Cheating (even if not realizing it maybe?)

(Josh Mac) #1

Saw some one recently on a KOM Strava Leader Board for the Zwift mountain climbs. Curious, since I like to see how much folks ride to do so well, saw that they don’t really ride that much, real world rides not even close to Zwift rides. Then noticed no power meter on the ride.

Think any leader boards or Jersey holders that don’t have real power excluded or separated.  Won’t solve all the strange things (like not calibrating the computrainer, which I ride with and would be easy to cheat on) but would prevent the inadvertent ones.

Just silly to see some one commenting about getting their KOM back when they are putting out >150w power average on the street.

(Andre Hufschmid) #2

Unfortunately you can’t look at the times on Strava…I did the same not long ago and its just a complete joke. The posted Times are far from even being realistic. There might be some people that don’t realize it but than again if you’re riding with 40Km/h up a 10% climb even the most stupid Person must know its not possible and something must be wrong with their configuration.

The wonder times you’re talking about is pretty simple. Most likely a 80Kg rider, which most of the time can produce pretty high watts, cheats on zwift and says hes 40Kg.

So lets do this calculation with 300watts:

Normal World:

300Watts / 80Kg = 3.75watts/kg


300Watts /40Kg = 7.50 watts/kg

Like many other people i don’t understand the point of cheating…result = zero = Boosting your Ego with false data


(Jim White (Broken Ribs)) #3

This is something that just drives me crazy.  Anytime I have mentioned it, someone pipes up telling me that I should only worry about my own stats.  However, when people on zpower are putting in insane times, it really defeats the purpose of attempting to have a competitive atmosphere within Zwift. 

(John Watson) #4

@Jim yup I got the same thing when I asked for a feature that would instance the world with people going at a similar level. Then the same people downvoted my idea to hell. People fudge their measurements with real power solutions too. Feels like playing FIFA pro clubs… you gotta mess with your avatar’s height and weight if you want to be fast. Honesty be damned. Zwift apparently doesn’t care about cheaters ruining their game.

(Mark Weiss (AZ)) #5

It could be easy to ‘cheat’ without knowing. I recently purchased a Kickr Snap and noticed that my Kickr power was about 20% lower than ZPower with my old fluid trainer. Some testing of the fluid trainer showed that it was losing resistance when it would get really hot. Not a total drop, but apparently about 20% and only when under heavy load.

Without an on-bike power meter, I don’t know how I would have known.

(John Watson) #6

That’s a great excuse for cheating!

(Matt von Wahlde 7403) #7

Should I post how to convert a normal vacuum cleaner into a real Zwift powerup?

(Kermit deFrog ( PAC )) #8

I am one of those not doing any real life riding!!

Well, I actually do ride but have neither a powermeter (way too expensive) nor a garmin (not exactly cheap but saving up for one). This means I do not have the data to put into Strava.

I have no idea about how to cheat and don’t want to know as it defeats the object entirely. However, I put in all correct information and when riding merrily along, I think/feel that it all matches up well enough to be realistic. Riding in the open country side however, it becomes obvious that there is quite some difference and I would put it down to wind resistance that does not exist on the trainer (obv.).

Not sure whether I look like a cheat but certainly don’t want to!!


(Mark Weiss (AZ)) #9

I’ve been on Zwift for about nine months, but only recently began using a controllable trainer. One thing that I found out pretty quickly, perceived effort on the trainer should be higher than on the real road. I don’t know exactly why, but that is way that things are. If the trainer seems easier you should raise the resistance on your trainer. I found that I had my fluid trainer set too low.

(Kermit deFrog ( PAC )) #10

Mark Weiss,

Somehow I think, it is the other way around and the effort in real life is harder as you have constant riding wind and more if it is blowing.

Also your own weight on the bike, even if calculated in the system, might feel different when hauling your good self up a mountiain.

I have my resistance slider all the way to as hard as possible and it generally feels realistic but only out side it feels just more realistic and I guess that is because it IS real life.

