Should I refrain from events if I don’t yet have a power meter?

Hi - I’m a power lifter who was forced into alternatives during COVID- picked up a spin bike and found Zwift so naively bought what I thought were requisite items - wahoo speed and cadence and HR monitor…and off I went in my oblivious spinning happiness. However it’s now obvious to me I’m not getting accuracy so have duly requested the favero assioma pedals for Xmas - seemed sensible as I can use them outside too, rather than purchasing a smart bike.
Meantime - the sensors will have to do.
So - how do I avoid snide comments in group rides etc ? What should I not be doing ?
I feel a bit ignorant as I’m new to this so instead of pissing people off, it would be great if someone advised.
I’m a power lifter not a cyclist :woman_shrugging::joy:

Hello—to get started, can you give more info on why you say “it’s now obvious to me I’m not getting accuracy”? What is happening? Also, have you already been getting snide remarks, or are you just trying to avoid them for the future?

If you are doing group rides I wouldn’t worry about the fact you are using a spin bike without power pedals. It is when one joins a race that problems will arise from other people. You can do solo rides and spin until you puke too and no one will bother you generally. You already know this, but for anyone else reading this thread the best way to get the most out of Zwift is to have a smart trainer with accurate power like the Neo to hook your real bike up and use ERG mode for training, do solo rides, group rides and races. Smart bikes too but I assume only a small percentage of people use those at the moment.

Assuming you already have a bicycle (any bicycle will work), you can pick up a smart wheel-on-trainer such as the Saris M2 or Wahoo Kickr Snap (Elite and Tacx have options in Europe) for what should be less than the power meters. Particularly if you find one used. The power pedals on the spin bike will work but you will spend a lot of effort mucking around with manual resistance while a smart trainer changes resistance based on what Zwift (or whatever app) tells it to do.

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You can even go with a dumb trainer like a Cycleops Fluid II trainer coupled with a speed sensor and Zwift will approximate your power and it is pretty accurate, it is referred to a ZPower. The only reason I mention this is that you can pick up a used Fluid trainer for $75-$125 and since you already have a speed sensor you only need a bike. If you do explore dumb trainer options make sure they are the lift of approved trainers by Zwift else Zwift can’t calculate your power numbers,
However, if you want to get into racing or competing then I recommend you follow the advice of @chris_benten1 and get a legit platform with built in and accurate power meter. Also, the experience with a smart trainer is more robust than with a dumb trainer like a cycleops fluid II.