Max gradient on Zwift

Dear Zwifters,

I am started last year with a roller trainer to See if I like Zwift. Now I want to buy a direct drive trainer, but what is the highest gradient on Zwift? I’ve tried to figure it out and what I found is 16.2%. Is that correct? Because then a trainer with 16% is enough I think.

Nearly 18%, see:

thank you for your fast reply. Is it worth to buy a trainer that can reach 18 percent or is a trainer with 15/16 % enough?
I’m thinking about the following trainers:

Elite Suito 15%
Elite Direto X 18$
Tacx Flux 2 16%

Can someone give me a suggestion?

It depends on how much pain you want to be in… :grinning:

If you’re on an 18% climb, but you have a smart trainer that will do 15%, you will only feel 15%. But if you have a smart trainer that will go to 20%, you will feel the entire 18%.

The feel of the gradient can also be controlled in-game with a software setting.

Good luck!

Check out this:

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If you’re on a Budget, get the Elite Zumo.
It’s the cheapest direct-drive trainer and GPLama tested it as very good.
If you want to spend a little more, Elite Direto X or Kickr Core.
If you want to spend even more, Kickr or Tacx Neo2T or Saris H3

thanks for all the replys and advices. I will try to sell my current trainer and then go for the elite direto X.

Keep in mind trainer difficulty setting is 50% by default, unless you plan on bumping that up to 100% there’s no difference between a 10% max trainer and a 20% max trainer

For as rare as those mega steep sections are, I’m not sure it’s worth the extra expense for the extra couple percentage of gradient possible


What do you mean exactly? When you climb 8% it feels like 4% with the default settings?

You got it right,
Check out this link

I’have another question. I can really find the answer in the article. Is it true when difficulty is set to 50, that when youŕe climbing, it will downgrade the speed that you are riding?
So that, when you put it to 100% that you see the real speed in zwift that you are riding?

Hi Rafael.

Zwift calculate your speed based on the amount of power (w) you generate. So to get over the climb zwift calculate that if you average 200w it will take you 5 minutes. It does not matter on what resistance level you are, you will need to produce 200w to get to the top in 5 minutes.


Thank you for the explanaition.
As I understand the above information right, itś best to improve the trainer difficulty to max on my current trainer. When I can handle that resistance, than itś worth to buy a directdrive trainer with higher gradient support. Otherwize a cheaper one iwith lower gradient support will be enough.

That sound about right. You can also keep your bike in the biggest gear and make it harder if you need more resistance.

That’s true. But I like to have the feeling that when the climbing gradient change on the route, that I also feel it automatically in the trainer.

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I’ve seen 21% on the new reverse Richmond course.

Max gradient is a bit of a gray aria with these trainers. If you look at the Tacx neo they claim 25% but if you read the fine print you will see that is for a 75kg rider. They also don’t specify at what wheel speed this is measured, because the lower the wheel speed the lower the resistance.

Thanks for the information. That doesn’t make the choice easier :-). I think that the direto X will be a good one. It can handle 2100W and 18%. So hopefully that gives a good climb feeling for the current price.

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