Poor results with unsupported trainer and speed sensor

I’m new to Zwift and have only a Bikemate trainer. This isn’t listed on Zwift but it rates 580w at 25mph. I only have a speed sensor on the bike. Is there a listed trainer with similar spec I could choose or do I need a power meter. Also would adding a cadence sensor improve the stats. Any advice is welcome, I’m a newbie but on a budget. Thanks in advance.

First we are going to start here:

Ok, how in-game speed is determined.

For virtual power like yours:

Zwift takes the wheel speed broadcast by your speed sensor and the power curve of the trainer you select on the Pairing Screen and converts that to virtual watts. With those watts, the weight entered, height entered, in-game bike used, in-game drafting (Tri and TT bikes get no drafting boost), in-game wheel set, in-game road surface, and in-game virtual elevation changes your in-game speed is determined.

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I kind of understand what you have said and thank you for replying. So would a cadence sensor improve the stats or is a power meter needed for that. Does Zwift have a listed trainer closer to the one I’m using? Also what setting should I set my trainer. It has 6 different resistance settings.

Hi @Robert_Carr

No a cadence sensor will not change your power values, the cadence data is only displayed on screen and it make your avatar’s legs move at your leg speed.

When selecting the trainer in the paring screen it will show you on what level to put the resistance knob. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9d8R8JK2CQ&list=PLjaxpWLm1cBfWUU0AKWCOusaZMaf_yxFv&index=16

If you know your trainer you can google to find the power curve and then look for power curves of compatible trainers. That will be a lot of work.

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My trainer is unlisted so I doesn’t tell me what resistance to set. Thanks for the advice

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That is true, so I would guess 3 or 4.

I searched on line and could not find a power curve.

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What ever resistance you choose, don’t change it just shift your gears.

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Thanks for the advice. Happy Zwifting everyone

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If you want more precise power number, search for a used classic trainer that’s supported by zwift. You can get a used Tacx Blue Motion or sth for 50-80€

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I’m using a very old Blackburn wind trainer that isn’t listed as a supported trainer. The power curve for the generic “classic” trainer was WAY off (power indicated was low). I tried using a fluid trainer setting (Cyclops Fluid 2) and found that it works quite well. I don’t think it’s exactly accurate, but it’s close enough to make it usable in Zwift. Based on this, my suggestion would be to try using the power curve for a few other magnetic trainers and see if one of them gets you close enough to suit your needs.

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@Eric_Fraer Curious if you know your exact model as I am using a 20-year-old Blackburn Trakstand Contender and having a similar issue…

Thanks for addressing this topic. I was looking for the information regarding the same!