Anti sandbagging and other areas that need development and communication

You are a funny bunch.

This is a serious thread please keep it serious. This is no laughing matter. :joy::face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Of course you are aware we’re discussing a video game. A very serious matter, of course. :unamused:

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Enough bandying about…

After taking part in a race last night (anti sandbagging) I have to say my disappointment has pretty much-reached maximum levels and I will be scaling back, withdrawing from racing and dependant on the quality of the training plans vs other platforms may be withdrawing from Zwift. I say this not as a threat as clearly one person doing this does not really affect the financials and I am not sure Zwift as a whole are really worried or prioritise the customer experience anyway. Out of the cheats, two got coned within 2km, 2 got coned 3/4 of the way through and cones popped up at the finish and several didn’t get coned. I managed to stay with the pack till the sprint, but half the racers were blown out the back within the first 2km and must of received a very poor experience. Sadly I join my sons who tried Zwift several hundred posts ago in saying “there is no point, why bother” and yes it it is partly throwing my dummy out of the pram, but the reality is, until people vote with their feet/wallet very little will change and we will all just hang on for little nuggets of progress promised in the future like scavengers grateful for any little scraps. Pen enforcement has been discussed many a time, and I cannot possibly see how it can be that hard, although I have little knowledge of code, so may be wrong, but the lack of this and other improvements is indicative of the view and priority Zwift have of the customer. Ill still be on here and still hopefully take part in the debate as believe Zwift racing “could” be superb, but my interest currently in racing is limited and I cant see that improving until something changes


i definitely dont recommend zwift training plans. but the workout builder is pretty good if you want to make your own 40/20 or 2x20 sessions, ronnestadts or whatever. i mean i don’t do any of those but, you know.

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people do that in TTTs already. and if anyone reading this thread is in a TTT team and you don’t, then you learned something. you can roll right up to the start banner as long as you don’t cross it and then start pedalling about 2s before your allocated time

I’m sorry you feel that way but I also don’t understand why.
Zwift racing has had issues and there has been improvement.
Way back when Zpower was prominent, it was crazy.
Racing is certainly better and more consistent.
Sandbaggers and cruisers don’t affect your ability to race but they do affect your ability to win.
Perhaps you are too caught up in the details and you’re missing the good time.
We were staring at the wall and riding squares 6 years ago.

That is the whole problem they are taking away from the good time. People in the wrong pen drive the pace and close gaps that’s part of the good time. I want to feel like racing for that hour not wait to see who got a DQ.

The fun need to be in the race.


Not sure I quite get this, may be it is just me, but when you have sandbaggers and a false field it is not really a true race. More often than not I can stay with the pack, albeit blowing a gasket to do so many a time, but what about those who get blown out the back. Not sure they are having a good time, maybe they would of stood a chance if they could stay near the front, maybe I would of had more in my legs at the sprint rather than emptying the tank prior to keep up. All hypothetical, but what isn’t hypothetical is that me racing B and A cat riders will result in having zero chance and in a race that is not a good time, it is just making up for numbers and a poor excuse for the lack of action. I fail to see how the idea of “just be grateful we have something” is a good outlook for a paying customer


@Tim_Camden_C that is exactly wrong. Sandbaggers affect the ENTIRE race from the start to the finish.

Picture this: You’re new D Zwifter and looking forward to your first race. You’ve put down 2.4w/kg in a bunch of group rides and you’ve got a 3.0w/kg five minute so you’re sure you’ll have great time. You’ve read on Zwiftinsider about how to start and get placed in the pen. You are ready to go with 50 of your fake ride buddies.

Then the race starts and 5 of the racers go out at 4.2w/kg taking half the field with them. The field completely blows up and everybody is strung out with no pack cohesion. You end up riding the rest of the race by yourself and wonder what’s the point of this exercise so you’re not coming back for more of this sh*t.

THAT’S why we need to have pen enforcement as a first step to getting sandbaggers out of the C and D races. As far as I’m concerned, sandbaggers are bullies pushing around the younger kids just because they can. I know several people who don’t race on Zwift anymore because of precisely this issue. Don’t ever think these fools (I have a different word that starts with the same letter to describe sandbaggers) don’t affect the ability to race.


