"Upgrade to next Robo" / Auto teleport if continued pace pushing in front of RP

It seems there’s still lots of chatter around folks feeling like the bots vary so much; and it’s actually because they can and do, and it entirely depends on how large they get… and some groups get to be insanely large.

To decrease the number of consistencies, a system should be implemented that if you are constantly ahead of an RP for X time, force upgrade you to the next faster Robo.

By doing so, it will prevent upsetting the actual ground speed that the RP should be doing in a static test, and thus limiting the increased wattage required by varied weights of those riding in the group.

Just as group rides, folks sitting in front of the yellow beacon can cause havoc on the overall pace if they get aggressive enough.

There should be zero reason for folks to join a pace partner and be constantly pulling the robot along.

By force / optionally upgrading people to the next faster bot, means it will fill up higher paced bots, and paces will normalize to what they should be.

As for some reason, people will join a bot, get warmed up, but then continue with said bot for the remainder of their ride time, but only sit in front of it, instead of using the teleport feature to take them to the next faster pace, which would be better suited for their “warmed up” pace.

At least from my personal experience, the further up you get from Coco, the less riders there are by a large margin; Coco could have 300+ riders, Yumi <100, and Jacques <20.
Yet what we end up with, is people sitting in front of Coco for an entire hours at a time constantly sitting in front; when their pace is more accurate to that of Yumi or Jacques.

An automatic upgrade similar to that of joining a group ride when the pens open up with a countdown timer and a warning:
“You’ve been pulling ‘Coco’ for the last 5 minutes, do you want to stay here?”
If no response; force teleport to Yumi.

A bonus would be the multiplier from the previous RP continues instead of being reset.

I definitely wouldn’t want the default to change pacer - ever. I could imagine the prompt being “You’ve been pushing the pace for ‘x’ mins, would you like to move up to ‘y’ pacer?”. Then they are giving you an easy way to upgrade but not forcing anything.

Choosing a pace partner for me is a combination of desired average pace, and route. Because I don’t like big swings in power in a pace partner I’d rather go with Coco on Tempus than Yumi on a hillier route, but if Yumi is on a flat route I often go with Yumi, so I wouldn’t want to be auto-transported to a hilly route with a higher paced partner just because I am ahead of Coco on tempus for a while.

That said I’m pretty much never at the very front of the pacer group, I try to stick around the pacer regardless of what pacer I’m on, but I can imagine lighter riders might move up to the front on uphills for a while, and heavier riders would move to the front on downhills etc…

Remember that people in the group might have different goals, some might want to sprint off the front at every sprint banner, and rejoin the group, some might want to spend 5 mins pushing the pace and then drop back for the next 5 mins as some form of mini-interval workout, all of those are ok.

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I’ll say it again. Put the RoboPacers on TT bikes so that they aren’t affected by the draft of the leading riders. That will ensure a consistent experience.


There’s a limit to how fast the pack can pull a PaceBot, isn’t there? It’s still going to have a wattage cuttoff regardless of how many people are in front of it, which means that the pack is going to have a range of speeds. It’s true that the range will vary depending on the size of the group, but I think that’s pretty easy to predict before joining if you look at the size of the group from the Bot list. Big group = faster pace. To me, that just makes it a factor of PaceBots that people need to learn and keep in mind.

Kicking people out for being on the front seems overly complicated, and would also probably lead to a lot of increased anxiety in people. I’m in front of the Bot…am I too in front? Have I been here too long? Blech, too much drama for my workout :slight_smile:

Colin has the gold star idea here–Pacers on TT bikes prevents any riders from affecting the pace.

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For a while I really thought this was the worst solution ever, but ever since PD4.1.1, I feel like it’s becoming ever more true… but more on that at the very end of the following:

To Aaron’s point, I get what you’re saying, and yes having RPs on different routes does definitely throw this concept out the window a bit. But, you also say you don’t generally pull the RP along, so you aren’t technically “the problem” either.
Most folks will slip in front of an RP for a while, but it shouldn’t be “normal” for anyone to want to sit in front of an RP while within multiplier range either, and continue to want to stay there.

Figuring out what an acceptable timeline for sitting in front of an RP though would have to be up for discussion; sitting in front for 1 minute is definitely not what I would call pace pushing…
Sitting in front for 10 minutes…? Definitely should be considering a faster group.

I think some of the issue is folks get super ingrained that “there’s only one RP for me,” when that is pretty far from the truth.

I believe some folks might need a little push / encouragement to know that they could likely go up to a faster RP, and be totally fine, especially if they have a habit of sitting out front.

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Opposite for me. Afterthe last RP (alleged) fix I was forced to drop to slower RP. Even though overall speeds of the group are slower the effort is harder.

Zwift could also do better in reminding people about the teleport feature and how easy it is to try a faster RP and then drop back if it’s too fast. It was introduced back when a lot of users were enjoying the warmth outside and were months away from even thinking about Zwift.


For sure and absolutely, this is kind of what this whole concept is based around.

Meanwhile it isn’t totally uncommon to come across folks who would rather just sit in front a bot, and pull the group along, and seem to get upset if anyone ever mentions faster bots; as if they think they couldn’t possibly hang on to a faster group… when the reality is quite the opposite.

