Handicaps


(Erik Schumm) #1

I’d like to be able to handicap my power to ride with a similar percieved effort to others I know that aren’t as strong: e.g. my wife :wink:


(Jerry Perullo (B)) #2

No way!
Actually this is an interesting topic, but I remember reading something the Zwifters said that pointed to it not happening. What you want, methinks, is erg mode/power training/structured workouts. If they could come up with a nifty way to have structured workouts happen with virtual reality, it could be something like both of you have to ride at 60% FTP, and if you do you will keep up with the “rabbit” riding the course and thus be side by side despite you riding 150w and her riding 200w (because her FTP is much higher than yours and 200w is nothing for her… you misogynist!)


(Erik Schumm) #3

Perhaps… But I think there’s a use case for this virtual reality, where we could both get a good workout, and who wins is the one who pushes their limits the most.

I can see not wanting to handicap by increasing ones speed, but there shouldn’t be any harm in handicapping by decreasing your speed. I envision being able to put together very competitive group rides with friends, where you are all on a pretty even playing field, that can’t happen in the real world. To me, this would be more fun than trying to compete for an e-peen ranking on the leaderboards, which will be rife with discepencies due to both unintended and intended cheating. (Enter a lower weight, you go faster. your trainer is out of spec, maybe you are faster. You deliberately screw with your kickr’s calibration, you go even faster: If you’ve ever spent any time in competitive gaming, you’ll have a good idea of the mindset)

My wife for instance, needs to gain a bit of experience with group riding, and the dynamics of drafting etc. Anything I can do to help her currently is pretty much an artificial simulation. I can see having Zwift as a simulator being very helpful. FWIW, I think she’d kick my butt all over the place, as she’s got a sprinter’s power profile :wink:


(Clint Westhoff) #4

Another bike racing platform is doing this now. Your FTP and watts/kg are calculated based on prior rides. If you join a scheduled race that is set up as an FTP Race everyone is handicapped so the person that does the race at 111% of their FTP is going faster than the one at 90% of their FTP. Drafting still impacts the race, but in general the person who works harder at their own level can beat a person that is much stronger but who doesn’t work hard that race. It’s a great way to make races competitive and fun even with people of vastly different fitness levels and skills. Based on the comments more people seem to like the FTP races than head to head competitions.


(Erik Schumm) #5

Thanks for the feedback - that sounds like what I envisioned. The best / most fun rides I’ve had were with groups that were pretty well matched: This would be a way of getting that sort of competetion together regularly.


(Phil Whiffin) #6

I’d like to ride with my son on Zwift and set him up so he can ride at the same speed as me me at the same relative effort. I know I can do this by weight doping but I would like to avoid that so it is clear to all watching that he is carrying a handicap. His aim would then be to bring his handicap down. 

This could all be done on FTP and we could have an option to “normalise” FTP across a group - they everyone should be doing the same effort for the same speed (much like a training session on a wattbike but more fun).

Another way would be to have two ride modes - normal and normalised that we could each select at the start - then have a little symbol to show on screen as to which we have picked.

This is the advantage of a simulation over real life - in real life I would either not get a good workout or he would run himself into the ground - here we could ride as equals.


(Chad McNeese, ODZ) #7

https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/204435626

https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/201531269-ftp-handicap


(Christian Wiedmann [X] 50) #8

It’s not quite as good as a real power handicap, but I’ve written a little calculator that will give you the height and weight to use to ride with a slower rider: http://www.virtualonlinecycling.com/p/handicapcalculator.html


(Warren Bayek) #9

Wouldn’t a weight change only work for climbing?