More trainer resistance needed

Here’s an unusual problem. Is there anyway to increase trainer resistance on flat roads in Zwift?

I’m using compact gearing 34-50 12-30 on a 2020 Kickr Core. On flat roads I’m right near top gear with the flywheel doing a billion rpm to make useful wattage, say 200+ watts.

Is there anyway apart from higher gearing to solve this?

I’m aware I can use the Wahoo app and turn the trainer off controllable, this does work. I’m talking of a simple way in game.

Seems crazy that there’s not a simple +/- key to increase resistance so you can stay in a particular chainring or gear etc.

When you say “I’m right near top gear with the flywheel doing a billion rpm to make useful wattage, say 200+ watts.” Are you doing a workout or training ride with ERG mode on? What cog are you in and what is your rpm?

If you’re doing a free ride or race is your trainer difficulty slider set to 0%?

Another thing to try is to calibrate your trainer using the Wahoo app.

This is an unusual situation.

I’ll have to check the gears etc. Trainer difficulty only effects the gradients and surfaces in game. I’ve calibrated the trainer, it’s displaying accurate power, I’ve also compared it to a separate power meter.

It’s not a normal use case, but it seems the algorithm Zwift uses for light riders (60kg) requires me to be in say 50/14 at reasonably high cadence to generate 200+W on flat roads, basically a fair bit less resistance than the real world. I can easily generate that power on flat roads with that gearing.

What I’d like to be able to do is simply increase the resistance of the trainer so I can stay in the small ring while free riding, racing etc with the trainer difficulty at zero or close to it. I can do this by using the Wahoo app while using Zwift, I just wondered if there was a simpler way in game.

Think of it as a long term training adaptation. I’m trying to lesson the flywheel effect of the trainer to simulate a more sustained pedal stroke. So the time in Zwift is more functional force training. Essentially, all your time in game is low inertia, small ring, little flywheel effect, like you are climbing 100% of time you’re in game.

This is something very easily achieved with analog trainers and a power meter. You simply pick your desired resistance and roll. That allows you to chose which chain ring and even your desired gear for a straight chain line.

Zwift’s current resistance has me constantly at high flywheel speeds in the big chain ring.

It sounds like there’s something wrong there. Even at 60kg you shouldn’t be spinning out like that (and you can easily try changing your weight in Zwift to prove that it’s not your weight).

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This does indeed sound like something is not correct in your setup, not an issue with Zwift. Besides the obvious of the flat roads should not be that easy, the other thing that strikes me in your description is that while on Zwift you can alter the resistance via the Wahoo app (am I understanding your description correctly?). That should not be happening. The trainer can take control input from one and only one source. If Zwift were controlling your Kickr then the Wahoo app can’t. If by enabling the Wahoo app you can change the Kickr, now Zwift is not controlling.

With Zwift controlling the Kickr and the Wahoo app not running on your phone, are you getting resistance changes from Zwift for hills? Does ERG mode engage when doing a workout in Zwift?

I did a quick test with my Kickr Snap and proved what we all already understand, only one device can be controlling. Another can be observing if one is using ANT+, but only one controlling. If using BT, a second device won’t even see the Kickr as BT is a one-to-one connection, no listeners allowed.

BTW - what are you using in the Wahoo app to increase/decrease resistance, I’m not finding that functionality in mine.

I may be totally misunderstanding what you were describing with the combo of Zwift and Wahoo app, if so, let us know and this reply is mute. If I am understanding correctly, kindly describe what’s happening in the questions I posed and we’ll see what we can figure out.

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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.

Why don’t you just race with a workout active and use ERG mode? There’s a control to increase/decrease resistance in Zwift for workouts.

Not sure you’d want to do that. That control you speak of only enables +/- 10% on your FTP. That is added/subtracted from the workout wattage spec for the segment you are in. So you have to design your workout and power plan before the race and can’t change it once started. That would not work for a race.