Help a Dad defeat the Cone of Shame

I need “Cone” help. Trying to get my son into Zwift (the more he rides, the more “the boss” lets me ride). He gets frustrated though as we have tried races, he gets coned, in groups rides gets coned, and even our small group meet ups… and when he gets “coned” he disappears from our screens and is riding alone…and then quits. I don’t fully understand all the maths (w/kg, etc…). I have adjusted his weight to proper weight (thanks Zwift for the fix), we have “dumb trainers” with just speed and cadence sensors (he’s not quite ready for the Tacx Neo). 2 possible suspects: a.) doesn’t have the trainer close enough to his wheel to create enough friction? (because he stays in highest gear and seems to spin no problem b.) wheel size not sure it should be 24x1.75 or 24x2.0? (not sure if this matters). Any suggestions/tips/tricks

I thought the cone only appeared in Zwift anti sandbag races . I am surprised you get it during group rides and irbid supposed to slow you not kill your ride. Anyway, there are a lot of very experienced Zwifters here and if you provide a link to your son’s profile they can probably tell you exactly why he keeps getting coned. I suspect his W/kg is out of whack.

Is your son registered on ZwiftPower? If not that will help you analyze your data.

The tire pressure as well as the tire/rotor pressure is critical.

Make sure your trainer is one that is recognized by Zwift and one you can calibrate. If not Zwift will use a default power curve.

Not sure about tire size but most adult bikes have 27” or 700c wheels.


Neither of us is on Zwiftpower, is that a different app or website? He was using a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, but lately a Kinetic T-699c which was precursor to road machine I believe, but is not listed in zwift trainers, so we have set to Road Machine.

What are your son’s watts and W/KG?
If the power is unrealisticly high for his age, then the trainer set up is wrong.
If the watts are reasonable but his speed is crazy high, that’s a fault of the program and he should just ride in the appropriate cat.
As mentioned before, he should able to free ride with no problems.
He should not enter races with an inaccurate set up.

Not sure about how Zwift aligns with Road Machine vs T-699c. That might effect your power numbers as setup is important. is associated with Zwift (now owned by Zwift) and keeps all your data from each organized ride. You might have a greater insight into why you’re picking up cones.

I think that’s your problem. Reading on the Kinetic website, it looks to me like these are only partially smart trainers that don’t interact properly with Zwift by changing the resistance:

But the trainers are non-interactive, meaning those apps won’t automatically change the resistance. So it’s essentially a one-way conversation with the app. A rider can make their avatar move faster in Zwift or FulGaz by accelerating for instance or match a power target by speeding up or slowing down in TrainerRoad or Kinetic Fit, but the app won’t “take control” of the trainer and force riders to hit a target or automatically make pedaling harder when hitting a virtual hill.

So, I think it’s the hardware he’s using and Zwift is detecting abnormal responses and shutting him out.

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Dumb trainers are ok and Zwift will use his speed sensor to calculate power BUT Zwift needs to know what trainer he is using in order to calculate power correctly. If his trainer is a fluid trainer then he won’t need to set resistance.

An obvious problem is you are using a non supported trainer and you have selected an incorrect trainer profile to make it work.
This set up is going to be wrong and can not be fixed.

I have 2 suggestions for you to make it work.

  1. Select the “unsupported trainer” option. He will be capped at 400 watts so will never get “comed”

  2. This is better.
    Get an InRide sensor for your Kinetic trainers.
    The InRide 3 is $50 but hard to find.
    The InRide 2 is $15 and available.
    If the roller on the trainer has a hole for the magnet, it will work.
    Wheel size won’t matter.
    If the bike fits, it will work and if calibrated, will be very accurate.

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Thanks Tim, this is a good suggestion, I will look into it. One ?. It says the ver.2 only supports bluetooth. Will installing this mean I can remove the existing speed and cadence sensors on his bike…because bluetooth is only 1-1 connection? Or basically have to spring for the ver 3. with ANT+. (and I apologize in advance for all these noob questions.)

Yes, that is exactly right.
The In Ride sensors totally eliminate the need for the speed sensors and wheel size won’t make any difference.
Speed sensors are so prone to error because the wheel circumference may not be correct.
Some wheel sizes are not given as options in Zwift.

The folks at Kinetic have their resistance units dialed in - spot on.
It is “old” technology, being developed back in the days of riding power squares on Trainer Road but they are extremely accurate.
They are not “smart” meaning they will not simulate hills etc.
Ver 2 is bluetooth only.
Vers 3 blue tooth and Ant+.

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Ray Maker’s conclusion on the In Ride power accuracy: “I focus on power for trainers. And in this case, the power is exactly where I want it to be. So that makes me happy inside.”

I would love to get the InRide 2 for $15. Where is it available for that price?

You are right.
As the InRide 3 have become unavailable, the price of the InRide 2 may have increased to $40.
I never bought an InRide 2.
I have a 3.
A friend mentioned getting a 2 for $15 over the summer.
Perhaps it was a used unit.

Still, Kinetic seems to be the cheapest of the most accurate options and the trainers are bomb proof.

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The Kinetic website has InRide 2 sensors for $20.