Cat enforcement have ruined Zwift for me


Little background, I am a 61kg rider with an FTP of 241. For some reason I am forced to race in A now which is completely out of my league.
Looking at my ZP power graph I guess it is based on my 10M power as all others are way below A
Long story short I can’t really race on Zwift anymore, I tried A, but the 30s and 1M power of those riders is about double my w/kg.
I tried one race but lost the blob on the first little bump in the road and finished 6 minutes behind the second to last rider.

I really feel like there is a flaw in the calculation as I am not even close to an A rider but can’t compete in B now anymore rendering racing useless for me.

I have no idea how it has put me in A tbh, thought you needed at least 250w ftp anyway.My 1M and lower power is closer to C class than A.
Can someone explain to me how I would be able to compete with this power? Those guys have about 1.5 or more times my ftp.

3 Likes

like many you are still entrenched in zwiftpower for seeing metrics and determining things, cat enforcement doesn’t use zwiftpower AT ALL to determine which pen you are put in, figures you see on zwiftpower are largely irrelevant for determining your category as zwift still wont show a user what their numbers are in relation to the category enforcement

you are better off using intervals.icu and looking at your power curve on there to determine CP/vo2max

6 Likes

But i am really much much too weak for A class.
How did it calculate me into A ?
If it doesn’t use ZP than what does it use ?
Don’t get me wrong i like the idea of the enforcement but it seems way off in my calculation at least.

And it is not that i would want to end up in front or anything, but even in B i will never be able to win a race but at least there is always someone to fight.
A for me is pointless, I can’t keep up with anyone. Not even close.

2 Likes

it uses all your ride data from zwift and it only needs 1 effort above a certain level to bump you up a higher category but you are below the 250w threshold so might be a flaw in the4r somewhere

your critical power or vo2max somewhere on the curve is higher than that zwift determines to be in that cat so pushes you up Category Enforcement FAQ

1 Like

when i was weak as sh*t in B a few years ago, and more recently when i was A and wanted to do a long race like the KISS 100, generally i’d just drop back to the B or C group and sit on the back of them. it’s bad etiquette to rip their legs off and affect the race of a category you’re currently not part of but if you’re just sitting last wheel then nobody minds

1 Like

So all this does is that from now on i can never push myself for a certain time because even if somewhere on the power graph I am above I will get bumped up? Eventhough I can never maintain that effort any longer ?

I wish in that case they would also take into account 15s, 30s and 1m power as mine are c class level.

For me now i have to wait 60 days and make sure I never do an all out effort again to keep racing a bit fun. I really don’t think the CAT enforcement is intended to work like that.
I can’t race for 60 days now at least, or whenever that one fluke power data ride was done.

2 Likes

That’s not a race in that case but just a group ride. So you experienced the same issue ? Being put into an impossible CAT ?

well, not impossible, no. i can compete in A, that’s why i sometimes end up in A. but the KISS 100 A group is basically a 3hr long premier league race so for that specific race i would drop back to the Bs. true it turns into a group ride if you do that but whatever, training is training.

1 Like

Sorry to bother you @James_Zwift but can you maybe eloborate why I am an A rider according to Zwift?
Shouldn’t my ftp below 250w protect me from being bumped up, I really don’t care about winning, but I tried one A race but in don’t stand a chance staying with anyone.

Hi David,

We have an estimated CP for you of 259w. With your weight that gives 4.24w/kg which is comfortably above the 4.1 threshold.

Looking at your power profile, it shows you holding 264 for 14 minutes, after which there is a sharp drop off in power. Based on a number of these that I have seen, I think it sees the sharp drop off of you being able to hold similar levels of power for a longer duration.

Based on the information we have, your categorisation is corect.

6 Likes

Tnx for the reply

If it is really correct than it clearly doesn’t work for my type of rider which is unfortunate.
I tried A and it was a very annoying experience, guys doing 10-12 w/kg on short hills which is almost double what I can do.

Think I am just unlucky with my weight in this case,

Really hope the cat enforcement doesn’t become the norm

I would be extremely surprised if it does not.

I think you have to accept the fact that you are at the very bottom of your new category and should not expect to win races.

I am at the very bottom of my category and fully expect to be dropped on hills.

Have you tried entering events with a larger field? There should be other racrs like you in a similar situation, which would give you others to compete against.

3 Likes

I am afraid Zwift is not for me in that case, don’t really fancy finishing dead last in all my races. Kind of defeats the purpose of racing, especially when I am midpack B at best and was never put in A at ZP at least.

Only thing that can save my experience is adding 5kg to be able to race B, not sure my wife would like that though.

1 Like

If you know that you’re struggling on hills, that’s something you can train for.

Repeats of Watopia Hilly Route is great for practising maximal efforts on hill climbs, if you feel like trying to improve yourself in that category.

5 Likes

Yeah I understand, but with little kids and limited time I can never get close to the power of the A riders. I have time for maybe 2 rides a week.
This is why I am so surprised I am in the highest category, most of my much more serious friends who are quite a bit faster than me race in B or C.

Wish i had the time to train and get competitive but life is too busy for that.
Feel like i just have bad luck with the way cat works, but i understand it is impossible to find a system that works for everyone.

1 Like

David
You have another alternative.
Not all races fall under the relatively new CE category metrics.
You are a ZwiftPower category B. There are still races running under ZP category metrics and you can enter and race these as a B category.

However:
The %age of ZP races is dropping as CE becomes the norm.
The number of racers in each ZP race may be dropping (my no evidence observation)
Any category of rider can enter B category so your race may have several A category racers enter looking for an easier race.

I’m sure there will still be some suitable races out there for you they just might become harder to find.

1 Like

You could check out mass start races: Events

Or ones that don’t use Category Enforcement, as mentioned above by Ian.

3 Likes

Yeah that’s true, the reason i started this topic is that it get’s harder and harder to find those. Pretty much all the races I can or want to do have cat enforcement now, maybe it will get better with winter season but I am afraid the trend is more and more enforcement races.
And like you said there is almost no participation in the non ce races.

I am almost at the point of considering opposite weight doping by adding some kg. But that doesn’t feel right and is forbidden ofcourse.

I think Zwift is thinking that for every one that has a story like this, there’s probably someone else who now is in a different boat. That is, riders who never bothered to race before because they were in the bottom of a ZP category, but now find themselves somewhere else on the spectrum and races seem better now.

4 Likes

Racing is Art, to do the right play at the right time.

1 Like