Thoroughly disappointed with Zwift

I bought a Kickr V5 in late December 2020 and fell in love with Zwift immediately. I would say the Kickr paired with the Zwift experience was truly a game changer for my physical and emotional well-being this past year.

However, as time has went on the Zwift experience has gotten progressively worse with every update. The main reason being for me is that resistance issues with the Kickr have not been addressed or barely even acknowledged outside of a few threads in this forum. Kickr users have had to revert firmware updates to ensure resistance works “most” of the time. With the last few updates, even that doesn’t work.

I hate to leave Zwift because I thoroughly enjoy it when everything is working as intended and think it can be an excellent product. At this point I can’t really justify using it though. I have two small kids and a very short time window each day to workout/train. Too many times now, tinkering with Zwift’s issues and quirks have prevented me from working out or vastly shortened that small time window I already had.

I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. With that being said, how many of you have switched to other products? If you did, which ones can you recommend? And have they had similar glitches and resistance issues with your smart trainer?

At this point I mainly do workouts in ERG mode as opposed to free rides and races. I quit doing races (which I used to enjoy) because it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not my trainer will have the correct resistance which forces me to have to quit anyway.

If workouts are your main thing anyway, you might try Trainerroad. It has good structured workouts and I haven’t heard about it having the Kickr issues with resistance that Zwift has. But unfortunately it thoroughly lacks Zwift’s atmosphere.

Some months ago I experimented with using Trainerroad (TR) and Zwift at the same time. I let TR control the trainer (ERG), and used Zwift for its much more interesting scenery. I ran TR on my phone via Bluetooth and Zwift on my MacBook via ANT+. Overall I liked this set up — TR’s workout plans were more customizable and Zwift graphics plus chat kept me engaged. (I usually rode on a TT bike on Zwift while I did this so folks were less likely to try to ride with me as workouts cause you seem erractic if no one can tell you are doing one.) Ultimately the only downside was paying for two overlapping services. It was also slightly annoying that Zwift and TR would both upload the same ride to Strava, but I was easily able to delete the duplicate.

Zwift Insider explains how to use both platforms simultaneously on a PC at the link below if you’re interested.

I’ve also recently trialed RGT and the graphics unfortunately lag and hang on MacBooks, so that was a no go. I had also previously tried Rouvy, but at the time I didn’t really like the way the cycling avatar sat in the “real world” courses. It didn’t meld for me. But I may give it another go soon.

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Why update the Kickr firmware if it works? I haven’t updated my Kickr V5 since the purchase and it still works just as it should.

A couple things here:

  1. I’ve ultimately rolled back my firmware to 4.2.1 and everything was working OK for awhile after I did that.
  2. Resistance consistently doesn’t work again now I’m still on that old version. It sounds like the latest issues are affecting most types of trainers though.
  3. There is a reason why Wahoo is updating their firmware whether that be for efficiency, functionality, etc. Wahoo has always not recommended rolling back the firmware. My longterm concern is that using the old firmware could affect the longevity of the trainer.
  4. The times things did work on the Kickr’s latest firmware, resistance changes seemed smoother. Maybe that one’s in my head though.

Either way I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have the paid software’s core functionality work with it’s most popular trainer especially since the software costs $15/month and the trainer cost $1,200.