RoboPacers - An Open Discussion

Couldn’t you just let your custom pacer be visible to everyone both in the world and before they hop in? Then someone could find the pacer and say, “oh, I like this pacer’s specs. I’ll ride with their group.” And maybe preserve the social aspect?

I enjoy RPs as you can jump on them anytime.

Not sure if this has been mentioned (I haven’t read all 146 posts!), but adding an RP calendar to zwift companion would be great to help planning which rides to do. Adding it for the guest worlds would be good to.

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I would like to see the drops boosted the further you go into the ride. First half hour is fine. Second half hour at 2.5x and then 100XP at 60 mins. Each half hour thereafter bump the drop multiplier by 0.5x and award 100XP bonus every half hour. The progress bar should display the time for that time interval i.e., for the 5 minute intervals “5m” would appear at the right end of the bar, for the 30 minute intervals “30m” would show. More incentive to ride longer and stay in the zone.

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Like other said, having a publicly available calendar on Companion would improve the RP/PP experience.

And giving them a kinder looking visual, obviously.

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Agree with majority that a few more different routes for the RP’s would be great and that RP chat needs to be helpful in stead of monotonous,
A new feature I’d like to see is to give clubs the opportunity to set multiple RP’s for their group rides. In that way a club doesn’t have to choose a set tempo for all members beforehand, but can let the members choose on the fly which RP they want to follow. And even create training options such as “close the gap to the next RP”. Or use the RP’s as a beacon to flock to after sprints and intervals. Ride leaders can shift their attention to fun and useful exercises and let the “pace policing” to the RP’s. This could feature could bridge the gap between RP rides and Club/group rides a little. And setting up RP’s .this way would be a lot less resource intensive than personal RP’s. Maybe a first step?

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this is a fantastic idea

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This is such a good suggestion!!! A simple checkbox, that’s it…

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That would be ridiculous…
That means people would disappear off into the horizon both ways all the time…

Think about it; if I matched Coco’s height and weight, my 2.8-3.0ish w/kg it takes to keep up with Coco would cut my virtual weight down to 2.4w/kg, and on top of that, add more drag by increasing my height…

That would put me down to the lower D bots, and ONLY when I’m around the bots.

I rode with Constance for a bit the other day… which puts me in basically SS/FTP power.
If I was auto matched height and weight to the bots, that means I’d be forced into my MAP power just to keep up.

What a ridiculous idea.
nonononono.

I fail to even understand what purpose matching height/weight would even be. It’s no good for anyone.

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This “problem” was fixed with the introduction of teleportation; don’t overlook it, it’s very useful.

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I don’t think you get it. First of all, if you don’t need it, don’t use it; what’s the problem? Secondly, if you matched Cocos height/weight, w/kg doesn’t matter, only power.

Teleportation is just stupid; you should not need to TP to a pacer all the time. Again: If you don’t need it, don’t use the checkbox… Just as with difficulty; if you don’t need it, don’t use it.

That’s what I’m trying to understand… WHO would that option even be for?

Why change things everyone should be familiar with, just to alter them with the bots?
All it changes is your normal bot may be one faster or slower; so… what is it actually doing that’s beneficial?

Things that are stat-altering, such as weight and height, have no place in Zwift; it just turns everything amuck; and you then run into the same conversations had in the CE race threads about how someone got beat by a 30kg 2ft tall 60 year old man with a 20 minute power of 140w screaming along at 5w/kg… just no.
It has no place here or anywhere, ever.

If you want rubberband mode, then do a group workout.

There are plenty of bots to choose from these days, it isn’t like the gaps of yesteryear; and if you don’t want changing efforts, go and do a workout with ERG enabled and move the bias.

And yes, Teleportation is a fantastic feature, where it allows you to warmup and go to a faster pace without having to stop (stopping, ending ride, starting a new ride, was the main complaint). Now it’s bundled into one ride; which is what [most] want.

All of these are new features to old problems.

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Dislike 4.6w/kg uphill with a heavyweight Constance bot. I didn’t notice that many real life riders pushing lots of extra watts uphill in Haute Route Alps last week…

Dislike the heavyweight bots, would prefer robopacers on mountainous routes that are closer to my weight (60-65kg).

Basically I’d like to have Amelia Anquetil back again.

But since that won’t happen, and it’s getting towards summer I’ll just do more real life rides and less on Zwift. I’ll be off now since these discussions get heated.

Agreed that makes a good point I’m not sure I’ve seen here yet.

The bumps in power are mostly okay (other than ripping the packs apart which… happen either way).

But on longer climbs it doesn’t make sense for them to have that much of a bump in power.

