Category Enforcement - How is my category calculated? [February 2022]

I got bumped into A cat after tuesday wtrl race after improving setting new 90day pbs for 2:30min to 4:30min when going up titans grove and then my 7:30min to 8min power, set a 5min 90day power pb in the Friday hill climb which seemingly didn’t affect my ability to enter B races but now I have to get destroyed in A races due to an increase in short term power

Hi, does anyone know, if there were changes on the CE Algorithm lately? Some riders in my team got from B to A without any great new efforts.
Can i find the cp and map boundaries somewhere? And information about the calculation?

Scroll up in this thread it is there.


Boundaries are listed at the top of this thread…

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If their sub ~3min power curve has lowered recently, that can cause their Critical Power to increase and potentially take them over the A threshold of 4.2W/Kg.

The original CP boundaries of 2.5, 3.2 and 4 W/Kg were increased around mid summer by 1.05, in order to give a similar “buffer” to the Zwiftpower categories using 95% of your strongest three 20min efforts.

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In our race series, we have a 3.48wkg 20min rider allowed to race C by CE…
3.48wkg in watts is above 200w for the rider.

If someone can workout how that equates to a sub 3.3CP I’d be grateful as getting queries from riders who are rightly miffed.

Currently it seems like CE is an incredible mess - started off on the potential right track but currently it’s a shambles.

Poor comms
Easy to manipulate
Confusing for end users
No transparency

@xflintx @James_Zwift can one of you take some ownership and communicate with the end users over this.

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Looking at the top of your B cat riders I think you probably need to look no further than the MAP performances they have put in during recent races.

From Flintx

Keep in mind that we originally published those values in February of this year (8 months ago) and have continually made changes based on user feedback.

Granted, we haven’t communicated every single one of those changes, and I understand how that isn’t the best.

I’ll personally make sure our documentation reflects this.

Here are the most current (as of today) values for open (men’s & women’s) categories:

I believe this is the most recent CE details posted on another thread by Flint.

  • A: 4.2 w/kg & 250W, 5.4 w/kg MAP (65 VO2)
  • B: 3.36 w/kg & 200W, 4.2 w/kg MAP (55 VO2)
  • C: 2.625 w/kg & 150W, 3.3 w/kg MAP (45 VO2)
  • D: Anything below C limits

And here are the most current (as of today) values for women’s specific categories:

  • A: 3.885 w/kg, 5.0 w/kg MAP
  • B: 3.36 w/kg, 4.2 w/kg MAP
  • C: 2.625 w/kg, 3.5 w/kg MAP
  • D: Anything below C limits

Note that for women’s specific categories, women do not have an absolute wattage value associated with their critical power (as is the case on ZwiftPower), and there is also no VO2 ml value.

Not easy to tell without looking at the rider.

I looked at your recent race but obviously don’t know if it was this one race or others.

1 or 2 riders stood out so all I can say is have you checked that the 3.48wkg 20 min is within the 60 day window. A couple of the best performers in your last race have good old history but not that much within 60 days.

it’s possible they were upgraded because a PR lapsed. ask them to retest their 3min max and see what that does for them

I can read & interrogate ZP as good as the next person, CE is becoming a bit of farce as the transparency just isnt there.

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Sorry I couldn’t help.

EDIT : could you explain your understanding of how you relate 3.48wkg 20 min to 3.3 CP. Do you consider FTP and CP are the same?

a very high short power widens the theoretical range over long durations, extreme examples include myself having 251w for close to 50 min in CE B at one point with a self calculated CP of like 245 or 247 or something. it’s physically possible, but it’s also stupid to base a category system on because when your short power is very high then your long duration CP becomes very hard to calculate accurately so it will take like an upper and lower threshold range and just split the difference, and the bigger your short power, the wider that range will be

someone who knows CP better than me can probably go into it in better detail. i only know enough to know that it’s stupid

This is why i use also ZP as a category boundary.

Zwiftpower Category (ZP) or Category Enforcement (CP):
Pen A: ZP Cat A or CP +4.2 W/kg
Pen B: ZP Cat B or CP +3.36 W/kg
Pen C: ZP Cat C or CP +2.625 W/kg
Pen D: ZP Cat D or CP -2.625 W/kg

It’s organizer job to give this guys UPG

Its a fair point but the counter to play the other side.

  1. Zwift says CE works.
  2. Zwift limit what category a racer can enter so everyone is in the ‘right’ category.

Based on those factors, should you be DQ’ing people for going over thresholds and trying their best?

In second guessing the CE process you re-introduce people riding to boundaries and not racing their hardest.

I also completely understand that this falls apart on point 1 above as its simply isnt working.

CE can be manipulated in a few ways…it’s not only short term power.
This is why most of the organizers are also using ZP Category limits.

Unfortunately, most 'baggers are well versed in the art of manipulating their ZP cat rating. It’s all a bit of a nightmare :scream:

Personally I think not all CE data thresholds should be made public otherwise Sandbaggers will soon learn how to manipulate it. When you are racing you shouldn’t be looking at stats to keep within certain limits instead racing as hard as you can.


So what you are asking is how does 3.48wkg 20 min equate to a sub 3.3 CP ? I should have read the post more carefully.

Zwift was not using 20 min it was using 95% of 20 Min for ZP Cat boundaries. Between C & B the boundary was 3.2 wkg ( call it what you will FTP or 95% of 20 min)

When they decided to move to CE they continued to use 3.2 for CP boundary. To me this suggested that they saw FTP and CP as exactly the same. There was some debate as to whether they are actually the same or not.

People got confused so a month or so back they posted that people were confused so let’s add this 5% back on again. This took the boundary to 3.36 CP.

95% of 20 min 3.48 = 3.306 (FTP and CP if you consider them the same)

3.306 is less than 3.36 so rider has ability to race Cat C under CE.

Hope this answer meets your satisfaction level which was clearly rock bottom with my last attempt !

It’s not that BLACK & WHITE as you suggest.

CP is not using any 95% … it’s calculated from Watts taken at different effort times from your Power Curve. If a Rider did 3.48Wkg in the last 60days…check his weight if it’s increased.

I think you mistook my response as a slight on your response… It wasnt… :slightly_smiling_face:

Is FTP & CP the same? In the real world they are not, but does CE equate them to be the same?
Does the CE use 95% of 20mins? I didnt think it did

edit - Dejan beat me to it