This guy really geeks out by Cheating Zwift

The video is a bit lengthy. Towards the middle and end of the video he goes in great detail how he can basically cheat in anyway he wants by programming a usb. Reminds me of when I was younger and I would use cheat codes while video gaming, once I started using them the game was no longer fun because the challenge was gone.
https://youtu.be/pq9t0VEIMio

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Yeah, I’ve done some man in the middle USB driver spoofing before, and while it’s time consuming, it isn’t actually that hard. That’s what makes me a little cynical about the future of zwift racing. Maybe I’m more of a hacker than most, but I haven’t ever found a piece of tech that I didn’t want to tear down. That said, I wouldn’t take performance enhancing drugs and keep USAC racing, so for me at least there’s something about the physical aspect of racing that keeps me honest.

Eh, I also think I have a ban on counter strike source for getting caught hacking back in high school, so maybe I’m not the one to ask. Haha. I also understand that Zwiftpower is doing a lot towards requiring outside power verification, and I don’t zwift race, so maybe this isn’t/won’t be as much of an issue as I think.

British Champ was disqualified after it was found out he had cheated to get a faster bike to use in the game to qualify and win the national champs.

:+1: I worked with Brad a few years ago, not using Zwift but time to reach out to him and discuss hacking bike stuff

Spend long enough on Zwift you will see people “cheating” how U17s can be doing 4.7w/kg for an hour…but only D Grade on the road…That’s like Cat 5 in US. Yes there is a difference between virtual and road I know…

Racing IRL 4w/kg on the road is legit B Grade, say Cat 2/3 in the US I would think. I imagine, and knowing what riders FTP are that you wouldn’t be winning B (Cat 2/3) races with less than 3.7w/kg yet on Zwift riders with 3.1, 3.2, 2.4 are winning Zwift races in B grade.

Use Zwift for what it is, a tool, or motivation for me, like Strava, I put no merit into Strava times, but its useful for how many Kms my bikes have done and when they are to be retired.

Lots of very high FTPs, or low weights.

I have never used Zwift so I’d like to ask another question. Can you ‘cheat’ at TR? I’m not tech-savvy so it might be simple. To my mind, with the exception of the intensity slider, it’s you against the blue blocks. An over inflated FTP isn’t going to assist you at all, in my opinion.

“cheating” in TR would only mean you don’t improve, so you only cheat yourself

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exactly

Also lots of very talented athletes, including current and ex-World Tour riders.

so lots of cheating then :wink:

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Yes, you can easily record an FTP that is higher than your real FTP.

Do a ramp test in ERG mode after selecting 53-11 and keep a very high cadence. Over inflated FTP guaranteed. Try it.

For this reason I check my ftp only via the non-ERG 20 minute test. I always test high in the ramp test, even on 50-16. If you have good aerobic ability and can spin fast and long, the ramp test is a flawed protocol in ERG mode.

For the full discussion, check the thread “small ring vs big ring, same power.”

My thoughts exactly. I guess there is no point to cheating in TR. It’s not like you’re racing, etc…

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The problem with Zwift emphasising power to weight ratio is that it doesn’t necessarily matter in flat or rolling courses. I’m 4.05 W/kg FTP and in B races I’ll usually finish in the top 10% but behind bigger guys putting out higher absolute watts, or with bigger 2-5 minute power, even though their relative power to weight is less than mine.

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Glad to hear it, but I agree with you - tech is being compromised now and will always continue to be. It’s just a matter of how much the sponsors and audience care, just like real sports.

Being a low A category racer is frustrating. I mean you can literally be up against pro riders. I feel like that’s a problem. Unless they changed that? For the last 3 months I have been strictly using TR without Zwift running in the background and so far I am happy without Zwift. I’d love to jump on Zwift every so often to hit a race or fast paced group ride but I don’t want to pay $14.99 for that occasional use anymore.

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The big events being done live with the race organization supplying trainers, most of the Zwift cheats are covered (weight-in and measure before the event, no trainer hack), leaving only the wireless trainer-server link open to a man-in-the-middle attack. I suspect they’ll eventually use wired trainers to prevent this (and avoid interference invalidating a race during the final sprint). This would leave “only” the standard cycling means of cheating available.

But for remote races, all bets are off. You can cheat your weight, height, power, you can drink a cup of tea while your avatar fights the attacks at the front and launches into the winning sprint.

That’s basically what this guy did. He used a Xbox controller using the right trigger to adjust speed. He even simulated the fast riders Strava feed but would just ever so slightly make his avatar faster so not to look suspicious.

I should mention this guy did this strictly for the joy of hacking. He said he never affected the outcome of a race.

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Yeah, I really think that there just needs to be awareness of that fact (which there seems to be in the community, I watch some zwift racing and it seems like if the other racers don’t know the rider, there’s immediate suspicion). Other than that, I don’t want to get too down on Zwift, it can be fun to watch those races on there, especially when I recognize the names from outside riding!

You mean like in real racing?