Free Ride block in custom workout does not respond to terrain changes.


I created a custom workout where I added a Free ride block and some intervals afterwards. I’m using a Tacx Neo. I was expecting is to ride this free block with the resistance changing based on terrain changes but It didn’t, same resistance for a hill, flat or downhill. Is that how Free ride blocks are supposed to work?  

I had erg mode on and trainer resistance value is the default one. 

The resistance changes with not issues when I just ride the course.

Thanks for your help


I can’t say for certain, but I think it is done this way by design.  I can imagine situations where you might go into the free ride mode right into a 7-9% gradient and be in a bad gear for it.  That wouldn’t be very desirable either, especially since the free ride sections often follow the conclusion of a hard workout section.

One might argue that it should gradually re-engage the simulation mode but that might be confusing or complex too.

Nope I’ve used the free ride block before and it does go into full SIM mode. (Tacx Bushido)

No resistance change related to terrain changes has been my experience on my Kickr if workout mode is active in any form, free ride or otherwise.


Same here - freeride keeps you at the power you set via gears - much like turning ERG off in a workout. Resistance of your trainer doesn’t change - though your virtual speed does drop to match the power and gradient

Hi all, 

If you are using the ‘‘free ride’’ option in custom workout mode the resistance will not change based on the terrain - It will be constant basic resistance (basic resistance vary depending on trainer) 

However you can change this resistance manually on your phone using the Zwift app or on your keyboard using + and - signs. 



In that case I’d like to make it a feature request that a free ride block is just that, a free ride in sim mode just the same as if you weren’t doing a workout.


e.g. I might want an hours workout where the majority of the time I’m just riding as normal but every 15 minutes I have to do a 5 minute block of maximum effort. 

Yeah, agree with Mark. It would be really nice for long rides where you want to ride in sim mode for most of the time but you also want to do some intervals.


Ok guys, no problem. 

I’ll put it on the request list right away. In the meantime you can simply watch the power value and the clock on your screen. 

Ride On! 

Maybe have a new workout element type? So we can have both types of free-ride? One with slope resistance and one without?

I had two freeride sections in a custom workout. The first time in freeride it felt just like riding in non workout mode. Later in the workout the freeride felt like a constant resistance. I use a CompuTrainer. I figured it was just a glitch. From everyone’s comments it sounds like the glitch happened during the first freeride section.

I vote to have a truly “freeride” where once in that time period it is just like riding Zwift in the non workout mode. I like to do some work early in a ride and then cruise or ride how I feel for an hour or so, then nail it for a final 20 minute block of torture ;-) 


Can some Zwift employee please clear this out?? I would also like to have a gradient controlled option when doing workouts, between intervals!!



Any update on this?



Info from Casey Schumm on Facebook: 

“If you alter a .ZWO file that contains a “freeride” to remove the flatroad=1 option your smart trainer will go to sim mode in this portion of the workout.”

I’ll have to google “sim” mode. What I want to do is insert a free ride interval in an otherwise ERG controlled workout file. This is to cater for “let’s do 60s at max power” intervals in the middle of an otherwise ERG controlled workout. This equates to turning off ERG mode for 60s and just going with the terrain and as much power as the rider can put out.

I’ll experiment …

Or put in flatroad=1 is you don’t want gradient to change resistance or feel the road in ERG mode - I’ll have a play to see if I get the syntax correct …

flatroad=1 (as above) or Flatroad=1, or flatroad=“1” or Flatroad=“1” ?

I guess I could try this myself but it takes time - better to ask the people that know the answer :wink: Bit like one of those management training days.