Why I hate Zwift

As you may know, I’ve blown hot and cold with Zwift for some time but more and more I’m shuffling away from it and hating it now. Here is why.

A few years ago I was riding Zwift regularly. Regular riding progressed to racing to joining a Zwift-based club (Team CRYO-GEN) and then streaming my races on YouTube. As Summer came my Zwift riding reduced significantly and I found it increasingly harder to go back in the Winter as the subs went up significantly and I found other platforms (Wahoo SYSTM aka The Sufferfest) that I actually enjoyed more. I just found it more engaging than riding in, what is effectively, is a computer game.

Before I re-subscribed last time, I had quite a bit of time off Zwift and things had changed within the app too. More courses, more riders, more racing and more cheating. Sponsored teams had popped up including my old Zwift club. Mad. Anyway, I gave it a go again, got bored of it again and paused my subs again.

This week my subs renewed again automatically (I forgot) after my 12 weeks out so I decided to give a race a go. Mainly to see where my fitness was at but also to try something different to flogging myself to death with Wahoo HIIT sessions everyday.

I jumped on ZwiftPower to find an event and went for one that was flat and only 19km. Not too long but long enough to test me for about 30mins at race pace. I signed up as my normal B Cat but got declined as I had no results or a power profile for the previous 90 days. This is Zwift’s category enforcement that is designed to curtail the rampant cheating that goes on. Ok. Thats fine, so I went into the “reserve” category which meant I could race and would be placed in my appropriate cat at the end. Oh no. I read the small print and I was the only one in the category but I started 1 min behind everyone else. WTF is that bollox? So I scratched

Zwift races and results are on ZwiftPower

Yesterday I did manage to get into an event in my B Cat. A virtual gravel race (nice!) with just under 20 riders in the same category as me. The cheating was quite ridiculous. Zwift races are notoriously hard at the start and this was no exception. When I was racing regularly you’d have to pull a 30-40 sec monster effort (5-6W/kg) to get in the front group. Yesterday I was still pulling downhill, yes downhill! at 70 secs before I got onto the coat tails of the front group. The whole race had split out of the gate and then one rider carried on pulling 6W/kg for the next 10 mins. Ridiculous.

The game’s physics, and it is a game not an esport, meant that the small group I was in managed to catch him despite us doing significantly less work (virtual drafting) and then he went again with some more riders, the race split and I was left in no-mans land tapping out the power my category expected.

On the penultimate lap I was caught by a few others and as we were all at the same level, the race was a bit more enjoyable than a solo TT and showed that if you get the riders not cheating, it can work.

This is how bad it is. In the race I finished 15th out of 17 but when I checked the actual results on ZwiftPower later I was 3rd.

All fucking cheats. Even C Cats beat me FFS.

behind all the cheaters

And the other thing I really dislike about Zwift is the how unreal the riding is. Yes it gets harder on climbs and easier downhill but the constant need to surge hard, ease up, surge hard just to stay in a small group is quite frankly crap and nothing like the real world or anywhere close. You can’t go through and off and if you drop off the back a little, the effort just to get back in the group is way too much.

Will I stay? Probably not

  1. Riding on your own in the game is just boring, I’d rather do a workout
  2. The workouts are nowhere near as engaging as Wahoo
  3. Cheating in races puts me off. It never used to be so bad.

And to finish

Even my old Zwift team have cheats. Recently a South African rider, Eddy Hoole, was banned by Zwift for 6 months and kicked off their sponsored team for it. It appears he was riding some high level event being watched by 6000 people and pulled an average of 526 watts, for over 4 minutes, up the last climb to the finish. That worked out to about 8.5W/kg LOL. His data was analysed and they concluded he was doing something to artificially boost his numbers. Bye bye you fucking prick.


I just don’t get it. I can understand why real pro’s cheat and dope. The same reason criminals steal. Money, but in a computer game?

Anyway, rant over


One thought on “Why I hate Zwift

  1. I’ve ridden a fair bit of Zwift in the past, but like you I kind of got bored of it. I raced a bit but never bothered with ZwiftPower. I didn’t see the point of registering for a third-party site just to race, so I just raced without it. Zwift just seems too unrealistically fast, especially when drafting or using Pace Partners. People sitting in the bunch doing 100km in under three hours on 120 watts? Yeah, nah…

    I was a big fan of The Sufferfest back in the day. I did one of their 4DP training programs and it gave me the biggest gain of any plan I’ve ever completed. Such engaging workout videos. I haven’t tried it since it got swallowed by SYSTM.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s