Microburst technique (che**ing)

The main difference here is the frequency, duration and how much the power swings are. 30 seconds no problem it’s the ones that are doing it every few seconds that look suspicious.

A lot of people will push on and off the power when climbing but not to the point of almost sprinting then literally stop pedalling.

I don’t see any reason to stop pedalling in Zwift other than when supertucking. Possibly positional if you have gone too hard and find yourself on the front but if you judge things right there is no reason.


Adjusting your shorts/socks/shoes? Stretching your legs? Reaching out to pick up something just out of reach? Want more examples?


maybe i was a bit extreme they are good examples but in the heat of a race I doubt many people will be doing such things or you are likely to get dropped.


For anyone adjusting your socks for a second, and then you have to burst to 10w/kg to catch up, then adjusting your kit, and then you have to burst to 10w/kg to catch up, and so on every other second or two, continuously, maybe just don’t adjust your socks, kit, etc ?


Or you could just have S-Works shoes with the BOA dials that always come loose. Perfect reason for this.

Everyone is now going to buy those shoes. :wink:


i’m wearing 7s… there are two tiny blips on the left side of the circled part in my graph where i stopped pedalling for a second to tighten them up one for the left foot, one for the right. lol

No it doesn’t - it show exactly what microburst cheating looks like.

Too many people on here making excuses for what is blatant cheating.

Either a rider doesn’t understand the issue or they are making excuses as they use it themselves.

There is no grey area, there is no reason to pedal like this other than to game the system.


See if that ride is available on Strava, then you can find the cadence graph that will also show sprint, stop, sprint, stop.

Super annoying that ZP doesn’t include the cadence graph as it’s makes it even more obvious when microbursts are being employed.


Thanks Jamie for replying.
Just for clarity, I don’t think I’m defending the practice and hope my comments are not perceived as such.

The original video is clearly showing micro bursts to get an advantage.
It has power and cadence available for review.
In the graph submitted by C A Cestria, we review HR and power.
Is that enough?
The guy in question has wide fluctuations of power but there’s no scale, his HR is flat.
By contrast, C A Cestria has a much flatter power curve but increases his HR.
I asked if that graph was enough to determine microbursts and if so, how would one define it in a way to code.

There needs to be a better definition than I know it when I see it.
I agree that cadence seems important.
Zwift should include cadence graph so more situations are reviewed by the community and a proper working def can be developed.

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You make an excellent point of people not understanding how microbursts different from normal riding and workouts.
I want to review my own rides and would like to post the data for review to demonstrate to others the difference.

I don’t know how to do so.

All my rides go to Strava and Zwift power and my accounts are public.
On 1/19/23, I did a 40/20 work out and the first block was performed out of saddle and the second was seated.
Never was my cadence 0.

My TDZ ride on 1/17/23 was basically rode as a race and I started out of saddle and held watts high until the lead settled.
I think both cases show non microbursts.

I think I’ve misinterpreted microburst as ALL increases in power without a corresponding increase in cadence.
I do think increases in power should probably also show an increase in HR.
Is that correct?

I don’t think cadence necessarily has anything to do with Microbursting. Eg. simultaneous shift of small to big ring in front while also shifting multiples on the rear, could yield small cadence differences but large power differences.

As for HR, I thought the frequency of up/down on power was faster than a human’s HR is going to change – talking about a few seconds or so up, and then a few seconds down.

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no problem.

I’ve looked up the graphs from the original as there is no scale to check, the swings are from 550w to as low 30w. All the peaks and trough are a 500w swing in quick bursts ie microbursts, I’d say if your HR is around threshold this kind of riding will just keep it there and not ramp up like C A’s did by doing a solid effort.

Cadence charts helps to see it but really a very spikey power chart (with scale to see how high the swings are) is enough to see microbursts in action.

This is the same guy as original post, proving on a climb he can ride at steady wattage, or when needed deploy microbursts. His heartrate climbs a lot more doing a steady efforts and actually recovers using microbursts.


Nice one Jamie :+1:

That, right there, is the most incontrovertible evidence anyone could wish to see.

I really wish that Zwift would do something to address this kind of micro-bursting, and sticky watts for that matter. It’s all rather depressing :-1:


Yeah. I tried to get that across in the OP 273 posts ago.


I know. At least I found a dead to rights power chart showing that it’s the riders choice to do it.

No excuses.
No that’s just how I ride.
No it’s a quirk of my trainer.


I think he’s actually trying (and succeeding) to sticky watt. If you look at the raw numbers of the data on the Strava post for that ride (I think I have the same one), there are a ton of 2x and 3x repeated power numbers in the spiky parts.

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That’s interesting to see. It was always my contention that this was most likely to be just a slightly different manifestation of sticky watts and not some magic zwift physics whereby the equations of motion were briefly suspended if you pedalled in a particular style.

I observed a rider the other day doing this exactly.

Bursts of 500-550w very consistent then back to low or zero watts. It was so unusual I took a screen capture of this on companion app.

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What kind of file is this chart and how can I open and view them?

It’s from zwiftpower if you go to a users profile click on the icon to the right side of the users events.


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