Weight Changes for Training

@xflintx Hi Flint and others,

First post here so pardon if this has been brought up before. Searched but have not found an answer. Also, this thread has been closed:

Category Enforcement Update - Weight Changes [December 2022]

Wanted to ask a question on it. If a rider changes their weight simply for the purposes of allowing them to do a training ride with a group of friends but at an intensity better suited to their fitness level, and they change it back at the end of the workout/training session, would this affect their peak W/kg records that they’ll race with?

It appears that unless the group ride uses a rubberband, there is no way other than to change weight to make a group ride possible. We’ve experimented with this and have been able to get riders of very different levels to successfully complete a workout together, for example, riding side-by-side, without a rubberband.


Hi @Xertedbrain

Why don’t you want to use the Keep together option in meetups it is super easy to setup and everyone can do their own workout or not and stay together?

You could but the experience doesn’t feel real. Riders accelerate and decelerate independent of power. Also, if a rider doesn’t hit the targets for example, they’ll just continue to ride with the group. Motivation not to get dropped will be excellent in helping riders complete workouts.

But was more interested in the ramifications of changing weight, particularly for those that race.

As far as I know it will affect your peak W/k and your CE category.

I think a better way to manage this would be with equipment choice. Weight should be reflective of reality as much as possible.
You could ride a mtb or gravel bike while the other riders could use a more aero or climbing bike as the case warrants.

Thanks @RC_Ivany

Knowing the weights and aero charactertics might be a good option. We’d need to know all the weights and aero numbers of the bikes and wheels. We could develop a algorithm that would then instruct each user which bike to choose. Some bikes would have to be 30 or 40kg though and I’m not sure these are there or there in 1kg increments of weight to provide a good option for all riders. The weight specification could likely require sub 1kg precision, depending on the course chosen.

The problem is that you’re trying to force a system that everyone wants to be ‘as realistic as possible’ to do something that isn’t realistic. :slight_smile: The situation you’re talking about could only be done virtually. If the range of your riders’ abilities is wide enough, I don’t think selected different equipment will solve the problem. I know people who could crush me on the worst bike Zwift has to offer while I was on the best.

But if your members are also concerned about CE issues, then messing with weight will affect them too. And it will very likely affect other people not in your group, as depending on who you have alter their weight, it might open up categories of competition that would be otherwise closed. If you have the less able riders mess with their weight, it will prevent them from being able to compete in a category that suits them.

The Keep Together in a Club Ride or Club Workout is hyper-unrealistic, to the point of being annoying. But the Keep Together as it works in a Meetup is much better. Yes, it will pull some people along at the back, and hold some people back at the front. But if you’re doing structured workouts, they’ll all still be hitting the correct wattage and RPM. I do think that’s the best way to go for you, given the various concerns at play.

I don’t think you would need to get that granular… although there is some tuning available… aero bike with aero wheels, climbing bike with aero wheels, steel road bike, gravel bike, buffalo bike, mtb.
You could also look at using the TT bike, they can draft you but you can’t draft them…

Some of these choices could be gleaned by comparing setups on a given course using Zwifterbikes

Or the other way around… :grinning:

I have posted elsewhere on the issue you raise. To save me re-typing again please see link below.

But quick summary:
I think it depends on whether Zwift is recording your best Watts
Or is recoding your best Watts/KG.

First one - weight changes have no bearing (provided no PB watts are achieved) on CE category.
Second one - potentially a huge bearing on your CE category.

And of course my answer has absolutely nothing to do with the question as to whether your weight change has any other beneficial gains or affects other Zwift riders.

1 Like

How about if Zwift could suggest in club events or meetups for better riders some extra weights (added into bike or backpack) based on your performance figures.
I also hate that rubberband “feeling” and it’s not even selectable in club events.
I don’t know if this have already been suggested by someone. If not feel free to steal my idea :smiley:

This is the right idea but apply it to everyone. We’ve been doing this quite successfully on our group rides where there is a mix of fitness levels and no one is interested in racing.