Author Topic: Zwift Pace Partners  (Read 1840 times)

Zwift Pace Partners
« on: October 09, 2020, 05:52:16 pm »
These are bots that are supposed to ride fairly steadily within their limits.

PACE PARTNERS: THE BASICS
There are currently four Pace Partners, but only two have been active at a time. Generally we’ve seen them rotate by gender, with Diesel Dan and Bowie Brevet riding one day, then CoCo Cadence and Amelia Anquetil the next. Here’s more info on each bot:

DIESEL DAN
Yellow avatar
Weighs 82kg
Rides between 82-197w (1-2.4 w/kg)

COCO CADENCE
Blue avatar
Weighs 65kg
Rides between 163-202w (2.5-3.1 w/kg)


BOWIE BREVET
Green avatar
Weighs 82kg
Rides between 263-320w (3.29-3.9 w/kg)


AMELIA ANQUETIL
Red avatar
Weighs 65kg
Rides 260w+ (4+ w/kg)

I thought I'd have a go and chose Coco Cadence's group thinking it would be about right for me.  As it turned out I found it very testing on flat route with quite a large group.  I managed half an hour, and averaged 2.78w/kg.  However much I stayed in the peloton, it didn't seem to make it easier though.  Our average speed was 40.1km/h so I guess the peloton did help quite a bit really.  It's a good way to stretch your limits! 
Sic transit and all that..

Fennec

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 05:00:48 pm »
I did 90mins with Coco a couple of weeks back. I averaged 2.5W/kg. It felt quite easy in the group , so towards the end I went off the front - despite working much harder, I only pulled out a handful of seconds on the group.

I had another go the other day, but I guess she was having WiFi problems as she kept dropping out. This wouldn’t have been a problem if she hadn’t rejoined at the spot she left, by which time the group was a fair way down the road. Judging by the chat, this is common.

So far I give them 7/10. Good concept, I think, but they need to work on reliability.


fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2020, 10:08:52 am »
There are a couple of new ones on different routes. May be a halloween thing- they do like an Easter Egg at Zwift HQ.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2020, 09:22:01 pm »
I did 90mins with Coco a couple of weeks back. I averaged 2.5W/kg. It felt quite easy in the group , so towards the end I went off the front - despite working much harder, I only pulled out a handful of seconds on the group.

I had another go the other day, but I guess she was having WiFi problems as she kept dropping out. This wouldn’t have been a problem if she hadn’t rejoined at the spot she left, by which time the group was a fair way down the road. Judging by the chat, this is common.

So far I give them 7/10. Good concept, I think, but they need to work on reliability.

I'll have to give it another go.  To be honest I wasn't sure what was going on half the time maybe due to the large peloton surrounding Coco.  And my drafting skills seemed to be failing me unless it was the Wifi not keeping up..   On the last solo ride - Innsbruck KoM - I was 2.657w/kg over 38 minutes so I should be ok with CoCo's group for that time.  It's good to have a challenge.
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2020, 09:50:12 pm »
Reading the Zwift forum, it seems something maybe up with drafting at the moment, especially in the middle of a pack. It seems the jinking/lateral movement that your rider does is actually adding up to extra kms travelled for some people over an hour or so's ride, which it seems can more than nullify the draft boost. Those affected are saying that riding at the very front or rear of the pack (where there are fewer other riders around for your avatar to try and "avoid") brings it back to normal.


So it might not just be you!
Back in the saddle :)

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2020, 10:30:01 pm »
I did notice that, if sitting on someone's wheel when the two of us passed another, solo, rider, I could get dropped in the process. Seemed as though even the one rider interfered with the slipstream enough to make a difference.

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2020, 11:47:51 am »
I tried a ride with CoCo Cadence earlier this week, riding in a group feels like I haven't really been on the bike at all! 

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020, 01:08:55 pm »
I tried these today. D seemed pointlessly slow, at least for the five minutes I bothered with. C was more like it but then my chain came off (knackered chain ring) and it looks like the only way to get back is to quit the game and start a new ride?

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2020, 04:11:53 pm »
I tried these today. D seemed pointlessly slow, at least for the five minutes I bothered with. C was more like it but then my chain came off (knackered chain ring) and it looks like the only way to get back is to quit the game and start a new ride?

Either that, or try in vain to catch up or wait for the pace partner to complete the circuit and return to your position again.   The pace partner position is the same for everyone, it's as if they're a real person on Zwift so in order to ride with them you have to be present on the same part of the circuit as the pace partner,  restarting the ride will achieve this quicker, but there's nothing stopping you from continuing to ride regardless.

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2020, 09:58:12 am »
I tried a ride with CoCo Cadence earlier this week, riding in a group feels like I haven't really been on the bike at all!

Don't think it can have been working proper-like when I tried then! 

Went to have another go Saturday and nothing there so I had to settle for Ven-Top again instead >:( :facepalm:
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2020, 07:14:03 pm »
I tried a ride with CoCo Cadence earlier this week, riding in a group feels like I haven't really been on the bike at all!

Don't think it can have been working proper-like when I tried then! 

Went to have another go Saturday and nothing there so I had to settle for Ven-Top again instead >:( :facepalm:.



The pace partner is only available in Watopia, so make sure it's selected and the pace partner option should show somewhere on your screen.

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2020, 04:24:13 pm »
I tried a ride with CoCo Cadence earlier this week, riding in a group feels like I haven't really been on the bike at all!

Don't think it can have been working proper-like when I tried then! 

Went to have another go Saturday and nothing there so I had to settle for Ven-Top again instead >:( :facepalm:.

