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Zwift questions and impressions

Old 11-18-19, 09:45 AM
  #26  
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One other aspect of Zwift that I discovered is a BIG difference from riding on the road:

When most of us are working harder to chase down a gap or make a break, we typically get lower on the drops or bend our elbows to 90 degrees, because aero. This gets you faster but actually LOWERS your max power slightly. So when you need to work harder on Zwift you should "forget" that process or you may not keep up.

Carry on.
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Old 11-19-19, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
One other aspect of Zwift that I discovered is a BIG difference from riding on the road:

When most of us are working harder to chase down a gap or make a break, we typically get lower on the drops or bend our elbows to 90 degrees, because aero. This gets you faster but actually LOWERS your max power slightly. So when you need to work harder on Zwift you should "forget" that process or you may not keep up.

Carry on.
I realize after reading this that I never go in the drops anymore. See, we can make outdoor riding more like Zwift!
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Old 11-19-19, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Wind resistance and rolling resistance do not exist in the Zwiftverse. And as you're not actually moving, gravity isn't really doing much to slow you down either. You need to accomodate for that through either increased intensity or duration.
Odd that Zwift doesn't allow you to factor those in. Fulgaz has options to set wind speed and direction and adjust rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag.
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Old 11-23-19, 05:20 PM
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May want to check out this video by GCN on Alpe du Zwift vs Alp d'Huez very similar results.

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Old 11-24-19, 10:42 PM
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What a coincidence, I also rode Alpe du Zwift for the first time yesterday. Technically my Zwift level isn't high enough to ride that area yet, but I joined the 3R Tour of Fire and Ice Hilly Race which granted me access for the duration of the race. Honestly, a bit underwhelming as I thought it would be crazier (I'm not sure if I misremembered or got it wrong, but I got the impression of crazy 15-20% grades up the climb, which never happened).

But anyways, on that GCN video, there are two significant differences between a real climb and a virtual one that wasn't mentioned. Firstly, if you get knackered you can easily stop, rest and continue indoors but try clipping back in and resuming outdoors, on a 10% grade slope. Doable, but tricky, depending on your clipping in skills. Secondly, outdoors you get to zig zag a bit to help ease the suffering when the grade ramps up to double digits, but indoors it's all straight up consistent effort, no easy way except by messing around with trainer resistances and other questionable means.
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Old 11-28-19, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
What a coincidence, I also rode Alpe du Zwift for the first time yesterday. Technically my Zwift level isn't high enough to ride that area yet, but I joined the 3R Tour of Fire and Ice Hilly Race which granted me access for the duration of the race. Honestly, a bit underwhelming as I thought it would be crazier (I'm not sure if I misremembered or got it wrong, but I got the impression of crazy 15-20% grades up the climb, which never happened).

But anyways, on that GCN video, there are two significant differences between a real climb and a virtual one that wasn't mentioned. Firstly, if you get knackered you can easily stop, rest and continue indoors but try clipping back in and resuming outdoors, on a 10% grade slope. Doable, but tricky, depending on your clipping in skills. Secondly, outdoors you get to zig zag a bit to help ease the suffering when the grade ramps up to double digits, but indoors it's all straight up consistent effort, no easy way except by messing around with trainer resistances and other questionable means.
Or you can just change zwift setting so that it simulates climbs at 100% and not 50% that is the default.
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Old 12-03-19, 02:25 PM
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Sure Zwift will never be the same as outdoor riding but it's funny to see those with wrong weights and improperly calibrated trainers laugh at the realism. If you want it to feel more realistic put in your real weight and be riding on a trainer that can simulate the gradients as well as have a proper accurate power meter. Depending on your weight there may not be too many trainers that can actually simulate the gradients...oh and of course you have to have the realism setting up at 100% too.

Regarding weight doping on Zwift...Zwift will never ban you but you'll get DQed from proper race results (see zwiftpower.com). People like to make fun of it but others really do take Zwift and Zwift racing seriously. Weight doping is no different than using EPO or testosterone in a real race.

