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Zwift racer caught cheating

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Zwift racer caught cheating

Old 12-09-22, 10:59 PM
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Zwift racer caught cheating

Moral: If you’re going to cheat, make your power numbers believable.

https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/...solute-maniac/

EDIT: Thanks, moderator(s), for fixing the title typo.
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Old 12-09-22, 11:29 PM
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Make believe data riding in a make believe world?
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Old 12-10-22, 04:57 AM
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Not so swift.
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Old 12-10-22, 05:45 AM
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Swifter hacks a game. Gamers hack. Yawn.
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Old 12-10-22, 06:07 AM
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A bit of a dumb move. The problem at the highest level is that it only takes a few percent of an advantage to make all the difference. How easily would they be able to pick up someone with a consistent 5% power gain? While this doesn't matter at a casual level it must be a real issue for pro e-sports.
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Old 12-10-22, 06:09 AM
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It’s a shame, there is a guy in my area that went and took a lot of KOMs. Never saw him before, no one seems to know who he is, and his ride history is nothing spectacular. His data looks more like an E- Bike than real numbers.

Always wondered why someone would be proud of a podium knowing they cheated to get there.
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Old 12-10-22, 07:22 AM
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The loser made three mistakes beyond cheating.

1. He did not use his "code" during routine rides on Zwift, only during races
2. He always disconnected the data fed while in the pen (suggest it wasn't just code but who cares how he hacked)
3. He did not go with the original break by dialing the power to a more believable level

8.5 W/Kg for 4-5 minutes? Negative 7 is blushing somewheres.
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Old 12-10-22, 07:43 AM
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Maybe he was beta testing for a future product.
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Old 12-10-22, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat
Maybe he was beta testing for a future product.
I hear it is $8/month now.
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Old 12-10-22, 09:29 AM
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There is a lot of money on the line in these zwift competitions. Of course there will be cheating.
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Old 12-10-22, 09:31 AM
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I ignore everything on Zwift. According to Zwift, the world is full of closeted cardio prodigies who could win World Tour races if given half a chance.

For example, if you go on any KOM leaderboard for Zwift segments, you will see lots of people who "averaged 500 watts for 20 minutes" or whatever. If you dig into their Strava, invariably they are 50 year old men who never ride outside and when they do it's 18 miles at 16mph. Uh huh, sure buddy. (Yes I have too much free time.)

Another example: all of the people in the Zwift sub****** who post garbage like: "I just started cycling two months ago and I just broke 50 minutes on AdZ at 4.5w/kg!" No you didn't. If you argue with them they get all defensive and pissy. They'll start arguing with you that they "ran cross country in high school" or whatever. My friends, post one ride outside with anything close to those power numbers and I might buy it.

Last edited by Hiro11; 12-10-22 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 12-10-22, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
I ignore everything on Zwift.

I love when you go on the KOM leaderboard for Zwift segments and you see these people who averaged 500 watts for 20 minutes or whatever. If you dig into their Strava, invariably they are 50 year old men who never ride outside and when they do it's 18 miles at 16mph. Yes I have too much free time.

Another example: all of the people in the Zwift sub****** who post: "I just started cycling two months ago and I just broke 50 minutes on AdZ at 4.5w/kg!" No you didn't.
Despite this I think most people on Zwift are actually riding with honest power. Not that it really matters since a cheater at 4.5 W/kg appears no different to a genuine 4.5 W/kg rider. They are both just anonymous riders unless you know them personally. All that matters to me is that my own power and weight are realistic.
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Old 12-10-22, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Despite this I think most people on Zwift are actually riding with honest power. Not that it really matters since a cheater at 4.5 W/kg appears no different to a genuine 4.5 W/kg rider. They are both just anonymous riders unless you know them personally. All that matters to me is that my own power and weight are realistic.
I agree, the vast majority of people on Zwift are just doing their workouts and posting reasonable results. Also, there are many serious athletes who ride Zwift and post some incredible things that are in fact real.

But... there are also lots of people who (possibly inadvertently) post impossible things on Zwift. Generally these people are new to the sport, riding on suspect equipment and oblivious to just how unbelievable their "feats" appear. Some of these r/zwift posters seem to believe that "cycling is so easy and I have an undiscovered God-given talent" after riding Zwift for a couple of months. Uh huh.

My point is take most anything really impressive from unknown people you see on Zwift with a large grain of salt.
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Old 12-10-22, 09:59 AM
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Zwift's algo is bogus.

If you want to cheat, realize Zwift thinks a 70kg sphere has better aerodynamics than a long cylinder of the same mass.

