Steering in races

To be fair, a person with a trainer that produces more watts will still be in the correct category (they will be pushed up if their power goes too high etc. unless they are already in A), while no amount of steering advantage will push someone up a category (until there are results based promos for cats I suppose).

I think Zwift is in a bit of a bind, if there’s no real advantage to steering then why would you spend money on it, if there is a too big advantage, and not everyone can get steering, then people will complain.

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Hmm, sounds like something Lance Armstrong would say if you replace steering with EPO.


I’m not sure what this adds. You could make the same argument about using Zpower or outright cheating. If someone cheats to win, it’s still possible that they could have won without cheating but that’s besides the point. The issue is that, as things stand, any time a player wins with steering there’s no way to know if they could have won without it.

If I was to put a value to steering it confers a 7-10 watts advantage base on 20 min power of 230 watts. I would save about 5 watts using steering via better draft position and cutting corners and moving up the peloton easier. The other 2-5 watts comes from using it as an exploit, steering off to not give draft or following other riders with steering and denying draft.

Overall I would gain .1 w/kg base on 20 min power with steering.

I appreciate you trying to quantify the advantage but the difference with steering that I’ve noticed, and others have reported in this thread, isn’t measurable as a marginal difference in watts. With current dynamics, steering gives a decisive advantage (1-3 seconds) on corners during climbs or doesn’t allow non-steering players to draft at times when drafting is critical, like the lead out to the finish. These are make or break moments where you either stay with the group or get dropped. The biggest difference in terms of watts is the final sprint where steering to the side the the road provides something akin to a never ending burrito power-up.

I live in Canada and have been at a disadvantage in the 10 rider ladder races because I basically can’t follow a break as it just turns into an ITT. I want to buy the Zwift Play, but am not able to in Canada. I am not sure how an in-game device for a global platform is not available to some of its users?

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It can be a disadvantage when not used properly. I steered myself right out of the group draft yesterday. Trying to cut a corner and got dropped. Lol. I definitely feel like I have to be more engaged with steering.

There is definitely a lot of myopic thinking around steering.

Can you maybe get an advantage to break - yes.
Do you have to focus for nearly 100% of the race to stay in a draft and offer draft to a team - yes.
(To the point that I think if you are TTTing with non-steerers you cannot use steering at all)

Can you cut corners going up a hill - yes - is the “racing line” of a hill more likely to feature steeper inclines - yes - is that an advantage? depends on the rider.

Is steering “country locked” - no - steering is not tied to zwift play
Is steering “pay to win” - absolutely not - the idea that a low end cat rider could buy a steering unit and suddenly by the “Vingegaard of the Cs” is somewhat absurd.

There is also a conflation of being annoyed at “steering being enabled” and “zwift play controllers”.
The former is nothing to do with Zwift play - there are multiple ways to steer on zwift.

It also remains the case that there are many more riders out there “managing” their profiles to be the top end of a lower category to enable them to win races, than any riders gaining advantage for steering to do the same.

I think if some are so upset by the idea, I’m sure Zwift would assist them in creating non-steering events on the platform which they can run for the benefit of everyone who feels steering is such a big advantage.


Is steering any more advantageous than say the tron bike over the bog standard zwift frame?

Are people who have disc wheel and the best aero frame getting an advantage over people who don’t have it?

There are always going to be people who have a slight advantage in the game


Yes, steering provides a much, much larger advantage. Steering gives you the ability to stop someone from drafting you and, without steering, you can’t follow them. Conferring some advantages for steering seems fine, but the scale of the advantage as things stand can ruin the fun.

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Do you use steering?

All you have to do to get the better bikes is ride. To get Zwift Play you need to live in the right market. Regardless of how big the advantage is, they created a product that people want and then found out they can’t have because of where they live. That’s a recipe for resentment.

Fully agree with you and have said to others that if they come out 9f beta and are shipping to countries that couldn’t get the beta and are charging more they’ll be uproar

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There are other steering device than just Zwift Play.


Not for bikes without a front wheel and not with similar functionality apart from ability to steer. It’s an appealing product when it works. That’s going to trigger the response I mentioned. You can see it here in previous posts and I don’t think it’s irrational. Using Amazon for logistics would be an option.

Are there ones you would suggest to your friends to buy? I couldn’t refer anyone to the Sterzo for instance knowing the Zwift Play exists, and hopefully will soon be available more broadly, then the Sterzo will soon be just junk plastic.

If someone thinks that steering is as much a race-breaker as some make out, and if they couldn’t get Zwift Play then yes, absolutely, I’d suggest they get a Sterzo.


My guess is many folks complaining about lack of Zwift Play in their market do actually know the Sterzo exists and simply do not feel that it’s a good purchase knowing Zwift Play covers more scenarios. So they will hold out for Zwift Play. If enough people get upset about steering having an advantage then there will be a desire for more races without steering enabled. I guess we’ll see how it plays out.

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Your point caller?

Other than I have the viewpoint of both using and not using steering compared to a lot of folk who have never steered but have an opinion on it?

Some people prefer sterzo.

A range of smart bikes also offer it.

To conflate steering with zwift play muddies the argument