rides in (C & D)
You can’t float just off the back of the blob anymore, which as a sweep is annoying !
The speed of the draft drop off is catching people out, they are dropping off fast despite the slower pack speed, and with no draft to help them they stop peddling, as @Andrew_Nuse suggested to me on the C ride.
A “mob handed” sweep seems to work better.
PD3 to PD4 took a few weeks to settle in and get used to, especially the long draft making riders too comfortable off the back of a blob, until the draft ran out and they were dumped 10s off and suddenly they needed a plus 1.5wkg over the blob to catch.

TL:DR its different

The last couple of RP rides since 4.1 switched on in Makuri have definitely generated some strange experiences. If the RP gradually falls into the middle or back of the leading pack, it suddenly surges ahead significantly leaving quite a gap to all riders. That obviously generates a surge from the pack, but the difference is that the RP doesn’t seem to be affected by the new draft dynamics like everyone else. So it leads to quite a volatile ride compared with previously. Not too much impact on average power over an hour or so, but many more surges and slingshots.

Agree. While overall churning in the pack seems reduced, the RPs seem to churn more and don’t seem to follow the same dynamics as everyone else. Today the RP flew past me on a descent which seemed odd since I weigh quite a bit more than the RP and was drafting in a pack doing 0.5 w/kg more than the RP.

They have steering already but it’s troublesome, people get dropouts with Zwift play and it isn’t very smooth operating even with Kickr Bike. On kickr bike the steering is pressing buttons, not very accurate. And with Zwift play it can be hard to get the precise line you want, too easy to steer too far.

With the dropouts, you can get stuck to the far side and have no draft at all. When it happens on a A grade robopacer ride you can use the teleport function to get back to middle of the road, but on a race that won’t be possible.

Zwift play controllers are more useful for controlling other game features like ride ons and power ups, steering in every form I’ve tried is fairly blah.

Sometimes Constance can zoom past a quick group of riders uphill even while we are doing much more power. Constance also gets a rocket like slingshot up the start of small hills compared to everyone else. This is on Watopia however.

Watch my TEST with RP Genie and you will see the problem. My bot had PD4.1 movement…but Genie is like slingshoting all the time.

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Same for me yesterday, did and hour with Coco on Makuri and was definitely some weird surges going on when the RP would suddenly be ahead of the pack, when the pack hadn’t change power and the road was flat.

Wow that camera yo-yo effect will drive me crazy. :roll_eyes: :woozy_face:

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There are fewer than 300 people in all of Makuri right now and the pace partners are all in Scotland and Makuri isn’t on the guest world calendar until the coming weekend. Going to be really hard to get some test rides in.