I want to be able to use the gears on my bike

So did it not feel easier when you dropped down the gears (the graph shows you producing less power), and harder when you went back up again (when it shows more power)?

It looks like everything is working as you’d expect doesn’t it?

You changed to an easier gear and your cadence went up but your power went down.

I’m still not sure what you’re expecting to happen when you change gears? The trainer resistance wouldn’t be affected assuming that the gradient stays the same.

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That is a lot of dropouts with your cadence sensor too

Gerrie - I think the graph opened my eyes a bit. When I went down in the lower gear it easy but you are not moving forward. That is one of the reason I like riding in the biggest gears. It seems easier to me to generate some power.

Steve and Chris - the drop in gears certainly did feel easier. Hard to believe 30 - 40 watts slows you down that much. It is almost to easy… and the only reason I use any of the smaller gears is for climbing.

Mike - Those aren’t dropouts from the cadence sensor. I am still getting used to the saddle again after a couple of years off. I had to quit pedaling and stand on the pedals to keep my butt from going numb. It will just take more rides to cure that.

Thanks to all for you help. I appreciate your help and suggestions.

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30 or 40 watts when you’re doing 120 watts is dropping your power by 30% so it’s going to slow you down quite a bit.

It seems as though your trainer and zwift are working as they should and it is just a case of getting used to how to ride zwift.

If you are finding your in your hardest gear a lot it might be due to your cadence being quite low. Try going to an easier gear but spinning faster and see how you get on.

That can also explain the drop in speed, as soon as you stop pedalling Zwift will turn on the brakes, there isnt much coasting in Zwift.

maybe zwift needs and e-bike :slightly_smiling_face:

If I may add a suggestion which might help you use one or two more gears in each ride and, I think, also stop you using just one big gear and spread the wear across many more gears on your bike.

I have looked at your ride activity, read your comments here and also on another forum thread.

I have a feeling that you are a strong/powerful person who possibly doesn’t have quite the physique for high cadence riding or hill climbing. Almost all of your rides have been on the flattest Watopia roads, with a cadence around 60, a power around 150-160, a speed around 15-16Mph and a sensible consistent heart rate and as you say probably almost always in just one of your biggest gears.

Continuing to ride on the flat may not help you use more gears or indeed help you get out of the saddle that easily. Spinning faster in an easier gear will also be harder with no resistance for you to push against.

So my suggestion is to adjust your Trainer Resistance down, I’m not sure to what exactly possibly 15-20% to start with, and possibly select the Volcano Climb route.

I’m not an expert on trainer difficulty but it if it works as I think it should you will feel little or no difference on the flat. However when you hit the volcano climb it shouldn’t feel that steep but will allow you to feel resistance the whole way up. You should be able to change gears and vary your cadence a little whilst maintaining some pedal resistance all the time you are climbing, something that is difficult to replicate on the flat without large changes in cadence.

If this works for you you can then adjust Trainer Difficulty as necessary or ride slightly steeper and longer climbs or attempt the rolling terrain of Titans Grove. You may well find the total length, in miles, of your rides are quite a bit shorter due to the hill climbs but you should still be getting the same time at Z2 and Z3 that you are currently achieving but on a variety of different routes.

Please ensure you keep your heart rate the same as you are currently achieving. If it gets too hard please stop and reduce the Trainer Difficulty for next time.

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Ian - Thank you for the suggestion. How do you adjust your trainer resistance. I know Zwift has a slider bar to make things more or less realistic. Is this what you are suggesting by adjusting the trainer?

I used to run and then it got to be too much pounding on my knees. I took up biking 7-8 years ago and I always just rode in the biggest gear I could turn. I certainly am open to a change and like your suggestion.

Let me know about “adjusting the trainer resistance”



Edit: I just read your post again. If you have potential knee problems don’t just immediately make every ride a gentle uphill ride, especially if you are staying with a low cadence. Possibly throw in one gentle climb, using low Trainer Difficulty, every 4th or 5th ride to start with. Use them to see if you can find an easy gear and increase your cadence by 5-10 RPM.

Possibly google “cycling and knee problems” and follow professional advice found there.

Grinding big gears will not be easy on the knees! higher cadence in easier gears gives the same power buit much kinder on the joints!

I think lowering the trainer difficulty might have the opposite effect if you only currently use gears on inclines as it will effectively flatten the course and make gradients have less impact.

Is there not a simple test for this.

Place bike in the easiest gear possible
Choose a flat route (Richmond flat, Tempus fugit etc)
Pedal 1 min at specific cadence
Change up 1 gear
Pedal at same cadence
& keep repeating as you go through the gearing.

The graph should show power increasing in steps if everything is working as expected (and probably cadence lowering as you start getting into tougher gears)

yeah that was done above - zwif tand the trainer seem to work fine but i think the problem is that they get to their hardest gear and grind the cadence so there are no more gears to go to (as far as I understand it anyway)