Is Zwift "farming" a thing?

I noticed an avatar yesterday who passed me 125km into their ride. I watched for a while and noticed that they were holding a perfect 400 watts with not a single watt of deviation whatsoever. Their total ride time suggested that they had been holding that 400 watts the whole distance. Definitely the new Bradley Wiggins (or even way better!).

Clearly not a real rider. Is there such a thing as levelling up to sell an avatar (like in WoW)? I guess it’s pretty easy to spoof the power reporting from a trainer, which along with weight “doping” and mis-calibrated trainers makes Zwift racing a dubious thing in all but the closely monitored ranks.

Zwift farming is definitely a thing. Just go into the companion app at pretty much any time, go to zwifting now, spend a minute scrolling to the bottom to those who have been ridng the longest, then check them out. There’s always a handful of riders maintaining static watts in there.

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But why???

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Sometimes people will use bots to test performance. For example, to find out which bike is fastest, how much does rider height affect aerodynamics, how does rider weight affect times etc. Load up a bike, set the bot off and then record the times. Repeat for a different bike/height/weight. Compare data.

I guess another possibility is a shop having a Zwift setup running and the bot is working as demo.

I think the question is why not? Getting all the best gear on the easy, suffering no consequence, finishing better in a race, or going faster in any ride…

Not my thing and I’m not bothered by those who do it, but it questions the legitimacy of rewards regardless if its so easy to do an unregulated.

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I was once passed by a “rider” doing 5.0 W/kg and was >200 km into a ride.

It could be someone on a very bad setup or someone running a bod for testing. you can flag a rider using the companion app.