Exploit found which can lead cheating

they’re just not interesting to watch. just like crossfit is (probably) more interesting to actually participate in than to watch. i’d rather just ride one myself

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UPDATE:

The server-side changes to prevent height and weight changes during an event are in place. Please see this thread for more information

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Great to see fix. Question and maybe for another thread but is anything being worked on to automatically flag sticky watts riders? I’m getting bored having to manually report riders after doing my own investigation of riders behaviour.

And with certain trainers it’s so hard to tell sometimes what is sticky or not. I’d be happy to share one such example which I recorded the rider in a ZRL race last night which I’ve reported to zwift twice yet he is still racing.

He is either cheating, faulty equipment or Zwift is interpreting is training data incorrectly. Whatever it is something is broken

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What does a rider using sticky watts look like in game?
I’ve seen weird things and wondered if that’s what it is.

power and cadence fluctuating up and down frequently. more often seen up hills. like this

Although what makes me wonder is when i see just power fluctuating with cadence barely moving Maybe it’s a faulty trainer or something zwift is doing to record power wrong. Annoyingly ZP does not show cadence graph so can be quite hard to verify which can lead to false reports. I’d much rather zwift deal with it than me second guessing if a rider is cheating.

and stuff like this guy i’ve reported twice yet he is still racing. Now he is either cheating or has something seriously up with his trainer/zwift to produce a power graph like this. I can’t believe power fluctuates this badly. Approx. 350w peak to 50w dips

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You might occasionally see the watts briefly drop. If someone is doing sticky watts really well then you won’t see a drop but sometimes they will mess up and you might see it go 6w/kg down to 1w/kg before going back up again.

Here’s an example of someone using some sticky watts. You can see that they sprint up to 600w a few times then stop pedaling and Zwift holds the 600w for 3 seconds.

This isn’t a great example of sticky watts but it does show the basic principles in action. Ideally you want to pedal for 1 second, stop for 2, then repeat. Done well and with intent other riders won’t see any change to your power. It would only be detectable after the event as Gordon who posted above shows.

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That looks very fatiguing but, is it breaking any rules?
I assume only certain trainers or power meters do this.
If the trainer or power meter is at fault, could they just be categorized the same as Zpower
If the trainer or power meter is not at fault, should the rider’s account be flagged Z power for a period of 30 days from the occurrence. I’m sure an official warning will need to be issued.

Good Zwiftinsider article explaining it here @Tim_Camden_C and answers most of your questions!

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I guess Eric is lucky or smart that he didn’t use a more clickbaity headline for that article. Going back and reading it again makes you wonder why Luciano got banned. This article is literally doing the exact same thing by showing you the various ways you can cheat with this exploit.

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That video is creepy. Why is he looking up? Not to mention broadcasting himself pedaling like an idiot.

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hahahah crazy. this is not cycling…
Zwift should immediately ban him !

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That appears more like gaming the system that outright cheating which is a form of data manipulation. Something to consider for post race analysis.

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not agree with you. sorry. you know that sticky is an exploit, you use it on purpose to take advantages = cheat.

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No worries - we are all aligned on the same context = Intentional manipulation of performance.

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furthermore this guy partecipate to ELITE men World Championship…58th place

I don’t think this is sticky watts. I think there’s 2 exploits.

Sticky watts - cadence drops to zero and power flatlines for a second or two at a high value. Only effective on certain hardware. In your example the cadence doesn’t drop to zero, but it does in the video posted.

Microsprints - unrealistic pedalling technique where you microsprint over and over, which is effective in zwift due to game mechanics issues

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Good to hear clarification James. +1

Even so its not cheating, its still a form of gaming but not going down the path to debate if its acceptable or not. Guess its open to the opinion of the person looking at it and rules applicable.

Why would you think that is acceptable in anyway? For me that is gaming the system and should be stopped.

So million dollar question @shooj @James_Zwift should this be reported? Is this cheating or gaming the system or acceptable use?

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And yet again I ask Zwift to just fix the sticky watts issue, at least for racing. I understand why it is there (to deal with event-based PMs at below 60 rpm), but there is no need to hold the previous power longer than a single second extra (as opposed to the current ~3) unless the rider’s cadence gradually drops somewhere close to 30 rpm.

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Over my paygrade Lee. It’s against the rules in ZRL though.

I’ve been highlighting cheating in my weekly meetings (events related) and the sentiment that you guys have towards being asked to report riders. This is not an overnight fix, but please rest assured I champion you guys and isn’t something I’m going to forget about.

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