Robo Pacer Draft Question

We all want those numbers during our rides. That way we can finally see when and how much draft we are getting.


I don’t :wink: :smile:

I only want the small ones.

I was just riding with Genie on Makuri 40 and on one the the slight downhills…it was around the nuclear power plant or whatever it was…Genie absolutely smoked the entire group.
Just launched it on the downhill and was 10 seconds up the road within 5 seconds.
I had HUD off so didnt see if the power rocketed up but the bot was just gone.
I was holding 5 w/kg for a good minute but just couldnt catch up.
PP ride over with

Oh and as a side note.
When i first joined, Genie was doing castle to castle. Mid way through just jumped to a completely different place on the map so i left that session, went back to the menu and could see Genie was now doing Makui 40

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Yumi just dropped everyone going down into the water and was pushing over 3.0wkg. Very surgy this whole ride. I think it’s the effects of PD4 in small groups and not a pace partner glitch.

Hey everyone, dropping in to say that we’re aware of this issue and currently looking into the potential fix(es) for it.

Right now, what we believe is that it doesn’t seem to be caused by the Pack Dynamics 4 release, and is instead more likely caused by the version of the game data being used to run the Pacers from the backend.

Whatever the actual fix might be, it will most likely not be tied to a game release. The good news here is that when we find the solution, you all won’t be waiting until the next release for the changes and we should be able to alleviate the bad behavior either on a Pacer rotation when they change routes for the week or simply in the middle of the week when we’re ready to release.

We’ll keep you all posted on that. Thanks for your patience!


Thanks @xflintx

I’ve jumped over to ADZ now for a while until this is sorted. Good luck with getting the fix out and thanks for finding the cause and also the explanation.

At last finally an admission something is wrong thanks

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Defo felt changes post PD4. I rode with PP just right after PD4 was officially announced.

I ride with PPs alot, and regularly use zwift - Tues to Friday. The PPs surging during certain flat segments have been there since PD3, but since PD4 gone live, generally the less churn effect plus the more powerful surge pedal strokes required to move your avatar back into position cummatatively makes staying in the pack harder.

For sure I now have to really constantly put out a higher consistent wattage just to stay with Coco and Jacques. Jacques is more noticeable, easily my ride needs 10 to 15 watts more average to keep with the pack.

Something’s defo going on.

And yeah, Garmin poked me with a fastest 40km PR after this morning’s PP Jacques ride on tick tock.


Are you able to elaborate a little more on what exactly is causing the issue? Fine if not, just curious what’s causing the bots to act weird.

At a high level, what we use to run the Pacers is a headless version of the game client because each Pacer is technically an account that is recognized as a “Zwifter.” While they have special permissions compared to you and I, they’re still tied to a Zwift account number.

It’s most likely that the issue here is the discrepancy between the game client powering the Pacers and the production game version we’re all on. So we have to bring their special client up to snuff essentially.


I have followed this thead, and remembered that @DavidP wrote

This contradicts what you are saying, as far as I can see. Unless there are changes in 1.34 that affects this.

Anyways, as long as you founds the bug, it is all good :blush:

interesting! even though it has never been acknowledged by zwift staff here on forums, the strange behaviour of pace partners was first reported after a minor update in beginning of march. maybe that will help you locate the problem :person_shrugging:t2:

report: Robo pacers don't provide draft

update: Game Update 1.33 [January 2023] - #325

Well what I said is still technically true because now Pacers are one version behind our current production version which is 1.34. :wink:

But it’s a good point; I missed that comment as I wasn’t reading this one comment for comment. Thanks for pointing it out. This seems to be the solution, though we’ll know with some more testing.


I’m with you Cat. As a 63kg rider, I’ve noticed a definite difference when riding with Genie using PD3 and PD4. It’s most definite harder now, and made worse by random bot accelerations when there’s been no change to the terrain or group dynamics. The bot suddenly accelerates leaving everyone for dead and chasing!


