Elite Direto changes resistance during FTP test

Dear Zwift community and maybe Zwift support.

I am riding on a 2year old Elite Direto since a month. I pair to Zwift via Bluetooth on an Apple iPad Pro.

Just before the Direto I tested a Kickr 2016 and was really happy with both trainer and Zwift. FTP was estimated to be around 270, and workouts with this level worked well.

I could not keep he Kickr so I changed to the Direto. First thing I noticed is what other people have observed as well: When going towards a mountain, the resistance regulation over-shoots at the first 1-2 sec, and then under-shoots before regulating into normal resistance. The reported wattage is “correct” with a delay. Meaning the first 2 sec I am actually at low wattage while feeling a lot resistance, the next 2 sec I free-spin while wattage goes through the roof.
This is not feeling well, but I can live with it. During a group ride I got always dropped at the beginning of incline (or incline changes) but overtake everybody just 2 sec after. This is obviously a communication delay PLUS a misregulated resistance from the trainer.

In Erg mode during workouts all is fine. And I do not have the problem of other users that there is NO Resistance with Direto.

BUT now I wanted to make a new FTP test.
While in the beginning of the workout until the FTP section all is fine, during the FTP test, there is an annoying bug.
The FTP session should be without resistance changes, thus without Erg mode. Yet while I pedal smoothly, there is a constant small change in resistance. It is 1-2sec just a bit up, then 1-2sec just a bit down and so on. That is very frustrating during a test. I ride on what I think I can hold for 20min, then the resistance (on same rhythm) drives me over that, giving me pain in my legs. Next is it goes down and my legs get a rest while I do not achieve my threshold value. And so on… I had to stop the test because I cannot hold this for more than 5min…

So I went switched off the trainer, on again, paired new, calibrated both in Zwift and in myETraining app from Elite. I also tried changing the “power smoothening” between 5 and 1. Nothing helped

I then went back to Zwift and switched off the “steerable trainer” to drive it as “dumb trainer” and regulate watts myself.
Strange thing: It happened again! Even in a block before where I should hold wattage for 2min over my FTP, there was a constant change in resistance.
I could see that on the wattage output as well…

Any tipps on what I could try?

Thanks!

Hi everybody.

I found some other user that had kind of similar problems on SufferFest. The SufferFest Support said the following:

So I’ve been reading lots today on the Elite Direto. It seems that the flywheel magnets are what causes this issue. It is very sensitive to changes in cadence and the magnets shift to keep the flywheel spinning smoothly. This gives you that oscillating resistance feeling that you are describing. There’s technically nothing wrong with the trainer, it’s more of a matter of how to deal with it so that you feel it less.
Having a separate cadence sensor will improve your experience.
Keeping the flywheel speed up will decrease the oscillation resistance that you are feeling. Smooth cadence increases and power changes will probably work best.

Do you think this could be the problem? And what can I do to prevent this from happening? Or what would be software hacks to avoid it?

There’s an option in the direto settings, for how many pedal strokes it’s averaging your power over.

The default I think is 10, that’s why it lags. If you reduce that number/setting the power numbers will change faster. Too low and you’ll have trouble holding steady power, too high and it’ll lag.

Thanks for the comment.
However I think it does not fit the purpose.
I read this advice before. I changed it from 5 to 2 and then to 1 but nothing helped… in another forum it was actually suggested to INCREASE that value to 10, so that there would NOT be constant data exchange and allow some smoothening of gradient changes…

But what I describe is actually something else.
When I do an FTP test it SHOULD NOT AT ALL regulate resistance, no matter how much he signals back and forth… But during the FTP 20min segment, he does change resistance just a bit up and down every 1-2 sec…
I then actually coupled the device as Power meter BUT NOT as smart trainer. So that Zwift does not even try to send the device some commands on regulating resistance. Again, resistance gets shifted up and down every 1-2sec…

TO me the description makes sense that when pedalling at high power, the flywheel gets more speed at the peak of the pedal stroke and less at the low points of the legs. Therefore it is not running perfectly round. A device could try to make it round by having more resistance at the peak and less at the low. But if that affects pedalling, it is just annoying…

Anyone having similar issues? Any solutions? Any software hacks?

Or do I misunderstand something completely?