Hi, I relatively new to Zwift - I have been spinning away over past few months but perhaps not correctly.
I have my road bike set up on an Elite Novo Force (Dumb) Trainer. The resistance level is set to 3 on the trainer (As recommended by Zwift during set up)
I usually cycle with the gears on the big ring at the front and smallest ring on the back. I just plough away at that - not really changing it all - I just assume that as zwift has my weight etc it will adjust my speed in-game accordingly.
I have been reading around and am getting confused as to whether I am correct in the way I am using my gears. I understand that a dumb trainer is limited in what it can do - but am I right in just leaving big ring at the front / small ring at the back set up or should I be doing something different.
You are not doing anything wrong as such. You’re effectively riding in ERG mode which means that you aren’t getting a change in resistance.
From a training perspective it’s not ideal as you need to train different responses in your muscles. It sounds like you need to increase the resistance of your trainer to force you into lower gears. This will train your legs in higher cadences for example. I’m sure there are others on here that can offer more advice reference training techniques but certainly for me you need to adjust the resistance
Thanks Scott - I cant say whether I am a strong rider or not?
I can ride for an hour or so on the highest gear without any great difficulty - ill be wrecked at the end but will manage through it. I am ploughing away averaging probably 270w. Might tip up to 450w for a short sprint.
Its a medium to hard effort to cycle - Im not freewheeling but im not grinding at a slow cadence.
I dont tend to change the resistance (“3” on my trainer) nor do I change gear on the bike at all. I stick in the highest gear all the time.
On an odd occasion I might go down the gears a little if the specific programme on zwift is asking me for a greater cadence (I have both a speed and cadence sensor on the bike)
So I am just not sure I am getting as much out of the experience as I could?
What kind of bike are you using, what is the gearing like?
You definitely aren’t getting the best experience using a dumb trainer with speed and cadence sensors. The best experience is a direct drive smart trainer that controls the resistance based on the terrain and has accurate power readings.
270W for an hour is pretty impressive but it depends on your cycling experience. That said I’m afraid the accuracy of a dumb trainer leads a lot to be desired. It’s about you though and what you get out of training. If at the end of the hour you climb off with shaky legs and a pool of sweat on the floor then it’s irrelevant what wattage you put out. You only really need to know this to compare future performance to monitor improvements.
I would definitely adjust the resistance a move up and down the gears to train fast and slow twitch muscles.
There are a few other threads about this trainer. Seems like a common problem.
I think Stuart is on the right track… adjust the setting higher so that you can change gears to peddle at a varying cadence to train at different levels.
Can’t help much with specific training tips as I am at half your power and a rookie! lol
You don’t say how much you weigh but 270 for an hour is a significant effort that usually requires training.
I’m 75 kg and that gives me a w/kg of 3.6.
My ftp is 3.1.
The w/kg metric is a good gage for an individual exertion.
Few people pick up cycling and find themselves able to exert themselves like that (3.6).
I think this indicates you need more resistance. You could increase the resistance on the trainer a few increments.
Have you ridden your bike outside?
If so, you can put your bike in that gear then increase the resistance of your trainer until it feels similar to an outdoor ride.
The reported watts will be incorrect but usable.
Most beginners find 2.0 watts/kg or less, a good starting point
Thanks Tim, I would have a very good level of fitness - a lot of running up to 40-50km per week but injured at moment hence reverting back to bike. I am on the heavier side at 100kg .
Yes I take the bike outside occasionally too, but not that much recently - I think I might have to just play around with the resistance levels and see what works. I might perhaps increase the resistance and work up and down the gears as mentioned above.
Thanks again for you response I appreciate you taking time to respond.