So an actual feature for the RP’s could be some sort of climb length power increase bias; which allows them to push the pace on shallow, and short climbs, but steep and or long ones, shouldn’t be altering the pace all that much.

I think right now they bias power based purely on grade?
When they’re on longer climb routes like Epic KOM, it doesn’t make total sense for them to push basically 1 robo pacer power above (ie: Coco to Yumi).

IMO, if you’re used to Coco’s pace in terms of your personal power, it only seems reasonable to expect that similar power ANY time you join.
And not end up in a case where… yes they could be climbing Epic; but you’d have to end up on a different RP but you aren’t entirely sure which. (I guess the main menu showing their averaged / live power helps a little here, but … something I know I ignore.)

Maybe someone who has done the RPs up more climbs can tell me I’m wrong, as I don’t see them do hilly routes very often, so it’s almost a treat when I do see them going up weird routes.

But it makes sense to me.
(Especially if this thread does end up giving us hill climb specific RPs. which does seem to be a request)

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This isn’t particularly helpful advice. The benefit of RoboPacer groups is that they’re (almost) always there. If I need to start a ride at 12:20pm for example. Chances of finding a rubber band group workout starting at just the right time would be pretty slim.

The point is there’s no actual solution to being glued to a RP, nor should there be one.

We have coffee break as a solution.
We have teleportation as a solution.

If you HAVE to be glued to someone; use a rubberband ride; which is… a bandaid solution.

But ignoring the two actual solutions just recently added to Zwift is… silly.

I guess I don’t see how either of those are solutions to the problem being discussed. If the issue is the RP goes too hard for certain aspects of the ride (let’s say on hills) you don’t necessarily have another pacer bot that is going the power you want to teleport to - if you teleport to a lower pacer it is likely running at lower power than you want otherwise that’s the pacer you’d be riding with to start with. Then you don’t know when to teleport back to the new pacer, I can’t really imagine using teleport used as a way to skip hills yet somehow keep the power profile you’re looking for unless I’m misunderstanding.

Also, if you take a coffee break that does not allow you to keep moving at the wattage you want either. You basically need to stop pedaling or switch to very soft pedaling from what I understand of coffee break. I believe if you pedal normally the coffee break ends and you keep riding as normal.

That’s still not a solution though because all bots are on different routes.

Yet another solution: if you don’t like that route, then try the same bot on the other world (or… double check the map before you click ride from the main menu, and maybe don’t ride with an RP).

The point to me for teleport is being able to warm up, and then join A Constance… NOT something I can ride with, without a warmup.
This is exactly why this feature exists.
Most people, once warmed up, are absolutely capable of going up to a faster bot, by one or two steps… This is an actual solution.
Does it change the route? Yes. Should that matter; no… but also see my point earlier about longer hill climbs should be adjusted for; not a power bias purely set by grade. (ie: I know I can’t keep up with Constance on long climbs because the power is probably well into my Z6… but I can keep up everywhere else once warmed up)

Again, I fail to see how changing my height/weight on the fly are solutions here…
Where; once I fall outside of that zone, where I’m with the now slower bot than I’m familiar with… I’ll breakaway and never see the bot again because my w/kg was shunted downwards by 0.5w/kg and my height would be dropped decreasing my drag a fraction of a percent.

Where on the opposite end of the scale; folks that are heavier than the bots, will now have to ride with faster bots; and once they fall out of that “adjustment zone” will get dropped like a rock off a cliff when their w/kg falls off from what the RP is, because they’re with something that’s higher than their actual w/kg.

None of this… makes any sense as to being a solution.

You’re talking about altering people’s w/kg, something EVERYONE here should be intimately familiar with… and wrecking it.
How can that be any sort of actual solution?

Again, the best answer to that is:

  1. Personal ghost partner (which doesn’t exist).
  2. Don’t ride with a RP because you don’t like the route or whatever.
  3. Workout mode, and adjusting workout bias.
  4. Make better use of Teleport/Coffee break.

If none of the above… then see Solution 2… don’t ride with the RPs because they don’t fill your needs.

RP’s aren’t meant to be a catch-all.

My response didn’t say anything about altering people’s weight/height. It did however say that coffee breaks, and teleportation didn’t solve the problem being discussed - and I explained why that is. “Not using a RP” and “workout mode” don’t either if what the person is looking for is an always available group ride at a reasonably consistent pace.

Did something change? I don’t remember any robopacer rides on Epic KOM recently.

I mean I’ve been away riding IRL in France, but last time I remember riding epic KOM with a pace partner was with 65kg Amelia Anquetil at 4.2w/kg.

I haven’t seen them on a climb as big as Epic KOM in a long time. (Not including the event on the Alpe but that was also some time ago).