Rider Weight (A few things to consider)

(Jeff Doughty PVC WBR (B)) #1

It has come to my attention that some people haven’t entered height or weight information into their account.

That presents a bit of a problem considering watt/kg is the basis for the entire game.

It seems to make sense to me that instead of having a default weight, (presumably what there is currently) that a rider should HAVE to enter this info before heading out on their first ride.

Secondly, I think this information should be shown next to the rider on the rider board on the right side of the screen. It would be nice to know you aren’t riding next to someone who has entered 80lbs or something very low to make up for power shortcomings,. I am not on Zwift to compete with other people, and ultimately it doesn’t really matter to me whether people want to cheat or not. But, in all fairness to the quality of the game I think a lot of people would like to see that info , myself included.

Weight equalizer / Handicap / Race option
(D) #2

(Eric Min) #3

The default weight is currently 75kg but we are thinking about how best to manage this particularly with events we have in mind.

(Jeff Winkler ZHR (E)) #4

I agree that perhaps a displayed value would allow community pressure. Maybe even a way to “flag” a rider?

Another thought on the display, I would prefer to see rider speed as opposed to watts/kg. Obviously, the message is the same: you are going faster or slower than the rider in question, but it seems more “realistic” to me.

Finally, has there been any thought to account for real person elevation? I am at 5300ft and the science is in agreement that I lose about 5% output compared to sea level (at least over much of the output range). I did some simple math trying to account for the power loss by adjusting weight, and this results in changing my weight from 162 to 154lbs. Of course, this is an extremely simplistic way to deal with the issue.

(Jeremy Brazeal AETNA R/T ) #5

I just found this post when I searched rider weight. I just joined Zwift and noticed major discrepancies when it comes to watts/KG averages on all of my rides so far. The first time I was going up the climb at around 3.5 w/KG (143 lbs, 250-280 watts) and another rider climbed away from me like I was standing still at 1.7 w/kg which means this guy was like 80 lbs. The second time I watched a guy go up the climb averaging 9 w/kg for 5-6 minutes which is safe to say, impossible. The issue with posting the weight is some people my not want the world to see their weight even if it is virtual. Most MMOG communities find ways to self-regulate/police this type of thing. I imagine as the game grows and the beta phase ends this will happen somehow. But, until then Zwift Island will be the only place in the world where someone can average 38 MPH up hill. This fact cracked me up when I looked at some of the KOM leaderboards on Strava. At least we know these riders did not get the KOM by putting their bike on the roof of their car without turning off their Garmin.

(Steven Riley) #6

I second the requirement to enter weight when you first use the game. I’m 90+ KG and I really enjoyed that first ride. I assumed it was like “indoor rowing” and that you guys were just going to work of measured power!

A very polite message explaining the policy for fair weight at the very begining would be better. I know you’re trying to have a super smooth process for the initial ride (with no visible hinges or sharp edges) but everyone who signs up is thinking the same thing!

(PWL .) #7

i ride zwift for rehab and to get into shape. i have no interest in posting my personal information. perhaps an alternative would be to require this information to be on a leader board  

(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #8

If you have not entered in your weight, the application requires you to do so now (or, at least, it should). This information is not made public.

Otherwise you can enter in your personal Dashboard.

(Tex Walker) #9

Zwift is a virtual world. Why would rider weight even matter? IMO, to stop those folks from setting the lowest weight possible, every zwift virtual rider should have their weight set at 85kgs. This would create a more level playing field.

Weight equalizer / Handicap / Race option
(Ben Crone) #10

@R Walker that wouldn’t make it level at all. It may be a virtual world but it’s still based on real world physics…


(Catalin Onel ZZRC (C)) #11

I agree with R Walker. The real world physics do not apply entirely to indoor sessions. because there are no inclines to “pull” you down.Also, no resistance setting on your trainer could mimic that force… As long as any user is free to chose whatever weight he wants things will not be fair… because human nature is to cheat if it doesn’t get caught :slight_smile: and I include myself here too

