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A power meter, without structured training? Musings after a couple of years.

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A power meter, without structured training? Musings after a couple of years.

Old 07-24-21, 07:17 AM
  #51  
WhyFi
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
What is estimated power?
Outfits like Zwift and Trainer Road have mapped out the resistance curves of most of the dumb trainers out there. If a user doesn't have a power meter or smart trainer, they can use a rear wheel speed sensor and Zwift/TR will reference the resistance curves to infer the user's power output. The problem, of course, is that there's unit-to-unit variation and that some designs are much more predictable than others.
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Old 07-24-21, 07:28 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Outfits like Zwift and Trainer Road have mapped out the resistance curves of most of the dumb trainers out there. If a user doesn't have a power meter or smart trainer, they can use a rear wheel speed sensor and Zwift/TR will reference the resistance curves to infer the user's power output. The problem, of course, is that there's unit-to-unit variation and that some designs are much more predictable than others.
Wow. That is BS.

I use a Powertap G3 power meter, it measures at the rear hub. t measures power and speed. I connect my rear wheel to regular old fluid trainer. The resistance within the trainer changes over the course of the race. How do I know? I have to use larger gears at my preferred cadence to keep the same power. If Zwift was inferring my power based on speed, it would be incorrect especially towards the end. They should require a power meter.
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Old 07-24-21, 07:52 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
The effect within the peloton is marginal but the draft effect of the whole peloton is silly high. If you go off the back, you are done.

What is estimated power?

Don't you need some sort of power meter? I use a Powertap G3 measured at the wheels. I wish I had pedal meters. No drivetrain loss. LOL
Yep, getting back in the peloton requires a massive effort if you fall off the back. I try to keep well away from the tail end for that reason. If someone you are following leaves a gap, both of you are done!

Estimated power (zPower) is an option in Zwift for people using a trainer without power. It just uses a speed sensor and virtual power curve for the trainer they are using (or a generic curve if their specific trainer isn't on their list). As you might imagine it is not very accurate. If there is no little lightning bolt icon next to a user's name it means they are using zPower and best not to race them. Also beware of zPower riders on the front of a group, especially a small breakaway group. They generally cause havoc in races, splitting groups apart when they start dialling up their fake power. Sometimes though they can be useful in a breakaway situation if they don't try to deliberately break the group.
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Old 07-24-21, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Wow. That is BS.

They should require a power meter.
Unfortunately Zwift want to attract as many subscribers as possible. Maybe they could have specific Zwift events that are only open to power meter/smart trainer users, but I guess they don't want to be seen to exclude anyone who is paying a subscription. Zwift Power is an independent website that filters out zPower riders and obvious cheaters from Zwift race results, but it doesn't stop them from being in the actual race. It's worth registering on Zwift Power if you regularly race on Zwift and it keeps a neat track of your progress and stats. It links automatically to your Zwift account.
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Old 07-24-21, 08:39 AM
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I was doing a lot of the world TTT events using Zwift Power. It seemed everyone had power meters but I also did races just on my own without the team and sometimes things were weird. Like I would say get 5th place but the next day the results would be indicate say 3rd place or I would win on the day but then the next day, it would say that I was in 2nd place. I never really cared but thought it was odd. Maybe those without power meters have to be manually vetted to place? Or if they found someone cheating, you would get upgraded? I never figured it out but the Z-Power thing might explain it.
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Old 07-24-21, 10:45 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Outfits like Zwift and Trainer Road have mapped out the resistance curves of most of the dumb trainers out there. If a user doesn't have a power meter or smart trainer, they can use a rear wheel speed sensor and Zwift/TR will reference the resistance curves to infer the user's power output. The problem, of course, is that there's unit-to-unit variation and that some designs are much more predictable than others.
Yeah, but those results are always excluded from Zwiftpower results (as are many sandbaggers), so that's the only place I look for results. These days so many people have some sort of powermeter that the front of the race seems to be ruined by sandbaggers more often than zpower (estimated power) users in my races. That could just be the races I do though. I mainly do the ZRL, Herd Summer Racing Series (early Saturday morning), and the WTRL TTT races.
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Old 07-24-21, 01:10 PM
  #57  
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Zwift races are hellla tough, as has already been said. They are full gas all the way an then ending with a tough sprint.
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Old 07-24-21, 01:22 PM
  #58  
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How can you tell if another racer is sandbagging? Signs of it?

I am a relative Zwift newbie. Every race seemed like my lungs and legs are being torn off.
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Old 07-24-21, 02:01 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
How can you tell if another racer is sandbagging? Signs of it?

I am a relative Zwift newbie. Every race seemed like my lungs and legs are being torn off.
Well, if you look at zwiftpower and their minimum category is B and they're in a D race with you, it's pretty clear. Sometimes it's less obvious than that, but in the C's and D's there are a lot of people who are just racing in the wrong category because "they feel tired" or their ego needs a boost. It's a lot harder to tell the people who are "cruising" who have the capacity to race a cat or 2 up but are very careful to never exceed the 20 minute power average that would cat them up so they can be riding right at the limit but only be in Z3 while you're redlining. Then they will still have a couple of sprints left in the tank to drop you when you're out of energy.
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Old 07-24-21, 04:00 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
How can you tell if another racer is sandbagging? Signs of it?

I am a relative Zwift newbie. Every race seemed like my lungs and legs are being torn off.
Zwift racing is just brutal by nature. It helps a lot if you are at the high end of your cat, but if you are say a low end cat B like me you get hammered every time. I now tend to stick more to group rides and challenges like the current Roval Climbing Challenge where you are not really racing, but pushing yourself hard to keep up with a group. The Virtual Haute Route events are really good too with aggregate times over several mountain stages. There was even a virtual TDF series last year.
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Old 07-24-21, 04:34 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Zwift racing is just brutal by nature. It helps a lot if you are at the high end of your cat, but if you are say a low end cat B like me you get hammered every time. I now tend to stick more to group rides and challenges like the current Roval Climbing Challenge where you are not really racing, but pushing yourself hard to keep up with a group. The Virtual Haute Route events are really good too with aggregate times over several mountain stages. There was even a virtual TDF series last year.
That's my problem also - In Zwift terms, I'm usually at the low end of B. If I race in C, I'm "sandbagging". Pluse there are a lot of other similar sandbaggers, so I don't even necessarily do that well. and if I race in B, I get clobbered.

And i don't like the group rides. Either you're in giant blob, which feells like no dynamics at all, or being yelled at for riding in front of the fence.

But I fell into a good groove last winter riding with the Pace Partners. Riding with Bowie was a tough workout. Riding with Coco was better. At the hours I generally rode, there were some very strong riders with Coco, such that I could hang with the pack or have the option of riding off the front with others.
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Old 07-24-21, 06:00 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
That's my problem also - In Zwift terms, I'm usually at the low end of B. If I race in C, I'm "sandbagging". Pluse there are a lot of other similar sandbaggers, so I don't even necessarily do that well. and if I race in B, I get clobbered.

And i don't like the group rides. Either you're in giant blob, which feells like no dynamics at all, or being yelled at for riding in front of the fence.

But I fell into a good groove last winter riding with the Pace Partners. Riding with Bowie was a tough workout. Riding with Coco was better. At the hours I generally rode, there were some very strong riders with Coco, such that I could hang with the pack or have the option of riding off the front with others.
Thatís interesting, I havenít ridden with the Pace Partners. Will give that a try thanks. I agree about some group rides being too big and more like being in a swarm of locusts! But some are really good when the groups are a smaller size and making an effort to work together.

Would be better if they had a few more cats too, especially above C. Iím pretty sure a lot of lower B riders race in C just to have some vague hope of winning. Racing in B for me is an exercise in not getting dropped for as long as I can! I consider it a major result if I finish in the main group. But I do wonder how many of those guys are weight doping etc. Seems to be a lot of short, skinny guys on Zwift lol.
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