zPower: Don't be a "Flier"

(Chris B (D)) #241

My casual observations when riding are more zpower than power riders. Almost all the cyclists I know have trainers/rollers, and only one has spent the $1000 for power. The others will not drop even $500 for a power trainer/wheel/cranks. So the only way to get their $10/month is to leave Zwift as it is.

I see equal numbers of zpower fliers as I do power fliers. I see more power riders with figures a pro would be happy with for their ride than I believe there are pro’s on Zwift  

my personal zpower setup is capped at 400W by Zwift, so anyone else running generic rollers cannot be a flier. We can’t even get a sprint jersey, as you need way higher watts for them  

If if you are not the fastest rider in your town/city/club, then you can’t expect to be the fastest on Zwift. 


(Alison Kubota [Vision] CVR) #242

All of this discussion is moot because I believe there shouldn’t be any jerseys in the open-world free-for-all riding in the first place.  It’s not just power meter vs zpower, but it’s also age range, gender (women still don’t have a separate sprint or lap jersey), ability range, club-based jersey, riding objective (one-lap rider vs. the century dude), etc.  The problem with categories is that you create more ways for people to lie and cheat in whatever respective category.

I vote to just get rid of the open-world jerseys, and have the open-world leaderboards show only you, people you follow, and maybe designated pros.  Leave jerseys to instanced riding once they develop some kind of instanced riding scheme for races, clubs, etc.  This kind of development isn’t trivial though, so people probably need to BE PATIENT and CALM THE F DOWN.  Open-world free-for-all jerseys are meaningless for more reasons than just the cheating or improperly calibrated zpower riders.

The GMs should, however, keep handing out those nice Orange Triangle of Shame indicators though.  It’s funny to see the occasional first-time or new-equipment Zwift rider doing 1200W at 300rpm cadence and 75bpm.  But don’t hand them out too quickly.  I wanted (and was able to) get a screenshot just before he was handed the Orange Triangle.  And those legs were a blur, spinning as fast as Fred Flintstone’s feet while driving the Flintstone-mobile.


(malcolm may (WCC) C) #243

I get it. This is a business. I want to support these cycling based businesses. They’re usually started by visionaries who love the sport. Same reason for my support of Strava and veloviewer. I want them to succeed. 

I couldn’t support the cap scenario, as my trainer is not a roller or the ordinary classic. Its the same set up as the Kickr, but without the watt measures. Lemond haven’t managed to consistently manufacture the electronics, so riding at 400 w was killing me. On my powertap on the road I can’t go up a hill with the bunch without tipping 500 + w often 800+ as I am heavy. And on a sprint I am well above that. 

I am not worried about jerseys, merely being able to ride with any friends or at a speed I find comfortable on the road.  I think this is a great training medium. I hope they can sort it out for your sake. Perhaps if you were lighter, the 400 w would be more meaningful. (wink)


(Alison Kubota [Vision] CVR) #244

Someone suggested to me that the vector pedal-based power meters can be mechanically manipulated in a controllable manner to over-estimate the power you are putting out.  Is this true?

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #245

No idea. I don’t know why anyone would do that. No matter what the reading is, the actual watts are what is moving you up the hill. 

(Alison Kubota [Vision] CVR) #246

“to cheat on Zwift” is the reason I was thinking… I just didn’t understand enough of the mechanics in translating strain gauge displacement to power in the vector.

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #247

crazy stuff hey? 

(Michael Meysarosh) #248

I do feel some folks around here are behaving in a mildly pompous manner. Take a look at the Richmond course on single lap run on Strava and you’ll find just under 17,000 riders that have completed the lap. If a majority of those users have subscribed, it would still place the annual revenue for the product at under two million dollars. 

Considering the investment and running costs, Zwift will require a significant number of users, equipped with a variety levels of gear, to continue the development towards an ecosystem we all truly want. So while its certainly not perfect, I’m for anyone who decides to put in their funds towards a subscription with the service. Yes, even the idiotic flyer who just had to wear a worthless jersey of the moment. Solutions that could satisfy the majority of users can be found, but not without the financial resources required to hire the talent needed to drive the development forward.