(Jeremy Brazeal AETNA R/T ) #12

Ok. Silly to have to beat a dead horse here but it seems that a lot of people in ZWIFT do not quite understand the physiology of cycling. Power output has a direct connection to rider mass and weight. Which makes sense if you consider a larger rider is pushing more mass around and therefore developing their muscles in a way to put out more power. Of course genetics plays a big part as well. If a cyclist is 82 KG and has a FTP of 350 that rider will have an FTP of 4.3w/KG. In ZWIFT this number is translated to speed. If another rider is only 64 KG and has the same FTP (= same speed) of 4.3w/KG their power number is 275. If that rider was given a default of 82 KG their FTP would now drop to 3.35 w/KG I.E. much slower in ZWIFT. If the 82 KG rider changes their weight in their profile to 64 KG their FTP (= speed) would now be 5.5 w/KG (elite/pro type numbers) instead of their accurate FTP of 4.3 w/KG. Regardless of whether or not people are riding/racing outdoors or indoors it is extremely important to train based on your real numbers or you will not improve or be able to be competitive outside of ZWIFT. If all a rider wants to do is fly around a virtual race course for the rest of their life that is fine, do what you want. If it is just a game to you that is fine too. But, cyclists and racers in ZWIFT know what is real and what is not. What is possible and what is not. So, people who do not stay true to themselves really are hurting themselves in the long run and not fooling anyone. I used to get frustrated at the riders who fly around the island at 4+ w/KG and ramp it up for all the jerseys with no recovery in between, etc. But now I simply don’t care. However, I still feel it is a good thing to educate people who dont know sometimes on how this whole bike racing and training for bike racing thing works. Lastly, Going on a ride in ZWIFT and riding as hard as you can the whole time with no recovery or intervals and no rest days will make you an extremely ineffective cyclist in the long run. Even for time trialing. You need to train your body, lungs and heart how to recover quickly to enable you to reach your potential. Muscles need to rest to rebuild.

(Ben Crone) #13

@Catelin, you’re right inclines don’t affect regular indoor sessions but that’s the point of zwift… It’s not a regular indoor trainer the whole point is to accurately simulate outdoor riding - where weight does influence speed.

If you make everyone the same weight then lighter weight riders are at a disadvantage (hills or otherwise). Its all about W/kg.

People will always cheat and a robust solution is required but making everyone weigh the same is not a solution.

(Duane) #14

I get enough grief out on the road already for being a svelte 64kg weight and wouldn’t like it to be so public in the virtual realm.  I think w/kg is about as neutral as you can get, but at times I think it would be fun to see percent of FTP.  I disagree strongly with the idea above of doing one weight for everyone because often times that added weight is muscle mass that us flyweights simply don’t have.

(Glenn Gonzales Stephens SZR) #15

When I signed up on Zwift, I entered my real weight and the rides were not realistic - by watts, speed or effort. The result was rides that accomplished little. The rides did not simulate real rides or real training. 

For example, up hills I would go 2-4 miles per hour. Once Box Hill took me something like half a hour. My time was like double the slowest time up the hill of the next slowest riders. 

I don’t care about my relative results compared to other rides. Slower or faster. I want rides that are similar to the effort level, watts, heart rate and speed of my training rides. 

So I have tinkered with the weight. I went down until I found a weight that produced rides similar to my training rides on land. That is the whole point right?

Remember trainers vary. And the only real way to adjust for trainer differents is tinkering with the weight. 

Before you accuse people of cheating, remember, this is a game, a simulation, and the weight listed might actually be UNcheating, the riders way of making rides realistic.

(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #16


Can you give use a run down of your setup so maybe we can assist you in getting it setup correctly so you do not have to adjust your weight. I would highly recommend NOT lowering your real weight to adjust your Zwift performance. There should be no reason to adjust your weight to get Zwift working correctly.

Comparing out door rides with Zwift is close to impossible. Zwift does not have cars or stop signs, you don’t have to slow for corners, the draft effect is different and the terrain is different.

Watts are watts and have nothing to do with your weight. Comparing HR between real world and Zwift is not recommended, completely different environments.

(W ally 3R) #17

I guess he’d rather continue cheating :slight_smile: