Hi all - been riding indoors for a while now, previously on a dumb trainer (one of the Elites) and usually had it set to resistance level 4 and maintaining 90 rpm and I’d be watching TV shows on my tablet for however many miles I needed to hit (typically 12.5 - 20 mi during work week). Through this method, I felt like I was simulating my outdoor rides at similar effort level (17 mph average, 140 HR average as well), and noticed I would typically burn about 200 cal per 5 miles.
Recently got a smart trainer (Tacx Vortex Smart) and was using BKOOL Simulator to try it out before switching to Zwift as I kept encountering connection issues with my tablet (I had a low power Chromebook, so maybe that’s why). I’m using my Moto X4 phone now to run Zwift since I can’t download Zwift on my tablet. No problems there.
The issue I have though, is that I’ve done few 12-16 mi rides and I feel like I’m not working hard enough. Trainer seems to be calibrated properly and it says it has the latest firmware updates. Sure, this probably will depend on the terrain and such in Zwift, but while I could reasonably expect to burn 500-600 cal previously on my dumb trainer before and ‘felt’ like I had a solid workout, on my Zwift rides, I’m barely clocking 400 calories and didn’t feel like I had a solid workout per se. I will have to admit, a lot of the rides were on flat parts of the desert or the ocean parts and not enough portions were on climbs. I did change the difficulty setting to 100% since I noticed 3-6% climbs felt a lot harder when I would ride in BKOOL Simulator, but last night after having done the Deserts and Sequioas route as well as the Volcano routes few days earlier, I still was burning barely 400 calories, averaging a bit faster at 19mph or so which seems a tad fast. My HR average is also hovering a bit lower around 130 as well.
What can I do to make effort levels more realistic? Do more climbing courses? I haven’t taken a FTP test yet, I’ll probably need to do that, but it’s currently set to what I’d expect it to be like which was also validated through using BKOOL Simulator (200W).