Racing Cats need some adjustments Cat A and B

One thing I thought of this morning that I’d really love to see.

What percentage of the population is in each category.
Like how big actually is C and B, and how small is A by comparison?

This morning I was thinking it would be interesting if all cats were split percentage wise by population; but then I realized that would end absolutely horribly and be incredibly confusing to potentially be one cat, and then another one day later with no change. Even if “the shuffle” occurred once a month.

For grins I just looked at a large handful of Zwift Stage 2 Race the Worlds results on ZP from today so far.
Cat A averaged to maybe 4 racers.
B to high teens / 20ish
C mid 20s
D, probably less than B (which probably has its reasons.)

I’m just curious how over-inflated C and B are population wise; but it had me thinking how many people would rather ease just a little bit to be a cat lower, just to have more active and engaging races. Because I will personally admit I absolutely have dropped out of events due to lack of population / general interest to do something else instead. I have no idea if this is commonplace to have that train of thought…
However I have a feeling some people might not mind being a cat higher if that means they actually have people to race against.

(I realize there are sandbaggers and they will always work their way around the system, but just was curious about this one aspect I’ve never seen discussed before… I don’t think.)

If you really want to try and size this, maybe visit and go thru the ranking categories. You can at least get a fairly quick count on numbers in Platinum, Ruby, Emerald, and so on…

I like Zwift as it has the critical mass, & even when I can’t find a decent cat A race there’s always something to do. But A cat needs more racers. There’s a large number of high-Bs that could comfortably beat me in a race & having them beat me make it more fun.
Zwift categories are arbitrary lines that make some at the top of their category feel good, but I’d happily struggle at the bottom of A cat if only the fields were bigger.


I’m not quite as close to A as I thought I would be by now, but I’m not far away, and I completely agree. And again, this is where ZRL takes the cake; because it splits Cats into smaller divisions and then the racing is still fairly reasonable.

I’m just wondering if resetting the lines a few times a year (half year, quarter / season), to even out the size of the fields would be worth while.
It is a balancing act, I’m aware, and the issue still kind of remains that it would be weird for some folks who aren’t getting any stronger or weaker end up in different cats through the year…

However, don’t other, smaller, real world, cycle races group Cats due to not having enough people?
It just makes some sense to me things should be shifted around seasonally, to keep the populations of the cats regulated, to keep events active.

Just to give you guys a overview from someone who’s not so familiar with all that matter and just want to race once in a while.

I’m totally confused with all this categories, race enforcement, z something, map… I just want to race against people with the same category, which haven’t been happening lately and that’s why I kind of stopped.

I’d like to select a race, enter, participate, loose, win, I don’t mind. I face races as a motivational workout. I don’t think Zwift does a good job to translate the fit on game to fit on reality, but this is my opinion and I won’t go ahead with that discussion.

The point is, my numbers suggest I’m a lower “B”, maybe a “C”, but I’m enforced to race in “B”, where I’m always smashed by guys with “A” numbers. I don’t mind that much, and while the wheatear allows me, I ride outside. But during winter I’m back to the trainer and Zwift. So, if I was better categorized, it could be funnier takes part on races more frequently.

1 Like

We have races for Lower B riders it’s PEN C…so remember when Winter comes around to check them out


Hi, I found this buried in one of their pages explaining fitness metrics not even an hour ago, and i wish i’d found it a year ago because it would have saved me a lot of time. Zwift recommends testing your strongest efforts for each of these intervals:

inaccurate data can lead to inaccurate estimates. you may very well find that you are a C afterwards, though that depends on if you meet the criteria after doing the tests.

you can find more infromation in the “more info” link next to your fitness metrics along with some other possibly helpful info. it’s a complicated system, but hopefully this helps and thanks to zwift for making this info available to people

1 Like

I’ll certainly be back as winter approaches, and I’ll give another try for races.

I read a few interesting tips and will try to race cleverly, despite the whole idea of racing for me is the increase in fitness. I’d rather keep my 69.5kg losing Zwift races but keeping in the “strong group” in our species Wednesday rides than winning Zwift races with 80kgs and got dropped on the road.

What an energetic thread all of a sudden! After quite a few rather quiet months in here.

I can’t help but feel a bit of Schadenfreude, to quote the Germans, as the flaws of the cat system make themselves known to the division between A and B and all the people affected, some of which were never affected before since they raced in a cat with no power ceiling.

And so you think “now they get it, now they too understand what we have been talking about for years.” But then not all do, still. Or they do in theory but they still just can’t help themselves from reaching for the repair kit.

So, while you guys sulk over some heavy punchy A riders who recently got to race in B and smash the locals, I thought I’d cheer you up a little with a funny picture that I st0led from the interwebz, a meme of sorts:

Have you seen it before? If not, then this is the so-called Tychonic model, an astronomical model by Danish renaissance astronomer Tyco Brahe. It was based on the Ptolemaic model, a far older ancient Greek model, but with some extra bells and whistles (quite a few actually). If that seems too abstract, you could vaguely compare them to the CE model vs the old WKG model, I guess. Just as some point of reference.

Anyway, the Tychonic model was a splendid one, because it had the merit of keeping the Pope happy. Hence old Tyco never had to burn at the stake. The model puts Man, God’s creation, and his home Earth, in the center of the universe, and then everything else revolves around it, the Sun included.

However, Tyco was forced to somehow account for various strange observations made possible by new technology, such as his own telescope, very advanced at the time and certainly not available in the LBS in ancient Greece. E.g. there were observations of Venus moving forwards as usual during the year but then suddenly going backwards for a while. Tyco therefore had to make a lot of changes to the original Greek model, which showed Earth smack in the middle and then the other stellar bodies in concentric circles around it. Among other things, Tyco was forced to offset Earth’s original central position quite a bit, as you can see, or the numbers wouldn’t add up. And then he came up with an ingenious solution to Venus’ and Mercury’s sometimes retrograde movements. They obviously had to… ehum… revolve around the sun… but… but… the sun still revolved around Earth… of course!

The stars were sprinkled on a spherical celestial backdrop that slowly rotated around the whole divine creation. God knows what was behind that backcloth, but some things were just not meant for Man to find out.

I suppose Tyco must have been redesigning and readjusting his model many times as new annoying observations came in and threatened the model. But he kept it together. All in all, it was a pretty (complex) picture.

But then came Copernicus and ruined it all. The damn heretic, may he burn in hell!

Enough history of science.

Guys, just give up. The cat model doesn’t need additional tweaking because it has already reached its highest state. It’s as perfect as it can ever be. All it needs now is just that little cherry on the top: a big cease and desist note. It’s time for Zwift to put Copernicus on the stage and to relegate the power measures of the CE model to the periphery of our solar system, in a pretty concentric circle revolving around the Sun - the Race Results. Why not put that circle somewhere past Uranus?

In the meantime, just accept the fact that racing is borked for now, as it always was. Just live with it and pray for a better tomorrow. Additional tweaking now won’t fix a thing. Power measures were never meant to sit at the center of the universe, that’s just absurd when you think about it.

And no, I don’t care one bit about low attendance in cat A events. Bohoo. There is already another cat that has had low attendance for a long time (once all the cat B sandbaggers were removed) and nobody ever cared. The division between A and B simply doesn’t need fixing, because it’s just a waste of time. Come Copernicus and that and a whole bag of other problems will all fade into distant memory instantly. That’s the only way actually going forward.


Copernicus died before Tycho Brahé was born (just like was thoroughly developed before “racing score” was announced). Otherwise spot on.

Unfortunately given that inverting the zwiftpower scores and re-scaling it from 600 to 1000 took years I don’t think we’re going to get an ELO-type categorization system any time soon.


Correction duly noted. :grin:

We’ll see. I try to keep the faith. They’ve never made promises like these before. And recently they assured us that the work was well underway.

Even more importantly, let’s not forget, they have a bit of pressure now from new competitors popping up here and there. E.g. free-to-play MyWoosh that stole UCI from them the other day. Kind of void of features and riders right now, but the physics is quite alright and the splash screen promises something like “We’re better today than yesterday” and I bet they’re not pulling that one anytime soon. They won’t have to since they seem to have the same funding base as a certain WT team and a certain WT tour by the look of things, all part of the same old deep-pocketed global political and financial PR campaign. And then we have the underdog with a bite, IndieVelo, still in beta, that boasts a distinct racing focus and seems to be going ELO + matchmaking from day one. Now, racing is where the community is at. You’d need to attract users to reach some kind of critical mass, which for the most part is the same as stealing them. But you also need to keep the users…

I’ve told myself out loud (in here of all places) that I’d give them a year to show something substantial, which means late autumn. Then I go bananas again. Or jump ship. Or both. This is just revving a little, keeping the legs warm.

I should’ve raced “A” :grin:

1 Like

updated my 1m and 3m power doing the rooftoop kom earlier and my zFTP has gone from 306 to 282

ZwiftPower shows zFTP as 306 (which will get updated on my next race start) where my zwift profile shows 282 so unless there’s something else at play that we don’t know or haven’t been told, 3min does impact the zFTP

Your 5 min. power must have changed as well, or some other PR went out of the 90 day window.
1 and 3 min. power does not impact zFTP.

5vmin has not altered, only updates were 1m and 3m according to the figures showing on my zwift power numbers

Screenshot 2023-08-19 160123
Screenshot 2023-08-19 160334

Bravo for your commitment, but your user base is telling you something different and their experience matches what they are seeing… Then add in, there are actual examples confirming & reinforcing what they are saying…

It’s seems like everyone knows that 3min efforts will drop zFTP other than Zwift HQ.

Talk about painting yourself into the corner with poor comms…

I could show the portion of the code that filters out anything below 5 min., but I guess you wouldn’t believe me as well… :man_shrugging:


Is anyone able to look at Rich’s profile, and explain why his Zwift FTP has gone down, after setting power PBs? What triggered the change?

All I’m saying is that I’m seeing something that you claim can’t happen

… or some other PR went out of the 90 day window.

If I wasn’t sure, I wouldn’t be saying it can’t happen.

EDIT: remember that the power curve used is not only the power records you see on your Zwift profile.