Newbie Question: Pedal Stroke or Resistance setting?

I am brand new to Zwift and turbo trainers so I apologize if this has been covered already. I am using a Wahoo Kicker on Zwift. As of now I can only ride for short distances at a slow cadence. I am hoping to improve this. My issue is once I get going and as the resistance gets easer because of the momentum, there is a slight lag or slip around the bottom of my pedal stroke. It is like for a split second I am at a coast and then I re-engage. I hope I am explaining this OK. I am not sure if this is due to improper setting or bad technique or both. Any help would be appreciated.

Hi there, and welcome to Zwift.

Sounds like you’re having trouble staying on top of your gears while riding the trainer. Typically this comes from having too low of a gear selected for how fast you’re riding, or not having enough gears available on your bike. If you’re shifting gears on your bike the same way that you would on the street and still having trouble spinning out (flywheel spin faster than your legs) you may want to try adjusting the Trainer Difficulty slider in the in-game settings. This slider is a percentage modifier for how much resistance to apply based on virtual gradient and rolling resistance with full being 100%.

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Thank you for the advise. I will definitely give that a try.

slow cadence is harder than high cadence!

if resistance gets easier and you’re getting a “clonking” noise cos ur pedalling at air, you need to either change into a harder gear or pick up the leg speed :3

(it can happen with newer riders when they are not used to keeping an even pressure on the pedal throughout the whole rotation, and instead focus all efforts into a strong downwards thrust with no follow-up, especially when riding at low cadence - “clonk - clonk - clonk - clonk” with every push etc.)

as a “spin2win” advocate i generally dont have this problem - out of wonder - what would you say makes it difficult to increase leg speed and why do you prefer lower cadence, if you don’t mind me asking…? (for me, as soon as cadence drops below 80 or so, my legs set on fire XD)

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Thanks for the reply. I usually start somewhere in the middle on my rear cassette. Then I end up “chasing it” until I reach my hardest gear then I end up in the same "clonk - clonk - clonk. I have such a low cadence because I though I could “cruz” until I build up my endurance like I would on the street. I suspected my issue was due to poor technique. I will keep working on it. Thanks for the help.

hmm, if ur having to use hardest gear whilst just cruising on the flats, I’d lean more towards something is bodged with ur trainer or setup. hardest gear is for like 1000w sprint efforts, not 100-200w steady state :3

apparently wahoo kickr goes up to 2200w…? so no way you should be hitting hardest gear whilst chilling…!

what type of bike do you have on the trainer & do you know ur gear ratio…?

i dunno what cadence ur riding at, but if you want to target ur cardio endurance then try aim for 80-90 rpm in an easier gear…! low cadence targets leg strength more than cardio.

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I agree with @BenJones, sounds like you dont have the kickr paired as “controllable” in the pairing screen.

Mike this is how my Paired Screen look when I start.

I have a Nukeproof Scout 290 Comp. with a 1X11 driveline. I put this cassette on the trainer.

So I should be experiencing the same resistance as I would on the street. My resistance should be affected by my gear selection unless I am in ERG mode correct?

Yes thats right

How many teeth on the chain ring?

Chain Ring is 30T

MTB gearing …thats a 11-40 cassette by the looks and suspect a 32t chainring which is the norm for Scouts and mtb’s in general.

EDIT: (tidying my posts) 30t chainring and that cassette - spinning out / out of gears!

road bikes have 50+ on the front cog

so yea ur bike doesn’t have a big enough gear ratio to generate high enough power on the flats with ERG mode switched off…!

i guess you can still do stuff in workout mode with ERG switched on, as trainer will massively increase resistance regardless of your gearing. but it wont do that with ERG mode off, so not sure how to make it work for free-rides etc. :s

That’s strange. I read that MTB were compatible with Zwift. I just tried the Wahoo app and it does allow me to manually add resistance. I notice a big difference at just a15% increase.

They are, it is working as designed. You would run into the same issue if you went outside and took your MTB on the flat roads and tried to keep up with road cyclists.

I see what you are saying about my gear ratio and not being able to keep up in a race, but I would still expect resistance even if i was a mile behind the pack :wink:

I read this article and it sounds like MTB should be compatible ( DIALING IN YOUR MTB FOR ZWIFT). I also watched a couple of video’s on a MTB on Zwift. Today i tried a workout in ERG mode. I did feel a slight resistance change I assume when in a slight incline. I still have the “spinout issues” on the flats. But i did notice that sometimes my Watts were all over the place even though I tried to be very consistent in my cadence. I’ll keep working on it.

Zwift needs to design some single track routes with short steep inclines that force riders out of the saddle just like in real life.

Zwift in its present form is designed for road bikes and gravel bikes.
We can do intervals on our road bikes that simulate MTB training but that is still using a road bike.

They need to design routes based upon how riders actually ride in real life.
Real MTB - like single track routes that requires real MTB gearing.

It would be a great way for Zwift to expand.
Single track for MTB on Zwift would be as revolutionary as Jarvis Island was for road riders.
They already have the know how to do this.
Clean up racing and build trails and the subscriptions will grow.

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Very true. Thanks for the response. I admit I am a Newbie to Zwift but I was under the impression that you could essentially ride any bike just like you would in real life. I have never experienced the “Clonk Clonk Clonk” spinout on the road or trail on my MTB.

I did research using a MTB with Wahoo on Zwift and never heard of an issue. After posting to the form I got some great feedback on what the issue is and i think I am beginning to understand. I think what I am hearing is that Zwift is really for road bikes. My MTB does not have the gearing to spin the flywheel fast enough for Zwift to process.

I did a Custom workout today in Zwift in ERG mode and if you have a perfect pedal stroke it will workish. I tried a different cycling software and it worked pretty well in a simple cadence.

My hope is the same as you Tim. Thanks for the help guys.