Is there any way to reach more than 400 Watts with a supported classic trainer?


( Gerald Rüscher) #1

Fellow Zwifters,

I’m new to Zwift and currently using it with one of the supported classic trainers (a TacX BlueMotion).

According to the setup instructions I have to manually configure my trainer to difficulty “3” which is really pretty low. When riding with Zwift, the maximum estimated power is around 400 Watts. To reach this, I have to pedal a whopping 135rpm which I find pretty insane. Reaching a higher power output ist pretty much impossible.

So my question is: is there any way to reach a higher estimated power output with a classic trainer?

An obvious solution would be to set the classic trainer to a higher, more difficult setting but as far as I see it, Zwift does not support that.

(Yeah, I know: Buying a SMART trainer would solve this problem but this is (currently) not an issue for me)


(Neill Dagger) #2

What gear are you doing 135rpm in? I got well above that with much lower rpm


( Gerald Rüscher) #3

Highest gear.

Like I said, resistance setting “3” on the TacX is next to nothing, almost similar to rolling downhill. If I’d pedal like that in real-life I’d be going above 60 kph easily.

That’s the whole problem here I guess: suggested trainer resistance is far too low. As a result, pedalling is way too easy, cadence far too high even if in highest gear.


(Neill Dagger) #4

But the set up you are running off is based on a spedometer? So I suspect the problem is with your trainer.


(Neill Dagger) #5

suspect your bicycle isnt sitting on the rollers correctly and your free wheeling because you arent fully on the rollers


( Gerald Rüscher) #6

The trainer can not be the problem. The point is, that even if I pedal at peak speed (135rpm cadence, >70kph wheel speed), Zwift does not display more that ~400 Watts.


(Neill Dagger) #7

Not true considering I have achieved higher so there is no limit unless recently introduced

My time here is done


( Gerald Rüscher) #8

Found the answer after asking big brother google.

There is an artifical 400W capping on trainers which do not report power.

See


So although the TacX Blue is considered to be supported, it’s limited to 400 Watts b/c it doesn’t report any true power consumtion.

Bummer


(Danny Boyd) #9

if you are concerned with power and numbers. GET a proper trainer. otherwise, stick to pretending


( Gerald Rüscher) #10

Thanks for your kind answer, Danny :kissing_heart:


(Adam) #11

I am having Kinetic Rock and Roll 2 Smart machine, but in reality it is not a smart one (without resistance control).
But it came with Kinetic InRide 3 sensor already attached to it.
So I could make more than 400Watts with this classic trainer.


( Gerald Rüscher) #12

Thanks. I guess the point here is that “smart” does not equal “smart”.

I was assuming that “smart” means “digitally controlled level of resistance”. But this isn’t the issue. The question ist “is the trainer able to report power?”

So at the end it’s probably pretty simple:
If you have a trainer which does not report power, Zwift will set a 400W virtual power cap.


(Gerrie Delport TeamODZ) #13

Hi @Gerald_Ruescher: As you pointed to the Zwiftinsider post, you will notice that Zwift does not limit your trainer to 400w, the thing is your trainer on setting #3 can not produce more than 400w (see the chart below).

The chart below show the typical Power curve for your trainer at level 4 so it is higher than 3. Level 3 is the level that Zwift testested your trainer at and what you should use.

Options would be to ask zwift to make more levels possable this may take some time if they feel they can justify the higher levels.The other option is to look for a trainer with a higher power curve, like the Kinetic Road Machine. Or you can get a power meter (Powertap wheel or peddles) or a smart trainer.


( Gerald Rüscher) #14

Thanks alot, @Gerrie_Delport

This is exactly the answer I was looking for, My main goal was to understand how all this works. On the one hand, using a non-smart trainer somehow feels like cheating. On the other hand, the power cap seemed to be slightly artificial.

Either way, I’m fine with my current setup. I’ll continue to use Zwft with my old, dumb trainer throughout this winter and probably upgrade to a better trainer at the end of the next season.

Thanks again!


(Ben Fricker) #15

I’m using a Tacx Blue Motion too.
Zwift tells me to put it on Setting 4.
I can produce over 700W, if I use the highest gear on my road bike, wich is 50/11.
Do you use a MTB with a 1x11/12 drivetrain with a 32T chainring?


(Lee Harding (TFC)) #16

This post has answered my question.

I have a real basic Tacx booster trainer with a seperate ANT+ device I had to install between the wheel spokes. I can hit 392watts if i go all out literally can’t go any higher.

Time to save for a “proper” trainer :slight_smile:


(Chris) #17

I know this is old, but according to support docs, the Tacx Blue Motion should be set to level 4:
https://support.zwift.com/en_us/-what-resistance-level-do-i-set-my-classic-trainer-to-r1guyCJZBQ

This should let you get a little higher wattage…


(P MAC) #18

I’ve witnessed many zpower users routinely surpassing 400 watts for long periods. It seems all the best riders on Zwift are on zpower lol.


(Evgeniy Kharlov) #19

same problem on tacx bluematic ( my topic Tacx Blue Matic L3 setting is very LOW )
for the next season I will buy a SMART trainer. tech support zwift refuses to solve this problem.


(I ) #20

Hi, new to zwift.

I installed an Ant+ speed/cadence on my indoor exercise bike by getting creative with the flywheel which is 12" and the game’s lowest option is 20" wheel. My problem is the wheel size setting doesn’t go low enough, so on setting 1 of my trainer I can easily pass everyone in the game, but I am limited to 400 watts. I’m not really caring about passing people but it’d be nice if there wasn’t a cap.

What is it that’s causing this artificial cap? It doesn’t seem to matter how fast my RPM goes. I’m thinking either it’s built-in to the game or the ANT+ sensor can’t pick up that fast of rotation.

If I were to install sensors on my road bike and put it in my dumb trainer would I have the same cap?