RoboPacers - An Open Discussion

Hey folks,

An impromptu post here as I’m keen to have a chat about the current state of RoboPacers. I’m asking in a conversational way, and nothing we discuss here in the thread is indicative of what we will or will not do to change them.

Specifically, I’m curious to hear your honest thoughts about:

  • What you like about RoboPacers - what keeps you riding with them? Why do you choose them over other activities in Zwift?
  • What you don’t like about RoboPacers - what dissuades you from joining one? What do they lack for you?
  • What you’d like to see from RoboPacers in the future - what does your dream RoboPacer look like? How would it function?

Let’s talk! I’ll keep this thread open for ~10 days to keep the conversation on topic and timely.

Ride On. :ride_on:

“What would i like to see from RoboPacers in the future”

The ability to have my own RoboPacer that i can set it at whatever w/kg i want it to ride at.

Eg: I want to try stay with my own RoboPacer going up Alpe at say 3.5w/kg


  1. Yes, I like them. When I want an endurance/tempo steady ride, better a pacer than a workout. It teaches you the pack dynamic and how to ride steady.
  2. nothing
  3. I’m ok
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Quick fire answers… As I used to really like the bots, route choice and dynamic pacing has kind of made that wane a little.

Jump on, switch off, ride with a group.

Event RPs on the Alpe are a great motivator.

Routes need a review - rotating only 8 is poor. Some of the routes need a refresh. Where is figure 8 etc

If you won’t put them in the Alpe as it’s not a looped route (really how hard is that to fix) put them in Innsbruck where there is a looped route to support climbing.

Current Dynamic pacing at the higher paces needs looking at - it’s been covered many times but if the bot increases it’s power by 10% the user has to increase power by about 30% due to coming out of the draft and then increase in power. Scale the increase.

In the complete opposite to the above, pacers with variable pace to support training 10 or 20mins at a specific pace with 5/10 min recovery (but the ability to jump between bots kind of fixes it)

If 1 person rides with a bot on average (A)? Is it worth being there?

Just run 3/4/5 bots on Tempus all the time - Give the people what they want…

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So you’d be looking for intervals here, essentially? X% above advertised pace for a time duration, then a set amount of rest before starting the interval again, rinse and repeat.

Would you imagine this would be on flat courses? Or would you want to see something like hill repeats worked in there somehow as well?

use the other worlds for the bots rather than just watopia and makuri islands, personally i enjoyed them being in france


RP’s are so much better in PD 4.1 now. So much more consistent with the dynamic pacing now quite reasonable in its variability. I use RP’s because I want a group ride at an advertised pace that doesn’t blow up out of control within the first minute. I’ve basically given up on group rides.

I would like to see the board show the route metric of “metres of elevation/km distance” to be able to determine how hilly the ride is relative to the other route options.

I would like to have a standard distance for the bubble to stay in to earn drops. over 30 metres is the warning zone , over 50 metres for 20 seconds is the reset point (and a timer should appear with countdown). Metres away from RP should appear on screen both in front or behind the RP.

RPs should be available in one of the other worlds that are on tap that day.


Yes very much dynamic intervals, you are essentially running an always on training session with others - course selection or hill repeats is interesting option to mix it up.

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[quote=“Alex Pond [mbrc], post:7, topic:611048, username:Alex_Pond”]
I’ve basically given up on group rides.

This is interesting to me… I wonder if this is because group rides on Zwift suffer from what a lot of IRL group rides do, which is that they’re viewed as unofficial races for the folks riding as opposed to “hey we’re sticking together in the group for the whole route.” Or if it’s a different approach/expectation that produces the same results.

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I would love to see the Pacer Robots on the Sand and Sequoia circuit. It is surprising that this circuit is no longer used.
Always keep a fast Robot Pacer on the Tempus Fugit circuit.

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Not like these robotic killing machines, back to being more human please.


Things I would like to see:

  • More world/route variation including routes with long climbs
  • An option for riders who prefer a static pace, or at least not increasing pace on climbs
  • More paced events that complete a route from start to finish
  • Ability for community organizers to request pacers for an event

I realize not all of these things are broadly popular but it would be nice to be able to expand the offerings enough to satisfy people who don’t just want to motor around Tempus Fugit (as well as those who do).

The main thing that dissuades me from using the pacers is that I benefit from having a ride that completes a route from start to finish. I’ll stay on the bike a lot longer if I can plan to complete a route compared to the indeterminate nature of the current pacer rides.

