Horrible Speeds Up Hill


Question: I wonder if anybody knows if it is normal to get only 25-30KM per hour on flat ground and 4km per hour uphill no matter how fast you go?

Details: I am on a huge learning curve as this is my first time diving into cycling indoors like this. I am using a dumb trainer with a speed and cadence meter. I do plan on buying a tracx flow smart trainer, but I would like to know if there is anything I can check to improve my speeds (mainly uphill) on this trainer first. It isn’t very encouraging when a jogger jogs past you on a hill. I don’t want to buy a smart trainer because I messed something up in the game or forgot to fill something out and get the same results as a dumb trainer. I do think I have it all set accordingly!

My trainer doesn’t appear on the list, so I have another one selected because the unsupported option barely moves for me.

With that, I am open to any questions you may have for me to get on track and up to speed!

Thank you ahead of time for your help.

First off I will say this: do not worry about the runners passing you on the hills. In Zwift the terrain is of no consequence to the runners, as it is for the cyclist. So, if I runner is going 10 km/h it will be that way whether they are going flat, or down, or up. It is not uncommon to be passed by runners on hills.

Beyond that, it does sound like your trainer may not be set up correctly. The cadence meter really has no impact in Zwift (other than seeing your cadence), but the speed sensor - in conjunction with selecting the correct ‘dumb’ trainer from the list and setting it up correctly - will. So, you might start with ensuring that your tire is properly inflated and that the tension pressing against the wheel is correct. I am not sure how possible this is with an unsupported trainer, but hopefully you can come close. If your speeds are less than you would anticipate then my guess would be that your tire might be slipping, so either some additional pressure in the tire or tightening the resistance on the trainer might do the trick.

This is likely the issue, you may have a trainer selected that has a completely different power curve to your actual trainer.

A smart trainer will solve your issue.

Thank you for the suggestions! Good tips about the runners! That’s good information to know!

I should just go through each one to see what I get for speed and see if I can get more than 4 uphill. No fun everyone passing you, there must be at least one slower person out there lol.

Might by worth checking your declared rider weight in Zwift, yesterday I saw someone with what I presumed was the “Companion app weight decimal place” bug, listed as 9000Kg (instead of 90Kg) in Zwiftpower for a short race! :exploding_head:

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I did check that. I thought I might have put me as kg instead of lbs.

I did a selection that made it go faster - zpower or whatever it’s called. That made it faster.

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Do you have any exp with smart trainers? I picked one up, but to calibrate it you need to hit a certain speed. Do you know if we can change gears to hit that target or will it screw up the calibration? :thinking:

You can change gears if needed