Speed and resistence for non smart turbos


I am new to Zwift and have set up my turbo using bluetooth speed gadget to record my speed. When I ride in watopia though the speed doesn’t reflect the actual speed I am going as it takes into account the incline of the route I am reading.

If I ride in a group (I haven’t done that yet), what should I do to mimik the difficulty of the route I am riding. When going up a hill, should I increase the resistence of the gears?

I don’t want to do a group ride where everyone has pushed themselves really hard and I have been peddling like I am on the flat (but they have been been going up hills.

Can anyone also recommend a good smart turbo on a budget? One that would change the resistance based on the incline of the route on zwift?

Sorry for all the questions!


Yes, you can do that - essentially shifting your gears opposite of how you would out on real roads to mimic the shifting terrain.

When you get into a group ride, you will see that there won’t be a situation where the group is working hard but you are just cruising.
Assuming your trainer is set up correctly, if you don’t increase your power and work as hard as the group, you will be dropped by the group.
It’s hard to explain but a dumb trainer is not easier on Zwift.
I think more people would be better served with a dumb trainer and a good power source.
It’s a lot less of a fuss.

I recommend the Wahoo Kickr Core. You can google DC Rainmaker for his annual buyers guide to get more options and a good review of them all. Or www.zwiftinsider.com has a new trainer review section you can look at.

Thanks Mike, I will look into that.

Thanks Tim, I think I understand you now, It is all about power output, rather than speed (cadence).

If the group are producing more power they will leave me behind and vice versa.

Is that correct.

Yes, you have to match the groups power changes.
You won’t get the automatic in game cues so you have to pay attention.

Thanks…something I am frequently told I am not very good at! :slight_smile:

Thank you Jesper, I will do that.

Well as long as you have a power source that is! Zwift Power when I started and was demoted an entire class from a :medal_sports: winning B rider to an occasional medal winning C! :sweat_smile: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Wasn’t the best power meter source but still better than Zwift Power. I really like the smart trainer though it saves on my gears when doing workouts that have big spike intervals. You can use the app to make adjustments and stay in the same gear or at least change fewer gears!