  • I like that RoboPacers are consistent. I Zwift because it eliminates variables I’d encounter cycling outdoors. The Pacers build on that - I know what I’m getting every time I ride with one. (which is almost every ride)

  • I dislike when a RoboPacer route change forces me to think about which one I’m choosing, or make a compromise. Either a route is too hilly (“Three Little Sisters”), or too short. (Watopia Flat route for 50km gets boring)

  • I’d really like to see long, flat routes for the RoboPacers, maybe even custom routes (badge or not)

For context: I’m a solid Cat-D rider who can ride with Bernie all day, Miguel on a good day. I used to be able to keep up with D.Maria for long periods but I’ve slipped a bit. Frequent, longer Zone 2 rides are where I’m at.

EDIT - forgot to mention I do love the new Teleport function. Warmup and cool-down with lower power RoboPacer, some steady-state riding in the middle. For any minor gripes I have about the RoboPacers, unless they change drastically for the worse, I will likely always use them.


Are there existing long flat routes that you’d like to see them on or do you envision something new?

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I would love to be able to do this! Then you could pace your efforts.
But also- if Zwift made it so that you could let other riders see the pace you create (or not, if you want to ride with a bot by yourself. You could also have it be visible to specific people of your choice/followers or make it public). That might solve the problem of “can’t please everyone”- some people want pacers on climby routes, others don’t, and there are tons of specific cases people would want a pacer in. But every need is catered to if we can say “I want a dynamic/static pacer at x w/kg for y laps or minutes of route z on this world”.
If we could create our own pacers and let others join you, you could preserve both the “pacer” side and the social side.
And I don’t think the main 8 pacers would lose too much popularity. Just keep them going for consistency/something to always be there. Then have a list of “Find Public Pace Partners live now” where you can see what others’ public pacers are doing, and if you want to join them you can.


There are some routes I like that are in use already…

…but custom would be nice.

OH, and The Magnificent 8, which appears to be Event Only.

EDIT - this month’s RoboPacer schedule illustrates my frustration:

Bernie’s stuck on a repetitive, 8km “Loch Loop”, or 707m of climbing on “Big Foot Hills.”

TL;DR: Gimme long+flat all the time.


It’s much more engaging than a workout, can roughly determine from the outset how much effort you want to expend and over what kind of timeframe, and none of the race pressures to work any harder than you had planned (or find that you didn’t do as much as you wanted).

Teleporting has really helped with RP riding specifically. Joining quickly from another event, changing paces, re-joining after a wrong turn or getting dropped.

I didn’t like the unpredictability of the pace due to pack dynamics (slingshot effects etc), size of group, amount of elevation which all makes a difference to any given RP ride. It can be a bit of a lottery when you open up the homepage to choose your preferred RP.

The banding could be improved - 5m in front/ behind is too little, and helpful to see how far behind you are, just like it shows how far in front you are. Also there’s no flashing or countdown warning to being dropped when a group drifts too far ahead or lags.

For RP rides, I’m not a fan of the shortest loops, too monotonous. I’m also not a great fan of flying round and round a flat loop with 50 others. Ideally I like at least 25-30k+ route lengths to ensure variety with some up or down elevation, flat and rolling sections. Makuri and France have been decent in this respect. Each section provides different pack dynamics which keeps me distracted sufficiently from the ticking clock…

More alternatives for each RP level would be great (maybe 3-4 instead of 2) and/or more frequent changes. 2 options for 1 week rotating over 8 weeks is quite limited.

Having more events with RP’s would definitely encourage me to do them more often. Otherwise for me, I broadly stick with workout (least), RP (most), and a visit to the climb portal when I’m feeling motivated.


What is the benefit for your specifically completing a route? Are you looking for badges for those routes? Is it perhaps cleaner looking data when the full route has been ridden?

Does the week timeframe for routes feel about right? Would you like to see that time frame changed at all (longer, shorter, etc.) so that you had more or less routes per week? Or would you just like more routes in the rotation before they come back to one?

Thanks, I was scolded on Facebook for suggesting that Tempus is flat so had to ask. :upside_down_face:

Magnificent 8 needs to be a badged route on the menu at all times. A lot of people were confused during ToW about that, asking why no badge.

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It’s about motivation to keep riding the distance. I have all the badges except PRL Full and I may not need that one. :grinning: What I need is some impetus to keep going for longer. I’d happily ride Dust In The Wind alone rather than join a pacer for some unknown period of time that usually ends up shorter than I imagined. It’s a mental weakness problem that is helped by having a feature that counts down to the distance I need to complete.

I guess another way of handling this is to allow the user to supply a time or distance that they intend to complete and count down to that finish.

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