My question didn’t get answered at the time, but it seems to have an answer now …

Sounds just like what they’re trying to achieve with PD4 :laughing:

Can you spot on my power graph where I was riding on my own and keeping a steady pace on intervals vs when I picked up on of the D-bots (riding at a steady pace)? Then again when I dropped the bot (or rather, it dropped me).

Maybe if there are issues, perhaps they are compounded by variations in bikes. I ride the handcycle which I believe has a 50% better draft. I also weight more than the Bot. But, to keep a steady pace, depending on the terrain (which seems to have a massive difference compared to when I ride solo), my power output has to vary so much.

If I get the Right bot, I can ride in my Zone 2 / Recovery band on the paved roads. Once the ride hits dirt I’m easily onto Z3. Climbs of 1-2 percent, I’m hitting sweetspot. Climbs of 3-4% I’m hitting Z4/5 threshold/ vo2 max (pushing 200w+ (up to about 2.5 w/kg) to keep up with a D bot. Climbs over 4% and I’m thrown off the back like a 4th of July bottle rocket.

On descents I’m pretty much coasting (just bumping the cranks to keep my arms turning, and riding in Z1 which I never do on any other ride).

The ride above was done on 16 April, 2023 on Turf and Surf. I managed to catch the bot just at the top of the climb exiting from the cave where it’s about 3% and i was still fresh and I wanted to see how long I could keep up with it, given that my previous two experiences with bots where horrible. With the flatter paved roads of Neokyo this wasn’t too much a problem, just have to go into a few near max effort sprints to get up the short hills like the one after the first sprint shortly after the start. But the real fun starts when you hit the Surf. The first big descent, I’m basically coasting and getting ready to put my foot on the Kickrs flywheel to slow down. Then with the constant surface changes and the gradients, bouncing back and forth between sprinting an not before coming to the final climb through the cave where I’m just waiting for that first 5% gradient that knocks me off the back.

So, in order to keep up with a D Bot (at a steady pace) I’m pushing anywhere from 20 - 200+ watts (.25 - 2.5 w/kg and basically using every training zone available to me. My previous experience with the bots were horrible and this one was probably more so. The only reason I pushed to keep up was out of boredom on the ride, but it was supposed to be largely a 2 hr recovery ride. Again, maybe it’s more of an issue with the variation in performance of the handcycle there’s nothing remotely steady or “pace” about riding with one of the bots; it’s basically the performance I would expect out of a crit race.

The kicker though is the camera view or that handcycle. It’s fine if you’re riding solo but once you get into a group, and it’s especially bad with the number of riders with the D bots… the camera is aligned with everyone else’s ar$$es and that’s largely all I can see, except when a rider gets between the camera and my bike where the camera goes inside the other rider and I can see them from the inside out, and let me tell you, the distorted faces get very nightmareish! But luckily, you have the frantic pace changes to distract you from that, though because you can’s see the upcoming terrain/ road surface, you can’t anticipate and so the sprint changes are even more dramatic.

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According to the ZwiftInsider testing posted in September, the hand cycle gets only 50% draft when drafting a road bike. Its aero performance is about the same as the most aero road bikes in the game. Its climbing performance is the worst in the game.

While riding alone with the A bot in watopia I’ve noticed on multiple occasions that there are specific spots where the robopacer suddenly speeds up. It’s as if the robopacer used an aero powerup. Right now on watopia’s wasteband there are spots where the A robopacer speeds up from 44kph to 47kph for no reason with no gradient change or players in front of the bot. I was even dropped at the descent into the ocean. I did a surge and held way above the bot’s w/kg (I’m 74.7kg, bot is 75) and gained no time.

I’m not the only one who has noticed this as well. Speaking to Nathan Guerra, he has noticed this too. I’ve also seen it on a live stream watching Caleb (ClickbaitRacing on cool guy)

Anyone know what’s up?

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