Interesting phenomenon, I will keep an eye on …

(John Watson) #11

Well I finally fixed my own issues. Zwift is simply not compatible with 2.4ghz wifi networks. It has to be completely off otherwise your sensors will drop a lot of data. I wish I didn’t have to dig deep into the forum to find that out though. 

(Jim White (Broken Ribs)) #12

I’m not sure why, but zpower ‘cheaters’ drive me more insane than those who have power meters.  Perhaps, it is when I see someone doing the Watopia hill in 1 min 30 seconds or the forward springtin 18 seconds I have to question it more.  Seriously, if you are legitimately putting up those kinds of numbers, you are probably due to own a power meter!

(Matt von Wahlde 7403) #13

Online racing is just like that. Either accept it, or stop subscribing. It’s not something that can be fixed without intrusive or onerous measures.

A lot of people just don’t take it seriously, so it’s  not really cheating.

(Jim White (Broken Ribs)) #14

So just stop subscribing is the answer?  Really?  Why does anytime a discussion of people abusing the system arise, people jump in with both feet to defend those acting unethical?  No one is proposing forced weight checks or equipment inspections.  I’m simply asserting that people not be continually rewarded for unrealistic results that are very obvious and easily noticed.

(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #15

It’s very easy to “cheat” with any piece of equipment: virtual power, power meter, or smart trainer. We have yet to find a full-proof way that is convenient but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

We know fair and accurate racing is in demand for Zwift so we’re not ignoring the problem - we’re just giving it a lot of thought.

(Matt von Wahlde 7403) #16

I’m not defending it, I’m just being realistic. I just think not everyone takes this as seriously as you do. I just don’t think it’s something a lot of people consider as “cheating” , it’s like I don’t consider jaywalking a problem, but if I went to Germany, I would get yelled at by passerbys…

(Mark Weiss (AZ)) #17

Personally, I was really confused when I first started to read about ‘cheating’. To me, Zwift is an enjoyable workout tool and I did not understand how someone would cheat. It was not until I noted mentions of Strava and realized that some were comparing their results with others’ that the concept of ‘cheating’ in Zwift was something that I could even comprehend. To me, the whole issue of creating accuracy was so that my indoor workouts would complement what I was doing outdoors. 

Still, since we don’t actually get anything, I don’t quite see how ‘cheating’ is much of an issue, other than that someone who is ‘cheating’ is not gaining realistic data to help them in their development.

(Matt von Wahlde 7403) #18

I think the whole event/race model is changing the focus from compete with yourself to compete against others. In the land of strava/selfie/look at me too culture , people are bound to lose perspective. 

I think the maddening thing is that this could be so cool IF it was fair and represented real world ability. So tantalizingly close, but oh so far…

(Michael Wepplo dutch diesel cycling) #19

there can be a difference between outright cheating and lets say handicapping,  i recently did a ride up watopia mountain with a friend how was not as fast on the hill, so we came up with the solution for that ride he lowered his weight by 30 lbs and we were competitive with each other. i have read many other stories of others doing similar things so they can ride with people of other levels. i think there should be an easy way to do that and perhaps some kind of sign by your name that you are handicapping and not have you recorded on the leader board,  i think people would be much more patient with these types of riders.  group rides could decide if they want to allow handicaps or not.  

(Mario Kessels platte tube deurne THS) #20

I have been trying to figure out how I am pretty much one of the stronger riders for real  in the club and on zwift suddenly get beaten by everybody and their mother. I tested at 380w treshold power (i am prretty heavy though) in the lab but can hardly sustain 260 W on my trainer.

my conclusion is that my tacx bushido might be indicating a bit too little power. I will save up for a real power meter crank and till then just give it all and get beaten by 20kg riders :slight_smile: strange enough downhill in aero they suddenly gain mass like nothing else.

zwift is fun, thhe only win to achieve though is not caring about cheaters