Category Enforcement Test Events - 21-28 Feb 2022

James, is there a formal Zwift definition for the weight of “superlight” riders?

There is not. My wording, not a company stance. Should confirm that we also don’t have plans to do anything about it either, but something we would consider if we deem it necessary.

Don’t think that statement has ever been written on this forum before.

Wish there were a lot more in the 7pm-9pm UK timeslot.

That’s a shame James.

I’d rate the 11 year old smashing everyone because of incorrect physics an issue. It’s obviously not a top priority. Nonetheless, it is rather annoying when it ruins an otherwise fair race.

Disappointing to hear that it’s not even on the radar.

I’m sure others have encountered the problem?

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I think I’ve commented more recently on this - we’ve recognised that work can be done, but want to get category enforcement finalised, a results based ranking system in place and then look at the reest.

What would be the downside if Zwift just set 50kg as the lightest weight that can be entered?

While it doesn’t apply to me, I know grown men I ride with that are right at 50kg or maybe under. So a 50kg limit doesn’t allow them to race?!

What exactly is unfair about someone that light? In real life, these guys I’m talking about hang on the flats and smash most of us on the climbs. Is it not the same in Zwift?

They could race, but at 50kg Zwift weight.

So penalize them? That’s not right!

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There are many instances of these lightweight riders having 5mins+ W/Kg that riders like I at ~81Kg could only dream of, so they can either sail off into the virtual sunset on hills or massively conserve their energy for later in the race, but they aren’t put in the correct CP formula category (or traditional Zwiftpower category) because of randomly chosen thresholds of 150/200/250/300 for C/B/A/A+ respectively.

As far as I’m aware, these threshold Watt values have no scientific basis behind them, they are figures that were pulled out of thin air and they have not been altered since the minimum rider weight was lowered from ~45Kg and since then there has been an awful lot of light youngsters being allowed to race with adults.

The Zwift physics model leaves a lot to be desired.

So the argument being made as I understand it, is that the game physics currently helps lightweight riders more than their light weight would realistically do. So IOW, everyone else is penalized when a lightweight rider enters a race. My question is which situation is the greater of 2 evils?

I’m guessing you don’t work in PR

I think the balanced answer is, the 200/250w threshold needs to be reviewed.
Does it need to be lowered?

Whilst we complain about sandbaggers at the B & C cat limit, there is also a huge amount of lightweight riders ensuring they never go over 200/250w respectively so they don’t get bumped.

Lol…I’ve made a stab at a PC PR release.

I think you’re definitely missing “streamline” in there somewhere

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I’m in agreement with Lee and others.

These floors are based on nothing whatsoever based in physiology or how it compares to its function in Zwift racing.

Why is it 200w and 250w? Do humans work in these perfect increments of power?

That alone demonstrates just how severely lacking in scientific review these floors are. If it said 193w and 241w, I’d at least believe that somebody had actually done some analysis.

I’m trying not to be negative here. The progress being made of late and timeline laid out is fantastic. It really is positive.

What confuses me is there seems like an obvious solution. Drop the watt floors by ten watts, see how that plays out. Would that not be a very rapid and easily implemented test?

Yeah, I’ll bite.

Those limits are in place from pretty much the beginning as far as I am aware. I’m pretty certain that nothing scientific was used other than a “I think these look about right”.

I’ve mentioned a couple of times before that we want to get CE properly sorted first, then results based categorisation. If there are things we need to look at after that (specifically those under, approx 50kg and being perhaps more successful than they should) then we will.

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Don’t forget the little people.

Surely getting those limits right forms part of the CE jigsaw, as you know CE uses those limits to set its drum roll please category enforcement.

Honestly… :man_facepalming: