zPower: Don't be a "Flier"

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #301

They are all good points Paul. I suspect if people are not happy with how the zwift leadership is working towards a solution, then the problem will solve itself. People who don’t ride on zwift, likely won’t commenton the forums.

There is a feedback section here too. What is annoying is after a couple of weeks there is no comment. The key to a good business idea is ensuring you keep your customers before the competitors enter with a solution that meets the complainer’s needs. 


And Yancy, I believe the ‘real power users’ about as much as you believe the zpower users. And I agree with you about the guy who has an inbuilt power meter. 

(Chris B (D)) #302

Perhaps some actual data would be good? I simply do not see z-power fliers when I ride. I see plenty of fellow z-power riders like me, but the riders in the 4+ w/kg are all power meter users. The 8-10w/kg’s that are showing as flagged have also been power meter users too. 

I haven’t tried all z-power curves, but certainly “generic rollers” that I use is pretty close. I can sit at 2w/kg for my rides and max out at over 3.  I can’t go higher because nobodies generic rollers are allowed over 400w.  My Zwift speeds and power figures hold very true to my Strava real world figures  

Whilst I fee sorry for the person who spent $1300 on a kickr, $500 on an Alienware PC and whatever else it cost them for their pull on pimp setup, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the fastest rider on Zwift, just the one with the most money.

Dear Zwift, the z-power setup is awesome and accurate enough when set up right. Thank you for having a business model that seeks to include as many people as possible, and doesn’t have a $1000 gear threashold to join  




(malcolm may (WCC) C) #303

Hear hear.


(Will I Am Adams) #304

Paul-Overall this  thread  has  been   very  productive  with   quite  bit of good  comments and Ideas.  If  someone  gets offended -  in my opinion - they need to harden up.    How  else  does  Zwift  expect to refine without honest  feedback?

Mal you are  dead on -  your comments  highlights the  problem - most people want Zpower to be accurate but the platform is flawed and generally quite  inconsistent and  inaccurate

(Marcus Durant @VanelliCycling) #305

@mal may

What has watts per kilo got to do with it?

W/kg has everything to do with it, I don’t understand what you mean?

Almost everything about cycling is down to power to weight ratio. and in the Zwift game, it is EVERYTHING.

People cheat on their weight and blame zpower. The smart trainer people do the same.

I agree, and lets be fair, If a cheaters gonna purposefully cheat, they can also do this with a powermeter.

W p kg is all about what weight you say you are. It becomes a meaningless contribution to the problem. If I weighed 70 kgs I’d never raise a sweat on the bike. Wkg ppfft.

Your weight in the game has a massive effect on your speed for a given power, and to a lesser degree an effect on the amount of work (watts) you have to do to keep up, descend and sizeable effect on your ability to climb fast. This is all also true in the real world.

Why do you think you’d never break out into a sweat if you weighed 70kg’s ? didnt understand that one.

I see them coming past at 4 wpg and when I look at their data they are doing less than 200 watts.  

4w/kg @ 200w is a 50kg rider. As you say, clearly could be suspect weight, though also could be a good quality junior rider, and a mid cat 2 racer can hold that (4w/kg) for 20 minutes or so

For example, I weigh 80.5kg and can hold 4.x w/kg for 20 minutes. obviously I’m not kicking out 200w in order to achieve this.

So unfortunately this is pretty much how cycling works, power counts in your favour, weight counts against you.

All I’m trying to say is that PtW ratio, (W/kg) is the driving force in cycling just as it is in any speed based motor sport.

So far on zwift my 9 seconds over 1000w is all I can go. 10 seconds over 997. My weight is 102 kgs, so I am consistently over 9 per kg on sprints. 5 minutes at 570 + and I know I am getting short changed due to calibration.

You don’t say how this compares with your powertap, so I can only say that at 102kg’s those numbers don’t get you very far up the Coggan chart. That not meant to be disrespectful or rude, its just physics (I used to weigh 101kg’s 4 years ago & was producing less power :wink: )

And if you have a ‘correctly calibrated zpower’ inside it should correlate to your outside powertap. Otherwise its not calibrated at all. And yes my powertap is calibrated accurately.

Indeed it should. How does the powertap compare to the numbers zpower is giving you at the same time?. ie, if you have a powertap, why are you using zpower? none of my business, sorry.

Out of interest, I tried Zpower a while back (scroll way back somewhere much earlier in this thread.) on my Elite novo mag force trainer… power on Zpower was down by around 30w at most speeds IIRC when compared to my Riken PM.

I took a beating & I didn’t like it!

My ramble over

(Samuel Mendelow) #306

I think if people are lying about their weight on Zwift, then that’s a personal problem, because it’s pretty pathetic that you would go and buy a power meter or a Wahoo Kickr for instance like I have (was a gift, but loving it so far) and spend thousands of dollars, subscribe to Zwift for $10 a month and then ruin your whole set-up for the sake of being faster than the next guy.

If your using Zpower, I think you should aim on the low side of power, meaning you should have your set-up so that your power numbers are lower, not higher than people with power meters, because you can always buy a power meter (not that expensive, ie: 4iii crank based power meter for $400), because the bottom line is your trying to get a workout, and your improving either way (usually), and you can’t ruin the experience of racing by being unfairly slower than others who have a power meter, but you can ruin it by ripping around the course at power levels that are at best not your own.

So if your using Zpower be kind to the people who aren’t and save up so that you can have real power numbers (no matter how inaccurate they won’t be off by more than 5%!!).

Because I am 16yrs old, and 130lbs and I have a Wahoo Kickr, and I bust my butt training 15-20 quality hrs a week and cheating on Zwift is not something I’m going to do, I will keep trying until I get that first leaders jersey. By the way my best Zwift lap as of now is 13:46 and 2:10 for the climb, and that is averaging 350W up that climb which is over 6w/kg for me, and people are doing 1:30’s so that’s BS that people on Zpower and with real power are doing that, that is like 5% of Zwift riders who are capable of that, I mean that would be like 400-450W for me ie: 7-8w/kg!

Here are some of my power stats, straight from training peaks:

5sec: 1169w-19.7w/kg

5min: 310w- 5.3w/kg

20min: 260w-4.5w/kg

60min: 238w-4.1w/kg

And when I am out of the saddle going over those short climbs on Watopia, i’ll average 300-400w without much effort. By the way I have also only been riding 1 year.

(Chris B (D)) #307

Half the riders of Zwift are putting out below average Watts/Kg, and until the accept that, they’ll complain. 

(Samuel Mendelow) #308

I don’t think being that pragmatic is necessary, but for more than a lot of people that’s probably true, I mean I went from using a Tacx Vortex Smart and using the power numbers on that, now my Garmin Vector pedals say I am about 50w higher for the lower power numbers and several hundred watts higher on the higher figures (ie 5sec, 1min). And people have to remember that you lose 10% of your power on a non-direct drive trainer, so that will come in to play regardless of Zwifts Zpower algorithms.

(wayne watt) #309

in my opinion cheaters are going to cheat no matter what so everyone should just STFU and enjoy the ride.


(Samuel Mendelow) #310

How are you supposed to enjoy competing with people who are cheating? That’s the fun of Zwift, riding with others!! Not for the sake of seeing other animated characters, but to compete with people!

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #311

Marcus Durant - Quark

My comment was tongue in cheak. Everything you say is true, however no matter whether you are riding with zpower or a wahoo kickr, if you falsify your weigfht, its all useless numbers. That was my point.

And dumb trainers aren’t all the same. I could use my powertap on a roller or a mag type trainer, but I hate what thay sort of trainer does to my frame when I am cranking hard. I also don’t get a road feel. I ride a lemond revolution where I bolt my frame onto a rear cassette and fan. It gives a similar road feel and there the harder you pedal the harder it gets. Its tough to sprint with and its tough to get the right maximum effort recognized on zwift.


That is a calibration from a professional source. 


'You don’t say how this compares with your powertap, so I can only say that at 102kg’s those numbers don’t get you very far up the Coggan chart. That not meant to be disrespectful or rude, its just physics (I used to weigh 101kg’s 4 years ago & was producing less power :wink: )"

I was pushing 1670 on my powertap. I’ve had my knee replaced two years ago, but I am back over 1500 again. And I was 95 kgs. I will be 95 again, but doubt I’ll be over 1600, especially as I am over 62 years old, though it was on my bad knee. Pushing watts isn’t that hard. Its sustaining watts that’s the issue. 

Samuel has it right. So does Wayne. Cheaters are always going to cheat. However I’d just like to be confident that the watts I record on zwift will be duplicated in the spring when I am back on the road. I find the struggle inspiring and interesting. But I don’t want to be pulling a wagon over those hills if I’m not. When I ride in groups on the weekends I can sprint with anyone, even if I can’t go hard all the day. Here my sprint times are registering slower than my running times 40 years ago. 

Which brings up some of the other issues with measurement. a 200 m sprint on strava isn’t going to be accurate due to the gps variations. On zwift it should be dead accurate. Usain Bolt runs 19.18 averaging about 24.5 mph, running out of blocks. I am averaging 30 mph on a rolling start and getting 27 seconds. 

