Racing Cats need some adjustments Cat A and B

That person still appears to show as a Cat C rider as well

One of the ways to help stop the sandbaggers would be using Heart Rate into the calculation as well… If an event is set as a race then it should be set that heart rate is one thing that is an enforced requirement. Zwift generally has loads of data on your heart rate from all your rides so has a good idea of your max, avg etc. If not it always has the default 220 - age to roughly get a max number.

Using heart rate you would have a higher chance of picking up those riders flying under the radar or trying to play the system to Cat down or stay down.

If you see someone who is right at the limit of a Cat and their max heart rate or avg heart rate is well below % wise where you would expect it to be at effort then that should apply adjustment to get a more realistic number to use as your Cat Enforcement.

Also all these Zwift hosted Racing league races should always have a Cat E pen for those who do not have the data to properly grade them. Start in Cat E and prove where you belong to get yourself a ranking. These races are like every hour so there is no reason for anyone to be able to do any type of race series to not complete Cat E Zwift hosted racing to get yourself ranked properly before you can then join other races.

Heart rate is a very poor indicator of effort. If you used 220 - my age to see if I was working, you would be deceived because my limit is far higher than that. That’s just how my body works. Riders’ age and use of heart-rate-lowering medication also affects their max HR, but if they are super fit they may still be quite fast. You can have suspicions by looking at HR but no certainties that would be sufficient to disqualify riders without a very lax limit.


You are pretty much backing up where I am going with heart rate though Paul.

As you state your heart rate is capable of going higher than the 220 - age. Lets say 220 - 40 = 180 max but you know you can hit 195max

Lets say you ride Cat C and you win the race with a 3.2wkg and your max heart rate is only 150 because you are playing the system and just putting in enough effort to keep you where you are which is what alot are doing. This is where Zwift should be going. Wait a second here this person is near the max for this Cat but we can see clearly that their max heart rate is will below what their max should be close to. It should still be used as a tool to check the effort for someone that they are putting in. If everyone to race is forced to have a heart rate monitor connected then over time the values for your heart rate will be more useful and the initial tool of 220 - age wont be required but there in the back end as a guide.

When you look at a lot of the results right now people winning have very low max heart rates

How do you know “what their max should be close to” ? HR is not an absolute metric like power; different people have highly variable heart rates to put out the same watts or w/kg.

Umm you see their max heart rate from all the rides they are doing on Zwift whilst using a heart rate monitor. You use 220 - age as a just a guide for people who do not have any data until they start to develop their own data.

Of course they have low heart rates - this leaves them some room for a powerful sprint finish.

I wonder whether a race results categorisation system might work a little better than using heart rate ?

You don’t know their max. A consistent sandbagger will have consistently low heart rate. You just don’t know what their potential is because they never get there.

My max is 20bpm higher than 220 minus my age. If I didn’t ever do max efforts because I was a sandbagger, you would look at my values and think “this is fine”.

Another thing to consider is race distance. I do a 100km race and my heart rate doesn’t get anywhere near max. It’s still hard, I am working and exhausted at the finish. If you looked at the low values you would not be able to conclude anything with enough certainty to issue a DQ.

The 220-age doesn’t work for me either; if it were used, someone would think I never even try. (it would be 185 at calculation)
For the longest time I thought my maxHR was only 172; it wasn’t until just shy of a year ago I managed to hit 182, probably during ZRL; and I’ve only managed to hit that high of an HR about 3 times over my entire Zwift career.

That said; the data Zwift does have on our HR should be enough to be useful; not in theory, but in actuality.
It wouldn’t be too difficult to figure out if an event is endurance or not to determine where your average should be.

But I do agree that reliance on HR is a nightmare.

Too many people use terrible HR readers like light based watches and such that get stuck, lag out for minutes at a time, and can’t read anything when you sweat, and have massive delays, long enough to where it might not even see someone’s neuro efforts.

As a guess and check in “esports” series, sure… but those people don’t exactly have the opportunity to sandbag, it’s just one field; Open and Womens.

We kind of have already been over the solution; someone shouldn’t be able to win their Cat races race after race after race, especially consecutively, and especially not one day apart…

I mean I hate to rag on this person that won that race I took part in last night; but it shouldn’t exactly be possible that of the past 50 races that show up on ZP; 31 are podiums, and 26 of those are wins.

That’s just… ridiculous.

CE is fine… I personally think; but people need to be given upgrades when upgrades are due.

People that take off of Zwift for extended periods and do a race and win… just need to be able to be DQ’d by Zwift better, on the fly. Beyond that I don’t believe there’s a real solution. Some people come back stronger, some weaker.

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That is the problem of Zwiftpower it will update your category after you start your next event and not when you enter the event. That’s how you can see someone as B registered in C when he’s downgraded or vice versa.

So it’s not fine then… it can be manipulated to keep people in lower categories and can’t upgrade people who win race after race.

It’s broken… in fact it never worked from the start as it’s just a poor system.

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I added Compound Score to use with zFTP and zMAP and remove Watt floors…if you are over one of those 3 limits you are upgraded.
I know it’s not perfect but will fix many of the problems with repeated winners.

