zPower: Don't be a "Flier"

(Andre Hufschmid) #361

@ Chris Leather, i looked at times and Strava data this morning and had to laugh. Most of the time you can flush the first few thousand riders as all are cheats. If you can’t live up with it in the real world, you need to cheat in a virtual world, no clue why but that’s fact.

(Will I Am Adams) #362

Yep so true -   not  surprised -  its  such a  joke -  There  have been many  good comments on this thread for the past  year -  some pretty  simple ways  for   Zwift to further  sort out the cheats - would be  nice to see some of these implemented…

(Alan) #363



I use a CycleOps Jet FLuid Pro, I have the settings in game on classic yet the Mobile app and race I just done reported as zPower.


How is this possible when my trainer doesn’t support zPower, and I didnt select it?

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #364

its zwift that supports your trainer, and calculates z power 

If you have a dumb trainer / classic trainer, without a zpower number you’d be sitting on the side of the road

(Alan) #365

Is Zwift’s support article incomplete then?


support article dated 29/09/16 does not list my trainer (CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro) as a zPower compatible trainer, only the CycleOps fluid 2.  There is an article on titanium geek.com which lists more CycleOps trainers though. 


The following classic trainer models are compatible with Zwift’s zPower:

Kinetic Rock and Roll
Kinetic Road Machine
CycleOps Fluid²
JetBlack Z1 Fluidpro



(malcolm may (WCC) C) #366

no idea, but if its running, its using a powercurve from somewhere. Likely you clicked the magic button and you are on. Have fun.

(Alan) #367

Just worried I get branded a cheat if I’m doing it wrong - only just started and want to make sure I’ve got it right :slight_smile:

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #368

There is no branding. :slight_smile: Just ride and have fun.

(Edival dos Santos 57) #369

To resolve this is so easy, just limit the power for the regular trainers to 400 watts, with that you will cut the wing of the fliers and they will end up changing to a Smart Trainer or a Power Meter.

(Alan) #370

Would be unfair. My Jet fluid Pro is relatively expensive and only a year old. No need to upgrade at further cost to a smart trainer.

Unless Zwift wants to be for pro’s only.

I’ve just stared using it, find it fun and knowing you cheat you’re only fooling yourself.

(Matt) #371

Well, that’s not entirely true… I think zPower riders are definitely branded by most of the participants of competitive events on Zwift who use power meters/smart trainers. 

Probably the only solution is to have segregated races. For non-race events, I can’t see why it matters…

(Alan) #372

I don’t fully understand zPower.
CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro is not zPower compatible according to Zwift’s guide. However, my races & mobilelink profile say I’m using zPower - even if I select classic in the in game settings screen??

I do notice the Zwift power output seems to say more than the Strava one, yet the average speed is near realistic to real world riding.

(Jason) #373

@Alan The messaging isn’t clear yet, but there’s two kinds of formulas for classic trainers in Zwift: zPower and virtual power.

zPower is our proprietary formula that accounts for sudden shifts in acceleration that makes your power more reactive if you go into a sprint. The four trainers that we can do zPower with support this. All the other classic trainers that are supported with a speed sensor use virtual power. These power curves are very slightly less reactive to sudden speed changes and use more of a linear power curve. Both power curves are accurate, and all these trainer types are supported, but trainers that are virtual power only are fractionally less responsive.

In most places, we refer to both of these trainer type under zPower simply because it’d be confusing to differentiate between zPower and virtual power. 

(Dave Turpin *USMES* Rogue Velo) #374

Just to chime back in after a long hiatus:  I got on the bandwagon and upgraded to a smart trainer (Wahoo NEW Kickr), and my results versus zpower to real power:  My FTP dropped 10W.  On Zpower I was pulling 285W.  With the new trainer I dropped it manually down to 200 then after several races it is back up to 275W.  So there are certainly some differences, but a zpower rider who isn’t cheating is going to be close enough. 

I also wonder how my power would compare to a crank or pedal-based power meter, but I probably will never know since Brim Brothers went out of business without delivering a single power meter.

(Will I Am Adams) #375

So  after     much  debate the last  year -  all the  people  who  claimed there  were more  Zpower riders than power trainers were  dead  wrong. 


I  have to agree with some of the recent  comments, and  then  also  disagree with some.   There is no way Zpower in  general is  very  accurate -  whether this is  the user set up  error or  simply an ineffective algorithm - doesn’t matter  -  you  see the  consequence  every all the time -  there will be  2  Zpowers at the top of the leaderboard  who  have  ridden  a  climb  25%  faster than everyone else.  It is  illogical to  conclude -  those  are   stronger riders -  no  way.

the  same  suggestions were made  6-12 months ago on this  forum  -  The Zpower riders should race themselves and  the power trainers race themselves - or alternatively  just  separate the leaderboards.    Its a chronic  problem Zwift -  take  action…

(Sebastian Leung) #376

I’m waiting for my speed/cadence sensor to come in so I can actually use zwift. I’m only 17 years old, so I don’t have enough money for a power meter or smart trainer even though I’ve worked summer jobs. I try to spend my money on truly necessary things and save the rest for college/university. Pint being is, I haven’t even begun to use zwift yet and I already feel largely pressured into buying a smart trainer and I also feel highly discouraged as if Smart trainer riders will be looking down on me as some sort of filthy scum. Are there really that many zPower fliers or cheaters? I know how to set up my trainer and it is compatible and I really wouldn’t like to have to ride separately from Smart trainer riders. Thanks for reading this, can’t wait to get Zwifting!

(Chris Leather) #377


I think (or hope) most people on this thread don’t have a problem with zPower per se. The problem comes when people abuse it either because they are cheats or are clueless.

Even if zPower isn’t that accurate and is giving you a 25% power boost, whilst not ideal, it isn’t a big problem unless you are competing. I.e. going for KOMs or racing. Then again I find half the people on smart trainers power output a little suspect compared to their real world performances…

Are there really that many zPower cheaters?” Have a look at the Strava KOMs for any Zwift segment. You can usually write off the first 10 and half the first 1,000 after that.


(malcolm may (WCC) C) #378

true. I push 1500 plus outdoors with my PT . I am pushing 1200 indoors on the kickr. I know those are big numbers, but clearly not sustainable. I see guys who ride for an hour at 700 +

But these only show on strava, and they don’t really matter. I don’t know why anyone would cheat just to get a KOM on strava. Zwift KOMs and rankings last only as long as you are riding.

(Alan) #379

Cheats only cheat themselves, both in racing and training.

I’d like a smart Ant+ FE-C trainer, but so I can get the full Zwift experience. All power numbers are estimates, so as long as your setup is the same each time and the numbers get better - you’re improving.

(Alison Kubota [Vision] CVR) #380

 Wow, this thread is still active?  I thought the “discussions” migrated to Facebook.