Please get rid of dynamic pacing

Please get rid of dynamic pacing, it undermines the whole point of having a pace bot in providing a steady pace to ride to. I don’t understand the thinking behind making the bots surge up climbs or what its trying to achieve, it just makes it unsuitable for anyone looking to keep a steady pace, and prevents you riding in ERG mode with the bots.

I understand that some people want to “attack” climbs, but there’s nothing to stop them doing so with a steady-pace bot, they can simply attack off the front, and then let the group catch them after. In fact, people still attack off the front of the group even now with dynamic pacing turned on, since those looking for intervals or hill repeats attack way harder than the small lift in pace the bots do.

So dynamic pacing delivers nothing for those wanting to do intervals, but it does prevent those looking to ride steady from doing so. i.e. dynamic pacing simply removes rider options.

I understand that the bots have an “average” pace, but cycling isn’t a maths game and average pace is meaningless (1minute at 300w then 1 minute at 100w is the same "average as 200w constant, but a very very different experience). The surging is sufficient to prevent steady paced riding.

When I raised these same issues last time, it seemed I was in the minority. I also saw a lot of positive comments about dynamic pacing “on the road” when it was introduced. The majority doesn’t seem to want a steady paced ride. My conclusion was they want a pickup group ride that’s always available. My view is that both styles should be offered since the software clearly supports it and there are people who enjoy both designs. You’ll probably get responses like “just do a workout” or “just ride alone” which are of course unpersuasive since the same could be said for dynamic pacing, but that’s where we are.

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Thanks Paul.

The fundamental point surely is that:

  • Dynamic pacing excludes those that want a steady pace ride (since they get dropped); but
  • Static pacing doesn’t exclude those that want to surge/race up climbs, since they can still do so and then let the pack catch them.

This is just about being inclusive and making the bots work for everyone.

The dynamic pacing delivers nothing, since even with it in place, the bots still often get “dropped” by some or all of the pack surging off up climbs, since people who want to YOLO off the front do so at different rates/paces anyway.

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I still don’t understand why there can’t be both.

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There’s no reason why there can’t be both… its just that the dynamic pacing ones wouldn’t be adding anything. As explained, there is nothing to stop you surging off up a climb on a steady pace bot ride - as I say people still surge ahead of the bot even with dynamic pacing in place anyway, so it literally delivers nothing other than inconvenience for those looking for a steady paced ride.

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I’m another one of the folks (apparently in the minority) who liked the pace partners better without dynamic pacing. I used them as the most interesting way to do long Zone 2 rides. It was great because doing long zone 2 workouts is ridiculously boring, and it’s near impossible to keep at a certain wattage outside so I felt it was one of the benefits of indoor power-based training. The benefit of doing them with pace partners was it felt more social, you get more drops, and you rack up the kilometers/XP much faster as well as a side benefit.

That said, I don’t think they should get rid of dynamic pacing. A lot of folks love dynamic pacing, those folks seem to be looking for more of an on-demand group ride. My hope was that they would include a few bots that were less dynamic, or more similar to the old bots. I think what they did instead was alternate bots on flat and hilly routes so folks who want less dynamic would choose the bots on flatter routes. I’d prefer they still enable some bots that could be used for more long boring Zone 2 workouts at a more consistent wattage.

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I think having both would make dynamic pacing better, because the middle ground is both not steady enough, AND not dynamic enough. When I do steady paced rides I want the pace to be static, and when I feel like a pickup group ride, I would want the pacer to go harder up the hills, and wind up for sprint banners as well.

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@SeattleSauve - I want steady pace for the same reason as you yes, when my training plan calls for zone2 but i still want company and chat. The current arrangements don’t cater for this.

@Paul_Southworth - Having both as you describe is definitely a better option than the current compromise, since the current setup is no good for those wanting steady rides but also fails to deliver true punchy hill climbs or sprints for those wanting it, the current pacing changes are a no mans land that doesn’t work for either camp

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And yet hundreds upon hundreds of people love them. I guess those people are all finding it an enjoyable experience. Go figure. :man_shrugging:t2:

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The issue isn’t whether the pace bots are useable or popular, its whether (and how) they can be improved.

Zwift Academy was also useable (and popular), for example, but plagued with bugs.

Lets not get distracted please and keep this on topic. Do you have any useful suggestions to add David?

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Ooft! You might want to review the title you gave this thread if you don’t want a little gentle pushback, my dude.

If you’re agitating to take something away from people who like it, you kinda have to expect them to cry foul.

If you want something additional that doesn’t affect my enjoyment, then knock yourself out.

I think that’s a reasonable position for me to take.

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Add additional non-dynamic bots if its easy dev work but dont add more crap to the home screen - its a mess as it is.

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Thanks @Dean yes that seems to be the consensus most of us are arriving at here, just split the bot rides into steady state and dynamic state ones since it seems like there is demand for both.

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It’s not just the uphills though, you have to consider the downhills as well. One of the complaints about the steady state bots was that lighter riders were losing the pack on negative grades, no matter how much power they put down, because the bot (especially the B and D ones who at the time were heavier) was flying away from them and there was no way to easily catch back up. If you were to turn off dynamic pacing, be prepared to for those complaints to start up again!

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Thanks @Steven_Robinson I think that’s a separate issue actually that needs fixing, the physics model is clearly broken if people get dropped from a bunch on descents, thats literally something that just doesn’t happen in real-life in any group ride that I’ve ever been on.

It would be a mistake to “build one broken on another” and not improve something in one area because it was broken in another area. If dynamic pacing is an attempt to compensate for a broken physics model, that’s bonkers. Its like fitting a sail on top of your car because the engine is unreliable. Just fix the engine.

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Pace Partners are perfect. No fixing is required.

Dynamic pacing is in place because the Pace Partners were getting dropped frequently on hills - because people naturally put out more power when hitting a hill and less when going downhill.

If you want to ride ad nauseum at the same pace, you can do this already - just not with a Pace Partner.

I run a testing series for about 4 months where the overall feedback was the people preferred dynamic pacing (this remains the case) and the utilisation of Pace Partners increased by 450% from October 21 to October 22.

I’m not going to be removing dynamic pacing.

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Pro tip: going back and editing posts to fix typos or to add additional thoughts is one thing.

Going back several hours later and doing a complete rewrite is quite another.

Nah. I’m good, thanks. James has given you the definitive answer, so there’s no need for me to ruffle any more feathers.

Ride on :+1:

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Seems like a sensible decision considering how clearly popular they have become thanks to all your work in this area.

Not wishing to hijack the OPs thread but even he has now written

Question: If you were able to offer a third set of Robo Pacer routes do you think you might consider making these a Static pacer set and give back an improved version of what users originally had?

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To say you don’t want dynamic riding, is also saying you don’t want drafting either, which introduces a lot of the dynamism as well in a group ride. So, everyone on TT bikes. It sounds then like the point of riding with a PP comes down to chat. Maybe a feature request for chat functionality to extend distance to 10km?

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Honestly, probably not.

If I add a third set, it’ll be in France and you definitely need the dynamic pacing there. But not until the UI changes to allow for being able to choose a PP more easily and then current scrolling method.

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