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Zwift Hackers Expose the Next Generation of Cycling Doping

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Zwift Hackers Expose the Next Generation of Cycling Doping

Old 09-16-19, 08:43 AM
  #26  
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Human nature at its best! Oh well, they'll probably counter this by developing an encryption software or a protection mechanism of some kind. Better to know it now than later.
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Old 09-16-19, 11:07 AM
  #27  
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If you have an on-bike power meter mounted on a dumb trainer, you might not even need a box. Just alter the torque intercept and slope. (Though there are ways to detect this, too -- it's just a bit of a hassle).
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Old 09-16-19, 01:34 PM
  #28  
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Since this is a Zwift thread, let me ask a Zwift-related question. When I started using it a couple years ago, it seemed like there were lots of organized group rides and even races sharing the same virtual roads at the same time, so you'd occasionally get swept up by a huge pack and it would be fun to try to hang on.

Now, riding at the same time of day, it seems like everyone else in the virtual world is riding solo and doing a structured workout based on the little workout icon.

Did they separate the group rides and races so they run in their own little version of Watopia/whatever? Or is it just a product of so many additional route options being added so the likelihood of coming across a group is much lower?
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Old 09-16-19, 07:19 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Funny. During my walk to work this morning I had to jump out of the way of a motorist while crossing the street legally in a crosswalk. Choice words were uttered in her direction.
Yikes! It shouldn't be that hard to be safe.
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Old 09-16-19, 08:06 PM
  #30  
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I got hit by a car in Zwift and broke my arm once.
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Old 09-16-19, 08:47 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
People will always find a way to cheat, no matter the activity or medium. I bought a trainer last winter when I first started riding, and never even took it out of the box, so I returned it to the store. Decided I'd rather ride in the cold than in the garage. But there's also only a few days in the winter where it's not safe to ride around here due to ice, the rest is just dealing with the temps. If I was up north, I'd def have a nice trainer setup with a big screen.
It's only cheating if you get caught. Otherwise it's innovation. Racing is as much about technical skill as it is about finding out what you can get away with inside the confines of the rulebook.

Zwift was a excellent sanity-saver when I was down for 6 weeks with a broken hand. I contain within me very little desire to do it voluntarily, much less competitively. I will brave most any weather not to have to drag the trainer out*.


*says the guy who lives in the land without weather or seasons
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Old 09-17-19, 05:02 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I got hit by a car in Zwift and broke my arm once.
Was the car o.k.?
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Old 09-17-19, 05:39 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Racing is as much about technical skill as it is about finding out what you can get away with inside the confines of the rulebook.
Welcome to yacht racing.
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Old 09-17-19, 06:37 AM
  #34  
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Virtual cycling and racing made the cover of Velonews this month, and honestly, until they can solve the rampant cheating issues it'll go nowhere. It's just too easy to cheat Zwift, really. Weight doping, multiple wheel weights for the speed sensor, electric bikes, messing with power meter calibration, it all works.

I ride Zwift for recreation and fitness. But competition? Yeah, sure...
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Old 09-17-19, 06:43 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope;21125575I
contain within me very little desire to do it voluntarily, much less competitively. I will brave most any weather not to have to drag the trainer out.
Agreed. I do live in a section of the USA with seasons and I'll still brave 20 miles at 20F before I'll get on my Kickr.
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Old 09-17-19, 10:56 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Was the car o.k.?
The virtual driver gave me the virtual finger, and yelled a virtual slogan "get off the road!", it was very realistic.
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Old 09-18-19, 12:09 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! That people take Zwift seriously though to go to the trouble, or actually race in it.
The last time I was on Zwift I was chugging along up a hill doing my normal slow guy up a hill routine and this dude flies by me like he is on a virtual motorcycle. I watched the board as he climbed like hell all the way to the top at over 8 watts per kilo. I laughed my ass off when he got the KOM. I even gave him a thumbs up for his effort.
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Old 09-18-19, 12:18 PM
  #38  
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I admit it! On the Nintendo Entertainment System game "Track & Field", I used to pound my fists on the Power Pad to run faster!

There, I came clean. That felt good. It's been weighing on me since 1986.
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Old 09-18-19, 12:32 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
I admit it! On the Nintendo Entertainment System game "Track & Field", I used to pound my fists on the Power Pad to run faster!

There, I came clean. That felt good. It's been weighing on me since 1986.
At least you didn't bribe a sibling to co-press the buttons with you...
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Old 09-20-19, 03:03 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The virtual driver gave me the virtual finger, and yelled a virtual slogan "get off the road!", it was very realistic.
Im going to start using my helmet camera when I Zwift to have evidence in case this ever happens to me. May as well use my new Varia radar too.
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Old 09-20-19, 05:37 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Agreed. I do live in a section of the USA with seasons and I'll still brave 20 miles at 20F before I'll get on my Kickr.
I'd rather shovel sht on my head if I could make it somewhat aerobic before using an indoor trainer. My forced indoor workouts are mainly an elliptical. Oddly I enjoy that even if it's not directly related to biking efficiency. I just can't find motivation riding in place. Props to those that can.