To all the staff at Zwift, I commend you on having the vision that will certainly change the way we train and interact with one another. For someone like myself that has primary goal of personal health, its a phenomenal motivational tool. Changing the experience of the trainer from loathed activity to something I’ve come to enjoy.



(Andrew Farley(USMES)) #249

If Zwift can help get more people into cycling and help make it more popular. Then my ten dollars a month is worth it nomatter who wins the jerseys.

(Kevin Morphet) #250

Thank you for a voice of reason Michael.

Ride on. 

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #251

exactly right Michael. So far this is a lot of fun. I am sure the intentional frequent flyers will grow up some time. 

There’ll be no stopping the snobs though.  That’s just life. 

(Stef Levolger) #252

Michael Meysarosh wrote:  So while its certainly not perfect, I’m for anyone who decides to put in their funds towards a subscription with the service. Yes, even the idiotic flyer who just had to wear a worthless jersey of the moment.

While this is true, one must not forget that if this behavior is let run rampant the frustration it causes with cyclists who do play it fair, but are competitive in nature, that such behavior may cause them to unsubscribe. This potential problem will become more apparent if Zwift decides to introduce any further form of competition, e.g. races.

(Jason Buccellato) #253

Stef says:

“While this is true, one must not forget that if this behavior is let run rampant the frustration it causes with cyclists who do play it fair, but are competitive in nature, that such behavior may cause them to unsubscribe. This potential problem will become more apparent if Zwift decides to introduce any further form of competition, e.g. races.”


Exactly. On any given Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, you can see upwards of 500 to 700 riders. This is due in part to the races being held. Zwift is working on a race module, precisely because the competitive environment is a large component of Zwift. If Zwift does not move in this direction, it will be that much easier for competing software to capture this growing market.

The gist of this thread revolves around creating separate leader boards and race formats. This allows an apples to apples environment for power users, and an oranges to oranges environment for Zpower users. Nobody that I’m aware of has lobbied for removing Zpower users from Zwift.

Those Z riders who say they are here for fun and fitness, great, have at it. How do separate leader boards affect you?

Those Z riders who say there will always be cheating are engaging in a logical fallacy that takes the following position; “Since we can’t fix everything, we should address nothing”. This premise is always followed with a remark like: “What’s next, a required note from ones doctor, or a trainer that weighs individual riders”.

Someone recently made the statement that there are more Zpower users. This is patently false. Many months ago this was true, but now smart power dominates Zwift from 70% to 90%. Many Zwifters have moved from Zpower to smart power, and this trend will continue.

There have been races that have explicitly excluded Zpower users, and most races will put an “*” in the results next to Zpower users with the statement, “Unverified power”. The community needs a separation to gain more competitive customers, as well as removing animosity. When Zwift releases their event module and/or separate leader boards, nobody will bat an eye or wonder why.


(Jasper McCrea) #254

This allows an apples to apples environment for power users, and an oranges to oranges environment for Zpower users

This is labeling zpower users who are trying to use the system well, and who have a ‘calibrated’ trainer into some sort of lower class. I’ve never seen numbers that don’t make sense, and I bet there are thousands of dumb trainer users who are in the same boat.

Hopefully zwift will just introduce settings for more and more trainers, which sounds like it would address the problem better than segregation.

It’s far easier to cheat by changing your weight if that’s what people want to do.


(Michael Meysarosh) #255

While I don’t discount that a significant number of users are using some source of power measuring device, I think a 90% is somewhat overly optimistic but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if a solid two thirds were. This platform was designed in a manner that would attract the most avid and cyclists who are often quite competitive and would show a high level of interest and helpful feedback.

In this endless myopia, many of you miss the entire point. This small subset of highly competitive customer can not override what Zwift will require to become the primary customer. These type of cyclists are far greater in overall numbers in comparison to the avid cyclists that is fully equipped. As I said, with the time and resources Zwift has to potential to resolve the issues for all parties involved. It’s part of the beauty in dealing with with the virtual world and having endless flexibility, given the resources to execute. You mention riders in the hundreds while I see a platform that needs ten thousand riders across different courses for a variety of reasons at any given time to succeed. 

