Smart Trainer Settings

Just discovering the more competitive elements of Zwift, ie, races etc. My Tacx Neo 2 trainer has adjustable grade modifier. As gradients increase the pedaling effort required increases proportionately. However, the grade modifier is infinitely variable, from 0% to 100%, which can make a significant difference on these virtual rides.

My question is, does the Zwift software take this into account when riding, or, is it left to rider honesty?

The trainer difficulty slider makes no difference to your power output and thus won’t affect your racing prowess.

It merely serves to replicate the realism of gear changes. The lower the percentage then the less gear changes. 100% is more like real life.

That’s my simple version.


50-100% = sudden spikes in resistance = burns out ur legs faster than riding steady.
also changing gear faff = power loss.

so yea 0% is kinda op for racing (u basically get to ride all routes as a TT) but also kinda pointless if u bought an expensive smart trainer and not good for training in general (u get rly good at 1 set power/cadence but useless at anything outside that).

+most pro events enforce 50% minimum setting.

non-pro events you can use w/e u want :upside_down_face:


I would suggest that most races that aren’t completely flat will be harder at 0% difficulty. That’s because you won’t feel the gradient kicking up,.so you will be slower than everyone else to push harder.


Totally agree with this! I did a TTT on Out and Back Again and my controllable hadn’t paired. The Volcano was “unpleasant”.

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Accepting that it has no difference on my power output, you have overlooked the level of effort expended.

You can sustain a consistent level of power output, for a longer period, subject to trainer setting, if the resistance is replicating a 4% gradient instead of an 8% gradient, ie, grade modifier set at 50%. Resulting in a faster, longer level of performance.

And the same sort of differences can be achieved by installing bigger/smaller physical gears on your bike.


Yes, but that is not what my post was about. My question was asking if the Zwift software recognises smart trainer settings and balances the playing field. Nothing to do with individual bike setup.

You’re asking about the Difficulty slider in the Zwift Settings menu, right?

Why would Zwift be bothered about what users have it set to, given there isn’t a balanced playing field in the first place?


I think he is talking about the grade modifier setting in the Tacx app for trainer. I would expect Zwift to overight that data with … trainer difficulty settings.

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I thought you had miss read my post. No, I am not talking about any Zwift settings, I am talking about smart trainer settings and whether Zwift accommodates variance in gradient resistance when taking part in competitive events. I hope this is clear.

No, not Zwift settings. The grade modifier setting in the Tacx app

That’s only for the Tacx app. Zwift ignores that and gives you the Difficulty slider (which also alters the gradient resistance). So the point is the same.

I assure you, owning a Tacx Neo 2, the two settings are not comparable. The Tacx app setting responds aggressively to increased gradient when set to 100%, diminishing resistance when the setting is reduced.

Thanks for the response, but we are clearly experiencing different things.

i mean, you just change into a harder gear and get out of the saddle whenever you want @ 0% (without eating the savage increase in resistance first which burns the legs until you select correct gear)

basically at 0% you are in full control of how easy/hard the ride feels for the entire ride, whilst at anything else you are not, it is forced upon you, often brutally :smiley: