Zwifting at elevation

So I live around 6000’ (2000m) and I realized today that there’s no adjustment in Zwift for those of us who are well above sea level.

I should get to lie about my weight, right?

(This is a joke guys. I don’t take fake racing seriously).


I know you are joking, but this is actually a tangible issue with their product.

Lots of folks that I know that moved to elevation end up racing down a category. Adjusting your weight doesn’t actually help you since the power is the more important part for most of the races; adjusting your height would be the more accurate way to deal with it from a pure math perspective.

Problem is that if they added IP address based adjustment for coefficient of drag or some other multiplier on top of watts, it would quickly be exploited by people with VPNs, so I don’t think there is an easy way to solve this at scale.

Only thing that comes to mind is that if the trainers had a GPS chip in them, it could relay the location through the ANT/BLE signal which Zwift could silently ingest into the game to adjust parameters. That would be much harder to spoof.

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It’s actually been mentioned in a couple of the Pro level races, where some riders are at extreme ends of the elevation range. Real issue that could be handled with some level of control, for the times that it “really matters” :wink:

I would just adjust my category accordingly with my best power I produce inside. To me, that’s perfectly fair.

I am envious of you living at 2K. The next mountain that breaches that altitude is a cool 800km away from my home.
I get that it is disadvantageous to you on Zwift. As long as you don’t compete on Zwift for money though, your training effect will be greater than that of those riding at sea level.
Ones real racing comes back, you are at advantage, and there is no adjustment for the people living at sea level :man_shrugging:t2:

Agreed that its fair, but there is an accuracy component to this as well.

You go faster for the same power at elevation due to the less dense air! This is why the hour records are often done in places like Mexico City

Obviously its a silly theoretical exercise but in an ideal scenario, you would keep weight, power, height the same, but adjust the individual aerodynamic properties of each rider to match their elevation by IP address.

Riders at elevation would produce less power, but have less drag in game, which gets them back closer to the normal speeds.

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That’s a good point, I hadn’t thought of that.

In that case, get a turbo trainer than over reads :laughing:

Another reason why the average amateur shouldn’t take Zwift racing too seriously. There’s too many things that introduce unwanted variability to results.

I live at 6500’, and all my rides go up from there. Unfortunately, I don’t get down to sea level very often to see how much living at elevation benefits me.

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Yep. Vehicle fuel economy improves also.

… and airplanes burn a lot less fuel.