PEN → zFTP W/kg / zMAP Wkg / Compound Score (5min Wkg * 5min Watts)
Pen A - > 4.2 W/kg / > 5.1 W/kg / > 2000
Pen B - > 3.8 W/kg / > 4.6 W/kg / > 1650
Pen C - > 3.36 W/kg / > 4.1 W/kg / > 1350
Pen D - > 2.9 W/kg / > 3.6 W/kg / > 1100
Pen E - < 2.9 W/kg / < 3.6 W/kg / < 1100

Here is the topic


I did look at that in the week, I think it puts me right at the top of D category…

I would have gone from a mid-bottom B, to C, to D all while getting stronger with my zFTP lowering each time.

(I know they are using different formulas I jest)

I’m a high end C with a low heart rate. If my HR was at 150 I would be working really hard.

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This is a bogus dramatization and you know it.
Before CE there was literally nothing, and CE has absolutely prevented some people from entering D and C events which was happening all the time.

So it definitely hasn’t “never” worked.

As for Dejan’s system, it points out exactly what so many people have asked all along; an additional Cat.

So while it does tack on a little extra buff that… let’s be honest can still be cheated, it’s just tightening down the size of the Cats by introducing another one.

But the reality still stands; if you’re winning, you deserve an upgrade.
Will people sandbag this system too? Sure… people can sandbag in the real world too.

But they can’t “cheat” winning and not going anywhere.

Such a simple system of upgrading people up a Category if they get X number of wins in 30/60/90 days will absolutely lower the number the people who are very obviously working the system just to feel better about themselves.

“What happens after 90 days and they have no wins”

Same thing that happens right now… they can sandbag all they want, but if they start taking wins again, they’re cut off and forced out of the system because they’ve proven they’re better than the Category they’re attempting to race in.

It doesn’t take a genius, it doesn’t take extreme data evaluation, it barely even takes a calculator.

Let’s take a look at those results from that race I keep bringing up one last time of those “Cat Bs” who took the Podium of the Tuesday 19:10 Loch Loop race.

90 Days races on ZP:
Winner: 19 Podiums, 17 wins; 23 races.
Second placer: 10 Podiums, 4 wins; 24 races.
Third placer: 31 Podiums… 13 wins; THIRTY ONE PODIUMS OUT OF THIRTY ONE RACES.

Do you think these people would be allowed to continue to race in their Cats at outdoor races with that many wins; especially that third placer?

Heck no!

For the record; that third placer not only used to race A’s, but he won too; out of the 50 events on his front page of ZP, ONE was not a podium… it was a measly 4th place.

This is where CE fails… completely, against people that aren’t even trying to hide they’re sandbaggers.

They’re just proving they found the fine line, and given enough live data (bike computer, Sauce, whatever), can do exactly what he is doing.

It doesn’t mean CE as a whole isn’t working. It just doesn’t have a way of preventing … that guy.


CE as a power measuring system i would argue has never worked well. Just caused a lot of confusion resulting in countless posts on the forums.

If you compare old ZP cats (20 mins power) to CE power curve CE is probably marginally better but i honestly don’t see a big difference it still comes back to riders know what to do stay within limit and if anything ZHQ has made it worse as they increased the limits across the board which has hit the numbers of A riders.

What has worked is pen enforcement and I’d probably argue that ZP Cats with pen enforcement would of been a lot less hassle than what we have currently got.

I think @DejanPresen has the right idea by looking at CS as this correlates far better to results than zFTP/zMAP ever does. and removing the wattage floors that have been a problem for years that is clear to see.


Thats an awful lot of text about a system that doesnt exist whilst claiming the system that does exist works.

It a ridiculous system that is backwards, that fails at all but pen enforcement…

  1. Short term power wins races (no ifs, no buts).
  2. So we have a system where good short term power reduces one of the metrics (zFTP) that promotes riders to the next category.
  3. The short term power metric that promotes users (zMAP) is so high, that winning race after race wont get you near it, therefore you wont get promoted due to that metric.
  4. You cant get promoted if you win race after race.

Its a system that catches people who are not playing the system - It should be catching those who are playing the system.

How the constant telling of users to put out a 3min effort to get themselves demoted or reduce zFTP didnt set alarm bells ringing il never know, but here we are… still…


Shot down previously is the simple idea that Zwift just universally change the cat definitions randomly and on an irregular timing basis, and DON’T tell us what they are and when they’ve changed them. All that would probably be needed is swings up or down by ~.1wkg or thereabouts to just keep everyone guessing.


Hang on, I just said that it works in the basic functionality that it keeps people of way higher cats out of the lower cat races like the way it used to be.

I never said it was a good system :joy:

Beyond “enforcing categories” it isn’t doing much; but it is doing something.

My only gripe still with Dejan’s system is the use of an extra Cat, which I really don’t see Zwift making a move on (I feel like it’s been requested ever since I started and there’s been zero budge, and I’m sure it’s been going on long before I started).
However; his system does remind me a bit of the compound scoring from Zwiftracing app. Which is something that I do think helps a bit.

But Zwift still needs to add some form of system that involves MORE than power. One form of categorization is just far too easy to manipulate.


Stop using this non-sense. Speed is largely a factor of wkg in this game. I have 530watts 1 minute power and 1000+ watts 15 sec power. I can’t even dream about winning in Cat B with my 3.4wkg 20 min power. You are completely ignoring the fact that all the winners in races not only have good 1 min power, but also top end 20min power.

So, stronger riders win races. Surprise surprise!

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Lets call it long range power (for want of a better term), that gets you in the mix or through the ‘selection’, short term power then selects the winner.
Its why there is such a move towards compound score.

There are caveats if we are talking out of the norm or beyond generalisation within zwift, mountain finishes (few & far between in zwift), TTs etc…

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