Kickr Bike users; incline/decline seem very delayed now?

I’ve only had my Kickr Bike since beginning of March this year; but even back then I didn’t feel like the tilting feature was all that delayed; not slow, but… delayed.

I have ridden around Titans Grove now several times in the past week after being off for a week; and I almost got sick because of how late my Kickr Bike was tilting itself… I hit a few hills where I was about to be on the descent while my Kickr was just then deciding I was going uphill!
A lot of the routes it’s not a huge deal, but those super tight hills in Titans area and just “north” of the Watopia tunnel sprint, are really making me queasy feeling these days!

Anyone else experiencing this significant delayed response with their KickrBike’s tilting function?

Hi @Andrew_Nuse

Sorry to hear about having a delay in the kickr bike incline responding in Zwift. If you haven’t done this already, first thing to check is pairing the bike to the Wahoo app and making sure it has the latest firmware update and that the incline is working properly in their app. After checking that, unpair from their app and make sure it’s fully closed, then try again in Zwift to see if there’s any improvement and let us know how it goes.

I’ll check into it tonight; I’m not aware of any firmware updates that were pushed this year for the previous model.

I will however clarify something:
The resistance on the trainer seems to increase at the correct times. It’s purely the tilting function that has been late to respond.

Also for the record; this is running through the HE-C ANT+
(I’ve still yet to get it to connect to bluetooth through Windows, but I blame windows here, as I have had it work just fine on a tablet without issue)

Follow up; yep, KickrBike up to date (last firmware is from April). Everything checks off and seems fine.

It’s just slow to change angle.

Attached is a VERY particular and obvious little hill in Watopia, I want to say the north side has a very short but 8% grade to it; but going in either direction after testing just now, even at a normal 200w pace, when going from say south to north, I’m able to reach the peak of the hill, before the Kickr begins to start its incline.
Trainer difficult is at 100%, and seems to get difficult / ease at the correct times, it’s just the inclination… is delayed.

It isn’t even that it’s slow, it seems fast enough; it just seems to be happening, quite literally, two seconds later than it should be happening.

I would hate to see this come down to a “the signal is being sent at the correct time, and nothing can be done”… Because the hill isn’t going anywhere, and Zwift knows how fast I’m going… it should be able to adjust for that.

Screenshot 2022-10-26 220144

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Hi @Andrew_Nuse

At this point we need to get this to our upper tech support. I will be reaching out to you through email from here so that we can troubleshoot this further.

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Saw the email John; I did actually check last night and was finally able to see my Kickr on Bluetooth (it was because I was connecting bluetooth earbuds beforehand, so it locked onto that and never showed the kickr).

I will be definitely checking that out tonight to see if it does actually have any difference being on BT instead of ANT+

Watopia’s “The Esses” segment is the perfect torture test for not only climb accessories but all smart trainers.

The rolling terrain is gentle enough you can blast through the entire segment quickly which will cause any “fdisconnect” between what you see on screen and feel on the bike to become almost immediately apparent.

Possible N+1 datapoint: on a Gen-1 AppleTV 4k, connected as a controllable trainer via BLE to a Tacx NEO2T (difficulty 100%), I feel a similar delay between what I see visually and what the trainer does - takes 2 seconds for trainer resistance to change when I hit a hill, and it doesn’t back off until 2 seconds after I’ve leveled off at the summit.

I think I need to do a few more passes to say with certainty but it’s something I’ve had my eye on even before you posted this thread. (edit - this may all just be in my head but I stand by statement that “The Esses” is a great segment to test this in)

FWIW, fastest way to get to “The Esses” is to set up a free ride of the Watopia Flat Route, start riding and do an immediate u-turn.

I’ve noticed this through “The Esses” on my KICKR Bike. Invariably, I end up shifting up through the bike and hammering through it, because of I don’t, it really messes with my mind.

If I ride it easily, it is especially noticeable.

I’ve also noticed several resistance “bumps” on some routes, where suddenly the bike simulates perhaps a 12-15% grade for about a second before going to the next route segment. Others have commented about these as well.

I think there are some discontinuities in the map layer regarding how the routes connect, and it causes things to drift off a bit in a few spots. I have a feeling “The Esses” may be one of those spots.

So follow up for the sake of the thread and not just being a private email to John here.

Since I’ve finally been able to figure out how to get my KickrBike to work with bluetooth (at the cost of headphones :sweat_smile: ), I did several passes and tests tonight.

ANT+, on FE-C (else I get signal drops I had noticed when not using the FE-C ANT+ signal), as mentioned in the start of this thread the delay.

I’m kind of under the impression now that it is more than a delay; but actual… “lack” of data being transferred, or certainly being transferred at a slower rate, with a lot more averaging going on. Which, I haven’t actually looked up the specs of ANT+, but is something I am assuming, is going to be a slower, and smaller, data rate. As an interesting thing I noticed, if I disabled the 3 second average power displayed… I actually saw zero difference in some quick and dirty tests. It seems to update power every second on the screen, yes, however, I saw no change in results while on ANT+. It was a random attempt to see if this ‘averaging’ was causing a possible delay in signal, and perhaps have some sort of impact in this situation. This was not the case.

