Class or rider experience level system


One thing i constantly feel a little frustrated with is that i am constantly getting my wheels blown off. I am out fittnessed and out classed by most of the riders on Zwift, and that’s okay… I am as far from the cycling ideal as it gets, i love riding, but in the winter months i get comfortable…

However, when it seems like the average rider is cruising along at 2.5-3+ w/kg on a course, it can become very disconcerting and discouraging during training. It would be in my opinion very nice, to have a rider ability ranking, that would allow you to be paired up with riders of similar levels.

That way, advanced riders aren’t constantly lapping and bumping into slower riders, interrupting there experience, and slower riders have someone of similar abilities to pace with, and generally get a better feel for their progress.

This is not to say they should absolutely be restricted, but at least give people a place to go where they don’t feel like they are a weekend warrior riding in the TDF… Sometimes that’s what your looking for, but often times, having a rider who is just a couple ticks faster, that forces you to work is really where its at…

Just a thought…

(David Hewes) #2

The biggest issue I see Aaron is the Real Power vs. Virtual Power and of course people who feel the need to find ways to cheat as well. Anyway, I have guys that I ride with outdoors that aren’t at my level at all and my ftp is 311 and these same guys are averaging 360-400w for an entire 40+ minute ride. Now this is all new so there has got to be a time frame to work out the bugs and so on, but just know that if someone blows by you up that 9% grade climb at 25+mph…just know they aint plain’ fair.


David, certainly there is a lot of truth to what you say. Of that i have no doubts, but that said, there i think will always be the divides in the rider “quality”. I make no qualms about it that i have more in common with the Clydesdales in the Budweiser commercial than i do with Jens Voigt, and i would venture i am an outlier in many respects even for Zwift.

I am a recreational rider, who gets to ride due to weather, maybe 4-6 months of the year. I do one bicycle tour (RAGBRAI), and thats about the limit of my season. I try to get on the bike during the winter to retain some fitness, but truthfully, every year is a new struggle. I have gained back weight, i have lost fitness from the previous year, and so on.

So where cat 4+ riders are on the rollers every year, and i can totally respect that commitment, the most i can usually hope for is to bomb down one of the descents and get my short lived HAZAA!

What i think might be advantageous, is a single race/zone what ever, where new inexperienced riders could ride, without intimidation and feel like they are “Doing it!”. I’m not sure what can be more soul crushing and disheartening than that feeling like your hammering on a climb, out of the saddle, pushing some watts, to only see someone blaze past and leave you in the dust… If you can recover, and put in your own attack, kudos, but sometimes it just leaves you spun out, and done.

I just think there could be some benefit, to a neutral zone, where maybe pro riders could give feedback, while leaving it a little more friendly to the new/slow guy…

It would give the new guy a chance to see his name higher than 60th place on the leader boards, build some confidence, some motivation, etc.

This could totally be me though…

(Simon Johnson BRS B) #4

Gonna be blunt for a minute so please take it for what it’s worth. But what you’re feeling isn’t unique to zwift. Heck,it’s not even unique to cycling. Everyone has to start somewhere and you need to be able to take defeat in order to get better. Simply shielding yourself from better and faster riders isn’t going to make you faster. How do you get fast? You ride with people faster than you. You’ll get dropped the first few times,but eventually you hang on and start taking pulls with the rest of them. zwift is meant to be competitive. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be jerseys. If you don’t like being schooled by other riders, log into trainer road or Netflix for a month and revisit zwift later.



No doubt, there are a few nuggets of truth in what you say, no denying that. However, i think your forgetting before anything else Zwift is a video game. A video game which eventually needs users, and people willing to pay to sustain it. If zwift thinks they can live just off the rider base that wants a training program to ride into, they will be quickly finding out how small that pool really is. VERY!

In order for Zwift to survive as more than a flash in the pan, they need something to keep riders, who by their very nature disappear as soon as the weather is nice from inside. They need something that keeps them with an active subscription base, that comes back to it time and time again to play even through seasonal dead times…

The thing is, in order to hook that base, they need to be in a situation where they are feeling progress. Based on your recommendation, of go away for a month and come back, you just lost a paying customer. No one would maintain a subscription for a month, just to be able to play a game, and more so, statistics show, if a person doesn’t develop a habit in the first couple weeks, they never will.

Traditionally games have been approachable by all people, because they are combinations of buttons. Anyone can develop muscle memory for that through repetition. However, Zwift as a game is a very different challenge, as your physical condition determines your ability to succeed. This is fine, however, that means bars need to be put in place, such that riders of ALL types have the ability to reach some number of goals… Its the rat and pellet game, if a person does not receive a reward often enough, they will stop trying for it.

In game rewards are not just there to make your riders look better, they are a very specific psychological play, that is well know in game theory.

If zwift is only making a game for one type of rider, and with one goal. So be it, that’s there game to make. However, if zwift has any intention of staying around, and developing a really subscriber base, they can’t just rest on “the real world is this way…” because the real world is FREE, and presumably, zwift wants to make money eventually…

Just my .02

(Jonathan Pait (X)) #6

Give things time. Consider the typical gaming world. Most multiplayer games have multiple servers with any number of different setups. I can see a day when there will be multiple “Zwift Islands” that you can access that have different levels and controls (Kickr only island / Clydesdale island / Racing for payout island… etc.). You get to choose which experience you want. Remember, this is a BETA we’re playing with. The cool thing about Zwift is that they have an awesome foundation to grow this virtual community.

(Aaron Deutsch - BMTR) #7

I say put the slower riders on the ‘bike lane’ going clockwise. :smiley: