Calibration doesn't work

I have been riding Zwift for months and feel like I’m working my legs off and getting dropped on the group rides. I have never actually calibrated this, so I clicked on the little wrench and it always times out. Help!

Kinetic trainer and Zwift on a laptop with Companion on my Android phone

Use the Kinetic app to calibrate (I am assuming there is one). Zwift calibration, for any device, leaves a lot to be desired (at least on my Wahoo and Saris trainers).

@chris_benten1 Thanks I will try that, BUT how does Zwift know I have calibrated it? I always thought the calibration was between the trainer and the app/Zwift. No?

No. The calibration sits on your trainer, and is for your trainer to report a more accurate power reading to Zwift or any other training software.


The calibration is internal to the trainer. It is actually just a zero offset not a real calibration.

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I use a Kinetic trainer and all of the above replies are correct.
Just to caution, the c
Kinetic app only connects to your phone via bluetooth so make sure you’re not connected to Zwift via bluetooth or the app won’t see the trainer.
Same deal connecting to Zwift unless you use Ant + for Zwift.
If using bluetooth for Zwift, I recommend disconnecting the sensor from within the program rather than just closing the app.
My phone seemed to take a little time to release the Bluetooth connection and I couldn’t connect Zwift until it did.

Thanks. I figure I will pair to my phone. Calibrate. Unpair and then start Zwift. Sound reasonable?

Zwift is a little fussy about picking up the trainer and the cadence sensor on the pedals of late. I changed batteries but who knows…

It will work but remember, you want to ride 10-15 min before calibrating.
I like to pair the app on my phone with bluetooth and pair Zwift on my PC with Ant +.
Then I can ride and calibrate more than once without a problem.

I had an Elite RealAxiom USB trainer, for which Zwift doesn’t support calibration at all, so I found alternative methods.

If I go outside and ride a category 4 climb, Strava (even the free version) shows a value for VAM - Vertical Ascent in Meters per hour. Cat4 climbs are not all that big - 1km at 8%, 2km at 4%, or 1mile at 5% will do it. Anything where distance (km) x gradient (%) is 8 or more. You can likely find one locally.

If I ride a similar climb in Zwift, at the same heart rate as the outdoor climb, I should obtain a similar VAM when the ride is analysed in Strava.

My Zwift VAM was about 50-55% of my real world VAM, so something was wrong. I (ahem…) reduced my weight in Zwift by 45%, and the VAM value became closer to the real world. Maybe I also needed to take off 45% of the weight of my bike, too. I took off more weight until my real-world VAM and Zwift VAM were similar.

So then I could climb at the correct rate, but was still getting dropped on the flats.

So I bought a KICKR, corrected my weight, and my real-world and Zwift VAMs match without me creating correction factors.

I hope that helps in some way

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But I ride Zwift since I can’t go outside! :slight_smile:


I tried these steps this morning. Was seemingly calibrating OK on the Kinetic app until the PC finished booting and must have stolen the signal. (Zwift wasn’t running yet). Trainer must be caught in some kind of bluetooth limbo…neither Zwift couldn’t see it and it disappeared from the Kinetic app. So I’ll have to experiment later during lunch or after work.

I can’t say I wasn’t warned

(I’ve never been able to pair to the PC with Ant+, I can’t recall if I need something special for that).

Do you have an Ant + dongle?

I don’t but Amazon is only a click or two away. But before I go down this road, Can I have the trainer on Ant+ and the HRM/Cadence sensor on bluetooth? (Those might support Ant+ as well, but I’d have to look).

Yes, you can pair your devices by either method.
You definitely need a dongle.

As far as using you present setup with bluetooth, you should be able to do so as long as you connect to one program at a time.
The Kinetic app recently had some issues after an Android update but they fixed over 2-3 days.
It did require an uninstall and reinstall of the app on the phone and I had to perform the kinetic reset process that requires flipping the battery. (I’m still not sure what that does but it worked).

Could you give a run down of your complete system, from trainer to Zwift and all the connections/communications and accessories?
That will help us help you troubleshoot.

Sure, my trainer is a Kinetic Smart Road 2: Kinetic — Kinetic Road Machine Smart 2 Fluid Power Bike Trainer - Bike Trainer

I have a Garman HRM, a Garman Cadence sensor on the pedal.

Laptop is an i3 Toshiba.

All connected via Bluetooth in the Zwift App.

Phone is a Droid Android.

I installed the Kinetic app yesterday on the Droid. (I used to use it on my work Iphone). When I logged in this morning, it remembered all my connections (which was wild since this phone was never paired to those things).

I’ll order a Dongle if that will help. No biggie. Back to my presenting issue, I’m not sure if this had drifted out of calibration, but some days I’m getting stomped on the group rides and not sure why.

Yeah, of course :slight_smile:

Do you have an old Strava record from last year that shows a VAM next to one of the segments?

No, I don’t know what that means.

@Tim_Camden_C : I just check after work and the Zwift didn’t connect. I had to pull the battery. It works now. Crazy. Dongle on the way.

I calibrate every time I ride.
My trainer is in an attached but unheated garage in Illinois.
The resistance unit is sensitive to temperature changes and the pressure of the roller against my tire.
Every time I ride, both are different from the time before so I always calibrate.
Probably not such a big deal with day to day changes but I still like to be as accurate as possible.
When I first got the trainer, I calibrated in August.
Then I started Zwifting in November.
I couldn’t calibrate the trainer with the app because i had the trainer pained via bluetooth to my laptop.
The last calibration was when the oil and unit were warm and on the cold days, the thick oil really gave low watt readings.
I guess I could do the opposite and calibrate on a cold day and ride on a warm day and be superman.
There were days last month that were so cold, I had to ride for 25 min before the unit warmed up enough to calibrate.

So were you able to Zwift?