SO, just put in the shortest height possible or learn to code.
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Old 12-10-22, 10:12 AM
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I am just waking up, haven't yet had any coffee, feeling even a bit more out of it than usual, and I spent at least 45 seconds looking at the OP's veloviewer.com stats and wondering why he would have thought those numbers weren't believable (although they probably would be if they were mine -- I've never had a KOM for example).

I'll click the link now.

I was initially attracted by "Swift" in the title, and was gearing up for suggesting a correction in my usual cheerful and engaging manner.

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Old 12-10-22, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Moral: If you’re going to cheat, make your power numbers believable.
Originally Posted by PeteHski
How easily would they be able to pick up someone with a consistent 5% power gain?
Depends. Sometimes you can tell even with a small power inflation. However, the smaller the inflation, the more trouble it is so you typically don't want to spend that effort unless the stakes are high or the cheating is egregious. Some guy once doubted this, so he took a power data file, inflated or deflated the power by different amounts and sent me 9 altered files and the original unaltered file. It didn't take long to figure out which one was the original.

This, by the way, is related to claims that "you can never know what the true accuracy of a power meter is, so what's important is only that it's consistent." It turns out that (some of) the ways you can check for cheating are based on (some of) the ways you can check for accuracy.

Also, real-time detection is harder than post hoc.
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Old 12-10-22, 10:44 AM
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Could you as easily tell a raw shift, like +50w?
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Old 12-10-22, 10:59 AM
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A couple times when riding in D races, there's been one rider who goes solo off the front, and puts out over 3.5w/kg for the whole distance. I don't understand the psychology - it's like a pro riding a Cat5 race IRL. So you win. What did you win, really?
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Old 12-10-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug
Could you as easily tell a raw shift, like +50w?
So, I'm not sure I want to get into "easily" vs "hard" but this goes back to the assessment of power meter accuracy: if you have the full data file, you can often tell whether there's an error in offset or an error in slope. There are also other things that you can look for that aren't related to either offset or slope. Roughly speaking, there are errors that are sort of hardware-related, transmission-related, and software-processing-related. Each type of error can leave behind certain kinds of "fingerprints." So that's about inadvertent inaccuracy in a power meter, not about purposeful cheating. But you can see how detection of errors can be related to detection of cheating. A very clever, very dedicated, very smart cheater can handle all of those things but most cheaters aren't quite that clever or smart.
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Old 12-10-22, 11:05 AM
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There’s real money in Zwift racing???

I’ve been on Zwift for a couple years (winters only for the most part) and had no idea. Is this offline betting? Or does Zwift facilitate payouts? I’m too slow to compete for anything other than who can drink more beer or eat the most ice cream while Zwifting (hopefully those are categories).
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Old 12-10-22, 01:16 PM
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Cheating in a single player game is fine, sometimes you want to play a open world game without dying so you can explore or maybe you need more ammo or money to buy stuff or something a-OK but cheating in multi-player games is just silly. Zwift is just a fun game for fitness taking it so seriously to the point you need to cheat is even more silly. Have fun get in better shape maybe interact with some other humans across the globe no need to cheat.
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Old 12-10-22, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RChung
So, I'm not sure I want to get into "easily" vs "hard" but this goes back to the assessment of power meter accuracy: if you have the full data file, you can often tell whether there's an error in offset or an error in slope. There are also other things that you can look for that aren't related to either offset or slope. Roughly speaking, there are errors that are sort of hardware-related, transmission-related, and software-processing-related. Each type of error can leave behind certain kinds of "fingerprints." So that's about inadvertent inaccuracy in a power meter, not about purposeful cheating. But you can see how detection of errors can be related to detection of cheating. A very clever, very dedicated, very smart cheater can handle all of those things but most cheaters aren't quite that clever or smart.
I started reading this thread without noticing the authors. Half way through this post I thought this has to be Robert. Yup
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Old 12-10-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
It’s a shame, there is a guy in my area that went and took a lot of KOMs. Never saw him before, no one seems to know who he is, and his ride history is nothing spectacular. His data looks more like an E- Bike than real numbers.

Always wondered why someone would be proud of a podium knowing they cheated to get there.
Well there once was a guy named Lance….
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Old 12-10-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Despite this I think most people on Zwift are actually riding with honest power. Not that it really matters since a cheater at 4.5 W/kg appears no different to a genuine 4.5 W/kg rider. They are both just anonymous riders unless you know them personally. All that matters to me is that my own power and weight are realistic.
Speaking of realistic; how do we know you are real and not an AI generated robo-poster?

But then you have far more “I” than the cheater-pants featured in the thread.
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Old 12-10-22, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Well there once was a guy named Lance….

Atleast Lance had saddle time, even if it was enhanced.
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