Women’s category - why only W/kg and no FTP basis?

Good evening,

After just competing in the zwift racing league race I’ve noticed other riders sitting just under watts to maintain their category. I’ll save the sandbagging comments, but what was quite distinctive is my fellow riders who are lighter required a higher W/kg output in order to keep up with the heavier riders.

They’ve consequently cat’d up due to W/kg yet their power is over 50W less on an average than the heavier riders.

Why is FTP/Watts not taken in to account regarding categories for women?

Because no-one really cares about women’s racing on zwift. Young girls have a particularly tough time. At least young boys have the protection of the 150/200/250W threshold in mixed categories which gives them a chance (but perhaps an unfair advantage, depending on your POV and the course in question). OTOH there aren’t many 90kg women pushing over 300W so maybe the problem is not quite as extreme for them.

Of course the whole W/kg category thing is crap anyway, the absolute watts threshold is just a bit of lipstick on the turd to conceal some of the worst aspects of it.

It is taken into account for Zwiftpower’s categories but not all organisers choose that path.

Beyond that, many of us are eagerly waiting for a results-based ranking of all riders, from which we can create appropriate categories


i think the logic is that women are generally lighter and tend towards a higher FTP relative to their anaerobic capacity on average, so the threshold isn’t seen as necessary. i don’t really agree with that, but i also don’t like the raw watt thresholds either. i think they should be lowered by about 10w

No we’re not - but that’s a discussion for a different thread.

You’re pretty much on your own with that view…


No. Even you said “many of us”, so you’re clearly are aware that not everyone agrees.

Are you even an organiser?

! What’s that got to do with anything?

Lets take it back to basics. You are entitled to YOUR own opinion. I am entitled to MY own opinion.

But you are not entitled or even able to claim that you speak for the majority of people. And you are not in any way able claim that as a reason for then telling other people that they are wrong.

Read what I wrote. In context, “Us” refers to organisers. Basics…

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I think from other discussions on this forum it is clear that a majority DO want a results based ranking system, so the statement is factually correct.


Yeah it’s just a bit rough when there is a 20kg + difference so the lighter rider has to sit much higher on average than the heavier rider to keep up. Goes over due to the W/kg while the heavier rider stay within category. I’m happy for them to upgrade but the power discrepancy is so different and it makes it impossible for the lighter rider to be competitive within that category.

Just wanted to see other thoughts on the topic. :slight_smile:

Nope. The reference to ‘organisers’ is in the first sentence/paragraph. There is no indication in the second sentence/paragraph that by ‘us’ you mean only organisers rather than a Zwifter like all of us in this forum.

And the same argument still applies even if that is what you meant. You don’t speak for other organisers. You don’t speak for other Zwifters. You speak for yourself, whether speaking as an organiser or a plain ordinary Zwifter. And you don’t get to tell people that are wrong based on your assumption that everyone else thinks the same as you.

You’ve proven my point but then change the conclusion to suit your argument. Basic English grammar: subject introduced in first sentenced, referenced in the second. The link is clear for those who aren’t biased.

As for organisers, you clearly have missed the 2000+ recent posts and the past 3+ years of discussion on this very subject, much of which was kept only among us - that’s organisers, if it wasn’t obvious.

Let’s keep it on topic.

Would really appreciate if the posts could remain on topic here. Happy if the argument would like to be taken elsewhere as it doesn’t pertain to the original forum topic.


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