Elite Direto trainer not adding resistance on Zwift climbs

I’ve been happily using my Elite Direto trainer and a macbook air laptop with Zwift for many years.

This winter, my trainer stopped adding resistance when I ascend steeper climbs in Zwift. (Eg - I can ascend the Alpe in my big ring at 90 cadence)

I checked the watts as measured by my trainer against a separate watt-meter and the internal power metre is accurate. I calibrated the trainer using the Elite app as well as the Zwift in-game (wrench) button. My trainer difficulty is set to the middle (default).

After spending considerable time with Elite support, they concluded that the trainer does accept resistance instructions accurately from their myTrainer app. They’re suggesting that the issue is with a Zwift update not communicating resistance to the trainer correctly.

I’ve tested it with both ANT and Bluetooth connections and with an iPad instead of my laptop - same issue.

Grateful for any advice or assistance.

Interesting. So you’re getting a readout of what you think is the actual watts, and therefore the correct speed, but there’s no resistance? IOW, just like you if you were to have your trainer difficulty set to zero?

Yes - watts are accurate (checked with seperate meters). Issue is Direto trainer isnt generating enough resistance on uphills when riding in non ERG. (I was in my big ring climbing the Alpe).

Sounds like your Direto almost has the opposite issue to mine. I can’t use the 50T on mine for ~2 months, because the flywheel resistance is huge, I’m stuck using the 34T with 34/30/27/24 sprockets to typically generate ~150-500W depending upon cadence according to my 4iiii crank power meter (the Direto power meter numbers have been anywhere from very close to the 4iiii up to ~18% higher, so unreliable). If I pair up the Direto controller, the heavy whine sound that used to kick in at ~8%+ gradient on 100% trainer difficulty, now usually kicks in ~2%+.

My Direto has been used so much over the last ~4.5 years, I’ve well and truly got my moneys worth from it. The annoying thing is that in this semi-broken state, it’s borderline useable, while I miss gradient resistant changes it’s the really the sub 150W at 80+ rpm cadence for cool downs I really miss.

If it was still mid winter I’d be more inclined to urgently find a replacment, but Zwift/RGT winter season is practically over now for me until around November, barring awful weather or an injury.

I sent my direto back under warranty as calibrated it and it made a horrible noise when riding and was over reading compared to my 4iiii power meter, elite wanted me to strip the trainer down and glue a certain thing, it was still under the 2 year warranty so it went back and it got replaced with a tacx neo 2t

if the trainer difficulty is low enough then it is possible to do this, I’ve had it set at about 20% before and done the alpe using 50/25 on the steeper sections
when you calibrate the direto how close to the offset number on the bottom is it?

that just sounds like the drive belt has been over tensioned somehow, it could be a simple fix especially since it’s out of warranty. just rip the tamper sticker and loosen it with an allen key until the e-training calibration number matches the number written on the unit. elite can probably even send you a new one if the belt itself is f***ed but that will probably be a slightly longer job. if it’s not an electrical failure then it’s certainly fixable. worth looking into even if you want to replace the trainer since you never know when you could need a spare

Which model of Direto? My Direto XR is fine on the latest Zwift release via BT on Apple TV.

Its a regular Direto (probably 5 yrs old). Zwift support is working with me now. (So far thy’ve been quite helpful)

Thx - I ran the test and got a number very close to whats written on the bottom of my trainer (so it doesnt appear to be belt tension)

Rob Dowler, ICD.D, RPP, MCIP
(647)970-2821

Thx. Offset number is very close.

Rob Dowler, ICD.D, RPP, MCIP
(647)970-2821

Thx - I also have lots of miles/kms on my Direto - mostly without issue. There’s no unusual noise coming from the trainer and my problem is lack of resistance. I suspect its a software/firmware issue that appears to be persistent. Working with Zwift support mow on some low level resets.

Rob Dowler, ICD.D, RPP, MCIP
(647)970-2821

Hi @Rob_Dowler

It seems that you’re already working via email support with our Tier 2 team we’ll get this sorted out.

Just out of curiosity, it would be interesting to know if your Elite Direto has similar resistance issues if used with any other cycling apps besides Zwift. I realize that the trainer works normally on the Elite app, but I wonder if your issue is isolated to Zwift or if there are also resistance issues with any comparable apps (e.g., Rouvy, TrainerRoad, RGT Cycling, etc…).

It’s not out of the question for a Zwift update to break how resistance interacts with trainer firmware, but when this happens we generally see more examples of the problem and it’s usually easier to establish a verifiable trend. Barring that, there’s a troubleshooting process that must be explored first…

Hi - the problem is with bith Zwift and Rouvy (but not as you note with the Elite app).

Edit: removed personal information.

Hi @Rob_Dowler

Sounds like something Elite Support may want to hear about, especially if the issue occurs on multiple cycling apps, and not just Zwift.

Thx. I spent some time with Elite Support (as did the LBS where I bought the trainer).

They’ve refered me to Zwift/Rouvy Support.

So far, Zwift has been quite responsive. Work in progress!

Edit: remover personal information. Please don’t post your personal information.

On a perhaps related note, I have an original Direto that has had significant drop issues the last 2 weeks (perhaps a Zwift and/or companion app update). Still working to debug. Issues on BT companion, BT PC and ANT. Dozens of drops per ride.

I thought it was just me, until I saw post below in Direto forum late April 2022.

I m using a Direto connected to Zwift companion app on iPhone and Zwift on Apple TV. I m experiencing more frequent connectivity issues. It happened occasionally from the start but now happens every other ride. I get a connection loss. The direto appears to be connected however no data is available. The only way to fix this is to disconnect the power cord, wait for 30 seconds and then plug in again This clears the error condition. This happens most often when sprinting. As this happens with the iPhone my iPad and with the AppleTV and my PC it looks like a problem caused by The Direto. Is there any way to diagnose or correct this error situation?

Based on a couple of experiments it looks like the combination of Direto and Zwift companion app is unstable. The combination of Direto and viiiia bridge and Apple TV appears to be stable.

@Randy_Lowman

Was there a recent firmware update released for the original Direto? It seems odd that it would start having issues for multiple different users.Also odd that it’s only the original Direto impacted and not newer models of Elite trainers (e.g. Elite Direto XR).

Steven - thanks for your prompt response. It is very strange. Trying to research firmware updates (I have not applied nor do they auto-apply AFAIK). Will post here if/as I learn more.

Steven,

I got with Elite support (RE: my 12-15 drops per 45 minutes in Zwift). We ran diagnostics on unit, and ensured lastest firmware. All good. They then instructed me to work out for 45 minutes on the Elite phone app. I used the same phone and same BT connection to Direto and rode for close to an hour on the Elite training app with NO drops and perfect RPM and power tracking. So…Elite says go back to Zwift.

I am running Windows 11 (HP gaming PC with 1650 Super graphics card - Ultra mode), Zwift on PC latest version and iPhone 6s with latest companion app. Get 12-15 drops & crazy fluctuations in power and rpm on a 45 minute ride. Started approx 3 weeks ago. Drops in BT PC, BT companion and ANT+ on PC. 8,500 miles in Zwift on same setup without major drops in the past. Any ideas where to start to find root cause?