Can i set a beginner level in zwift to make climbs easier?

I want to buy a cycling trainer and can’t decide wether to go with a basic trainer such as tacx booster or pay teh extra for a smart trainer. One of my concers is that as a beginner the smart trainer will adjust the resistance to the point where its too hard for me to complete the route. Is there a way in zwift to declare your level eg beginner such that the app will reduce climbs etc to make them manageable for any level? I want to enjoy the outes and hill climbs but I know I dont have the power at the moment.

Yes, with a controllable smart trainer you’ll have a Trainer Difficulty slider in your settings. The default is 50%, and if you put it all the way down to zero you won’t feel resistance change on the hills at all (though you’ll still need the same watts to get up the hill, e.g. at 0% difficulty it’ll be like you’re in a super-low gear and move along very slowly on the hill for your cadence).

So you’ll be fine, whatever your strength.


Hills doesn’t make it any harder, you just go slower :wink:

Of course there is always the way of adjusting your weight in the profile which will make the climbs easier

You can climb a hill at 40 watts of nominal power. The variable (in this instance) is speed. If you want to climb at the same speed that you traverse the flats, your power must increase (drastically). All riders, who can turn the cranks, “have the power” to climb any ascent. Some will ascend more rapidly than others…

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but some of you replying here seem to be missing the point about resistance.

It’s not true that anyone can get up any hill (albeit slowly) if there’s resistance.

If you haven’t got much power at all then there will probably be a point (certainly on bigger hills in Zwift if you’re on default trainer difficulty) where it might simply be too hard to turn the pedals.

It’s just like real life, except your gearing is the issue rather than trainer difficulty. Some people will fail to get up the steeper hills unless they’ve got some super low gearing on their bike.

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Not everyone is riding on a smart trainer which causes the “black hole” effect. I’m on a single speed track bike for half of my rides (including climbs) and can climb anything Zwift throws at me at any power level I choose. When the tech is in the way, go simple.

Sadly no one zig-zags up hills anymore to reduce their effective grade.

There’s a guy in my club who does exactly that when the going gets really tough!

Thanks all. So I just wonder if I could ask your opinion. Given that the price is pretty much the same and taht I am quite a weak/beginner cyclist but want to enjoy some mountain /hill courses - albeit adjusted to my ability would you recommend

  1. The Tacx flow (smart tariner)
    2.Tacx booster (manual resistance) and a garmin speed + cadence sensor?

It sounds like if I use a smart trainer and set the difficulty to say 5 % its going to take me for ever to get up a climb? Whereas with a dumb trainer it will ignore the hill and I’ll just carry on at the same pace?
Any thaoughts
Cheers all

Definitely go smart, the experience will be so much better. With a dumb trainer it’ll still take the same watts to get up the hill as the smart trainer. But with the smart trainer it’ll feel more realistic and you’ll know that the wattage is a bit more accurate.

You can set the trainer difficulty to a level that you’re comfortable with. There’s a very big variety of courses on Zwift in terms of hilliness. A great resource to give you an overview is the one linked below.

So you can start on the smaller hills and it won’t take you ages to get up them at all. You’ll be able to gradually build up your legs and you’ll probably surprise yourself with how well you progress over time.


Thanks steve much appreciated

I know people actually do this, but I find it really counterproductive to actually suggest this course of action to people.

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Yes, in the end you are just fooling yourself