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The weight cheating on Zwift controversy

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The weight cheating on Zwift controversy

Old 02-24-22, 11:35 AM
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himespau 
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The weight cheating on Zwift controversy

Anybody hear about the whole weight changing during your race to cheat thing?

Apparently the guy who publicized it (after telling Zwift and getting no response) got banned from Zwift as a result. Yet, I still haven't heard that the guy who blogs about cruising (and posts links to his blog on the Zwift forums) has gotten even a slap on the wrist.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220224...aces-on-zwift/
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Old 02-24-22, 11:56 AM
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Height cheating is more effective on zwift.

The problem? The game does not accurately represent cycling in the real world.
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Old 02-24-22, 12:27 PM
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Zwift. Isn't. Real. Cycling.

Yes, I use it and like it, but really, there are multiple ways to cheat the game.
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Old 02-24-22, 12:51 PM
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I like the concept. Make yourself lighter for those hill climbs.

If only that would work on my bicycle outdoors.
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Old 02-24-22, 01:06 PM
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What I can't figure out is how, in the heat of a race, people are able to get into their app and type that stuff in and then remember to go back in and fix it right before the finish. I would definitely screw that up. On the other hand, I see people typing messages to each other in the middle of races and I don't have the coordination for that either.
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Old 02-24-22, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
What I can't figure out is how, in the heat of a race, people are able to get into their app and type that stuff in and then remember to go back in and fix it right before the finish. I would definitely screw that up. On the other hand, I see people typing messages to each other in the middle of races and I don't have the coordination for that either.
You underestimate their desire to cheat to win. Which is why I will *never* consider any for of "E" racing legit.

OK, I'll admit, I once did something just to prove to someone how easy it was to cheat. I used a speed sensor instead of a power meter, and put two magnets on the sensor wheel. Made it up AdZ in record time.

No, I did not save the ride. Seemed pretty obvious...
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Old 02-24-22, 03:44 PM
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I don't care if people cheat on Zwift. They are strangers, so it doesn't matter to me if their stats are real or not. What does it matter if I'm racing a weight cheater or someone genuine with the same apparent W/kg? It would be different if there was money involved, but for me the motivation is just to beat whoever I'm racing against, regardless of whether their performance is real or imaginary. I know my numbers are real, so I'm not deluding myself like cheaters are.
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Old 02-24-22, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
What I can't figure out is how, in the heat of a race, people are able to get into their app and type that stuff in and then remember to go back in and fix it right before the finish.

Same. It's like the bike change mid-race to be faster on the gravel. Apparently you can do it super quick, but I would 100% mess it up!
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Old 02-24-22, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
Same. It's like the bike change mid-race to be faster on the gravel. Apparently you can do it super quick, but I would 100% mess it up!
I've actually managed that in about 13 seconds in a race. Some people have macros that let them do it in like 5.
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Old 02-24-22, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I've actually managed that in about 13 seconds in a race. Some people have macros that let them do it in like 5.
Macros are the way. So much so that in other kinds of online games (e.g. shooters, mmorpgs, etc) you are very likely to be flagged by the anti-cheat software if you are employing macros extensively.
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Old 02-24-22, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I don't care if people cheat on Zwift. They are strangers, so it doesn't matter to me if their stats are real or not. What does it matter if I'm racing a weight cheater or someone genuine with the same apparent W/kg? It would be different if there was money involved, but for me the motivation is just to beat whoever I'm racing against, regardless of whether their performance is real or imaginary. I know my numbers are real, so I'm not deluding myself like cheaters are.
Good for you to be able to tune the cheaters out like that, but I think that for a lot of other people, it's a pretty normal feeling to have disdain for cheaters - especially if it's them against the cheaters.

I mean, for example, even if we just approached it from a "game" angle... how would you feel about playing Snake & Ladders with someone who occasionally "miscounts" their moves to avoid the snakes or to get a ladder? Or someone who "accidentally" draws extra money from the bank when no one is looking carefully in a game of Monopoly? Or the guy who installs an aimbot to accurately shoot other characters in the head in an online game of Counterstrike/Call of Duty/Fortnite/etc?
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Old 02-25-22, 07:16 AM
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I don't understand why people care.
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Old 02-25-22, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
What I can't figure out is how, in the heat of a race, people are able to get into their app and type that stuff in and then remember to go back in and fix it right before the finish. I would definitely screw that up. On the other hand, I see people typing messages to each other in the middle of races and I don't have the coordination for that either.
You don't have a Domestique at the keyboard?
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Old 02-25-22, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Macros are the way. So much so that in other kinds of online games (e.g. shooters, mmorpgs, etc) you are very likely to be flagged by the anti-cheat software if you are employing macros extensively.
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
You don't have a Domestique at the keyboard?
Honestly, I would be surprised if both of those things were not outlawed in the official eRacing rules (not that people follow those for dinky little races).
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Old 02-25-22, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Good for you to be able to tune the cheaters out like that, but I think that for a lot of other people, it's a pretty normal feeling to have disdain for cheaters - especially if it's them against the cheaters.

I mean, for example, even if we just approached it from a "game" angle... how would you feel about playing Snake & Ladders with someone who occasionally "miscounts" their moves to avoid the snakes or to get a ladder? Or someone who "accidentally" draws extra money from the bank when no one is looking carefully in a game of Monopoly? Or the guy who installs an aimbot to accurately shoot other characters in the head in an online game of Counterstrike/Call of Duty/Fortnite/etc?
It's different in Zwift though. A cheating rider (lets say someone who has dropped their real weight by 15 kg) and a genuinely faster rider are indistinguishable to me. The fact that they are both strangers makes their "cheating" status irrelevant. Say I'm racing in my own B or C category and there are several D riders who have cheated to produce a respectable B W/kg, then what do I care? It's just more avatars to race against. They might beat me or they might not. Either way I'm none the wiser whether they are genuine riders or fat couch potato wannabes. I'll never know and it doesn't matter. The only time it would matter is if I was a "pro" e-racer and there was money/cycling career at stake.
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Old 02-25-22, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
It's different in Zwift though. A cheating rider (lets say someone who has dropped their real weight by 15 kg) and a genuinely faster rider are indistinguishable to me. The fact that they are both strangers makes their "cheating" status irrelevant. Say I'm racing in my own B or C category and there are several D riders who have cheated to produce a respectable B W/kg, then what do I care? It's just more avatars to race against. They might beat me or they might not. Either way I'm none the wiser whether they are genuine riders or fat couch potato wannabes. I'll never know and it doesn't matter. The only time it would matter is if I was a "pro" e-racer and there was money/cycling career at stake.
and it also pushes you harder which is kind of sort of the goal anyway.
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Old 02-25-22, 12:36 PM
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It bothers me a little, but I think it's so endemic that it just makes me want to stay away from races and group rides. When I'm riding on my own, it couldn't matter less to me.

Funny thing was I read this thread and then got an email from zwift about the UCI eracing championships. Cheating is pretty important to some people
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Old 02-25-22, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
It's different in Zwift though. A cheating rider (lets say someone who has dropped their real weight by 15 kg) and a genuinely faster rider are indistinguishable to me. The fact that they are both strangers makes their "cheating" status irrelevant. Say I'm racing in my own B or C category and there are several D riders who have cheated to produce a respectable B W/kg, then what do I care? It's just more avatars to race against. They might beat me or they might not. Either way I'm none the wiser whether they are genuine riders or fat couch potato wannabes. I'll never know and it doesn't matter. The only time it would matter is if I was a "pro" e-racer and there was money/cycling career at stake.
I totally get this. I haven't raced on zwift for more than a year - simply because it's not how I'm choosing to use my indoor cycling time these days- but when I did, I poured my heart into it, pushed myself to my limits, and got soundly beaten every time. The first two of those mattered, the third didn't at all. Even had I won, who would have cared?

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Old 02-25-22, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Honestly, I would be surprised if both of those things were not outlawed in the official eRacing rules (not that people follow those for dinky little races).
I was joking.

