Zpower Category Needed

The potential for Zwift to allow for riders to test themselves against others from across the globe is tremendous.  However, zpower absolutely destroys the ability to have a level playing field.  I understand that those using smart trainers can also cheat (height and weight) however, it is fairly obvious that there is an issue when time after time those with the KOM and Sprint jerseys are zpower riders. 

Please make a separate category for these riders.  It is very disheartening to kill yourself on a sprint only to be destroyed by a zpower rider who is at level 1.

I see just as many that are not zPower users getting unrealistic times in the Sprints and KoM. I have been following one guy that is using a powermeter and gets the Green Jersey EVEYTIME he rides. This is highly unlikely since I have checked out his real world rides in Strava and they are no where near what he is doing in Zwift. Saying that only zPower users are the ones that are cheating and getting all the jerseys is narrow minded.

Oh, I have used both zPower and a Smart trainer and my power has been very close on both. 

Have you done any races? Look at the heart rates of those using zPower vs real power. I rarely see anyone using zPower that have power readings that correspond with their heart rates. When I race I will look at other riders around me that are using power meters just to see how much they are suffering and I’ve never come across someone with a suspiciously low heart rate. When I check the heart rate of people on zPower, they are almost always 30-40 beats lower. Unless they are elite professionals, it’s obviously inaccurate. And if they were that good of cyclists, they’d have power meters. zPower is WAY to susceptible to cheating. I could just wave a magnet in front of a speed sensor and use that as zPower. 


It’s also downright discouraging seeing all these supposed 350W+ FTPs.

As an experienced cyclist I know to take this with a grain of salt, but a newcomer who with an accurate setup who trains hard can be discouraged right out of the sport.

I guess I am not as naive as you are. It is not the zPower users who are cheating. I seeing cheating from Power Meter/Smart Trainer users also. 

I don’t go on Zwift to compete against anyone else. There is no point in it since you don’t know their setup nor their fitness level. I go on Zwift and do my own training and riding. With Zwift I am able to stay on the trainer much longer than last year and I may end up using it year round for more structured training and safety.

The ones how are cheating will come to realize their mistake when they take it to the road in real life and their power numbers come nowhere near what they are doing in Zwift. 

With any online game there are going to be people who feel the need to cheat to get some virtual reward. 

Explain to me how you can cheat with a power meter? Besides lying about your weight to get a higher w/kg, how can you report higher power numbers? 

A lot of us love zwift for its competition abilities and I predict that this area will be a large focus for them going forward. It is one of the main aspects that differentiates zwift from other software. I do a fair number of races and group rides and I like to look from person to person to see their wattages and heart rates and I’ve NEVER seen someone using “real” power that has a suspiciously low heart rate for their power.  Also, if you go look a lot of these people up on strava, you will see that many of the category A racers are Cat 1 or 2 racers in reality. 

Zpower on the other hand is incredibly easy to cheat with. All you have to do is not put the resistance wheel up on your trainer and the game has no way of knowing the difference. 

The competition side of zwift is going to continue to grow and to make things fair, there needs to be some separation for zpower. 

Agree. Maybe the option to filter out and ignore zPower or “outlier” riders? Also, what about displaying not just w/kg but heartrate (or % of max as recorded by Zwift over the recent xx days of workouts) as well as w/kg - I bet an awful lot of low heartrates would pop up. Maybe even a ratio of % of max HR to w/kg.

Anyway, I digress! But it makes paying for membership a bit of a joke. A “game” you can cheat so easily in isn’t much of a game.

Yes, yes, I get the “I’m only here to train against myself” thoughts as I do that too but a lot of people may have a go, think “this isn’t very fair” and disappear. Compare this to indoor rowing competitions (albeit on controlled hardware such as the Concept2 rowing ergometer).

I know Zwift is trying to grow the community, but PLEASE consider keeping zpower folks from earning the jerseys!!!  I had one pass me on a climb a couple of days ago, holding 12.5 watts/kg for the entire Watopia climb.  Give me a break…

Whats keeping somebody from putting a bike with a small motor on a smart trainer and going like crazy?  Those who cheat are going to do so regardless of set up.  …who was the pro gal in cyclocross that just got caught with a small motor in her frame?  And this was “real” life!

I would like to see the bike handle bars, stem and maybe hands on the bars in rider cockpit view where currently you only see the road.  I think that would be a more realistic cool touch.  

Not to sound like a broken record, but I am very weary of zpower riders almost always holding the top spots int he KOM, spring and laps.  Yes, anyone can purposely cheat, but I strongly feel that zpower is inherently flawed.  Drop these riders from the leaderboards and Zwift will be far more enjoyable.  

I can tell you now, I use Zpower and my power meter to see if there are any big differences and it is very minimal. As long as you are being honest with your height and weight, the power reading between both are quite accurate. I use the sprints as a training tool and I have battled riders while im using my Zpower vs their actual power and we are always battling head to head, Keep in mind that if someone uses the Aero ability if they keep it for a sprint, they can literally shave off anywhere from 2-4 seconds using the same power ratio. Ive tested it out personally. Ive maxed my heart rate out at 210 with 1k watts on a sprint actually 2 sprints and with the aero advantage I gained at least 2 seconds minimum each time, and using the draft helps as well. 


And maybe everyone should stop being so competitive or taking these Virtual rides so seriously. If you are, you are using the Zwift Indoor training for all of the wrong reasons. Its not a actual road race, you don’t win $$, and its all for the better enjoyment for the indoor training experience and for us to have something to build ourselves on for training and health purposes. But of course, there will always be somebody complaining about something no matter if someone or some company tries to make something for the sake of enjoyment.

Spot on Jason.  Well said.  I’ve tested both with a power meter and z-power and found z power to be remarkably accurate.  So cudos to the designers of zwift, if set up properly and your height and weight are correct it works well.  I have found that I get slightly higher power output WITH a power meter.  The Z power haters will never give you credit if you win a sprint or a KOM with Z power, then again it is just a game.  Oddly enough I rode with a missed calibrated cyclops power beam pro yesterday morning that was reporting 50 watts or so to high and I was killing it out there!  So that little lightening bolt next to your name does not mean a damn thing unless your being honest and are set up properly as well.  Let’s not just pick on Z power users now!