Kickr Range of Resistance - still poor


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #1

I did a full reset, disconnected kickr, set to sim mode, etc…and still not getting the range of gearing I would expect.

For all of the grades (even 10%), I can essentially stay in the big cog and do all the hills, which on a normal road or bkool, forces me down to the small cog.

Unless they can fix this I really don’t see the point in a simulation game that cant harness the best trainer out there.


(Chuck Kozlowski ZSUNR) #2

When you go from the flats (after the start/finish line) into the two main hills, how many gears do you traverse through (I assume you are still staying on the large chainring)? I am interested in getting a Kickr but some of these limitations concern me.


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #3

I pretty much go within the full chainring (big) for the course. I have never needed the small one, which stinks. I do a course on bkool and I using all 20 gears!


(Chuck Kozlowski ZSUNR) #4

Thanks for the insights. For the bkool course, what is the maximum incline ?


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #5

not sure, but they have 10%+ grades and its very realistic


(Tim Corso) #6

I have a Kickr and would say that the gradients feel quite reasonable. You could make a very simple test. In the Wahoo fitness app dial up a gradient and ride it for a bit, then go find that gradient on the island. Does it feel the same? If it does then there’s nothing wrong with Zwift.
However I think you are seeing a problem that I have seen in Virtual trainer and in Zwift. If the ANT+ signal gets interrupted the Kicker reverts to resistance mode. A few people have reported this and how to fix it. Try reading this and associated threads.
https://support.zwift.com/hc/communities/public/questions/201666319-Wahoo-KICKR-Reverts-to-Resistance-Mode-When-ANT-Connection-Interrupted?locale=en-us
It’s a bit tough to say the software stinks, especially as there are huge number of people who are riding the Kickr on Zwift island and think its fantastic. Also we must be patient as this is beta software.

Good Luck


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #7

I am fine with dropouts, but every other sim software manages to correct and recover, while zwift does not. Very annoying as you have no way to know if it has happened


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #8

And otherwise, I guess I don’t think the software is that great. Hard to read at distances, little variation.

I get bored within 2 laps


(Tim Corso) #9

Gregory you should be able to notice when the Kickr reverts to resistance mode as the resistance doesn’t change at any gradient you encounter, only your speed and power in Zwift.

I’m sure the developers are the first to admit that there needs to be some refinement - that’s why they invited you to participate in the beta program.

I hope to do a century ride on Saturday; Zwift is way less boring than any other trainer driven app that I have used.


(Christian Wiedmann [X] 50) #10

Gregory - I don’t know if you saw my other response. This is intentional on Zwift’s part right now (see https://support.zwift.com/hc/communities/public/questions/201373079-Can-I-set-Kickr-as-speed-source- ). Just pretend it’s a 5% hill instead of a 10% hill. They did say they may allow an option for a realistic resistance mode, but they wanted the course to be rideable by people at different fitness levels.

The main issue I have with the model is not the range, but the lag. Since they’re doing the speed calculation on the server rather than letting the KICKR do it, there is significant lag between grade changes in the sim and resistance changes on the KICKR. I often find that when the slope is rapidly changing the resistance actually doesn’t increase until the slope has already eased up.

All that being said, I don’t share your negative view of Zwift. The island is made up anyway. I don’t need the 10% hill to feel like a 10% hill. I’d feel differently if it were simulating a real place, but given that we’re riding on Zwift Island, it just doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. Even with the model fidelity issues, I find having other real people in there at the same time makes the time on the trainer pass much more quickly.


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #11

I didnt see your post, but thanks…makes more sense now.

Even with 10% hills, you can shift the bike to make it rideable. I dont see why fitness has anything to do with it. I see young and old tackling huge grades, but they each shift to an easier gear to up.

I hear you on the lag as huge inclines seem to kick in like 5-10% up instead of right away, which is very confusing and frustrating when you are trying to mentally prepare. Is htis the reason why downhill speeds seems to be wrong? at the bottom of the zwift hill I stand and pedal like crazy with 400+ watts to only see the speed going down!

For those times where I want to just ride bymyself, I am hopig zwift can handle that and actually get the kickr thing right. I mean you buy a kickr because it has the best road like feel of any trainer.

