You can use Zwift without your Kickr running in controllable mode. You do have to have a separate power meter. In my case I use a Stages power meter.
The process is,
Connect your Kickr as per normal, power, cadence, controllable.
Then after they are paired, disconnect, power and cadence from your trainer and connect them to your power meter. Then turn off controllable. Zwift is now being run by your power meter.
Next use your smartphone to open the Wahoo App and connect to your Kickr, start a workout. Now swipe right four times to the power controls. You have options for Levels, Resistance, ERG and a few others. It’s a fantastic way to have intricate control of your trainer while in Zwift. You can change power by as little as 1W at a time. It’s essentially the ultimate workout control.
Sadly this functionality does not exist in Zwift. It’s this overall resistance control I want in game. I simply want to use Zwift in the small chainring with low flywheel effect, the entire time I’m in game, free riding, racing etc. This training suits me far better than high flywheel speeds as it better simulates climbing in real life.
Without in game resistance control I’m forced to use the big chain ring on flats while racing etc. This makes sense, as that’s how it works in real life too. I however am trying to get the best training effect, not simulate reality. I certainly don’t want to coast down hills in game etc. It’s simply training.
With a wheel on dumb trainer and power meter this is very simple to achieve. Connect power meter, select resistance level, pick a straight chain line and preferred gear and do the work.
It’s funny really, I upgraded to a smart trainer so I could sprint in races, but now realize I really need the dumb trainer functionality for my training situation.
As I explained the Wahoo App trainer control in game solves the problem. I just wish Zwift had a simple button saying resistance level up or down. Incredibly simple.
Trainer difficulty is not that, it’s a control for gradient simulation. It’s incorrectly named. It should be called that, gradient simulation level.
This chain ring swapping while inside on a trainer is a waste of time and mechanical wear and tear. It’s crazy people would bother with it. From the reading I’ve done it seems I’ll just have to stick to the convoluted Wahoo App workaround.
Thanks very much for your input. Much appreciated.