Category Enforcement Update - Weight Changes [December 2022]

it’s not just light people. please look at the start sheet for the ribble race this evening, which is CE. plenty of 70kg people with 4.4 for 20 on the start list


Yes, 26th May.

On ZP I intentionally came last of 4 but may have inadvertently beaten 3 others who were not registered on ZP and were minutes back down the road.

For one day only I was able to enter a C cat race and posted to that effect.

Interesting. Eg. 2nd listed rider is CE B, and the other 3 riders (1, 3, and 4th) are CE A (or maybe they volunteered to level up)? Or maybe they’re baking in heights into the formula and nobody mentioned :slight_smile: ?


Curiously, the posted ranges for the CATs on races I think further differ from CE definitions moreso than if they used the 4.2wkg+ for A (e.g.), but they’re using CE which isn’t customizable.

I was unreasonably happy when my doctor said I am shorter now. I was like “ooh I am aero!”

(Don’t ban me)


No. sorry if I was unclear. Those 4 rows represent 4 different people, 1 of which is CE categorized differently than the other 3. I’m not suggesting someone changed their height 4 times.

oh, now I see what you were saying… my bad

Deleted my comments

i should probably also clarify that i am not suggesting anyone is up to anything. just that it is apparently very possible to have a 4.4 20 min at a standard bodyweight in CE B. i see it often enough that i have no reason to believe it’s anything unusual

Happy to see the VO2 max value being discontinued.

I really think that someone that gets moved to a higher Cat should stay there for a while. For 30 days? 60? 90? more? It´s open for debate, but IMO 30 or 60 days would be fine.

Other point it´s the “MAP” values (4-6 min power according to ZHQ) … in my opinion 5,4 W/kg to get upgraded to Cat A is not a good compromise and I suspect very few are upgraded based on this criterion.


I agree and this is somewhat confusing (to me, at least).

I thought the idea of CE was that following a cat promotion you were “locked” into the new cat for 60 days unless you could provide mitigating circumstances (e.g. power meter malfunction etc).

So basically, CE “loopholes” (e.g. doing a max 3’ effort to depress CP20, and micro-manipulation of weight) would (do?) allow you to drop back down a cat within the 60 day period?

I agree, looking at the the power tables (which show % of riders at a certain power) the % of riders with a CP of 4.2W/kg is about the same as the % with a 5 minute power of 5W/kg, far fewer have a 5 minute power of 5.4W/kg.


Just want to say that the loophole is avoiding doing max efforts at longer durations when combined with doing a max effort at a short duration such as 3 minutes. A 3 minute max effort should be done to improve the CP accuracy so long as the rider has done max efforts at longer durations too.

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Thanks for the clarification Chris :+1:, that’s why I put “loophole” in inverted commas (because I didn’t fully understand how this was/is being exploited).

With regards the second point of my post; once you’re upgraded using CE metrics isn’t the new cat “locked” for 60 days?

I think it is recalculated every day so if you last did some max efforts used by the calculation exactly 60 days ago they would drop from the calculation tomorrow and your CP would change even if you don’t ride tomorrow, if the change is big enough to cross a category border then your cat changes too for your next race.

No. The best power values are retained for 60 days, but if a new PB appears that affects the curve, the category changes.

My example: a 12 minute hill climb race moved my zFTP from 235 to 257. I did a 3 min max effort and it moved to 232. My feeling is that my category was already correct before I got bumped up. That’s open to debate but if it’s true then adjusting the category back down is correcting something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Thanks Paul. I think the penny’s finally dropped. :thinking: :roll_eyes:

So your max 3’ effort indirectly adjusted (dropped) your calculated CP20 to a more realistic & accurate value (which was/is below the CE upgrade threshold) whilst the 3’ max effort in itself wasn’t sufficiently high to breach the CE threshold for short durations?

Correct, the 3 min effort moved my zMAP from 279W to 290W, but I’m still well under the limit at 3.88W/kg. It’s possible I could have gone a little harder, but I hadn’t paced a 3min max effort before, since I don’t do workouts like that and 3min max efforts don’t generally happen in races.



This was mentioned before, I think by @_JamesA_ZSUNR

Let´s remember that 5,4 is 135% of the old 4,0 ZP FTP limit (avg of 4,2 for 20min).

