Fine-tuning Resistance

Hi-I’m very new to Zwift. This is my second week and I am truly enjoying it.

I have two questions:

  1. Is there a way to add more resistance to the pedals during group rides? I get the idea of drafting but I was literally spinning like crazy to get to a decent wattage. Shifting up didn’t really help either.

  2. Is there a way to see the course profiles during/before the rides? Can I see my location on the course?

I use a Wahoo Kickr trainer. Thank you!

Hi @redpanda, welcome to Zwift.

Are you sure you were in a group ride, or was it a group workout? It sounds like you were in ERG mode.

Use the companion app while riding for a large map screen, it doesn’t show you the elevation profile, but it will show where you are on the map and you can zoom in or out.

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I think I was on group workout. Ugh is there a difference between those two? I have no idea I was on erg mode or not. I tried to adjust using the trainer difficulty but that wasn’t helping. Anyways thanks for the feedback @Mike_Rowe1 . I’ll try a few other rides to test my settings.

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Oh yes, very different. ERG mode controlls the resistance of the trainer based on the workout target wattage. Check out for tons of tips about zwift. You can search for ERG mode on zwiftinsider to get more detail about how it works.

This option will make hills feel more realistic when not in ERG mode and just free riding or doing a group ride or race. Another topic to search for on zwiftinsider. :wink:

Zwift insider also has the profiles of all the courses.

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Thank you @Paul_Bonham !!! I just want a course that I can climb my heart out. Like those short mountain stages in grand tours LOL.

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I got to the bottom of my problem @Mike_Rowe1 . Apparently, I am spinning out on the flats like many other people. There are whole discussions on this topic on message boards.

I will max the trainer difficulty and see if that works. Thanks for all the recommendations!!!

What sort of gearing have you got on your bike? It’s not an MTB, is it?

You shouldn’t be spinning out on the flat unless you have too low gearing on your actual bike, e.g. MTB gearing where you’d spin out on the flats in real life at speed too.

Adjusting Trainer Difficulty only affects gradients, not the flat.

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Road bike, 50x34 @Steve_Hammatt . I know I shouldn’t be but here I am. I think I was riding big ring & near the middle of the cog but don’t want to go down the cogs & cross chain as it gets a bit grindy/noisy.

Hi @redpanda

Are you having this issue during the Free ride workouts you do?

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@Gerrie_Delport_ODZ Yes and group rides. I guess I am slowly solving the puzzle little by little. Correct me if I’m wrong, I am riding in “sim mode” in these rides which adjusts the difficulty while drafting, riding OTF, climbing etc? Today’s ride wasn’t too bad. I recalibrated my trainer before the ride just in case. Shifted down one cog. However, I still managed to spin out and got gapped on the descents. Luckily they were not too long! My average cadence was about 8-10rpm higher than my outside rides on the flats. I guess I am a bit more comfortable with the current setup but I will turn into a mini Froome after riding on Zwift for a few months haha.

if u ride on 50-100% trainer difficulty then descents will have low resistance and you may “spin out” if ur refusing to use smaller cogs due to noise issues.
try changing trainer difficulty to 25% instead as then descents will have more resistance. (but might make it so uphill is not hard enough /shrug).

if ur in a “workout” - power and cadence will be set by the programme and u can see it on the left hand side of screen, smart trainer with ERG mode on will automatically adjust resistance to keep you at target power (i.e. make it easier if u try pedal hard/fast).

try figuring this stuff out in a solo free ride (non-workout) bcos gradients etc. don’t have any impact on resistance when in workout mode.

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I think you have that backwards. Zwift already cuts the descent in half, so at 100% trainer difficulty a -4% grade feels like a -2%. At 50% trainer difficulty wouldn’t that same -4% now feel like a -1%?

it’s so confusing…

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-2% is easier than -1% no?

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that makes sense :rofl:

Don’t you also spin out IRL on a descent. I know I do with a 52-11 not far down the hill I have to spin over 100rpm to generate 70w. So I need to accelerate as quick as possible before the road starts to go down.

Not exactly sure what this thread is about, but makes me think of a potential feature request – that is adding a option for ‘bias’ +/-% for each rider to use on a group ride, when they wish the pace was harder or easier. Just like a workout, but adding or subtracting for oneself, to the wkg rating of the ride.