They are making strides towards this as they develop the iOS platform to support BT sensors. They could even develop the app the execute on the iPad platform to increase the ease of access. But none of this can be addressed without the resources. This particular horse has been well beaten, buried, and resurrected to become the holiest dead horse the world over. I see many of the suggestions of segregated leader boards to be overly simple (but reasonably quick to implement) hack to solve the issue for more highly competitive users. I wnat more of a ‘Competition Zone’ with organizer who can select the parameters for the meet. Course, hill affect (since we know Zwift intentionally doesn’t mirror reality), and source regulations. So to say that Zwift should create a resource for those on high competitive level is totally understandable. You need to acknowledge that your needs will funded by the hopefully large base of users that will be using all sorts of equipment. How is the thought of spin machine with power meters being integrated to the platform and designs that work for group fitness labs. Not sure how much the effort is worth, but you get my drift on how far this can be taken.

Zwift must become the most inclusive platform out there before it can be suited to meet the needs of particular user groups. It took five years to reach this point, it will likely take a couple more years to see it reach fruition. 

(Jason Buccellato) #256


I did not say 90%, I gave a range of 70 to 90%. On race days such as Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the percentages are higher. If you look at the number of smart power riders engaged in a race, it can climb above 90%.

Also, I did not say that 500 to 700 riders will support their business model. I was simply Demonstrating the increase of users on race days due to the popularity of that competitive environment.

Zwift is exploding right now. Just think about how few people within your local cycling community you actually see on Zwift. Some people have to be exposed to the idea of online training multiple times before going to the trouble of downloading a new program in signing up.

Separate leaderboards and race environments will help Zwift gain customers. Trainer road and CVT are both working on new race environments. If they, or another developer, offers up a free beta that has a notably improved race module, zwift will hemorage. 


Jasper - " this is labeling  Zpower users"

Zpower users are already labeled now.


(Will I Am Adams) #257

Jason - so  true -  Zwift is  very  cool but  it is not a  guaranteed  success   -


1st  key  to  successful business is to listen to your  customers…

(Jason Buccellato) #258

(Liam) #259

Most of the Zwift users have power meters or smart trainers. Most of the jersey winners and top 10 are zpower fliers. Time for separated leader boards and the ability to suppress zpower riders from your view.

Time to cater to the majority that make up your revenue base. Zpower riders are not serious about cycling and training as evidenced by their unwillingness to spend $500 on the best training tool ever, a power meter. They won’t care about these changes. They won’t notice.

I am pissed off by all these 8 watt per kilo idiots who are either blatantly cheating or have no idea how to follow instructions and set up their trainers.

I see the same offenders all of the time.

(Michael Meysarosh) #260

I do think that Zwift has a considerable road to travel until the platform reaches the fruition that we all hope for. Something along the lines of a competition zone where the organizer or the event establishes the guidelines to which an event is held to is the solution I see for high competitive users. When users are simply out training, the focus should be primarily on one self improvement and I would love to see active data on how far I am behind or ahead of my best through various sections. More courses added regularly would also be a great treat and the ability to choose which to ride at any given day.

If power based users wish not to see zPower riders in their preferences, I don’t really see it as much of an problem from the user standpoint. The developer standpoint all depends on how the rankings are processed. If its done at the client end, then a client update will suffice. On the server side will cause a small increase in system load and cost, but not egregiously so.

As for the regular ‘offenders’, I feel that it could even occur in the power meter world. Its an open protocol and I could easily whip up an app to emulate a power meter and feed whatever data I so choose. I have no personal interest in this, but I say this to bring the point that competition in Zwift should never realize any prize of monetary value. But if someone just wants to have a little fun pressing your buttons, it won’t be much of an effort to do so.

The way I see Zwift developing, I believe a solid 100,000 regular user base will be needed to fund it (at least for my ideal version of the app). It would only be twelve million a year and that honestly isn’t that much considering the human effort required. To me, everything from the competitive riders to those who simply want to add a little fun to their fitness routine will be needed. So I do understand why Zwift has the zPower system as they understand it will be imperative to their long term business model. There is also no doubt that highly competitive users equipped with power meters or smart trainers will need to be addressed as they will be the very first source and revenues and the very best word of mouth folks to convince a greater audience to join in.