Fed up with fliers - levelling the field

I love zwifting, but the guys pumping out 6W/Kg at 120W output power is a real de motivator.

Everyone wants to ride like they are in an ACE team , so give everyone the potential by setting everyone’s weight to be the same.

The speed someone travels will then purely be a function of the power output and terrain

The weight log can be for generating the real calorific value of the ride but not for the in-game performance

Shoot down the fliers…

This has been brought on the forums many times. You can use the Zwift Mobil Link to report the fliers.

This is a no win argument on these forums and I predict Zwift locking this thread since they locked the the Don’t Be A Flier thread and deleted it because it became too heated and went nowhere.

I get that you hate the fliers/cheats and I know Zwift wants to resolve the issue, but starting a thread about it again (there have many many in the last couple years) will not help. Give constructive ideas on how to resolve the issue and I’m sure Zwift will look into it.

BTW, trying to level the playing field by putting everyone at the same weight will help some and seriously hurt others. This is not the solution to resolve this issue.

People will always find ways to cheat.

 reporting fliers is of no value since nothing happens.

The same weight means everyone’s power performance counts - using a variable that can me measured with the equipment the game uses


removing the variable that can seriously affect performance is the best way of levellling the field.

I just participated in a social where everyone was urged to keep to 2.5W/Kg - that means that some were way way out front , while others needed to put up over 3W to keep up.

The only ones who do not want a level playing field are those who benefit from the slope

Biometric bluetooth scales are a large step forward and will very likely become an implementation at some point in online cyclings future. 

You market them of course as a health tool, as part of a package to improve your fitness and experience, but you’re also tackling cheating in the same stroke. 

Youll never stop cheating though in anything absolutely, there are very easy ways around biometrics - your initial account setup can be faked for example. That said, it’s still a great way to take out the vast majority of the nonsense you see in Zwift. Zwift could even give little verified tags to people using approved biometric scales with a recent weigh in. 


Face it, most decent riders weigh themselves regularly anyway so it’s not even an extra step or barrier to entry.


Making everyone the same weight punishes honest people and will discourage people even more from using Zwift. It is far easier for someone who weights more to put out the same watts as someone who weight less. This is not fair at all. This whole discussion has been hashed, rehashed, and hashed again on here and the only thing you can really do is report the suspected fliers. I am sure some of the people you are accusing of being a flier are indeed cheating, but I am also sure that some are being honest and weight that much and put out those watts. Is your intent just to make yourself feel good or are you looking for everyone to be honest. You can’t have it both ways.

Please give a better suggestion than making everyone’s weight the same, that just punishes light fighters and allows heavier ones to cheat.

I’ve read that Zwift will not accept weight entries under 45 kg. That is a problem for smaller riders, mostly younger riders.

For the rest of us, though, we know that someone doing 6w/kg is reporting at least 270 watts. 

For those concerned about inflated w/kg values, the watts reported mean as much as the kilograms entered. Some riders are getting inflated watts reported, perhaps more so from zpower. Some of those know it, and some don’t.

The discrepancies are not a big drawback for me at the moment. I am more interested in tracking how I perform, and in riding with like-minded Zwifters. I’ve earned just a few jerseys. As better controls become possible, I’d like to see them gently used, but in the meantime, my experience is not diminished much by the flyers. I see that might be different for those riders strong enough to compete for the top of the leader boards.

The way I deal with cheats is that I ignore them. The #1 reason I use zwift is as a great motivator to train for improvement for my real-world races. Sure, it’s really fun, social and I love what the developers are doing, but it’s a tool. I input my exact data and update it when needed, therefore any improvements are real. Just as in real-world, I pass a lot of people, but get passed by stronger cyclists - that is a motivating factor, for me - I want to be one of the stronger cyclists. Regardless of what others are doing, I still get great value from the experience. But Brynley, I know it’s frustrating sometimes.  I’ve had to resist calling out one guy who I see riding often. 6 w/kg minimum for any ride. I just presume it’s an anonymous pro or a toddler in a speed suit.

Just give ride leaders (the beacon) the ability to control fliers with some options:

a. everyone in front of the beacon by a certain amount or more gets kicked out of the event

b. everyone in front of the beacon (by some amount or time value) is forced to slow down to as crawl until the beacon catches up i.e. no matter how much power they put out they only go slow

c. ban fliers (by name) from future events

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Another option would be a low priority status. Have an option not just on the mobile app but also in Zwift to report irregularities. When a report is filed, a person is placed in a low priority status which prevents them from claiming jerseys, participating in events for a duration, or using group message. It could be a week for the first offense, a month for the second, and a permanent for the third. This option would allow someone to still use free ride and workout mode but cannot take part in the competitive parts like events, races, and jersey points.

How can Zwift handle reports? Make it community based. Offer regulars that qualify (Level 25, X events/races completed, etc.) a special status. These reviewers could look over a report and make a judgement call over someone either falsifying weight, intentional wheel slip, vulgar group messages, etc. Lay out some criteria the reviewers should follow so everyone is on the same page. If multiple reviewers say that the report was justified, a punishment is issued. The person being reported and the reviewers are kept anonymous. Also, for the report to be reviewed, multiple reports have to be issued on the same person for it to be flagged. An incentive could be cosmetic items or experience after the level cap is raised. The incentive is only issued if all reviewers agree. This prevents the report system from being abused by riders but also prevents the reviewers from just checking “yes” to get cosmetics. Obviously, this would need a little more tweaking and would take time to implement, but it would really cut down on the number of cheaters and toxic people by knowing that punishment may be just a report away.

Having everyone’s weight the same seems like a really poor idea, it would mean 60kg riders and 120kg riders all having the same set weight and therefore w/kg output? Errr, no thanks. Just learn to ignore the odd flier, at the end of the day it doesn’t ruin your ride unless you let it.

If one person flies off the front of a 2.0w/kg group ride at 4.0k/kg and disappears up the road never t obe seen again, does it really ruin the whole ride? Just let them go and focus on the rest of the group.

First, watts/kg is a great way for deriving speed and this won’t go away.

Having said that, I think cheating is a big issue considering how competitive the average Zwifter is. In my experience, more competitive than the average rider I encounter in the real world. I think this will become a hotter topic as the racing gets more serious and more prize money gets involved, which is what we are seeing happen now. I wouldn’t be surprised if:

  1. Zwift ends up leveraging its dealer network (like local bike shops) to do official weigh-ins for major events.

  2. I think we’ll eventually see trainers using certificate based authentication to Zwift to demonstrate that they have not been tampered with.

  3. I think Zwift will eventually introduce isolation of competitive vs casual riders where competitive riders have a higher burden of proof of their biometrics and can only have certified smart trainers. 

As far as detecting cheats, you will never get them all, but I think an analytics based AI could probably be tuned to catch a lot of it, and will probably be the cheapest way to do it.

excellent responses from everyone,  i know this is a long running topic and I appreciate you educating me - a newbie…


perhaps the user can have the option of riding / comparing with riders in his/ her weight band - in this way those who are heavier can get some more realistic comparison


I wonder what the impact of E-bikes is in Zwift.

What is there to stop someone putting an E-bike onto the trainer and have a jolly good time laughing at anybody trying to keep up?

Whilst I like a certain amount of competition, certainly I would not rely on people to be honest (definitely not when prize money is involved).

So, for me at least, Zwifting is purely recreational and I prefer solo rides and imagine my own race to catch up with the next one up front, that way I have the best chance that nobody cheats me personally and my ride will not be ruined (… very often), Humans are generally not fit for purpose when it comes to competition in my view. Now, chimpanzees on the other hand …