[Solved] Training plan is broken. Request: 400W Limit Removal during Workouts?

(John) #1

Dear Team Zwift,

Several years ago I purchased my trainer. It’s unlisted on Zwift and works great and I see no technical need to replace it (not competitive). Because it’s not listed it is subject to the 400W-maximum. This makes sense to me and I support that limit to curb system abuse. The issue for me is that this effectively breaks training plans and other workouts with >400W sprint segments.

The CRIT crusher (for instance) tells the rider to go at 556W 10 seconds. The hard-limit prevents me from knowing whether I’m at 556W or 500W or 600W. You may say, “just click up the resistance level on the trainer”. Well, sure, I can turn up the resistance configuration to “2”; but then all of my stats are out-of-wack and my FTP is irrelevant. I’m at the resistance configuration level “1” because according to my Strava power estimates it’s roughly ± 30W (much more accurate than the next level “2”).

I’d love for the “400W” maximum to be removed only during workouts so that I can properly execute a training plan. Right now I am not sure if I’m doing the plan’s workout correctly because of the hard-limit and I feel bummed out about it.

Thanks for the great product. I hope this feedback helps. Zwift has been a game changer for me and I hope we can take it to the next level. Ride on!

Best regards,

P.S. & off-topic: Scraping Strava data might be a method to support unlisted trainers by comparing stats like heart rate, wheel speed, and cadence to calibrate wattage on unlisted trainers. Then query users to see which res configuration levels the trainer is in and you can probably have a “smart” unlisted trainer detection method using neural-networks. That would probably be a low-priority, but it’s an idea none-the-less.

(Nigel ) #2

Strava power estimates are very inaccurate from my experience of riding with and without a power meter.

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(Gerrie Delport TeamODZ) #3

My suggestion would be to look for a supported trainer. Or a power meter to use with your current trainer.

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(John) #4

Thank you for your reply Gerrie, but it sounds like your suggestion is for me and surely many other Zwifters to pay an additional $500+ on a trainer when they already own one, or spend $500-$750 for a power meter.

You see, I already pay $170 per year for Zwift and have spent well over a thousand dollars on gear, sensors, a bike, etc. Your suggestion is not an option for me. I’m happy that it is for you, but it is not for me.

The suggestion I’m placing forward here is for the Zwift engineers to add a logical condition which turns off the power cap during a workout. If you have feedback regarding that, please share.

Best regards,

(John) #5

They do seem very erratic.

(Fez) #6

Please correct me if I am wrong, but is it not the case that trainers simply cannot measure with any accuracy wattages that go above their max based on how they are constructed? Even the best direct drive trainers have max wattages. You should check with the manufacturer to see its max.

(Gerrie Delport TeamODZ) #7

Hi @John_S1: I do agree upgrading does not sound like best option cost wise but trust me it will give you a much better experience.

You are currently on a unsupported trainer and therefore you don’t know if you are are 5%,10% or 50% from you actual power numbers.

I have looked at all the options and cane to the conclusion that a power meter with a dumb trainer is the most cost efficient way to get the best experience.

I have seen used ant+ power tap wheels for under $200.

Stages has one for $320.

(Mike) #8

I’ve seen used dumb trainers on facebook marketplace for as low as $30 that are supported by Zwift… which gets me thinking… maybe the Zwift forums should have a category/section for posting used equipment for sale. It would probably need to be separated by geographical region however…

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(Gerrie Delport TeamODZ) #9

craigslist also have a few.

If you have to get a dumb trainer then pick one that is supported and one with a high power curve.

What trainer do you have?

(John) #10

I bought this guy back in 2014: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004I576SM/ – each level packs a punch with its magnet/steel combo. Thanks for the informative link! I have been wondering about the curves. I’ll select one with a high-curve per your suggestion. The magnet/steel combo packs a punch behind each click not to mention the taut adjustment screw at the base.

(John) #11

Hi @Fez_Rockbottom – I am less concerned about accuracy and more with consistency since the only time I need to rock out above 400W is during a workout. The algorithms they use to measure power based on cadence + speed alone seem very consistent to me.

My trainer doesn’t even attempt to measure power. It only has a strong magnet, a thick steel rotor, and a cable w/ lever to adjust the position of the magnet. I rely on the cadence and speed sensors to feed into the Zwift power algorithm. That seems to be consistent enough for my needs.

(John) #12

Here’s the latest model in the line: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077HNP4YB/

They’re selling it without the plastic caps which break w/in a day (led to more accurate reviews).

(John) #13

They did adjust each “click” level by one though, so now it goes up to six. I find the photographs of equivilent level of outdoor activity accurate.

(John) #14

Seems like the newest version is now the #1 trainer on amazon:

(Gerrie Delport TeamODZ) #15

@John_S1: If you can find a friend with a power meter you can record the power meter and the calculated power from Zwift, and find a supported trainer profile that match.

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(Paul) #16

Ya, I would rather take my trainer purchasing advice from: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/11/trainer-buyers-recommendations-guide.html

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