People take that dinky game too seriously
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Old 02-25-22, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
It's different in Zwift though. A cheating rider (lets say someone who has dropped their real weight by 15 kg) and a genuinely faster rider are indistinguishable to me. The fact that they are both strangers makes their "cheating" status irrelevant. Say I'm racing in my own B or C category and there are several D riders who have cheated to produce a respectable B W/kg, then what do I care? It's just more avatars to race against. They might beat me or they might not. Either way I'm none the wiser whether they are genuine riders or fat couch potato wannabes. I'll never know and it doesn't matter. The only time it would matter is if I was a "pro" e-racer and there was money/cycling career at stake.
On the other hand, folks who blow up races by going out "too hard" because they are capable of putting out more Watts than designated for the category (for whatever reason, cheating or just riding the wrong category), lead to people chasing them beyond their limits, scatter the original pack and make the race less fun for everyone. If they're not doing that and just flat out beating me, I agree it doesn't matter why.
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Old 02-25-22, 01:06 PM
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Old 02-25-22, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Height cheating is more effective on zwift.

The problem? The game does not accurately represent cycling in the real world.
Boy, howdy, is that the truth!

I set my Zwift numbers accurately - 6', 91 kg - but one time I accidentally reset my height to 3 feet without realizing it (rolling the scroll wheel while my cursor was over the 'height' number), and without changing the weight. So, 3' tall and 200 lbs. It didn't change my avatar's appearance - no fat hobbits on bikes on my screen. I did a Tour de Zwift ride, not a race, so it wasn't really a competition. I think it was on Innsbruck. At first I was surprised to find myself keeping up on the flat with riders who were doing higher w/kg, but I thought it was just because I was drafting them. On the climb, I was still pushing 200lbs up the hill, so that wasn't any different, but on the descent, I FLEW past people. Just coasting, I cracked 100 km/hr.

When I finished the ride and looked at the numbers, I was HORRIFIED! I was waiting for the Zwift Police to come a-knocking, but they didn't. I rode the same route again later and of course didn't come NEAR the descending speeds I'd hit.
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Old 02-25-22, 02:51 PM
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I have been racing on Zwift for a year or so. Not really heavily, maybe a couple races a month. I worry more about sandbaggers than about 'height doping' or 'weight doping', and I don't worry that much about sandbaggers. Plus, I was racing in 'D', so I don't think there are that many people interested in sandbagging D races. I mostly have been on the podium, mostly because there aren't that many people racing at 6PM Pacific time. Now Zwiftpower in its infinite wisdom has seen fit to categorize me as a C, so I guess it's goodbye to all those podium spots.

Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I was joking.

People take that dinky game too seriously
People take EVERY game too seriously. I mean, what part of "game" are they missing?
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Old 02-25-22, 10:04 PM
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I got so tired of sandbaggers that I mainly only race where they aren't an issue. Zwift Racing League has its share of cruisers, but you can't really sandbag, and mass start open races where everyone races together and you're just hunting for the fastest wheel to chase regardless of cat (I know I'll never win those, so it's about finding people that I "shouldn't" be riding with based on ZP numbers and hanging with them as long as I can).
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Old 02-25-22, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I got so tired of sandbaggers that I mainly only race where they aren't an issue. Zwift Racing League has its share of cruisers, but you can't really sandbag, and mass start open races where everyone races together and you're just hunting for the fastest wheel to chase regardless of cat (I know I'll never win those, so it's about finding people that I "shouldn't" be riding with based on ZP numbers and hanging with them as long as I can).
Psychology makes sandbagging in Zwift inevitable, and not simply because people want to cheat.

Let's say there's a rider with an FTP of 3.3 or 3.4 W/kg. The official categories say they are a "B". (3.2-3.9), not a "C" (2.5-3.1). If they race in "B", they are going to get creamed by the 3.6-3.9 crowd, so instead they race in "C". Where they demolish the C riders who are following the guidelines.

Those C riders start thinking about racing in "D".....

Now this is happening at all levels, so there are people who should be riding in A (4.0+) b/c they have and FTP of 4.1 and they're getting torched by the stronger A riders. So now the people in the MIDDLE of the B range (3.5-3.6) are getting dropped by riders who are really "A"

Wash, rinse, repeat. The whole thing slides.

If there were enough racers, there would be less sandbagging in a system with more category divisions.
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