Zwift bans users for exposing an easy weight cheat but doesn’t seem interested in fixing the problem

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Everyone knows that Zwift racing categories are a complete mess due to riders entering categories well below their level of fitness or Full Time Power (FTP).

Most serious Zwift racers, therefore, use Zwift Power, which forces you to ride in the correct category based on your FTP. If you ride in a Cat B race and you are a Cat A rider, you get disqualified.

A well-known trick to manipulate this has been called sandbagging, where a rider may deliberately underperform in races (either physically or by setting their weight incorrectly), so they can then race in a lower category.

However, more recently, a Zwift user has exposed a far more insidious cheat that allows a rider to change weight mid-race with no sign of cheating in the race results.

It is extraordinarily easy to do too. You just change your weight via the Zwift companion app mid-game and make sure you revert back to the correct weight before the end of the race.

The user, Luciano (/SnooCookies1153), documented this issue publicly (Web Archive copy), hoping that it would force Zwifts hand and disable the cheat. It is not a particularly hard fix, you just stop users changing their weight in the app, or even stop them from making any user settings changes while cycling. I am pretty sure that can't be more than a few hours' worths of work, I bet someone can bang that change out in minutes.

Strava stats show an increase in power & HR but a significant reduction in speed

In his post, Luciano specifically asks Zwift to fix this problem. He is not advising users to do this cheat.

Unfortunately for Luciano, Zwift didn't see it like that, and they have viewed it as Luciano publicly advertising a cheat and have therefore banned him from certain actions citing a breach of terms of service. At first, it looked like he was fully banned from the platform, but according to Zwift's Director of PR Chris Snook, Luciano is banned from engaging with other users for 30 days and prevents them from showing in events, races and race results” rather than excluding them from the platform entirely.

This has understandably caused backlash from the community, with many people claiming Zwift is trying to cover this problem up.

Apparently, this problem has been around for quite a while now. It is not clear if or how many times users have reported it to Zwift or if Luciano informed Zwift of this problem before posting it publicly.

However, in one post from the WTRL, they state they are/were aware of the problem and actively force disqualifications. However, if the exploit is known, why hasn't it been fixed?

Considering Zwift have been trying to market the game as a serious esports platform, you’d think they would be a bit more proactive in fixing easy exploits.

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