I really don’t care if some Korean guy laps me at 13 wpkg. I want to be able to see some consistency and sense in the numbers I am recording.

(Marcus Durant @VanelliCycling) #312

@mal may, I think we understand each other now. I deal only in numbers, they are the line drawn in the sand by which we must live.

I first commented on this back on page 1 April 13, 2015 10:15 and to this date nothing significant seems to have changed.

There is still no Filter - ignore rider - option to separate leader boards locally - etc in place. Or any other suggestion users seem to want. Maybe it is just to difficult to separate server side stuff from client side stuff 

I started out loving Zwift, and not caring too much about flyers, then I started to get annoyed by them, then I started to experiment with Zpower V my PM, then I started to get bitter and twisted. (this was all in the beta phase)

I’m quite a ‘mental’ rider, by which I mean that I get easily negatively affected by my surroundings. Noisy chain, creaky seat pin, unevenly wrapped bar tape, One shoe slightly tighter than the other, (i draw a line at lining up my tyre logo’s) whatever, I know its just my German OCD gene kicking in, but I use these things as excuses to back of, to have a bad day, and ultimately give up on a session & sometimes the efforts in a race.

Having someone fly past me on the lead up to a climb or sprint, who seems to be able to lap on HR tick-over at 8W/kg and still be able to turn it on for the sprints and KOMS, is just a real turn off. I see them pushing massive W/kg and instantly know that I can only produce xW for 30 seconds or xW for 2 mins. I know i have no chance, I do not bother to try.I also know that world class pro’s can also not hold those watts for 1/2 laps of the island.

Sure I can race against my self, try and beat a previous time, work at it that way, but I feel there are arguably better motivational platforms for me to do this, & isn’t Zwift about being interactive with your fellow cyclist & not so much about beating yourself? the scenery and cgi of my arse just isn’t enough. I want to ride and race ultimately, with cyclist from around the world with the balance of probability being that if we were all on the road together we’d all be struggling at the same relative rate.

Everyone should have a PM, but that’s a Utopian view that will never happen until things get much cheaper and the device will probably come with the software licence and a tube of epoxy resin

I don’t even think much of the power output from so called smart trainers. I don’t thing there is one on the market that contains a singe strain gauge, they just have their own built in power curve. AFAIK, I could be wrong.

I’m getting one soon, so will be interesting to compare when it arrives…

Anyway, this is the reason why I have not bought into the Zwift platform, I keep checking in to see what has improve / changed & figure the week I stop getting notifications from this thread, will be the the week to start getting exited again.

No one is being served a fair deal by Zpower at the moment. It needs work for sure and still feels a bit “Beta” still.

(Will I Am Adams) #313

Marcus -  I  2nd your  post -  What I  have  said before is compared to  the   developer time and difficulty that  Zwift has already  done -  simply  adding   separate leader boards or  some options to  ride with  power  trainers or “approved”  riders or  hide certain riders -  that  stuff is  romper room level comparatively - not   sure what the logic is not  to have  done it  already…

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #314

Marcus. I understand and agree with all the issues you describe. It will depend on how the leadership at zwift move forward. If they pursue a view of online racing, then unless they solve these ‘hackers’ it will fail. As a minor gamer myself I can confirm that hacks kill interest real quickly. If there are people out there in the basement, with an electric drill and the challenge to take the koms, then it will be a short term business. Eventually I am not sure that athletes, prepared to pay a premium, and pedal hard, will be long term cheaters. 

A more important thing for you though is to retrain and reframe your attitude if you wish to become a competitive athlete. Your thought processes and reaction to adversity is going to sink you faster than any cheats from far off lands. If your goal is to be an outdoor rider, then you need to be able to put aside the disappointment of this imaginary contest, and focus on the elements of it that will help your outdoor riding. 40 years ago I was on the edge of Olympic selection. I medaled in the Olympic trials, and qualified. We ended up only taking 5 male track athletes to the games total and I was left on the cutting room floor. However sport and competition is less about the racing than it is about the preparation and handling disappointment. When you see these things that impact your concentration you need to learn how to reframe the way you think about them. A simple thing that I used to do. When I was pushing hard and feeling rough if someone came past me, instread of thinking that I was done and they were fresh, I’d tell myself that if I was tired, so were they, and they were about to blow themselves up. All I had to do is hold a little further and I’d win it. In a short sprint, if anyone got ahead by a meter, I’d tell myself that meant they were great starters and poor finishers, and that I would roll over them in the end. These are things that maximize your performance. Competition is always about what you get out of yourself. never about the other athlete.

