No simulation of gradient during workout mode (ERG is off)

If I turn ERG mode off during a workout, then it just puts the trainer into a steady resistance mode instead of simulating gradient. ERG mode is working perfectly, but a lot of time I like to ride with the more natural feeling simulated gradient and control the watts myself. I still want to see the workout/segment timer and alerts for being above/below power, stars to light up etc.
I swear I used to be able to do this! Or am I going crazy?

Workouts don’t reflect gradient in the resistance - you can be going 100W on the flat or up a 15% gradient quite a bit slower than flat, but it will still be 100W. You need to be in sim mode (non-workout) for the gradient to have an effect on the ride.

From my understanding, the only difference with ERG mode off is that you’ll need to pump the pedals more or change gears to make it easier/harder.

PS: 100W as an example - I know this is fairly low but it’s an easy number!

But the gradient DOES have an effect on the speed of the bike in game during a workout. So why aren’t the gradients simulated by the trainer?
With ERG mode off, it IS in sim mode. It is a bug that resistance is steady.

Workouts by default is not to simulate the gradient for good reason.

You can make/modify a workout to simulate the gradient.

It is just a flag in the workout file.

See this post.

What is the “good reason”?

Because you can’t do sprint workouts on a 7% downhill and also not recover in a 7% incline.

When doing a workout you need to be in control of the resistance that is the advantage of training indoors.

You can control the resistance from the companion app, onscreen menu or keyboard.

Interesting that Zwift support thinks this is a bug and are ‘working on it’ then.

It is not a bug. Zwift worked like this since workouts was added to the program.

Zwift and most other training programs works like this.

Short question: I also stumbled into that problem (or whatever you call it) and it took a long time until I got a meaningful answer from Zwift support.
You write that you can increase the resistance via the companion or the HUD. Is there an display where you are in the resistance range, what the resistance range is and so on?
Is there any documentation that “workout without ERG” is practically a third mode besides ERG and SIM?
You write that this is because you can’t do sprint workouts on a 7% downhill. Fair enough but you can’t do them properly in this strange mode too because you will spin out after 3 seconds. My idea was to sprint into a climb to avoid that. What is your advice on sprint workouts? “All out” cannot be described as x watts for y seconds so ERG is not the right thing but without ERG I have to write down the structured workout on paper an ride after that like it’s 1876. Is there a better way?

What trainer do you have, and what gearing do you have? You shouldn’t be spinning out in 3 seconds on a reasonable setup.

Elite Direto XR with 50/11.
The right thing would be a mode that uses ERG mode for in between the sprints and drops you onto the real gradient for the sprints. I have seen advice on how to edit workout files to achieve this but it is from 2019 and I guess not an intended use. Also not practical on iOS.

You can ajust the ERG on screen or on the Companion app.


And what happen if you are on a downhill you won’t have any resistance to sprint.

Thanks, I never noticed the thin bar in the HUD. I tried to choose my route for the sprints in a way that I am on the epic KOM in time for the intervals so that I don’t run out of gradient.

And anyway switching off ERG mode at the same time as launching a maximal effort sounds like a recipe for disaster for any number of reasons. Plus ERG mode works better with lower gears, just the kind of ones you would never want to sprint in.

I just checked my last 10s sprint interval session in “workout without ERG” mode and I am up to 120 RPM within 4s. After that it gets bouncy. I will try to adjust the resistance up and check if I can get enough resistance for 10s of acceleration.

It is actually pretty easy.

Just switch ERG mode on?


You should read the context.

I meant ERG mode switching off automatically, of course if you do it manually then at least you have full control of when it is going to happen. But still there is the potential mismatch between the gear you are using in ERG vs the gear you need for the sprint.