I've been Zwifting for 2 years now and love it. Haven't ridden outdoors in over a month due to cold, wet and dark conditions here in the north east. Fact is I'll be stronger for all the indoor I'm doing when the weather breaks in March. Before Zwift I could never bring myself to ride a trainer more than once or twice a season. On Saturday I did nearly 3 hours of constant pedaling...and tonight I have an hour workout to do. Can't wait.
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Old 12-03-19, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
Sure Zwift will never be the same as outdoor riding but it's funny to see those with wrong weights and improperly calibrated trainers laugh at the realism. If you want it to feel more realistic put in your real weight and be riding on a trainer that can simulate the gradients as well as have a proper accurate power meter. Depending on your weight there may not be too many trainers that can actually simulate the gradients...oh and of course you have to have the realism setting up at 100% too.

Regarding weight doping on Zwift...Zwift will never ban you but you'll get DQed from proper race results (see zwiftpower.com). People like to make fun of it but others really do take Zwift and Zwift racing seriously. Weight doping is no different than using EPO or testosterone in a real race.

I've been Zwifting for 2 years now and love it. Haven't ridden outdoors in over a month due to cold, wet and dark conditions here in the north east. Fact is I'll be stronger for all the indoor I'm doing when the weather breaks in March. Before Zwift I could never bring myself to ride a trainer more than once or twice a season. On Saturday I did nearly 3 hours of constant pedaling...and tonight I have an hour workout to do. Can't wait.
Kudos.

I mean, Ride On!

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Old 12-04-19, 02:56 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post

Regarding weight doping on Zwift...Zwift will never ban you but you'll get DQed from proper race results (see zwiftpower.com). People like to make fun of it but others really do take Zwift and Zwift racing seriously. Weight doping is no different than using EPO or testosterone in a real race.
I'm always amazed at the number of people who are willing to compromise their integrity in order to do better at an absolutely meaningless competition. I just don't get it. The only person who cares about your result is you, and you know it's fake. Yet, this is incredibly common.
Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
I've been Zwifting for 2 years now and love it. Haven't ridden outdoors in over a month due to cold, wet and dark conditions here in the north east. Fact is I'll be stronger for all the indoor I'm doing when the weather breaks in March. Before Zwift I could never bring myself to ride a trainer more than once or twice a season. On Saturday I did nearly 3 hours of constant pedaling...and tonight I have an hour workout to do. Can't wait.
I'm in Toronto and it's pretty much the same for me although I do try to commute to work on my bike as often as I can. Zwift just makes riding indoors so much better.
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Old 12-08-19, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
Regarding weight doping on Zwift...Zwift will never ban you but you'll get DQed from proper race results (see zwiftpower.com).
How would they ascertain that you've lied about your weight? Would you need to do a selfie-video (is that a term?) showing your face and then panning down to the readout on a scale?

Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
I've been Zwifting for 2 years now and love it. Haven't ridden outdoors in over a month due to cold, wet and dark conditions here in the north east. Fact is I'll be stronger for all the indoor I'm doing when the weather breaks in March. Before Zwift I could never bring myself to ride a trainer more than once or twice a season. On Saturday I did nearly 3 hours of constant pedaling...and tonight I have an hour workout to do. Can't wait.
This. In a nut shell. I'm having the time of my life on Zwift. It's tons of fun. I'm doing hard efforts and recovery rides and everything in between, four or five times per week. With an hour or so dedicated to riding in my basement, I'm listening to whole albums and discovering new music on my iPod that I otherwise never would have. It has done wonders for my mental health and general sense of wellbeing compared to previous winters, where the aggravation of monitoring the weather, getting pissed off at the weather and lacking motivation because of the weather was a stressor colluding with the low-level despondency I felt humming around in the background of my psyche due to the gradual loss of my summer fitness. Winter was always a slow-motion train wreck for me.

But not anymore. Zwift is good.

Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I'm always amazed at the number of people who are willing to compromise their integrity in order to do better at an absolutely meaningless competition. I just don't get it. The only person who cares about your result is you, and you know it's fake. Yet, this is incredibly common.
I've purposely undercounted my weight by 30 kg on Zwift. By doing this I can pass (some) riders on the hills and otherwise keep pace with (many of) the other riders I see around me. This makes it fun and engaging, and since Zwift is essentially a video game (draft boost, aero boost, lightweight boost, better component choices as you gain levels etc.), a "meaningless" collection of avatars who don't care about other people's results, the idea of compromising one's integrity doesn't enter into it. Nor is my own personal fitness journey jeopardized, as I'm putting out just as hard an effort going 17 km/h up Box Hill as I would if I had registered my actual weight and was maxing out at 13 km/h.

If anything, the encouragement to chase after riders on climbs that I would never have any hope of catching at my real weight results in harder efforts that wouldn't happen otherwise.

I'm not racing, though.
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Old 12-08-19, 05:06 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I've purposely undercounted my weight by 30 kg on Zwift. By doing this I can pass (some) riders on the hills and otherwise keep pace with (many of) the other riders I see around me. This makes it fun and engaging, and since Zwift is essentially a video game (draft boost, aero boost, lightweight boost, better component choices as you gain levels etc.), a "meaningless" collection of avatars who don't care about other people's results, the idea of compromising one's integrity doesn't enter into it. Nor is my own personal fitness journey jeopardized, as I'm putting out just as hard an effort going 17 km/h up Box Hill as I would if I had registered my actual weight and was maxing out at 13 km/h.

If anything, the encouragement to chase after riders on climbs that I would never have any hope of catching at my real weight results in harder efforts that wouldn't happen otherwise.

I'm not racing, though.
Cmon, man! Im 3 W/kg weakling and I do horizon jobs on Zwiftoids all the time.

What I dont like is passing through their layers and seeing their faces from the back. Might be a function of the limited processing power of the old iPad Im using, but its disturbing.
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Old 12-08-19, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Cmon, man! Im 3 W/kg weakling and I do horizon jobs on Zwiftoids all the time.

What I dont like is passing through their layers and seeing their faces from the back. Might be a function of the limited processing power of the old iPad Im using, but its disturbing.
nope, its the same with my old-but-still-powerful CAD computer. Its like the exhibition where they peeled skin and other layers off of cadavers
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Old 12-08-19, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by kissTheApex View Post
nope, its the same with my old-but-still-powerful CAD computer. Its like the exhibition where they peeled skin and other layers off of cadavers
Surprisingly so and good to hear about the big machine!
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Old 12-08-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
How would they ascertain that you've lied about your weight? Would you need to do a selfie-video (is that a term?) showing your face and then panning down to the readout on a scale?


This. In a nut shell. I'm having the time of my life on Zwift. It's tons of fun. I'm doing hard efforts and recovery rides and everything in between, four or five times per week. With an hour or so dedicated to riding in my basement, I'm listening to whole albums and discovering new music on my iPod that I otherwise never would have. It has done wonders for my mental health and general sense of wellbeing compared to previous winters, where the aggravation of monitoring the weather, getting pissed off at the weather and lacking motivation because of the weather was a stressor colluding with the low-level despondency I felt humming around in the background of my psyche due to the gradual loss of my summer fitness. Winter was always a slow-motion train wreck for me.

But not anymore. Zwift is good.


I've purposely undercounted my weight by 30 kg on Zwift. By doing this I can pass (some) riders on the hills and otherwise keep pace with (many of) the other riders I see around me. This makes it fun and engaging, and since Zwift is essentially a video game (draft boost, aero boost, lightweight boost, better component choices as you gain levels etc.), a "meaningless" collection of avatars who don't care about other people's results, the idea of compromising one's integrity doesn't enter into it. Nor is my own personal fitness journey jeopardized, as I'm putting out just as hard an effort going 17 km/h up Box Hill as I would if I had registered my actual weight and was maxing out at 13 km/h.

If anything, the encouragement to chase after riders on climbs that I would never have any hope of catching at my real weight results in harder efforts that wouldn't happen otherwise.