And there is something else that I talked before: lets imagine there is a 85kg powerhouse that can do 460W for 4-6min. If he fells he is improving that already massive value, all he has to do is increase his weight and he can stay in Cat B and continue to make minced meat of others in his future races.
A Cat limit without a raw power ceiling can be easily “gamed”.

What is the % of well trained athletes that can hold this massive raw power for 4-6min?

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My 2 cents about all this confusion people outside this forum will make with ZP Cats vs CE Cats; zFTP vs CP vs FTP; MAP vs ZMap, etc:

I think a much easier (and clearer) road would be to pick 3 or 4 points instead of this “black magic art” of analysing the curve.

For 3 points something like 1min, 5min and 12min.
For 4 points something like 1min, 3min, 5min and 12min.

Each point with W/kg limits and raw floors/ceiling that could be open for debate and small tweaks.

And people with better cycling physiology knowledge than me could debate and say if it would better to use 30sec instead of 1min or 15 min instead of 12min (I think that 20min would be open for manipulation by people that can finish the effort - like Bologna - in less than 20min).

But basically this 3 or 4 points would catch almost every type of efforts that decide races in Zwift (aside from sprinting). The final surge in the end of the flatish races; small climbs like the Leg Snapper or the ones in NY; climbs like Box Hill; climbs like the ones in Innsbruck, Epic KOM and Bologna.

Would be very difficult for someone to control all this limits in power, in real time during a race.

And with this, variable pen limits and pen enforcement in place turn all the dev big guns to a ranking system.

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Zwift power says I’m a B (3.5 avg 95% if 20 min) CE says I’m a C minimum now which I know isn’t right competitive wise I AM a B but maybe there’s a frame shift effect going on and some other Cs would hand me my rear end here as others shift categories?

No I won handily but it’s never ‘easy’ right but wrote elsewhere in advance how it would play out tactically and I’d win and did (before being DQ’d) just as I said, by the script. But DQ for UPG based presumably on my ZP cat while CE is also being used (and it does SAY ‘ZP cat overrides w/kg but my w/kg isn’t the w/kg they meant this CE zMAP busibess w/kg in fact drives ZP as it currently stands). I do know some of the nuances and why I was downgraded but in the CE era it’s now a somewhat confusing transition period.

I did this onetime C race as personal proof of principle. And have a suggestion at the bottom that may or may not be a useful bandage temporarily.

Others will disagree with me in doing this race … know a) heck I often cat up to As I typically am a rare entrant in that way I don’t want a rack of C wins, b) I do think your pov on not doing what zwift says we now can do is a legit opinion I respect that too be nice please I did apologize to my race mates and explained this briefly how I was following Zwift’s current algorithm but thought it was wrong (but maybe - I didn’t say this - a bunch of people like me would come and it would be a frame shift effect and I wouldn’t win. I did finish first thoughh, Handily).

The now winner is deserving made a bold attack and animated the race along the way earlier while I mostly sat in. His attack pushed my hand to attack out of the group earlier than I planned which I was able to do cleanly and fortunately I didn’t became a rabbit to the others too much → the animating attacker did finish next behind me he IS the winner all good in the Universe I got my experience/experiment and no one chased him before I did it would have been too late for them likely (?) and I thought I went in time but hey it’s racing could have not worked! He was aggressive throughout and bold in this well timed final long attack during the last lap, chapeau!!

So, lots of good discussion on the cat issues above. I don’t want to be reinstated (I didn’t write this to be about me) and don’t intend to likely ever race C again but now that I can feel what happened perhaps the excellent appreciated by me longtime race promoters want to newly reiterated that CE doesn’t work always now and signup for ZP and until further notice do not enter a lower cat then the letter there (others did as well 2 As in B and another B in C with me) or we WILL dq you. The ‘zp power overrides w/kg’ isn’t technically logical anymore (or something like that) it’s cool but since the same boilerplate has been used so long despite other changes a temporary refresh is one suggestion in race rules by promoter that may clarity their intent. Lots of changes cooong we’re all reading just my 0.02 in meantime ride on!

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If you are allowed to race in C you should race there if you want to…
The decision to open C up to you is out of your hands, it’s zwifts poor system that allows it.

I’m on the fence about upg for racers exceeding boundaries, as the boundaries are still being split by power, I probably fall in the side of they need to remain so as to keep things ‘fair’ but I certainly get why people think there is no need for them. If CE worked and was any good they probably wouldn’t be needed, it’s not great and is being gamed, so they probably need to stay.
(Not accusing anyone of gaming the system here)