Racing Without a Heart Rate Monitor

Hi all. I just want to share a frustration with regard to people not using heart rate monitors in events that require them. I realize that these people get disqualified after the event, but it really causes me to make what end up to be poor decisions during the race.

I did a OG Racing event today. I lost contact with 3 riders who were in the lead and turned myself inside out to catch them which I never did. I ended up riding alone for most of the race but had one rider making time on me from behind. Again, I rode at my best possible pace but ultimately he caught me. We rode together until the end of the race with me out sprinting him (barely) at the finish. Again, this was a maximum effort for me.

Checking the final standings on ZwiftPower I learned that I had won the race and the 2nd place rider was a minute back. Gone were the 3 riders in front of me and the rider I battled to the finish were all disqualified due to lack of heart rate monitors/data. I very happy that I won, but any race strategy I utilized was wasted as everyone I raced at the front were disqualified.

This is not a thing that happens now and then, but the rule rather that the exception. I raced 25 events of the Crit Series during May and finished high in the standings in all of the races, but this issue of heart rate disqualification occurred in the vast majority of races.

What I don’t understand is why Zwift can’t remove the riders without heart rate monitors during the race rather that after it. If the race requires a heart rate monitor/data then people not following the rules of the race should be removed after the event begins.

Sorry for the long post, but I really believe that fixing this issue would greatly improve all of our racing experiences on Zwift.


This is again one of those race organizers that want both Zwift Power (ZP) and Category enforcement (CE)

If they set-up the race correctly they can enforce HR monitors and Power meters. But They decide to DQ after the event.

Best option is just stop doing their events and pick events that suite your preferences and use the tools available.

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Aren’t the OG race series ZHQ events :joy:


There are races that require pairing the HRM before entering the start pen. Zwift HQ doesn’t do this, probably to make their events more inclusive. However if you search for events using the “Hardware Requirement” filter in companion, you will find some. They are not plentiful unfortunately. Personally I care more about the requirement for a power meter than for HRM, since that has a bigger effect on the race. Look at the example below. There are three icons that show the requirements. The first one is category enforcement. The second one is power meter. The third is HRM.

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And then DQ after the race, that doesn’t make sense.

Either require HR or don’t.


I agree. Especially because a significant number of racers don’t use ZwiftPower and have no idea they got a DQ. They just see a win and glory in it, but they didn’t win because the results in the Companion app aren’t real, even though Zwift says they are.


They can be real IF the organizer use the proper rules set before the race. :sunglasses:

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The only reason it makes sense is if people have hrm problems there is a rare exception that an organiser will re-add them if it’s an obvious fault.

The issue is these are ZHQ events for the masses so i suspect they don’t want to restrict to HRM only as a lot of riders are not even on zp but that would be up to @James_Zwift

I agree in making events for the masses BUT then don’t DQ after the race.

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The events are ZHQ events and would seemingly be excellent events to participate in. As I race 5 days per week I’m always searching for quality races. The Crit Series in May and the OG Series this month have very high participation rates, in effect, much better than most other races. They also attract a lot of very good racers, so it’s a great event to race at a higher level. I’m very thankful that these races exist, but having to grind yourself to a pulp to compete with racers that won’t be in the final standings takes the fun out of it for me.

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ZHQ events also attract riders without power meters, without HRM, not signed up for ZwiftPower, etc. Those riders can just look at the results in the Companion app and not even know if they got a DQ for not having the HRM. The fields in those races are big and strong though. It’s just a bit of the wild west. Personally I don’t do those races for various reasons including what you experienced. There are better organized events but there aren’t really bigger better fields anywhere else. I settle for smaller fields in events that have power meter or HRM entry requirements and don’t cater to the people with big power but not much cycling fitness. I think your point you’re making is a fair one, but Zwift doesn’t agree.

We don’t want to prevent people from trying to enter a race.

We do however DQ on HR and ZP in ZwiftPower.


Based on James’s response I have a question for the community. Are tools available that allow you to see if people you are racing with are using heart rate monitors during the race? In the past I used another device with ZwiftPower open in Live mode where I could see this information, but ultimately got sick of having additional devices involved that distracted me from paying attention to the race.

Sorry James, but if that is Zwift’s thought process then it seems silly to have rules at all.


That’s a great idea for a suggested upgrade. We can see if folk have steering or are doing a workout. There’s no reason there couldn’t be an icon for HRM.

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I agree.

I don’t think HR is needed to race, with HR you can only spot the very edge cases.

But letting people enter a race and influence the outcome only to DQ them afterwards is not the way to go, we have been asking for many years to have rules set before the race start so we can have real racing.

I don’t mind if people with HR and ZP can enter that is fine if that is the rules of the race. then don’t DQ after the fact.

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We don’t want to exclude people based on the fact that they don’t have a heart rate monitor or a smart trainer. This series is about inclusivity and also getting people to try a race for the first time.

I understand the opinions that are being expressed here, but that isn’t the direction that we wanted to take with Zwift Owned racing at this level.

Community organisers are welcome to create events that prevent riders without a smart trainer / power meter or a heart rate monitor from being able to enter.

There’s not really anything else I can add to this so won’t respond further in this thread (not being narky, there really just isn’t anything else I can say).


Thanks everyone for your contributions to this thread. I’m happy that I opened this conversation as I learned that Zwift Owned races have the opposite objective than I thought they had. I thought a higher race quality experience, but the reality is the opposite. Knowing what I do now I’ll stop participating in Zwift Owned races.


Zwiftpower would be the obvious first choice to spot both riders not on zp and those without hrm.

You could manually fanview a rider but doing that mid race to multiple riders is somewhat painful the other option would be sauce rider list where it’s pretty easy to show those without hrm.

Or as you suggest avoid these races as they are designed for mass participation and new riders you might be better off with some of the other community organised race series where nearly everyone is on ZP and mostly likely using HRM


I know you’ve left the thread, but what you didn’t address is why then DQ for HR and have that as a rule in the first place? Understood is the goal of inclusivity in getting people to try racing.

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