Set riders weight...heavier. Nonsense?

Hello everyone,
after months of studying, I finally decided to get myself a smart trainer and join the Zwift community, taking advantage of the lockdown going down here in Italy.
I got an entry level smart one, a Tacx Flow smart.

I like it, I’ve taken a few rides and enjoy it, but I still have to manage and solve a few questions and doubts about whether I can “optimize” my ride experience.

One thing in particular: I know my Tacx can handle jus a 6% gradient, but I cannot understand how it works…Let me try to explain myself with an example:
Let’s say I’m riding a 6% climb at 150watts.
Climb inclines up to 10%, and of course I don’t feel any change in resistance, so I keep riding at same power.
Here is my point: since my trainer can provide a max power of 800watts, is there a way to make me feel my climbs harder even above the 6%?

That leads to the title: what happens if I change my weight using a heavier one? I’m 72kilos now, if I set a heavier one would Zwift require more power to climb, leading to a harder feeling of the climb itself?

I’ve already set the trainer difficulty to 100%.

Oh and by the way, I think I would achieve my goal if we could set the difficulty up to 200% (like Tacx premium app), right?

Hope I had explained myself, maybe I said something really dumb…


If you increase weight Zwift will require more power to travel at the same speed as if you were lighter. I dont believe the trainer will react differently, trainers dont care how much you weigh, they only take the incline/decline info from Zwift and act accordingly.


Uhm thanks Mike you got my point, and ok I guess now I better understand how it works…
Hence I guess that the possibility to set a 200% difficulty would end up to the same results…
I think that if I want more pain I’ll just have to lower my gear :sweat_smile:

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That is the way to do it if you want it harder and go faster on a hill then put the bike in the big front ring and small one at the back.

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Maybe I am missing something but I am coming from the place as Alberto: ie when gradient goes up surely the resistance applied by the smart turbo should go up to simulate the gradient.

One time that this doesn’t happen (I think) is if I am doing a workout with Erg mode on. This is a deliberate feature of Zwift/Erg mode I am sure.Most of my Zwift sessions are planned workouts with set intervals (eg 300W for 3 min then 180W for 3 min). It doesn’t seem to matter what the Zwift gradient is when I do these intervals, turbo resistance only changes if I am not hitting these targets. In other words it doesn’t really matter what Zwift course I am doing at the time- whether the Alpe or a flat Richmond route, the turbo resistance seems to be dictated how close I am to the workout interval target power and the gradient has no affect on how the turbo is reacting. The gradient will impact on my avatar’s speed, so if I am working at 180W and the gradient goes from 3 to 10% the speed drops but the turbo resistance is unchanged. My workouts come from Training Peaks and are uploaded to Zwift but I doubt that this makes any difference and would guess that a Zwift workout would work similarly when Erg mode is on.

However doing bunch rides and solo rides I am fairly sure my turbo resistance does change in response to gradient. Might be a bit harder to tell in a bunch ride as inevitably you will have to put out more power to hold the wheel of a lightweight whippet in front when the slope ramps up, however riding solo I would think the gradient change should be obvious if the turbo is responding correctly. I will try a solo ride later to check.

if anything, in your case setting difficulty to maximum is harming you not helping you

if you set it to the default, then you’d notice a change in resistance in grades up to 12% (with your 6% max grade trainer) and you’d have a more realistic experience rather than the difficulty being maxed out at low gradients.

try lowering the difficulty and see if that creates a better user experience on your trainer

What? Really?
I thought I was one of the few newbie that had understood the trainer difficulty settings :sweat_smile:.
When you say “default” you mean 50% right? I thought that on a 6% climb with the setting on default I would have felt like a 3%, and an actual 6% with the difficulty at 100%…what am I missing?

Personally, I think he should just get a Kickr or Neo, instead! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: