Avatar slows down while at consistent speed

Hello, new to Zwift. I’m pretty sure I have everything set up correctly but I wanted to check something. While biking, my avatar visually speeds up and slows down, even when there are no hills (the legs appear to be pedalling at the same rate, but position-wise the bike ranges from a faster to slower pace). I average about 75 rpms most rides, which tops out at about 20 kph, yet even when these values are consistent the avatar will slow down, then speed up. I’m often prompted to “close the gap” but when I attempt a burst in speed, nothing changes except my rpms (the avatar does not move any faster).

My bike is about 2 feet from the laptop, and I switched to ANT+ connections after having a lot of trouble with bluetooth. I’m using separate Wahoo speed and cadence sensors (cadence is on my shoe, facing the laptop) with fresh batteries. I have a classic trainer, although it’s a Sportneer so I selected “unlisted”.

Maybe that’s just the way it is without a smart trainer, but it’s a bit disheartening seeing everyone fly past me lol. Maybe they’re just way better riders :wink:


Hi @Brad_Middle, welcome to the forums.

What is the power/watts displayed on the screen, is that number changing as you increase your cadence? Also, what type of bike do you have on the trainer, is it a road bike or mountain bike?

Could this just be the camera angle? Sometimes it appears to move in and out (get closer to the avatar, then further away) as if you are speeding up and slowing down.

Hi, thanks for your response. I’ve included a shot of my screen (sorry it’s not very clear), and the two values circled in red do change during the ride. But I’m not sure what you mean by increasing the cadence, do you mean change gears via the trainer?

Regarding the camera angle, I don’t think that’s the case. I’ll be moving along a flat surface at a constant rate, but the actual avatar sometimes slows down within the space. It’s not like when you stop pedalling and the avatar stops at the side of the road. It keeps moving, just very slowly, even though the legs are still pedalling very quickly.

In your original post you mention that your avatar speeds up and slows down ‘position-wise’ and that you are regularly seeing the ‘close the gap’ message. I am wondering if what you are trying to describe is not so much speeding up and slowing down so much as your avatar being in the drops vs on the hoods. If this is the case, it could just be that you are experiencing the in-game ‘signal’ that your are in the draft of another rider (on the drops), or not (on the hoods). This might explain why you aren’t seeing any visible change in your actual km/h

Cadence = rpm, how fast you are pedaling

53 watts is quite low, what type of bike do you have on the trainer?

Are you sure it is flat road? The mini map in the top right corner shows the gradient, once it goes from 0% to 1% your avatar will begin to slow down unless you increase power.

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Hi @Brad_Middle

I had a look at the activity you did on the London map.

You can see that your avatar is speeding up when the road goes down and slowing down when the road goes up.
1st line - Down hill - fast speed
2nd line - Uphill - slow speed


with your trainer you will have to change gears to get more power. So when there is a hill you have to go to a smaller gear on the back and a big gear on the front to go faster up a hill. Almost the opposite from what you would do outside.

Your avatar will also go a bit faster when you are riding behind other people or in a big group due to drafting.

EDIT: Also check that you have the speed sensor is on the bike wheel not on the crank. Some sensors are easy to mix up. That can also be why the power is so low.

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