Ramp Test/Watts Dilemma

Apologies up front. I suspect this has been asked before but despite tons of searching here and elsewhere I can not find an answer so I am hoping someone here can help.

On the seven day trail at the moment and overall having a tremendous amount of fun. Today while in Zwift 101: Cycling I was to perform a ramp test. All going well until I realized my Watts top out at 280. Top gear and RPMs at 120 and no dice. Still 280 and my gearset has reached its limit. Cant go any faster.

My setup:
-Blackburn Tech Mag Race (on setting 3 as prompted by Zwift)
-Wahoo Cadence
-Wahoo Speed

My thought was that since I have three more settings on the trainer to increase resistance that I should be able to go up one level and therefore increase power. However since my trainer is of the quite old and dumb variety Zwift has no way of knowing that. For the life of me I cant figure out if it is even possible to relay that information to Zwift. Am I forever limited to 280w max? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Hi @jacob_allaband

Welcome to Zwift forums. It sounds like you’ve set the trainer’s manual resistance following our recommendations.

The trainer settings assume you have a road bike. Does your bike have a 700 x 25c tire (more or less that width), or a smaller diameter like a 26" mountain bike tire?

Thanks for the reply! 700 x 32C tires.

Thanks for the response. Try bumping the manual resistance setting from 3 to 2 or 3 to 4. I’m not sure which direction will get you more resistance on that particular model.

With a classic trainer + speed sensor setup, your power is estimated, so there will be some inherent inaccuracy. I’d put more importance on setting the trainer’s resistance knob so that you’re not spinning out your hardest gear over trying to get “accurate” power numbers.

Don’t let the inaccuracy bum you out that much - set a power baseline for yourself, and measure your fitness progress against that as you get stronger.

It’s only when you start racing against others that inaccurate power numbers become a problem. You end up having an unfair edge versus others using power meters that measure more accurately, and you may falsely get accused of cheating when it’s your setup that’s the cause. At some point you may find yourself wanting a smart trainer with a big flywheel that improves the ride feel, and then you’ll wonder why the game feels so much more difficult with the same FTP number you used previously : )