Dumb trainer with speed and cadence sensors


If I have a dumb trainer and I buy a speed and a cadence sensor, do I need the same effort to climb a mountain, as those who have smart trainers? Will I be on the mountains slower if I keep the same cadence as on flat routes?

Thank you.

This might help you: https://forums.zwift.com/t/how-does-zwift-determine-my-speed/


Hi Adam, You actually don’t need a cadence sensor but it is nice to have. The speed sensor mounted on the hub of your rear wheel is all you need as long as your trainer is recognized by Zwift. Meaning you can select it in the Zwift menu. You will need as much effort to complete the rides as anyone else but it will feel different. You will not feel the uphills or downhills but you will still be required to produce the same number of watts as everyone else. Cadence is only relevent as it relates to wheel speed on your trainer but isn’t used by Zwift to calculate power. .

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And what’s the case if my trainer is “unlisted”.

It will be given a generic power curve and capped at 400 watts. Still works for general riding and events, but I wouldn’t try racing.


Before you buy a speed sensor, have a look for a cheap low-end smart trainer - you’ll have much easier setup and potentially a much better Zwift experience.
For example, I saw a £75 second-hand Tacx Smart Flow on Facebook marketplace a couple of weeks ago, and I bought mine for £110 last winter. With one of those you get a wheel-on trainer which SIMULATES HILL RESISTANCE as you ride. It’s definitely worth paying a bit extra for that, if you can find the right deal.

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