Best riders not using power meters

(P MAC) #1

Hi all,

I’ve been riding on zwift for a couple of weeks now and have noticed that many of the riders riding with lots of watts, like around 6wkg or thereabouts don’t have a lightning bolt next to their name which I’m sure means they don’t have a power meter. I noticed most of the riders were Japanese. Do these riders use something different to gauge what power they produce and is this only available to the better riders or just in asian countries?

(Gerrie Delport) #2

Paul: you can connect a dumb trainer with only a speed sensor to Zwift this is the most basic setup. 

Zwift will then use the power curve for that trainer to calculate the power you produce from your wheel speed.

This is a typical power - wheel speed curve.

(Nigel Doyle) #3

What amazes me is when you review the results on zwiftpower (when it’s running) and see that many of the top results are using smart trainers with only a sprinkling of power meters. You would think that the more serious riders and the ones averaging 300 watts and more for a race would be using a power meter as they would have to be doing a lot of training to be able to put out that level of power. I know I do for an FTP of 306 (power meter). I can only assume that some of these big number riders are using miscalibrated wheel on trainers. Either that or some of them should be riding Pro level. We won’t ever know until Zwift and or zwiftpower show the model of trainer being used.

(P MAC) #4

Thanks for the input. I take it then that zwift power being a basic setup is not really going to be used by the best riders ( as they use power meters) and there is a way to skew the figures on zwift to give you more power? I could do with some of that myself lol. 

Is there a way then to tell the difference of someone using a power meter attached to the bike and someone using a smart trainer? I assume by the above posts that if there is no lightning bolt the rider is using a non-smart trainer. 


(Nigel Doyle) #5

The lightning bolt icon indicates the user is using a verified power device (i.e. smart trainer or power meter). No icon indicates they’re using zPower.

If you use the Zwift companion app and click on a rider’s name then it will tell you whether they are using a smart trainer, power meter or zpower. It won’t however tell you the model. Then on in the results it will list the same (once the results have been processed).

The best riders in races don’t use zpower because many races disqualify you / exclude you from the results or don’t allow you to podium or don’t allow zpower in the A grade. Probably some other ones as well. A handful of races allow zpower and you’ll see some superhuman efforts like someone averaging 600 watts for the entire race. Total BS.

(P MAC) #6

Okay, thanks Nigel for clearing this up for me. I take it then that riders using this zpower at high wattages of 5w/kg and over for longish periods are in many cases cheating as usually the best riders who can push out these figures would in all probability own a smart trainer and/or power meter. I noticed on the KOMs that many of the fastest riders at the top of the list didn’t have a lightning bolt and just assumed those without it must have been the best riders on zwift. 

(Andre Hufschmid) #7

To be honest i hardly ever see a Z-power rider putting out somewhat of being human considered power. Its always at a level which is simply not possible and most of the time they hold it an entire ride. They also don’t wear a heartrate monitor to “mask” their real effort. I always ignore them. They must have some ego problem.

(Matt von Wahlde 7403) #8

I take a more charitable view and that they are teenagers, or are casual riders who just don’t take it as seriously as (some) of us do…