To try and help you understand, “we” weren’t all staring at the wall 6 years ago.

Some cyclists - who already had turbo trainers - were desperate for an innovation like this and the “tech enthusiasts” among them became the first beta testers for Zwift. Then came the “early adopters” - other keen cyclists with turbos.

But then, the pandemic sent huge numbers of new customers to Zwift - and many didn’t have turbos before. These “early majority customers” want different things, which is part of why you have gaps between the expectations of different people.

If you’re interested, there’s an interesting link below explaining the product cycle. Under the heading “The Chasm”, there’s even a sentence which seems to perfectly explain why Zwift may have dropped rowing:

“Segmenting is everything here: focus all your marketing resources on one specific segment at the time and make sure you become market leader in that specific segment before moving on the next one.”

I think the pandemic shot Zwift over the “chasm” - possibly before it was ready - and, through no real fault of their own, they’ve had to regroup and adapt to a new set of customer demands.


Would there be any value in giving each rider three different category ratings (flat, rolling, mountains), instead of the single category we currently have, by looking at the elevation of a course relative to the distance?

More than anything, I think like others have said, we need pen enforcement, to protect especially legit D and C riders (but also B riders to a lesser extent).

Having taken part in my first league just before Xmas, I hated how I had no way in Zwift to show me who were my Zwiftpower league legit opponents, so often there were numerous sandbaggers and others who weren’t on Zwiftpower at all.

I feel seen! :rofl:


That was exactly both my sons with their first race. They have not come back


Hopefully once there is cat enforcement (assuming it works as we hope) you can persuade them to have another go.

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They were quite excited about trying it after watching me race several times (I was not daft enough to mention the cheating prior to trying it), sadly their experience did not mention their expectations

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Certainly, yes, different ranking for different course types.

But first, ranking support period.

Making the assumption we have ranking support implemented and a way to set up races so that people are placed in categories according to rank, then having different ranking for different course types would be an interesting idea.

There is a slight issue on how to determine what a given course qualifies as (flat, rolling, hilly, etc) and who gets to determine that. Possibly also with a length qualifier (<40minutes, <70 minutes, >70 minutes, etc.)

And unfortunately not quite a decision you could devolve to organizers. If they incorrectly assign a course (e.g. Watopia Flat) to be the wrong type (e.g. hilly), then the results for that race would pollute the hilly ranking for all participants.

So, at some point, someone (Zwift or Zwift appointed) would need to assign each course a type, and that type would govern which ranking would be used if ranking is used for an event on that course.

First races IRL often have the same problem for new racers. This is not actually a Zwift specific problem. Just a problem being seen more often in Zwift racing because getting started in Zwift racing is a LOT easier than IRL.

Well, good news, ZHQ is adding pen enforcement?


I get that it’s fun to speculate on various improvements, but at this point I’d rather keep ZHQ’s eyes on the ball :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. Pen enforcement
  2. Organizer tool to split pens maybe based on a couple predefined parameters of which any number can be used: Ranking (at default or custom cutoffs), gender, age, eFTP or curve (default or custom cutoffs), and maybe Club if they can be abused to act like teams. Designate minimum pen for racers for whom there isn‘t enough data.
  3. Global Ranking TS/Elo style
  4. Seeding mechanism for new riders, whether it’s open races or a ramp test or eFTP analysis of a couple rides. This doesn’t need to be visible to organizers, but could be. Possibly the easiest way would be to maintain a 4-point curve (15", 1’, 5’, 20’) relative to Ranking and find a bracket. They’re not interchangeable, but it’s fine as a starting point and the racer’s Ranking starts shaping up from the races.
  5. More pens, more parameters for split.

It’s very hard to create systems that significantly improve on that and are not exceedingly complex and/or have massive pitfalls. The course categorization has already been addressed, but like… let’s say there’s a rolling start. What’s going to prevent the same folks who start at 600 W from a standing start from kicking it to 600 W when the flag goes down? Does it actually improve anything? Could be worth a try, just for the simulated real racing aspect… but positing it as a surefire fix to a problem (that not everyone even agrees is one) isn’t really ideal.