Questions, banter and general discussion.
I recently got "upgraded" to be an A. In part this happened because I've been working on long climbing efforts and my FTP is now calculated to be above 4 w/kg. While that's true, it's also true that my 1min and 5min power are nowhere near sufficient to hang with the A group in a race (it's still February, I'm not focused on efforts of that intensity). This makes racing much less fun.

Thinking about this it seems that simply focusing on a single number (FTP) is not a particularly useful way to categorize riders. 1min and 5min power would be much more accurate since those are the kinds of efforts that make the selections. Most Zwift race courses feature significant efforts in the 1-7 minute range (the Wattopia Climb, the Volcano, the climb to the Jungle, Box Hill in London, the hill on the Richmond course, the NYC kom's, etc).

Since the stats for 1min and 5min power are available, has any thought been given to the possibility of making categories based on a mix of best efforts for different durations? I suppose it would even be fair for riders to have different categories depending on the course: e.g. I would be an A for the Innsbruckring but only a B for NYC Everything Bagel. Doing this would make racing more fun as you'd be grouped with people of similar abilities which lends itself to more dynamic racing (i.e. people can attack and counter-attack instead of just riding a solo TT after they get dropped by the fastest guys).

There's been a clear shift in training and coaching to move away from a single FTP based number to characterize a rider. It seems that it would be appropriate to apply the same thinking here.

Thoughts/comments?

--dominic
Good points here. Would be nice to not see the 50 kg "A`s" wine about big strong B`s who can hang in on flat races. "You can`t be a B" "You cheat" etc.
I'm assuming the new "race licence" that has appeared on profiles will eventually work like IRL where you accumulate points based on results in races. Once you reach set number of points you must move up cats. this will force riders who endlessly win say, the C cat, but who monitor ZP live to ensure they stay below the limits. They can only do this so many times before they would have enough points to move up.
But this entirely a guess from me, i have no idea if that's what it's for. :lol:
jamie woodward wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:46 am
I'm assuming the new "race licence" that has appeared on profiles will eventually work like IRL where you accumulate points based on results in races. Once you reach set number of points you must move up cats. this will force riders who endlessly win say, the C cat, but who monitor ZP live to ensure they stay below the limits. They can only do this so many times before they would have enough points to move up.
But this entirely a guess from me, i have no idea if that's what it's for. :lol:
You might be onto something.......
ivaregil@start.no wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:47 pm
Good points here. Would be nice to not see the 50 kg "A`s" wine about big strong B`s who can hang in on flat races. "You can`t be a B" "You cheat" etc.
That's another thing... if you're on the small side you have to generate at least about 10% more power just to hang on the flats compared with someone who is larger. I've done some experiments on Zwift showing that at 66.36 kg and 4 w/kg on the Volcano CCW loop I got the same speed as I do when I bump my weight to 80 kg and maintain 3.58 w/kg. There's a huge difference in the effort required to maintain 4 w/kg vs 3.58 w/kg even though you're going the same speed. Details at: https://www.strava.com/activities/2159934715

Anyway I do hope some consideration is given to the suggestions offered here by me and others. The current mass start race format and post filtering based on ZP status leads to very uninteresting races for the bulk of the participants since every race boils down to the same go-till-you-blow-then-tt effort. I think forced upgrades after 3 or 4 wins would be enough to keep sandbaggers from ruining races for others. I really would like to get back to riding with folks of similar abilities and pushing each other instead of being thrown in with people that are way over my abilities.

--dominic
The Zwift algorithm favours raw watts over w/kg. Crunching your numbers on the volcano CCW circuit, then to maintain the same speed at 66.36kg with 3.99w/kg, you need to put out 264.7W At 80kg and 3.58w/kg, you need 286.4W. So the heavier rider needs more raw power to travel at the same speed on the flat, even though the w/kg is a lot less. Putting it another way, it's not an advantage to be heavier, but an advantage to be more powerful. :)
Categories work in the real world, but for some reasons they are not working well in virtual Zwift. The new A+ category is an example of great move to adapt real CATs to Virtual ones. CAT B should be splitted in two. B CAT has a huge number of racers but the differences between them are simply overwhelming.

The rationale behind CATs is the promotion of competition. But as in reality, the course selection and race length are critical.

I really like the idea of the race licence and the gamification it could involve! Keep the great job ZwiftPower!
Just my opinion. Because this is like a other games in esports (where is lots of different classes, type of things with different setups ect.), that A+ cat should be removed. There would be A1 A2 A3 categories, A1 under 70kg, A2 under 80kg and A3 above 80kg riders, same in B cat too. After that there would be more competition against other same cat riders. But, like i said, just my opinion..
Felttimies wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:44 am
Just my opinion. Because this is like a other games in esports (where is lots of different classes, type of things with different setups ect.), that A+ cat should be removed. There would be A1 A2 A3 categories, A1 under 70kg, A2 under 80kg and A3 above 80kg riders, same in B cat too. After that there would be more competition against other same cat riders. But, like i said, just my opinion..
Surely that would take some of the fun out it. If an A1 breaks away I wouldn't be that concerned as his power would not be that high. If an A3 breaks away I know it needs shutting down. A license system seems the best way forward imo
I’m not an algorithm expert, and I’ve only been plodding around for a few months, but are all of the category A+ riders registered as 150kg? I can’t find any around that are heavy.

Loads of people post on here about heavy riders being favoured, but from what I can see that is never the case in a race.

In my experience I can sit at 350w all day long, but on any incline I just drift backwards. I’m a fat git by the way compared to most on here.

Unless my competition is a Zpower rider I never get beaten by someone heavier than me.

Funnily enough in real life I can hold my own.