“I would like Zpower riders to be clearly identified with a Z on their back so that I can ignore them.”
Your first sentence is horrible but you go on to make a good point thereafter. By ignoring zPower riders, you are depriving us of a full Zwift experience. I want to know that my break away stuck because you couldn’t chase me, not because you refused to. I will believe the former regardless, but it would be nice to receive my fair share of chases.
Yesterday, I was in a group of 5 and one went off ahead. The other three (all non-zPower) wouldn’t help me chase him. One said he doesn’t chase zPower. We noticed that his output was 5w/kg every time we looked, and afterwards we learnt he had no HRM. What was he doing? Electric bike? What’s the point? Let him win, I care not for that, I only want to be surrounded by people I can compete with, regardless of equipment. Zwift tells me that my average power output is over 300W, or 35-40kmph (~4w/kg). In the real world, Strava estimates my output to be around 150W (25 kmph on a good day). I don’t mind that Zwift massively miscalculates my power. My set-up is consistent, my sweat is real, and I’ll probably never meet these genuine 300+W riders that I’m able to ride beside on Zwift.
I could manually increase the resistance on my Elite Turbo Muin direct drive non-smart trainer, but then I’d almost certainly have to switch down to my smaller chain ring. I’m already in a lower gear than I would be on the road. I think it’s the zPower algorithms that are scuppering me. If they could allow us to honestly submit an FTP based on a real life top effort ride, and then calibrate all Zwiftings against that, I think that would solve the problems for non-cheating zPower riders. For example, I say I do 25 kms in one hour, top effort. I then can’t do more than that on Zwift, but I can have short bursts of power when I need to.
Personally, I feel sick at the animosity or snobbery towards zPower. You can equally cheat on a smart trainer. My turbo was about £300. That’s plenty. I wanted direct drive. I couldn’t justify spending three times as much for something that changes resistance (at the time it seemed like a gimmick to me).
I’m going to ask Zwift if I can organise zPower-only races. Is it bizarre to exclude non-zPower riders? I agree. But so is excluding zPower, which is common.