Some of this does unfortunately also return a bit to what Aaron mentioned though; which is when one bot is on a rolling route, and another is not, which is a bit of a roadblock at the moment.

The whole real point of this though is exactly that “hey you’re going much faster than this bot; why not go up to X robo instead?”

It’s one thing to join a bot, get warmed up, and pull away from them and eventually escape the sphere of influence drops bonus… but it’s definitely another to sit in front of a bot for an entire ride… Those people should absolutely be informed there are better options for them.
Because the reality is; they’re doing more harm than good… (but, you obviously want to put that in a lighter way)

But yes, you’re bang on James.
Some folks either aren’t aware of Teleport, or otherwise might not actually be aware of the damage to the pace they are causing (which then drips down to whether they care or not).

The lack of care is kind of the issue here though as well; as then you get a waterfall effect, of where folks wanting to be with a C robo, drop down to a D robo and then pull the D robo… etc. etc.

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Teleport is the short answer, but as Andrew says a lot of people don’t know about this feature.
Easiest (?) might be to add a Nudge comment to the Let the bot catch up % the catch up to the bot to suggest Teleporting to the next appropriate bot, also there are time where it’s just great to be part of the breakaway :slight_smile: or you just want to drift of the back.

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You’ll be told that it’s not possible, you cannot tow the robopacer faster. :wink:

As for leading the front, I guess they want to feel like king of the crowd.

You are right, it messes with the pace when a sea of pink jerseys are at the front in ERG mode at constant watts towing the group along faster.

Things are better when everyone stays behind the robopacer.

If they consistently sit ahead of RP then teleporting them automatically to the faster RP based on watts/kg would be great.

What else would help is two groups of robopacers, the heavier ones and 65kg versions.

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I thought the idea was to ride with the robopacers, not to always follow behind them. Isn’t it better to just accept that some times the RP will be going faster and if you’re struggling to keep up you can either be grateful for the harder workout or teleport to a slower RP?

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When you’re following someone, that someone is setting the pace.

If you’re in front of the robo partner, aka the “pace partner”, who is setting the pace, you or them?
Kind of defeats the purpose if you’re setting the pace for the pace partner, right?


Well, in a large coco group for instance you’re always going to get a bunch of people churning ahead of the bot, even if they aren’t pushing the pace for more than a minute at a time there will always be “someone” the bot is drafting from. I’ve never been in a pace group above 70 people where there was nobody ahead of the bot from what I can recall.

The lower attended pace partners (particularly the ones at higher power) behave much differently where people often just stick behind the bot rather than push the pace as they do in large groups.

I think it would be super mentally exhausting to try to stay behind the Bot for a Pacer group ride for any length of time.

I have no problem staying behind Constance for any length of time, it’s getting ahead of Constance I have trouble with :slight_smile:

After a few mins I’m way behind!


That’s kind of my point though; is if you’re ahead and pulling a robo partner for extended periods of time (10 - infinite amount of minutes), then why be with that bot in the first place instead of a slightly faster bot?

What is one trying to accomplish by constantly sitting in front of a bot, as opposed to floating naturally through a group; or as mentioned, sitting behind a faster pace bot.

All of this reminder is still sitting in the sphere of drop multiplier influence; so sitting in front of a bot the whole time is equally as “mentally exhausting” as sitting behind one though, as it’s doing the same thing, just at a faster pace.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you upgraded everyone who was ahead for more than 10mins you’d still have the same issue, and that is, people are always going to churn ahead and behind the bot, even those who are trying their best to stay with the bot - so at any point in time a large group is going to have some set of riders ahead of the bot, so for larger groups the pacer is almost always going to be drafting someone anyhow.

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I think I can see where you’re coming from, but can’t see why the who or what is ‘setting the pace’ matters that much.

Even if it was reasonable to dictate how to ride with RPs, the suggestion wouldn’t solve the ‘problem’ as there could be a succession of riders moving to the front temporarily (and some simply wouldn’t follow the new rule). Apart from that, there are other reasons that significantly affect the effort needed to keep up:

  • large or small group (more or less drafting)
  • flat or hilly route (dynamic pacing on the inclines)

So surely the simplest solution is that if you’re putting in more effort than you want, for whatever reason, then the answer is to switch to a different RP.

I find that most people in front of the slower PB’s are really not paying any amount of attention to what they are doing, as in watching Netflix or something like that. Especially on the totally flat routes…(Tempy especially) thats one of the reason I don’t really do those routes, of course doing laps of the same course for hours is just useless.

I have no trouble staying behind coco bot - it’s very easy. The hard bit is not ending up shuffled to the back and stuck there.

All very light riders face this in that huge group unless they sit on 3.5w/kg the whole time.

Yet as soon as the coco group hits a 1-2% section I manage to get near the front.

Solution? Endless course at steady 1% gradient! :wink: :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: then the bigger riders won’t be able to churn away so fast.

Jokes aside, auto teleport to the fast groups is a good idea, but it requires them all to be on the same course, otherwise someone doing Tempus isn’t going to like being stuck on a hilly “flat” course.