Fixed the issue instantly (I unfortunately didn’t do the average power setting, as I did BT first and it didn’t cross my mind).
And an interesting note; the Bike actually at times did indeed “predict” the climb, it was spooling its way up maybe a quarter second before an incline started on that super tight test hump; not enough to make me want to complain about it, but it did seem to be a split second too early.

So my takeaway is the ANT+ doesn’t have the bandwidth… after a quick wiki check while typing this up, it appears BT, even if looking at BT LE (low energy), the difference in data rates is anywhere between 100x and something like 10,000x +.
I have no idea if this can be resolved by software; so it’ll be interesting to see what ZHQ recommends. (Shame the KickrBike didn’t get the ability to be hard wired… seems simple enough for its price)

Side comment about when I was testing ANT+ that was funny. I was able to rip through that segment so fast at one point (I was actually using “Two Bridges” route, seems “The Esses” puts you in same place just opposite direction for the record; both are something like ~.5 mile away or less)
Anyways; I ripped through that little dip so fast on ANT+, that my Bike didn’t even react. I was going downhill from the southside again heading north; and I went so fast (300w ish) through it that I ended up, going from pointing down still from the descent… to straight and level; it didn’t even react to the incline :rofl: thought that was kind of funny; and indeed shows the real difference here between ANT+ and BT in t his situation; the BT took it like a champ, the Bike responded and reacted pretty much bang on how I thought it should.

Anyways; I do hope we hear from ZHQ on this; again, no idea if it’s even resolve-able; but here’s to hoping.

Getting pushed up the support ticket train… weeee!

Serious question though for anyone else here; has anyone tried this on any other trainer software (I have no idea what else makes use of the tilt feature and if any of those have tight enough hills to really notice this).
If so, is anyone able to confirm or deny ANT+ is also just as “sluggish” on those other programs?

Or if this potentially is just a fault with ANT+ vs Bluetooth

I use a Neo 2T, paired to Windows via ANT+ FE-C (with legacy ANT+ disabled). Before that I had a Neo 2 (same setup) and before that a variety of Fluxes that broke and a Flow wheel-on that wasn’t great.

Can’t say I’ve ever experienced this massive delay to gradient changes that some people mention. Sure it’s not instant but it definitely doesn’t take two seconds, that would be an eternity and completely destroy the immersion in various spots in the game. Especially when racing and going quickly in a group. There’s no way it takes as long as that for me.

A Zwiftalizer log from a problematic ride would be interesting to see.

I have a Kickr Snap wheel on trainer, and ANT+ is unusable to pair it for me for this reason as the resistance/incline data is applied a few seconds too late. Bluetooth, as you mention, is much quicker in my case and the only method I’ll pair the trainer with.

Does it show that kind of stuff? I can do another short run or pull the files from my logs I sent off to John at ZHQ. I wasn’t aware it could show that kind of information though…

It’s generally not that immersion breaking, but it’s just very obvious in some scenarios; again specifically The Esses, which are suuuuper short and tight bumps, and really the only I can think of on any of the maps that are that short and severe to create the extreme effect. (Unless you can find a way to jump off a bridge somewhere in Neokyo haha).

Skimming the latest email I got from ZHQ; and you can thank Wahoo for this…

Poor ZHQ Support seems SEVERELY confused that the KickrBike is an entirely unique and specific product… and is not a “set” of a Kickr trainer and KickrClimb lol…

Terry from Support forwarded me this though; so I think I’ll heed that for now and reach out to Wahoo and see what they think.

Everything looks like it should have been functioning properly. My best guess is that for some reason your Kickr isn’t able to make that calculation through ANT+. The best suggestion I can give to try and figure out what’s going on would be to contact Wahoo support and have them investigate.

Although between Terry’s response and another Support team member I still think it’s funny they’re sending me links on how to do a spindown and calibration :sweat_smile:
[KickrBike doesn’t have a calibration feature; it’s unlike the normal trainer]

It shows your ANT+ signal quality, disconnects and resent data. Would be able to compare it to mine.

I’ll check into it; in Terry’s response though they stated there weren’t any dropouts or errors they can see that would or could cause this.

Which is why I’m still under the impression that this is just a data rate issue; which, I still find odd even ZHQ wouldn’t state through these emails… someone should know the answer to this. I don’t care either way at this point it’s just a curiosity.
But it does technically affect one’s performance on Zwift in a real matter; if you can’t react to trainer difficulty increasing on a hill (because it doesn’t).

Either way; I’ll put in an email to Wahoo (I’m sure they can’t wait to hear from me again!), and see what they have to say about it.

I can confirm a noticable delay after the server maintenance 1 1/2 weeks ago. I already reported this issue to the support. I think it is a server sided issue. Maybe they changed something in the capacity. It is a mess.

Did a ride on France tonight which got me wondering, do those with this massive delay to resistance and using a Tacx Neo also experience the same delay to road feel? On the patches of cobbles tonight it came and went inside a second for me I reckon, using FE-C. Probably within a bike’s length. So not absolutely instant as it obviously would be IRL, but easily close enough to maintain the immersion.