Configuring Zwift etc

(Tony Vermeulen ( #1

Hello everyone

I’m new to Zwift and I could use some advice with the settings and basic knowledge.

Information about me:
Weight: 58 KG
Trainer: Tacx Bushido Smart

So first of all there is the trainer difficulty… I’m not sure about what would be the optimal setting here… 

I’m also unsure about the FTP. I did the FTP test with trainer difficulty at max while cycling on my small gear. I got 137 as FTP.
The second and last time that I did cycle with Zwift I just went for a random 30 min ride on my big gear and with the trainer difficulty at 50%… This time I got 220 FTP…

So my questions are:
What would be the optimal trainer difficulty for me?
Is it normal that my FTP changed so much?
Do I use my small gear or my big gear? Does it matter?

If there is more that I should take into account, please let me know as I want my settings to be as good/accurate as possible.

I’m also having problems calibrating my Tacx. The pointer is just outside the middle part (too tight part). However if I loosen the trainer abit more it slips… Any advice on this? And does it matter?

Thank you.

(Tony Vermeulen ( #2

Just did another ride. It seems that I dont need to look at the Tacx app for calibrating my trainer…

The app said that the trainer was too tight… but as soon as I went on a hill the tyre started slipping… was going 110 rpm and hardly had 35 watts…

I stepped off and did tight it up more… 250 watts, finally feeling the resistance…

Guess I can’t rly know when it’s too loose or too tight now :confused:

(Bastiaan Gaillard [HIK - C]) #3

Hi Tony,

Welcome to Zwift. I’ll try to answer your questions:

1. Trainer Difficultly allows you to scale the feel of the climbs from 0 to 100%. No, this won’t make you any faster or slower. It still takes the same amount of power (watts) to move your avatar through Watopia. By default, Zwift treats the gradient as half of the true grade.

  1. This really depends on the time between the FTP tests and the effort you have put in it.

  2. During a FTP test it doesn’t matter whether you use the small or big gear. But when you think of watts you will probably need the big one. It delivers more watts during a FTP test with less RPM. 

Here is an interesting post from Zwift regarding FTP:

(Paul Allen) #4

You do need to calibrate your trainer using the Tacx app. Make sure your tire is at 110psi before you calibrate and adjust from there. 

You need to shift during your rides to get as much out of Zwift as possible.

(Tony Vermeulen ( #5

Thanks for the information Bastiaan.

  1. So if I understand correctly it’s best to put the trainer difficulty at 100 % for training purposes?

  2. Well I must say that there was less than a week between the two rides + the first ride felt waaaay heavier. 1st ride was the 1 hour 15 min FTP Test. The second one was just a random ride of 30 min. The watts were getting higher & higher during the first ride… from like 100 watts to like 160 watts at the end.

  3. I see. Well during my first ride I had 100 rpm (small gear). Also had 100 rpm during my second ride (big gear). So for training purposes it’s better to ride the big gear?

Thank you!

(Bastiaan Gaillard [HIK - C]) #6

Welcome Tony.

  1. For some deep dive information about the trainer difficulty I recommend you to read this interesting post:

  2. I think you should calibrate your trainer the way Paul describes in his post.

  3. Talking about watts, and this is what matters during a FTP test I would recommend the big gear. But during some workouts you may want to focus on RPM instead of watts/speed.


(Paul Allen) #7

You need to shift between all of your gears, don’t just stick with one. Both the big and small gear have there place. Use the big gear for pushing high watts and use the small to recover.

Consistency and variety are what is going to help make you a stronger cyclist.

(Tony Vermeulen ( #8

Thank you all for the information! This was really helpfull already!

The only thing that is not clear to me yet is calibrating the trainer…
If I understand correctly I just make sure my tyre pressure is alright and I play abit with the Bushido Smart until it feels right?

(Paul Allen) #9

Tire pressure needs to be at 110 psi and you need to use the Tacx app to calibrate it. DO NOT go by feel.

(Tony Vermeulen ( #10

I see. Well that’s where I’m having problems…

I’m quite sure that my tyre pressure is alright. I use the Tacx app to calibrate the trainer but it’s always too tight… :confused: Even when I slip the app indicates that it’s too tight :confused:

(Bastiaan Gaillard [HIK - C]) #11

Check this out, different Tacx but the procedure would be identical:

(Paul Allen) #12

Are you using a tire designed to use with a trainer or a road tire?

(Tony Vermeulen ( #13

First I used a road tyre but I bought a trainer tyre yesterday… Same results however :confused:

(Bastiaan Gaillard [HIK - C]) #14

Is the firmware up to date?

(Paul Allen) #15

What type of bike and how big is the wheel?

Also when you assemble the trainer there maybe different holes for different size tires.

(Tony Vermeulen ( #16

Firmware is up to date.

It’s a standard cycling bike with 28 inch wheels. Tire is 700x23c.