I wish people were better at cheating

I rarely race in Zwift and mostly stick to Robopacer rides. I have been noticing that there are more and more other riders around me whose power output doesn’t vary. I’m seeing watts per kilogram that stay within one decimal point for more than 5 minutes straight. I tried to replicate that and it was impossible for me to hold that steady a power output for more than a few seconds. I have also seen other riders whose power output doubles or triples with no increase in their pulse rate. I have come to assume these people are cheating. I don’t mind that so many people cheat. I just wish their level of sophistication was better so I wasn’t constantly reminded of how many people on Zwift cheat. Honestly, it just looks like people put their e-bikes on the smart trainer and leave it to accumulate miles/kilometers.

They might just be using zPower or a spin bike or riding with zero Trainer Difficulty or even a mag trainer with a power meter. There are a lot of scenarios in which constant cadence results in constant power.

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Or could be in erg mode controlled by a head unit or trainer road…

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and/or don’t the Wahoo trainers have power smoothing… whatever that is. Sounds like 10 second averaging to me but not sure that’s what’s sent to Zwift.

depending on what level you are riding at I doubt many of these people are cheating in the normal sense. They are just riding with the equipment they have. I say that as a middling D rider and have noticed it too, but really who would bother to cheat at this level.

If you are riding with a D or C Robo Pacer, you might see someone doing a Zone 2 ride.
I think many of the riders I’ve seen with the D bots have been doing Zone 2 rides.
My output stays about like that for 30-40 min.
I’ve recently starting doing cadence drills to change it up but the power stays close to the same.

10hz I have a wahoo v5 direct connect, and its virtually impossible to not have your watts or w/kg remain constant during a ride.

I guess I prefer to imagine that the rider who has ridden over 65 miles and is holding 3.9-4.0 w/kg for over ten minutes as he drops me far off into the distance is an e-bike.

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In ERG mode with power smoothing perhaps.

tl;dr if it’s not a dumb trainer, it might be a MITM app.

It’s not likely to be a smart trainer controlled by an external app. I develop the BeatBiker app which can be used to control erg resistance based on music. On a multi-connect trainer, even when BeatBiker is telling the trainer to go 200w or whatever, the actual reported watts to Zwift will wander around “in the vicinity” of the target. At least on the trainers I have tested.

So, maybe a man-in-the-middle app. As it turns out I also have some rowing apps (PainSled and RowedBiker) that rowers can use to Zwift. They connect to the rower Bluetooth then simulate a Bluetooth cycling trainer for Zwift. So man-in-the-middle. In RowedBiker, there is a way to report a steady wattage for folks who are working on a structured workout. In that case the wattage in Zwift DOES remain locked at the fixed amount.

I believe there are other apps that use this approach for doing testing and probably farming XP, although I don’t really see the point(s) of doing that. heh.

I have a dumb trainer lemond spin bike with rally garmin pedals. No way I can keep my power constant for very long.

Personally I don’t care about the cheaters, if you get a good workout that’s all that matters. Take your disputes out on the road to see who really has the legs. That is unless you’re an indoor junkie only and to that I can only say learn how to cheat !!

Btw I’m having so much fun on the game I’ve upgraded to a Tacx Neo arriving next week!! Wooohoo!

It didn’t really bother me until I got good enough to start chasing down these constant power output entities. I noticed that the majority of riders will hold a high power output as they pass but they can’t sustain it very long. I got good at catching them and as, I used to do when I trained as road racer in the 1980’s, I take a turn with them pulling hard, then drop back to rest. The thing is that these constant power output entities never vary their power output. I realized that the thing I like about training with Zwift is the human interaction with other riders. Most people will either try to drop you or work with you to keep the pace going (just like reality). But after you invest so much energy catching these constant power output entities hoping for a human interaction, all you get is the machine like constant power output. That’s what really bothers me. So nowadays, I just watch for the variability before putting in the effort to chase someone. It’s just that there are so many high power output riders that turn out to be those constant power entities. I just categories them as e-bikes.

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join a social ride or two brother, not many, if any, bots in those. maybe it’s just because i’ve always done all my riding in group rides, but i always feel like riding around in zwift outside of events feels a bit dead in comparison

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The farming of XP may have inadvertently been made worse but the level 100 introduction.

There was a sort of unofficial race to get to 100 by lots of people either by XP level up bots, farming XP by workout modes or events with double XP.

I was never in that race, I’ve been doing IRL rides instead.

Ignore them (don’t chase them) is the best way and aside from that, everyone should report the riders that behave like bots. I use to see the “beagle” rider (avatar image was a beagle) droning around at 3.8w/kg all the time for hundreds of kms. Even used to drop him on Epic KOM. Eventually you realise it’s not worth it. Then that person disappeared so either level up mission was achieved or the account was blocked.

Workout modes are not really a good way to farm XP in general, hanging in the draft with coco will in give you more XP per minute given her pace unless you’re dependent on the roulette wheel at the top of the alpe, then it’s not a huge difference either way. Actually right now I think doing the monthly climb portal on 50% scaling without ERG mode on might be the best way to get easy XP once stage 1 of fast is flat is over (the XP hack for that didn’t work for me, but works for some folks).

You can do some custom workouts with lots of small steps that give you huge XP per 10 minutes with minimal effort on the workout. Probably harder actually making the workout. In about 15 minutes I get 122XP which is probably 244 with my accelerated level up.

The climb portals I’ve found aren’t very useful for XP. The big XP bonus is rare to get. I have done multiple ones where I did not get any big XP bonus. Some of the other big KM riders in Zwift agree with me.

I heard about that U turn trick but didn’t try it as I’ve been doing IRL rides.

Even with a workout completely full of intervals it’s not as good as coco. I calculated this a while back. Can dig that up if you’d like.

In order to make climb portals good for XP you need a very short one (like the one here all month). You get about one +250XP bonus per climb, you get the 10 chances at +10XP each lap even on 50% scaling, and you can rocket up the climb portal on 50% scaling in like 12mins per climb without much effort, then get XP at 50km/hr on the way down (assuming you are NOT in ERG mode).

It requires a short climb portal, but there’s a very short one here all month.

Yes, I often ride in erg mode, varying only cadence 60/90 and I suppose mine stays within a small window