Irregular Cadence

I’m pretty dismayed that after 70+ races that I was just disqualified in the Ladder series for my last two races due to “Irregular cadence”.

I was just getting ready for DRS - but now my team knows that my riding style can be dq’d at will. This puts us all in a tricky spot and I can’t expect the team to put its neck out for me.

I get that stickywatts is a real issue for improperly calibrated trainers and micro sprints can be kinda gamey - but to say that I am unable to be out of the saddle, doing intervals, coasting, recovering etc as I want to is somehow a disqualifier?

I ride out of the saddle most of the time - and do intervals just like I do/have outside for the last 50 years. I punch, I stand, I coast, I recover. I do it over and over again. It allows me to control my lactate, my heart rate. It allows me to dig deeper.

Just like I watched last night in the pro races. Riders are not pedaling consistently. They coast. They stand. They do intervals. On their own timing!

However, this puts a “Sword of Damocles” over my head - that now in B+ cat, anyone can have a problem with my riding style and have me disqualified for “irregular cadence”.

Bicycle riding is not spin class. Is this due to everyone used to ERG mode in their workouts? These short races on Zwift are not monuments - they are nothing more than 30km crits where we should all be going “All Out”,. Since when are we required to hold a cadence that is “appropriate” for “an appropriate amount of time”, and how dare this platform try to tell people how to ride?

I am trying to not be incensed by this - but it has soured my interest in eRacing - and tells me to go back outside where I am free. Like another teammate said “The best side, is OUT side!”.

I think there’s lots of systemic issues within Zwift Racing. There is no weight check ins. I’m not looking for a fix, or commensuration - as I think the entire system is flawed - but I did want to put this out here on the forums so it can be discussed and others might learn from my experience. I wondered why the UCI had granted MyWhoosh the contract. Why Zwifts lead developer started IndieVelo. Why vELO is trying to rebuild categorization.

It seems like a mess currently, and it saddens me.

Hi Molly, there seems to be something wrong with your race data. In ZC it says max cadence was 286. But the graph (blue line) doesn‘t show anything near that. Just normal numbers.
Hope that helps…

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Thank you karla!

Indie velo will kick you mid ride for it… They have in game protocols for those types of things.

To paint the picture, whilst you are free to ride how you want, it is likely you are gaining free watts in those rest periods, which is where the problem lies… (I’ve not seen the activity so there’s a bit of a presumption on my behalf based on you saying you use an on/off style & the DQ)

How can that be when there is no weighted flywheel on a KICKR Bike and if it lasts 3 extra seconds, it would lose 3 on the next interval? Indievelo has not kicked me out on the qualifying races.

Here’s my ZP:

This is really a problem you’re having with the race organizers - Zwift themselves don’t care about “unusual” cadence at all, they let community organizers set their own rules, and in events put on by Zwift there are basically no rules. That said, given the other comments I wonder if the cadence is being reported accurately. If you have a cadence sensor you can put on the crank arm it would settle that question. I’m not knowledgeable about the Kickr bike but all of their other trainers estimate cadence but don’t measure crank arm revolutions, so they can be inaccurate for some riders.

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Are you using race mode?

I’m not sure if there is something in race mode making these things worse…

Plus, the fly wheel has very little to do with the sticky part of the watts - another kickr bike user here.

It’s a v1 bike - so no race mode. I believe its due to being out of the saddle the entire race.

The problem you have is known as sticky watts. Check the linked zwiftinsider article for a more detailed description, but essentially every time you coast your trainer sticks to the watts you were doing for 2-4 seconds after it actually should have dropped.

If you look at the screenshot you see a lot of completely flat sections of 3 seconds before it drops down to 0 watts. But you are actually doing 0 watts and not the reported watts like the 359 you see on the screenshot. I would guess you are average watts for this small section are reported around 75 watts higher than what you are actually doing. Which is why you were disqualified as this is obvouisly not okay

Only some trainers and power meters make sticky watts, but since yours do it the best way to avoid it is just not coast so much. You can try and switch connection mode, as it might help.

If you have a bike computer try to record your power from the v1 bike as well and compare the two with the analysis tool on ZP. You will see a way lower average on the bike computer even though they are both recording the same source

Edit: Riding like this would get you banned mid ride on Indievelo, if their system is working properly


Probably also another reason why at 80kg and putting out high watts the OP is able to keep their HR under 145 during the race

…it is what it is. if you’re not going to advise or help then act up however you want in any one of the 5 million discord/facebook pages people go to to do exactly that, but be civil about it here

@Joakim_Lisson @S_A_Cestria_CC if i reading this right the guy was caught red handed, now he upset by it ?

maybe, but not everyone knows the score. i got a speeding ticket for doing 32mph in a 30 when i was a teen. i was hella mad about that too

Whoa whoa whoa bath salts. I had NO IDEA that this was a problem. “Caught red handed”. You’re a troll.

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Actually, my max heart rate is 154.

Thanks for the info Joakim. I appreciate that you didn’t assume I was trying to cheat like the troll “bath salts” here.

I just did a race in IndieVELO to see if it was this “stickywatts” you all speak of. I did get bumped out of the race.

I have no interest in a spin class - so thank you for your information. That will conclude my racing on these platforms, or I will choose to sandbag like the rest of ya.

Sadly you are in a situation where you were betrayed by your trainer, so if you want to properly understand your power your options are to either pedal differently, replace the trainer, or use power meter pedals as your power source.

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I am thinking of power pedals - perhaps that would solve the issue?

Maybe? Assioma are known for this problem. I wouldn’t buy anything without advice from people who have tested it. Perhaps someone will drop in here with some recommendations. I also have a trainer known for sticky watts but I don’t pedal that way so it’s never been an issue.

Talking to my Team Captain, he doesn’t think the pedals will solve it - and just told me “are you aware of the long running debate about pedaling styles vs trainer inconsistency. It’s been a THING for some people.” Yikes. I had no idea!