Erratic watts?

Hi can someone please advise what it means if a riders watts are constantly jumping around bouncing from low to high throughout a race , or is it just a reflection of using a power meter

They could be in the draft.
They could be micro bursting.
They could be maintaining position in a group.

Lots of potentials reasons

No group … TT race

Could be micro bursting then.

Or faulty equipment.

TT … micro bursting does that include dropping to 1.5 then hitting 5 wkg and doing it over and over , seems a strange way to do a TT .
But that’s only my take on it

That said it’s wrong to accuse anybody of cheating without evidence.

Yeah it’s strange. Whether it’s a successful way to cheat I have no idea. I’m sure some people do it as a way to attempt cheating. Others probably have no clue.

Seems to suggest micro combined with sticky watts , I’m not accusing any one of cheating. Just educating myself on what’s around me on zwift , to call it out first you have to understand and identify what is going on wouldn’t you agree?

I believe I have read in these forums that some organizers are watching for it…

But I agree…could be difficult to identify on some courses. And supposedly some trainers are better than others. Saris Hammer trainers are supposed to be the most notable. I have noticed some with the roller courses and I have an H3.

But when you look at another zwifter in the app whilst racing it just says power meter ?
Who wants to be the one to suggest another zwifter is riding suspiciously
It shouldn’t be for us to do , the onous should be on to police zwift but they allow it and expect us to call it out when in reality we just don’t know

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There are algorithms etc within the game that limit the opportunities for cheaters but alas there are some methods that are less/not detectable.

Really, are there?
As there really isnt - WTRL post was all hot air, they do not have the ability to automatically pick up sticky watts, and still rely on manual reports of using abusing the system It was all done to try and stem the issues being raised as they & zwift would rather bury their heads in the sand than actually fix something.

If that’s your opinion then ok.

I can however categorically state that there are in game detectors.
Like i say, some methods are much harder to detect.

Not for the case\discussion in hand

I can categorically state that I know someone who’s been riding with sticky watts week after week for several years in the WTRL TTTs with no action being taken. I’ll show a couple of screenshots from his Strava if you don’t believe me. It’s a completely blatant case, flat tops on the power curve, the full works. There are even plenty of videos of him (from a team mate who often streams).

My guess is he doesn’t know it’s against the rules as he makes no effort to be subtle about it.

There is a rider in our league who has been been DQ twice through reports but still does it every race and like you say, its obvious to all.

791w & 572w seem to be quite sticky - No DQ etc


Zwift staff in the past have said this is not an issue.

(This is a gif of a live stream, its not sped up or slow down its just zoomed in on the power to remove any identification of the user)

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So it’s out there and sometimes it’s through poor equipment and or niavety but then there’s a space for absolute cheaters and they ride amongst us because the majority of us just cannot go through calling someone out because it’s such a grey area, I recall the days when “sticky” used to call it out on zwift power and suspend riders but alas no more

I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there blatantly cheating. There are.
There are internal mechanisms for Zwift to identify some of these but there are/have been over a hundred different methods to cheat.
I could win any race of my choosing by cheating in a way that Zwift could detect if they looked into my data but to the rest of you nothing would look suspicious. I don’t as it’s not in my make up, I’m not wired like that. It would make my position untenable.

Zwift has a user base of hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Of those the proportion that cheat is probably under 1%
You can’t expect Zwift to dedicate hours upon hours of development time into this area when things such as new roads etc… is something 100% users are affected so to speak.
The races are not UCI sanctioned, nor is there prize money.

It has and always will rely to a large degree on self policing. Suspected cheaters should be reported. But then you need to lower your expectations that immediate sanctions will be taken. Sometimes it’s not clear somebody is cheating. There might have to be evidence gathering before action is taken and again this takes hours of work for little or no reward to Zwift itself.