I think they have nailed the multiplayer aspect, but they need variety badly. I understand they are working out the dynamics, but it seems incomplete still (i understand its beta). However they said a winter 2015 launch and spring is coming, so I have to think what is out there now is going to be what I have to pay for. I wont pay 10$ a month for the current state of things and I think 80%+ of the betatesters will drop off once they start charging.


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #12

otherwise…i just find it confusing without a specific goal at times. I have 45 min to workout, so I need a routine/distance, course that works instead of 5 laps on the same course without much “push”.

Something like this with trainnerroad layered on top would be amazing.


(Shawn DeBoer) #13

Count yourself lucky. At least Kirkr is resistance controlled…somewhat by Zwift. I’m on a Cycleops Powerbeam Pro (not controlled by Zwift) and ride my 53-11 around the whole island and can’t get my watts into training range before spin out. It’s like the governor on the motor of my go-kart as a kid.


(Christian Wiedmann [X] 50) #14

Shawn - can you control the Powerbeam Pro with something else to set it to a harder mode so you don’t spin out? For example, with the KICKR you can use the Wahoo app to turn it into a different mode at arbitrary difficulty. So I could set it into resistance level 6 and do 500 watts on the small ring.


(Shawn DeBoer) #15

@Christian. Indeed, if I want to adjust my PBeam Pro resistance for Zwift purposes, I’ll need either a Joule head unit or software like Trainerroad. Not optimal. I just hope Zwift offers full PBeam Pro support soon.


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #16

If you expect forums to just be positive you are just kidding yourself and don’t understand software development. Sometimes people can be supportive but have a very negative opinion of how the software stands at the moment, but they understand the potential. I see the potential, but the updates being done are very small and not revolutionary enough to really make this a super trainer tool. At the moment it is a novelty with a bunch of PR buzz, which has faded off. If you read outside forums, its pretty much the same message “seems cool at first, but I don’t think I see this as a long term tool as it doesn’t have enough variety, doesn’t have workouts etc…” they used it once and haven’t used it since. Look at most of the users I often see riding, which only have 0-2 laps at most, all with the intro jersey and gear as they haven’t stuck around in the tool long enough (or with enough interest) to get additional gear.

Also…its getting towards spring for most of the beta users and watch them drop off like flies when it warms up. Everyone I know takes their bike off the trainer and puts it outside for good. The days of endless trainer sessions are over and combined with a half finished product, this wont go that far.

You all have to be joking if you think tens of thousands of people are going to pay 10$ to bike in a 5 mile circle.

A great idea, which soo much potential and from what I can tell, not really a defined roadmap and launch strategy. It just gives me this “a bunch of devs kicking around a neat idea” feeling instead of cohesive vision and company to solve the boredome of trainers.


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #17

Lol…this forum is too much. Unicorns and rainbows. This forum is wayyy too positive…

I guess someone has to be the bearer of realism


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #18

loving the angry mob mentality! God forbide someone actually has a negative view of a cycling product. Guess this reinforces why i never got into all the local group ride nonsense where everyones superstar cycling ego’s make them think they are pros. I will just stick to going around with my neighbors who are down to earth folks trying to get some exercise without all the pomp and circumstance. Yes…I hold a bunch of strava TOM’s, yet I dont own a single “bike jersey” and have a pretty average bike


(DJ Trump[MAGA]) #19

guess Ill show my real name now


(Eric Kutter (Bend, ORZ)) #20

You talk about how limiting a 5km course is. This is a beta product. Blasting something like the 5km limit when it is well documented that this is just temporary for the beta doesn’t help anyone. This forum, and product, isn’t all roses. But it is place for constructive feedback. What you are providing isn’t that.

I, along with many many others, have found Zwift to be surprisingly motivating even with it’s limitations. I’m getting way better trainer workouts than I have in the past because of how the other “real people” push me.

I also use a Kickr. Initially it was reporting about 20% too high a wattage compared to my SRM. Turns out it was an issue with the Kickr and wahoo fitness, not with Zwift. So if you are having problems with the power, take Zwift Island out of the equation and see if you have the same issues just using the Wahoo Fitness app. If you do, take up your concerns with them.

Zwift is far from perfect at this point but they are listening to their beta users and improving the product. They have already come along ways since the started the Beta and fixed most of the serious problems like crashes.

All that said, it might not be right for you. Seems like your expectations are a bit unrealistic, though, for a beta product.