I'm not racing, though.
That last point is key.
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Old 12-08-19, 09:00 PM
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I suspect if you just tweak your weight by a little, it will go unnoticeable (but then the gains you get from that are tiny marginal gains). Any more and the Zwiftpower community appear to be quite diligent in looking out for outliers -- things like unusually high W/kg performance, an unusual weight-height-age combination, indoor-does-not-match-outdoor performance, history of user stats keep changing between races, and so on.
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Old 12-08-19, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
indoor-does-not-match-outdoor performance,
Check anyone you personally know on Strava who zwifts without a real power meter. My observation, even with weight accurately entered has been anywhere from 2-3 mph faster virtually than in real life (Kickrs and Snaps).
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Old 12-08-19, 10:28 PM
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I don't think most Zwiftpower racers really care about Z-Power riders -- at least from my observation -- since they don't really qualify for the higher level category/race results to bother with. It's usually the top tiers that get more scrutiny from the organizers, mods and community.

And besides, I don't think anyone cares about speed. It's power (and WKG) that counts, and a little discrepancy is expected. I remember seeing a forum thread a while ago on Zwiftpower where someone was calling out one rider who was really top tier pro-level on Zwift but was nowhere near that level of performance outdoors (but IIRC that's just a forumer making accusations, it's still up the mods to investigate and arbitrate).

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Old 12-08-19, 10:42 PM
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Agree its power that counts, but that is the primary determinant of speed in Zwift in concert with elevation after you have entered your weight.
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Old 12-08-19, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Check anyone you personally know on Strava who zwifts without a real power meter. My observation, even with weight accurately entered has been anywhere from 2-3 mph faster virtually than in real life (Kickrs and Snaps).
I'm much "faster" on Zwift, but I always dismissed this as an artifact of riding a dumb trainer with only a speed and cadence sensor.
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Old 12-09-19, 07:57 AM
  #45  
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On Zwift, there is no wind, stop lights or signs and no need to slow down for corners. I think that is probably why average speed is higher than outdoors.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:08 AM
  #46  
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What I call the "closed course effect." Imagine if you didn't need to confine your cycling to the bike lane, or the few feet of the shoulder. So you could apex a turn and use all 30+ feet of the street's width to carry your speed. Then there's of course the nothing coming behind you, no cross traffic to watch out for. Completely empty the roads, I could see outdoor speeds come a bit closer to Zwift speeds.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
On Zwift, there is no wind, stop lights or signs and no need to slow down for corners. I think that is probably why average speed is higher than outdoors.
Good points, my gut still tells me some trainers are over estimating actual power. Another thing that bothers me is the power ups. Fun for gamesmanship and I guess keeping it interesting, which in turn could make one ride more...but reality not so much.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:48 AM
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Race organisers can choose to disable power ups, or decide which ones are available for the race.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:55 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Good points, my gut still tells me some trainers are over estimating actual power. Another thing that bothers me is the power ups. Fun for gamesmanship and I guess keeping it interesting, which in turn could make one ride more...but reality not so much.
My power on Zwift is fairly consistent with outside (as it it should be, for a long time I was using the same PM) but my speed is still considerably faster. As others have said, no wind or stop signs/lights, no need to slow down for corners etc. But, I also suspect that my aerodynamics and, to a lesser extent, bumpy roads and just minor direction changes that can rob some momentum, are also causing an difference. I'm pretty sure Zwift assumes we're as aero as possible which isn't the case for many of us. On my ride yesterday I averaged 35.6 km/h on only 173 watts using a "regular" bike on Zwift. I did a duathlon in September, and using aero bars I averaged 34.8 (IIRC) km/h on roughly 230 watts. Both courses were fairly flat, so I'm pretty sure Zwift is overestimating things.
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Old 12-09-19, 09:03 AM
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Fake miles = fake speed.

As long as you understand the limitations of the system, it's all fine. Some people take it too seriously. It's a video game for your trainer, for Pete's sake.
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