Grinding to a halt uphill

Hey folks, relative newbie here and I am having some issues with hill climbing. Whenever I reach a hill of a gradient of about 4% or more my avatar grinds to a halt and stops moving. I had to abandon my ride this morning as I could start to smell the rubber on my tyre heating up, but was only moving at 1kph in Zwift. Have I set something up incorrectly such as too much pressure on the tyre? My height and weight are correct in Zwift. I am using a Saris M2 smart trainer. Any insight would be very gratefully received! Thank you!

Hi @Victoria_Ford

Do you use a trainer tyre? Is it inflated to the correct pressure?

It sounds like you font have enough pressure on the tyre.


Another possibility is you’re driving the tire too far into the drive wheel on the trainer. This deforms the tire, creates huge extra friction, causing the smell and difficulty in overcoming the friction when the app starts to simulate the greater effort needed to go up a hill.

As long as the wheel isn’t slipping during actual rides (including some steep hills) it’s good. So, you could try starting with the tire only just touching, get up to reasonable pedaling cadence, and see if it slips. Then graduallly move the tire into the drive cylinder to find the sweet spot when it’s just pressed in far enough, not slipping even on a 15% gradient.

Hi Justin and Gerrie! Thank you. I’ve not got a trainer tyre but a bit of googling suggests that might be a good idea. I will try that out as well as making sure I’m not putting the wheel too much into the drive wheel on the trainer. Thanks very much for your advice! Really appreciate it.