Those using a BikeErg - what do you do on hills?

So I have a very similar bike to a Concept 2 BikeErg except mine also has magnetic resistance in addition to the air resistance.

It’s a ‘dumb trainer’ in the sense nothing automatically adjusts, but it does output power and seems fairly accurate.

My question is, especially as I plan to do more hilly courses is how do I guess what resistance to put it on to make it ‘fair’?

On hills, my avatar obviously slows down and I can either pedal faster to increase power or put the resistance up.

Is there a way to figure out what would be similar to a smart trainer? IE if I keep my cadence the same should my power output stay the same on hills if I increase the resistance the right amount?

Do not adjust the resistance of the trainer, leave at the setting specified on the Pairing Screen. You should only shift gears on a non-smart trainer.

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There is no setting specified on the pairing screen - it’s NOT a smart trainer and it doesn’t have “gears” as such.

The mechanical concept of the BikeErg leaves you nothing but the damper setting (and the magnetic resistance you mentioned) to simulate a climb or higher efforts. As we don´t know what trainer you use we cannot tell how the magnetic resistance affects the wattage output. If it increases with higher resistance but constant cadence that´s your way to go, but it will be hard to tell if the wattage is correct (“fair”) or not.

If your wattage goes up with higher resistance at constant cadence you use your trainer like any “dumb” trainer - you increase the resistance manually when going uphill or you accept that you´re getting slower.

There is a list of approved trainers for Zwift, maybe you find your trainer in that list? If not it´s not possible to tell if your trainer´s output is correct.

Did you miss the part where it’s a BikeErg, or that it doesn’t have gears?

I just looked up your spin bike. Without a real power meter to tell you how many Watts you are putting out you just have to guess.

The BikeErg is very accurate with the power output it displays.

That’s correct, but you mentioned a “very similar bike to a Concept 2 BikeErg“ so you actually know nothing about the accuracy.

It’s a direct copy, it measures power exactly the same (I have used a C2 BikeErg as well).

Not sure how people are “looking it up” then when I didn’t even specify what it was? Also not sure how any of this is relevant to the original question.

I think the word dumb trainer confused the topic.

So to answer your question, assuming your spin bike transmit a power number to Zwift (pair as power source). Then you can adjust the resistance as much as you want. If you lower the resistance you will just go slower up the hill. Same as someone changing gears.

I’ll take a stab.
I too use a non interactive smart trainer.
The definition of this is a trainer that accurately reports watts but does not change resistance automatically.

I ride on a regular road bike so I shift gears to increase resistance.
You will have to adjust the resistance by what ever method your trainer allows you to.

So your question is “how much”.
I use 2 methods

  1. I increase the resistance (gears) to the extent needed to keep up with the riders I’m with.
    It’s not easier and I hang on as long as possible or we get to the top and they ease off or I get dropped.
    This is using the other riders in the game to judge your resistance.

  2. I will also set some mental rules such as 5% grade I’ll be in xx gear, 10% grade yy gear.

I hope this helps.