Long time Zwifter, coming back after a pause (I hope) and I’m noticing something I had not noticed earlier. Maybe this is old hat, or maybe new hat, or maybe it’s some glitch on my end -
When pedaling at the same cadence in the same gear, I expect the bike to move at the same speed, regardless of terrain (assuming no acceleration due to coasting down hill). Obviously when the road tips up, more power will be needed to maintain the same cadence (and speed, assuming no gear change). But! Zwift does not seem to work that way for me, even at 100% trainer difficulty.
Pedaling in the same gear, same cadence, when starting a climb, the power requirement does go up, but speed goes down! On a gentle downhill, the opposite occurs, going faster at the same gear/cadence (and assuming no “coasting” is happening).
The behavior seems to be “as if” the trainer difficulty is actually set to something less than 100%.
Note that one implication of this is that to maintain a constant speed and cadence on a climb, you’ll need to shift to a Higher gear. In effect there is a downshift being supplied by Zwift and you’ll need to shift up to compensate.
I can see a few possibilities here. Can anyone say which of these, or perhaps something else, applies?
- Things are working as designed, and in effect even 100 trainer difficulty does not match the resistance that would come from the same grade changes outdoors. In this scenario, constant gear and cadence do not produce constant speed.
1a. Perhaps this is a change put in place some time over the past few years, which could explain my not having noticed it before now?
Something wrong with my setup (kickr bike, windows) that is producing less than 100 trainer difficulty when set to 100.
Something unintended with Zwift that constant gear/cadence does not result in constant speed over different terrain?
Come to think of it… In the past I’ve used a lot of ERG mode, or equivalent, setting power level externally. So maybe this is not a new phenomenon?
In that case, should we be lobbying for something closer to a true 1-1-1 gear-cadence-speed option regardless of terrain?