Anti sandbagging and other areas that need development and communication

I have a hard time seeing what the point of the W/kg category system would be apart from advantaging heavier riders in B–D cats, so why even bother arguing about it? It is what it is, and of course should be replaced by results-based categories, but…



Although I don’t think you need promotion and relegation - you just need the ability to split pens by whatever method the race organiser deems appropriate, and enforce those pens. Pen enforcement, not cat enforcement.


I would suggest 2 reasons:

1 - without pen enforcement the rankings are junk
2 - there are significant flaws in that ranking system as it is applied today, not least the fact that it times out completely after 90 days. If it was just taken as it is the vast majority of riders would be in the lowest pen


  1. Pen enforcement
  2. Ability to split pens by Race Organiser determined logic
  3. Apply a decent ranking algorithm (which can then be used as a pen split technique if desired)

Yeah that makes sense. My question was more why it seemed to be ignored at least as a starter for 10 when WTRL started their (what seemed like over complicated) attempt at inventing a new performance ranking system.

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It find it offensive calling a 100kg person HUGE.
I went from 120kg to 90kg that is a 30kg difference and I can tell you the flats did not get harder but the climbs got significantly faster.

Not true. See below.


  1. I don’t know why you use w/kg on a flat road to compare effort use watts on the flat road. See how little amount of work a light person do on the flat road.
  2. It is the same as IRL. Stronger riders are faster on flats.

And, yet, the heavy rider is having to spend a HUGE amount of energy to exert the extra power enquired enquired just keep going… you light riders seem to think heavy people are robots unbound by fatigue, energy limits, etc… not a single acknowledgement to that.

Interesting that your post also suggests that you think heavy people are just there to give you a draft!!! Hope you’re happy to drag the heavy people up hills!!!

When we want Zwift to take us seriously with regards to racing development, this entire debate is not helping.


If the ‘3.5 W/kg light rider’ and the ‘2.7 W/kg heavy rider’ are in the same race on ZwiftPower, despite them both finishing at the same time, the 2.7 W/kg rider will happily place in C cat but the 3.5 W/kg rider will be DQ’d and told they should be in Cat B. Despite them being exactly as fast as each other.
It’s an oddity that is caused by the ZwiftPower W/kg Cat limits.

A single experience data point / anecdote:
I’ve had to push 3+ W/kg in a group ride recently to hang on to a leader and blob doing 2.7 W/kg. In that case the leader outweighed me by about 20kg. I managed to hang on for 25 minutes before I was unceremoniously shelled out of the blob. Faster group rides are always a bit of a gamble in that respect in regards to how heavy the leader is compared to me. You can never be quite sure if you’ll be at the advertised pace when the leader is doing the advertised pace… I’ll keep gambling though as what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger! :slight_smile:


As someone who is more representative of that guy than a pro team rider, muscle mass and an element of training is really what matters more than simple weight mechanics, but of course Zwift does not have a mechanism to take that into account. I personally think light vs heavy is a bit of a sideshow as it’s also the physics from that weight and the applied aero/weight from the bike and the rider height. You just can’t see one of the more important metrics at play.

It would be great to hear about plans for the future, with a rankings-based system as the headline. Or some kind of intended plan, anyhow. Zwift Classics were more just testing than actual events to me, and I think it would have been more sensible to label them specifically as test events rather than something flashy.


This is amusing, it’s the heavies vs the lightweights… the age old battle.

It’s hard for me… no it’s hard for me… Mein Leben!

Zwift, as it currently works, with it’s capped w/kg based system, rewards heavier riders producing the same w/kg. Arguing that it doesn’t because you are a heavier rider doesn’t change the math. Just except it and crush us lightweights on the flats.

Heavier riders are there to take me to the finish :joy: It is literally their job.

People assume a lot. For example, I’m light at 60kgs. One poster assumed I’d like climbs.

Incorrect. I’m a sprinter, a very light one.

Given that Zwifts algorithm favors w/kg above everything else, it means that your w/kg over 15s generally reflects your results in a flat race.

In real life, I often have a hard time beating very powerful heavier sprinters, as it’s w/kg vs CDA. In Zwift, it’s flawed. My peak of 19w/kg and 15w/kg 15s generally wins.

So, I don’t care. Yes the flat is a little harder for lightweights, however if you’re the rare lightweight sprinter, Zwift massively favors you.

Like I said, it’s a game, it’s monumentally flawed.

What I do care about is simply stopping stronger riders, or better put, cheaters, entering lower categories and ruining the races.

That’s it.

I’ve recently just started doing private races with a large coaching group. Vastly better than the normal cheat festivals. Amusingly, we actually caught one of our own riders blatantly cheating, very awkward when you know them in real life…

If you’re not cheating, you’re not Zwifting :grinning:


So very true :joy: I think that boat has long sailed in the meantime.

Hey @xflintx, @shooj, and @Mark_Cote, I hope you and your colleagues are well, and as excited about the new Zwift season that is finally upon us!

As loyal paying customers (it has been 5 years for me now!), we sure are excited about the raft of innovative enhancements and development that Zwfit HQ have no doubt been cooking up over the quieter summer months, ready to drop on us at any moment!

As part of the exciting 2021 development road map, what is the current status of category enforcement for existing categories?

All racers agree that it is not a silver bullet for the sandbagger issue, but it will go a long way as an interim / tactical measure to reduce the issue of riders punching down and riding in lower categories than they should. This in turn will really help the riders at C or D level who don’t enjoy being dropped immediately by riders who should not be in their category.

Really looking forward to your response!


Also, belated 6 month birthday to my thread!

We’ve certainly come a long way from the list in my original OP. Zwift moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.




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