BANS Zpower from races?

Thanks for that detail. One of just under a million micro-icons on Zwift and ZwiftPower.


I used a zwift approved wheel on Tacx trainer for a few years before upgrading to a wahoo smart trainer last summer. The power curve between the two were very notable.

For fitness purposes and group rides, zpower if fine provided you accept thats its not an accurate reflection of your power.

For racing, folk need to upgrade…simple as that imo.


Exactly. If racing is not the most important thing to Zwift Inc. then they need to stop using it as a profit center and make it a viable sport. The first step in that is establishing a level playing field. In any other racing sport, there is a basic cost to participate. To make eSports viable, Zwift needs to make the field operate with at the very least similar equipment. If you can’t pony up for the simplest, cheapest smart trainer, then you’re relegated. Simple as that.

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ZP power has its place.
Most riders initially started with ZP back in the day.
I feel race organizers should be able to have races where ZP is not allowed.
I also feel race organizers should be able to require all racers to have a Zwiftpower account and follow the minimum category assigned by Zwiftpower.

A ZP user maybe inaccurate but if they are consistent, then no problem.
I’m not sure a ZP user is more capable of blowing up a peleton than any other sandbagger or someone deliberately in the wrong category.
In my opinion, there are bigger fish to fry than ZP.

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Allow Zpower to race with everyone else BUT make it obvious they are zpower (little lightning bolt can be hard to spot) AND make it so other riders can’t draft them (so it doesn’t spoil the race dynamics).

Not sure why that wouldn’t be acceptable to zpower, non-zpower and zwift?

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Could this cure be worse than the disease? Take a five person group, where one is using zpower. The zpower rider is fourth in line, and the fifth rider is on their wheel. But getting no draft.

The zpower rider, while offering no draft themselves, wouldn’t block you benefiting from the draft generated by other riders.

Also if you could easily identify the rider as zpower (say if they were ghosted out) you could allow for this when positioning yourself in the bunch.

So I think it should be ok.

Perfect solution would not be to have them in the race but zwift probably don’t want to do this and this approach is next best way I can think of keeping everyone relatively happy

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I also think zpower cause most problems when they sit on the front belting out a steady 450w. Not so much of an issue if they are just sat in the pack.

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Have you ever hade a ride where someone is on a TT bike, that break up the group pretty quickly until the TT is off the back.

I think having a proper ranking system will fix most of these issues.

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Agree ranking system would help generally but how would you apply this to a zpower rider? Would they have their own cat or would you include with other riders based on their zpower watts?

Not sure I understand the TT rider analogy. If a strong rider can break the group up (regardless of the bike they are on) then I’ve no issue with that. If they can’t subsequently hold the effort and go out the back (after have broken the group up) will that’s just racing isn’t it?

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A TT rider can’t draft so he needs to put out a lot more power tgan the pack so he opens a gap between him and the rider in front of him and that causes the rider behind him to be stuck to him (sticky draft) then the rider behind have to work very hard to catch-up.

No they will ride with everyone, if they win D cat they move to C if they that way they can be competitive. Once they get to A they will have to have a power meter to race in any race that does have seperated cats.

Also every race should have a E cat were every one start together and no matter what cat/rating.

I’m not sure how many problems are caused by ZP these days.
I rarely see a ZP rider, at least not often.
I think cat enforcement and a definition of sand bagging would help.
We also have to accept, most of us just aren’t going to be competitive in our classes as far as winning is concerned.
Just get used to sprinting for 50th.

a Cat only for Zpower i agree. Problem done and solved.
A cat based on FTP/Power i agree done and solved.
But when?
In 10 years i believe soon after the source code has been revamped.

Tackling cat enforcement and zpower aren’t mutually exclusive (though given the choice there could be a debate as to which one should be done first)

I race A cat about 3 times a week. I’d say on average now probably one of those races is spoiled by zpower. Understandably it’s got worse since start of pandemic - lots of new riders, no turbos available to buy and for some a lack of understanding that putting out a constant 5.5 w/kg is unrealistic for almost all riders.

I don’t think you have to compete for podiums for it to be an issue (or the zpower rider stops you competing). So for example on a flat course zpower can shatter the field with the riders with bigger watts being able to hang on. Without the zpower rider others may have been able to hang on until the end now can’t.

I’d also say by definition of the problem it will impact A cat more (but having said that I don’t race other cats so don’t have visibility of the impact there)

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I wonder whether Zwift hope this problem may just solve itself over time? When I started on Zwift about 3 years ago I would say it was 50/50 smart/dumb trainers. Nowadays dumb is in a tiny minority - if you do a popular race you only see one or two

Maybe they will be so rare in a couple of years Zwift can afford to just drop the support for them?

You don’t really know who is using a dumb trainer.
A smart trainer set at 0% difficulty is a dumb trainer with a lightning bolt.
While all ZP trainers are dumb, not all dumb trainers are ZP.

But the smart trainer measures the watts accurately regardless of the trainer realism setting used. Use 0% just means you have constant resistance regardless of incline. An effect you can replicate (though not exactly) by simply changing the gear on the bike you are pedalling in on a smart trainer with 100% accuracy.

It’s also the same as someone with a power meter in crank or pedals using a dumb trainer.

I’ve no issue with this as the watts being measured are genuinely being generated by a rider with this setup. Not the case with zpower which can massively overestimate

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Exactly so. I’ve seen this in C and B races many times. That’s the part of Sandbagging and Zpower that the apologists completely miss. These guys destroy the fun of the game. It’s cheating and it’s being ignored by Zwift Inc. [stamps foot]

Wrong. All the trainer difficulty control changes is the “gearing” of the trainer. You still need to put down the watts to make the speed. You’re not going to go up The Alpe faster at 0% TD nor are you going to sprint faster. It just means you don’t run out of low gears.

I’m surprised you think this Tim. You’re posting on here all the time and this is basic Zwift knowledge.