I’m new to Zwift racing and would like to start out racing in the D category so I can get some experience and be even somewhat competitive. My first couple of races I was pushing above the 2.4w/kg ratio but not even a bit competitive. Of course Zwift then placed me in the C category where I simply get crushed. Is there any way to move back down to the D category once I’ve been placed in the C category? Will a few races at 2.4w/kg or below allow me to drop back down to the D category so I can race there for a while until I get stronger and more experience? Or, is it once you’re at the C category, there is no moving back down? Also, I ride a Kinetic Road Machine “dumb trainer” with Inride sensor. Could it be that the lower accuracy of my trainer affects my w/kg pushing me above 2.4w/kg falsely? Would a Smart Trainer make me a stronger racer? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Often those leading D races are overqualified for that lowest tier category. With Cat B and C riders dominating Cat D races, real D category Zwifters need to drop down to Cat E or F to be competitive. Unfortunately those categories don’t exist as such.
And if Cat F existed, it would still be dominated by Cat B and C riders looking for an easy ride and easy win.
Zwift uses your best 3 events over that past 90 days. Ride longer races where your W/kg won’t be as high as in the shorter more intense races. As our high W/kg fall off your Cat will drop. However, we see this a lot and you probably are a C level racer based on Zwift power numbers. Because you are not competitive in a certain category does not mean you don’t belong there.
Dumb wheel on trainers do not have the same accuracy as the direct drive trainers or a power meter, Whether it is erring high or low is difficult to tell. I would recommend that if you enjoy Zwift racing and think it is something you’d like to continue then consider upgrading to a direct drive trainer. If you do upgrade post on Zwiftpower forums and ask for a restart due to a new trainer and the moderator will erase all of your prior races and you’d be back to a D.
The kind of trainer you have is not very accurate, but many other Zwifters use similarly inaccurate equipment, so that isn’t going to make a difference.
One of the problems of the w/kg system Zwift uses to define categories is that lighter riders like you and I (although it looks like you suddenly put on some weight ) get promoted to a higher cat before you get much beyond half way up the rankings. Not much you can do about that until Zwift decides to start sorting riders by performance vs other riders (as has been demanded by riders here for a LONG time).
Your w/kg is based on a 90-day performance window, so you can’t drop your cat by strolling through a few races (or putting some lead bricks in your back pocket). Based on the numbers I can see on your profile you’re a genuine C by Zwift’s current system so you’ll have to do what I do, and be satisfied by beating the 2nd or 3rd group in races and try to up your power over time. Your overall power numbers suggest we’re actually fairly closely matched so maybe you’ll see me in the same race one of these days
Thanks for the replies! Very helpful. The funny thing is, my weight is accurate right now. I haven’t actually weighed myself for a long time and I’m usually between 150-155 so that’s what I was using originally. Then, I actually weighed myself and I’m around 165 right now despite feeling/looking relatively thin. I’m going to continue racing and I’ll see where things end up. I’m planning to do some races with my wife, though her power is pretty amazing when I ride with her, so I may still end up over the w/kg. It looks like C is where I’ll remain! Thanks again!
Well, I raced today in a C category race and it was fun despite finishing next to last in C. I was able to find a nice group to ride with and when it came down to the sprint to the finish, I was able to beat everyone to the line. That was fun! Two of the riders I beat were the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the D category. Oh well, it was still a lot of fun and a great workout!
Make sure you register with Zwiftpower.con. That’s where the real race results are.