You have to find the lemons and make lemonade. Not a scrunched face. Its sport, and it makes a huge impact on the rest of your life. If you are spitting your dummie here, you are doing it in other places. Here is a simple googled spot. Random selection to tell you what I mean. 


Good luck. Clearly zwift still will provide you with opportunity. 

(Craig) #315

It seems as if Zwift is not interested in finding a fix that everyone can live with and have confidence in.  They seem focused on trying to get zpower ‘right’ so that they don’t have to take other action.  From what I know, they have zpower ‘fixed’ pretty well for those who want to take the time to make it ‘right’ when they sign up.  Unfortunately, that isn’t happening with a lot of folks either because (a), they don’t really care about it, (b) they don’t know how to calibrate it correctly, or © they want to be the fastest avatar out there.  

I ‘female’ avatar flew by me at 6-8w/kg the other day.  I noticed ‘her’ coming up to me and clicked on her to watch.  Her heart rate was 130/min, pushing 200-205 watts.  That would make her at around 25kg.  I private messaged her that she might want to check her calibration but got no response.  She continued on and received all of the jerseys. 

I don’t care what reason the zpower riders have for any miscalibration.  It doesn’t matter to me.  If someone just wants to get on their bike and ride on Zwift and don’t care about the numbers, or wants to make sure they ‘win’ all the jerseys in both directions … all power to them.  I want those people sending in their $10/month to Zwift.

I don’t, however, want to have to compete against those riders for jerseys when I feel in the mood to do so.  Trust me, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to get jerseys as I am usually near the bottom of the top 50 riders on my best days.  I’m close to 59 y/o and need to lose 20 pounds.  But… there are days when there are fewer riders where I get closer to the top.  It really pisses me off to find myself on one of those days being able to compete for a jersey or a top 10 place and 7 of the top 10 are zpower riders doing 8+w/k at 200 watts and a HR of 115.  I try and make it a point to compliment the top ‘power’ rider on the sprint or KOM list as I know they were likely the fastest.  

I don’t understand why Zwift hasn’t provided separate jerseys/leaderboards for zpower and power.  From their comments on the zwiftcast, the staff is focused on the social aspect of the game.  And… that is great.  The issue is that Zwift awards jerseys, and that’s a competitive aspect to the game.  So… Zwift has inserted a competitive component into the game by awarding jerseys.  Either eliminate all jerseys (I don’t want that option), or separate out the zpower from the rest.  

Again, Zwift can eliminate all this drama by providing a separate option for all zpower riders.  They’ve done so for the women/men’s jersey.  Zwift, please do the same.

(Marcus Durant @VanelliCycling) #316

Hi mal. Yes all good stuff & thanks for the link. 


(malcolm may (WCC) C) #317

Good for you Marcus. I have an ongoing goal to get fitter, but unfortunately some infirmities are impacting my preparation. You have to go hard for as long as you can, then manage yourself to maximize what you have left. Probably why I am less concerned with those who weight nothing on zwift, both zpower and smart power.

(Marcus Durant @VanelliCycling) #318

"You have to go hard for as long as you can, then manage yourself to maximize what you have left"

So true on all levels.


starting to turn into a training blog ~ Sorry everyone.

(Chris B (D)) #319

Zwift’s solution is to flag and notify all fliers, be they z-power or power meter. They have additionally fine tuned the z-power down and put Max’s in for many trainers. 

There were over 1,000 riders when I last rode. Both fliers had power meters.

Ask yourself this, if you did a race this Sunday with 1000 entrants, would you finish on the podium? If the answer is ‘no’, then why should you expect to win jerseys on Zwift? This isn’t Call Of Duty, where a spotty teenager is their parents basement becomes an elite navy seal when he fires up the game. 

There is no way of knowing how much the power meter riders lie about their weights. There are people pushing their power figures with z-power and power meters. There are fliers from both camps, and Zwift are flagging them. 


The zwift team have done well to address this, evidenced by the 1000 riders out having fun when I last rode. Good work Zwift Team. 

(Will I Am Adams) #320

Steven - C’mon Man -   your perspective and logic is a bit short sighted.  The  suggested requests on this  thread are  well thought-out and would actually increase  payers to   zwift .

If you entered a  race this  weekend  - you wouldn’t  expect to race against  someone with an electric motor on their  bike… just  like a  race - if you  sign up -  you  choose the group  you are going to race against.    It  doesn’t matter if you  are someone who  just  wants to train  and  doesn’t  care or someone who  is  trying to  actually compete on this  online platform -  all  should  have the  simple options to compete with the groups they  choose…