The pace partner is only available in Watopia, so make sure it's selected and the pace partner option should show somewhere on your screen.

Thanks I found her on the menu and joined the ride but there was no sign of CoCo! :'(

Did half an hour averaging 2.6w/kg in a group.  It was more like a race in which I got a second ahead once for some reason and then got swallowed by the pack when they caught up. As for riding in a group being easier; not in my case, it didn't seem to make any difference for some reason. 

 

Sic transit and all that..

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2020, 12:01:11 pm »
Were you on the wrong bike?

No seriously, you get no draft on a TT bike, and have to work harder for the same speed on a gravel or MTB unless you're on the dirt roads in the jungle.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2020, 08:24:50 pm »
Were you on the wrong bike?

No seriously, you get no draft on a TT bike, and have to work harder for the same speed on a gravel or MTB unless you're on the dirt roads in the jungle.

Checked the bike and it is just an Emonda not gravel or TT.  Fairly sure drafting was working on other rides although it's not so useful on the climbs and descents I've done lately.  Left feedback for them.
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2020, 08:21:37 am »
Yesterday I tried the 'Surprise me!' option, thinking I could use a break. They don't tell you what you are letting yourself in for, it's a surprise..

After an hour I had climbed 800m and got a road marker saying I was halfway, don't give up.. So I gave up.. Some single digit grades might have been nice and there were scarcely any other riders.

Surprised? Definitely.
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2020, 08:49:44 am »
There are some hard climbs. Any idea which you got? I haven't tried Ven Top (Mt Ventoux, in the France world, obviously) yet. In Watopia, the Alpe du Zwift took me 80 minutes. The radio tower climb, also in Watopia, is a bit less demanding, and the volcano climb is quite short and fun. I've just found this review of the Alpe by someone who knows the real climb, on which it is closely modelled, well.

Coming down the hills again is different. You can't crash, and there are no brakes. Doing 60mph round the hairpins was pretty unnerving, even though I knew it wasn't real. I don't like heights at the best of times. But the miles going down count towards your experience points as well, and you have just pedalled up - whether or not the route finished at the top.

I'd suggest doing most of the rides by choice (collecting the badges) first. Then you can do something to your taste. I haven't bothered with Surprise Me! yet - I'm keeping that for when I run out of new routes.

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2020, 11:21:12 am »
Ventop is almost 1500m and took me the best part of 3 hours; but the first hour was in a structured workout although I doubt it made much difference.

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2020, 07:39:56 pm »
I tried a ride in Group B, it was doable if I stayed in the group but it was easy to be dropped, I also noticed a 2 second lag between my effort on the pedals and the effort on screen which doesn't help either.  I was dropped and couldn't catch up after 6km.

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2020, 10:16:35 pm »
Ventop is almost 1500m and took me the best part of 3 hours; but the first hour was in a structured workout although I doubt it made much difference.
I suspected something like that, seeing the height of it. OK I'll save that one for a real wet weekend then :o

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2020, 09:47:37 am »
There are some hard climbs. Any idea which you got? I haven't tried Ven Top (Mt Ventoux, in the France world, obviously) yet. In Watopia, the Alpe du Zwift took me 80 minutes. The radio tower climb, also in Watopia, is a bit less demanding, and the volcano climb is quite short and fun. I've just found this review of the Alpe by someone who knows the real climb, on which it is closely modelled, well.

Coming down the hills again is different. You can't crash, and there are no brakes. Doing 60mph round the hairpins was pretty unnerving, even though I knew it wasn't real. I don't like heights at the best of times. But the miles going down count towards your experience points as well, and you have just pedalled up - whether or not the route finished at the top.

I'd suggest doing most of the rides by choice (collecting the badges) first. Then you can do something to your taste. I haven't bothered with Surprise Me! yet - I'm keeping that for when I run out of new routes.

They didn't say what it is or how far you have to go.  The only guides are the roadside signs which are very useful in real life too.  Maybe you have to summit to get the name!  I'll plan it better next time and then find out it's completely different..

Badge collecting is a good idea.  Just because I knew the real thing I have done Ven-top twice, first on the semi-smart trainer then on the Kickr  to compare. The times were very similar (no idea how long I took in real life, 5 years ago).  The Zwift version brings back memories of the real thing, including that moment when the radio mast suddenly appears over the shoulder of a bend giving a premature sense of relief that the end is in sight.  Then there's the Simpson Memorial and finally the last kick. 
Sic transit and all that..

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2020, 10:44:18 am »
I'm interested in trying the pace partners... For my solo rides, I tend to average around 2.5W/kg (based on current weight :( ) so I'm thinking I'd be better off with Coco Cadence rather than Dan Diesel, right? Or is she going to make my legs explode in very short order?
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2020, 11:29:35 am »
My brief ride with Dan Diesel suggested he stuck much closer to the 1.0 W/kg end of the scale. I found I could not ride slow enough* to stick with him. 2.5 W/kg should be fine for Coco.

(* crap humblebrag)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2020, 11:30:33 am »
I found I could not ride slow enough* to stick with him. ... (* crap humblebrag)

 ;D

Thanks for the insight. I might give her a go later.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2020, 11:37:34 am »
Hey, I ride at just under 2 watts/kg when I'm cruising and my experience matches grams.

Organised group rides are MUCH better than sticking to a pace partner.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Zwift Pace Partners
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2020, 01:34:15 pm »
I've certainly found some sportive-type events good fun. I've got round some undulating ones at 21-22mph, sitting in the wheels, which would be remarkable IRL. But it's just enjoyable to be in a group, however virtual.