Suggestions and Comments re Pace Partner

Over the past month I’ve had a chance to try out Pace Partner.

Really enjoyed it because it’s a pop-up group ride that can be joined at -any- time and ridden for -any- length of time, and the Drops game keeps me focused (even though at this point I have no use for more drops).

Also, the Drops game keeps people lumped together, but since the group is often not huge, and there’s latitude in how close people must stay to the beacon, it’s not so cram-packed that your avatar is drowning in other riders.

Like a lot of people, I found Pace Partner particularly useful for racking up distance at a consistently average speed of 40 kph toward the Rapha Festive 500. Was super appreciative of that.

It was also very useful for collecting Ride-Ons for the 100 Ride-Ons badge. Although giving Ride-Ons has always been a popular activity during group rides, people riding with the Pace Partner seem to be almost silly about it. Thumbs are dropping continuously throughout the ride, and it sometimes becoming a deluge!

Suggestion #1: Pace Partner could be improved according to #4 in [Pace Partner Upgrades]: “Increase the ride assist when first joining the Pace Partner.” Four seconds was frequently just not enough for me when certain things occurred. Please consider raising it to eight.

Suggestion #2: Add another category between B and C. Riding with C on a flat route (currently Tempus Fugit) was nice for riding long distances. C in Makuri islands made it a little more difficult, but not too tough. However, I would like a category that stretches me a little further than C on the slightly hilly route. B does work because it is too much for me, especially on hills.

This is agreement with [Pace partners, and their pacing]

Here’s where I wonder about the math. The stated W/kg for C is 2.5, but I was able to consistently ride at 2.0. Yes, as a heavier rider I should be faster at the same W/kg on the flats compared to a lighter rider, but a whole 0.5 W/kg? Does that make sense?

For B, I had to ride an additional 0.3 W/kg when going up hills, so I burned matches quickly and was swiftly dropped. Setting the trainer difficulty to 0% might work, but even if it did, I wouldn’t want to have to set it every darn time I wanted to do a Pace Partner ride – instead, I would just not do them.

Again, I’m curious about the math. I find during all rides I have to ride at a much higher W/kg to keep up with the other riders on hills. At low speeds, where air friction isn’t a factor, shouldn’t a heavier rider and a light rider be the same speed when riding at the same W/kg? Maybe/probably there is something I don’t understand about the physics.

The bottom line is, with C too easy, and with B too hard, I speculate that – for me – a Pace Partner riding at 2.8 on a slightly hilly route, or 3.0 on a flat route might be what I need to be keep me on the edge.

Suggestion #3: Here I’m taking the opportunity to vote yes on [Rejoining Pace Partners?], providing the ability to rejoin a pace partner without stopping the ride. Maybe this could be done with pedal-assist or a power-up which you would get automatically if you get dropped? If it were easier to rejoin the Pace Partner, maybe people would be braver about joining a more difficult partner than they are accustomed to?

A option is to use a different Zwift bike. The gravel bike will make it a bit more challenging or the MTB will make it n8ce and hard


I don’t know your weight, but the C leader Coco is 65kg and rides at 2.5 wkg = 163 watts. On flat ground that would be about 30kph. If for example, you’re 90kg and going 2wkg (the .5wkg difference you mentioned) = 180 watts, you’d be about the exact same speed. On flat ground, the absolute number of watts is more relevant than wkg. So yes, in theory a .5wkg difference can exist. As Gerrie mentioned, try a MTB to increase difficulty. Alternatively, try moving to the front or off the back and get out of the pack’s draft or select a Time Trial bike.

OTOH, the B leader is 80kg and rides at 3.3wkg = 264 watts. On a 5% uphill that would be about 17kph. Using the same 90kg fictitious example for yourself going 3.3wkg = 297 watts, your calculated speed would be about the same. In this instance a need for additional .3wkg is a bit more odd since wkg typically equalizes speeds on inclines. Adding .3wkg to the 90kg example means 3.6 x 90 = 324 watts which would yield a somewhat faster speed than the B leader (in theory).

Trainer Difficult settings, as I understand them, don’t affect your speed (ie. your ability to keep up). If you put out 300 watts on an steep uphill with difficulty at 100%, you’ll go the same speed as 300 watts with difficulty set at 0%. A lower difficulty basically just makes it possible to spin a faster cadence if you’ve run out of physical low gears on your bike.

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Tried Pace Partner for the first time last night and it’s a great option for making unstructured rides more engaging.

I’d also like to see a greater variety of Pace Partners. I was using the 3.3 w/kg PP last night which was perfect for a sustained effort at tempo for me, but I’m sure I’d be dropped pretty quickly on the 4.2 w/kg option. Something right in the middle of these would be perfect for a harder workout targeting FTP. Also, because the Brevet PP is a big guy and I’m 63.5 kg and like to push it on the hills, I was finding that I’d always surge ahead on the hills and then have to time the effort on the downhills just right, otherwise the group would be bombing past when they caught up.

Tempted to try the Anquitel PP in any case just to see how long I could hold it for… :slight_smile:

Incidentally, I averaged just under 3.2 w/kg for one hour with Brevet even at my weight, so it doesn’t surprise me that people who are heavier will be averaging significantly less than 3.3.

The Brevet PP does 265watts, the Anquitel does 274 watts. Using on your weight, Brevet is 4.2wkg, and Anquetil is 4.3wkg. Ostensibly for you, I imagine the difference is that you wouldn’t find yourself surging ahead on hills any longer riding with A.

Anquitel is about the same weight as me though and there’s no way I can sustain 274w for more than 10 or 15 minutes, so I guess I’d be dropped on the flats. If Brevet is doing 265w on the flats he must be really un-aero, because I could keep up pretty easily at a little over 200w.

Interesting. Strange but interesting. Either very different height/aero physics being applied as you mentioned, or possibly did you notice that Brevet actually was lead-out and had no draft benefit for ‘himself’ so was lower speed for his output than otherwise? My experience has been that the bots actually get surrounded by the field both in front and back of them. Workaround you could try is riding with Brevet with a TT bike.