Funny you specifically mention 20 miles at 20F. I seem to be able to handle about 1 mile per degree under about 40.

Last edited by u235; 09-20-19 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 09-21-19, 07:58 PM
  #42  
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Pathetic.
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Old 09-22-19, 07:17 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I got hit by a car in Zwift and broke my arm once.
Did you hire a virtual personal injury lawyer?
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Old 09-22-19, 08:12 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
I admit it! On the Nintendo Entertainment System game "Track & Field", I used to pound my fists on the Power Pad to run faster!

There, I came clean. That felt good. It's been weighing on me since 1986.
A comb was the cheat/PED in my area. You put it under the middle finger and over the index/ring fingers. Index finger on one button and ring finger on the other. You tapped as fast as you could on the index side of the comb with the other hand. The comb provided a spring like action that greatly increased the speed...................at least that is what I was told. I never tried it myself.........really, I didn't.
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Old 09-22-19, 09:08 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Since this is a Zwift thread, let me ask a Zwift-related question. When I started using it a couple years ago, it seemed like there were lots of organized group rides and even races sharing the same virtual roads at the same time, so you'd occasionally get swept up by a huge pack and it would be fun to try to hang on.

Now, riding at the same time of day, it seems like everyone else in the virtual world is riding solo and doing a structured workout based on the little workout icon.

Did they separate the group rides and races so they run in their own little version of Watopia/whatever? Or is it just a product of so many additional route options being added so the likelihood of coming across a group is much lower?
Zwift added an option for event organisers so that you could "see only event riders". This means riders in the event can only see other riders in the same event and I'm pretty sure it hides event riders from non-event riders. The riders are still there but you just can't see them (or draft off them). The majority of events are now "see only event riders" but there are still the occasional events that are "see all riders".
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Old 09-26-19, 07:05 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Virtual cycling and racing made the cover of Velonews this month, and honestly, until they can solve the rampant cheating issues it'll go nowhere. It's just too easy to cheat Zwift, really. Weight doping, multiple wheel weights for the speed sensor, electric bikes, messing with power meter calibration, it all works.

I ride Zwift for recreation and fitness. But competition? Yeah, sure...
Never used Zwift, but my question has been what prevents weight doping? Im pretty sure if I can just tell it I weigh 130lbs, Im going to win some races.
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Old 09-26-19, 07:20 AM
  #47  
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I wonder why Zwift hasn't developed a certification program - go to a licensed LBS (they'd be into it - gets riders in the door), show an ID, get on a scale, get a unique Zwift race number... It'd reduce weight doping and maybe other doping/cheating if the rider's ID wasn't so easily replaced, i.e. new account.

While I still laugh at guys who take virtual racing seriously - because the cheating is so easy and so rampant... I kind of get the draw. Getting into real road racing sucks. It's not a community that welcomes new racers. For starters, EVERY race flier continues to be developed using 1995 internet technology - PDFs, links to links to links... Races are hard to find. And the biggest deterrent - Cat5 races absolutely suck. The braking, yelling, panicking, horrible tactics... it's like guys ride for years in fast group rides then forget everything when they race. Probably why gravel racing is doing well and road racing is fading.
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Old 09-26-19, 08:16 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Never used Zwift, but my question has been what prevents weight doping? Im pretty sure if I can just tell it I weigh 130lbs, Im going to win some races.
For most of us, nothing prevents it, or using an e-bike or any of the other things listed.

The thing is, doing a virtual "race" costs me nothing other than making sure I'm riding at the start time. So it's pretty easy to do it for fun and not take it so seriously. I see it as a, relatively speaking, fun way to get in a ~1 hour hard ride. If someone else is cheating, I'll never know, and frankly, I don't really care. It doesn't detract from the experience unless you let it.

For the actual serious races, I think they generally have most of the top riders ride at a specific location where they can be weight. But even still, there have definitely been examples of cheating. IIRC one world tour rider listed his weight at 10 kg lower than it actually was.
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Old 09-26-19, 09:54 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Never used Zwift, but my question has been what prevents weight doping? Im pretty sure if I can just tell it I weigh 130lbs, Im going to win some races.
I love how the word doping has taken on a life of its own. No longer relegated to EPO or blood transfusions, there's motor doping, weight doping, hacker doping, altitude doping, ... Soon we'll realize that cyclists who eat a healthy, rounded diet have an advantage over everyone eating heavily processed crap out of the microwave.
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Old 09-26-19, 01:39 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Never used Zwift, but my question has been what prevents weight doping? I’m pretty sure if I can just tell it I weigh 130lbs, I’m going to win some races.
Some of the race organizers require documentation. I am in an age racing league where you had to submit a driver's licence to prove age and weight. Yes you could still falsify the document but for Masters racing it was better than random people claiming to be 60 years old and 130 pounds. The bigger issue is power meter calibration, which is so easy to alter to get whatever power output desired. The non-power reading trainers are pretty much ignored in racing results, and nobody chases someone who is not on a power based input.

At the highest levels of racing there is verification through Strava results, you must submit real world performance data with a power meter (such as a 20 minute climb) to show power output.

Last edited by ingo; 09-26-19 at 01:43 PM.
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