TRAINER DIFFICULTY - naming change

And so we go round in circles. This is where I start again with “no it’s not.” :smiley:

But if they want us to think of it like that, then they should quantify the effect and provide some sort of lookup table so we can say what our bike’s actual gearing equates to in the virtual world at the current setting…

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The trainer difficulty slider should be renamed trainer resistance variability. I think a lot of the confusion about the slider comes from the fact that people think about it in terms of its effect on the in-game environment. But it has no effect on the environment. It doesn’t adjust the grade. And it doesn’t adjust the gearing ratio. All that it does is adjust the range of the trainer’s available resistance. At 100% you’ll feel the maximum range that the trainer is capable of producing. At 0% you’ll feel a flat resistance from the trainer that will never change. The power that you produce is entirely dependent on the force that you’re applying at whatever Cadence you need to overcome the trainer’s resistance. Zwift doesn’t care what the resistance in the trainer is while you’re producing that power. Zwift only cares what the value of the power is. It will convert that power to speed given the in-game environment like grade rider weight, height, draft, etc. So my vote for a rename would be to Trainer Resistance Variability.


My opinion: relating this setting to gearing/cassettes will cause way more confusion. Not only do many cyclists not understand gearing, but also: this analogy only works UPhill. Downhill it’s the opposite!

Set at 10% and you’ll have all the gears you need going up hill. And you also won’t spin out on descents, since it’s only giving you 10% of the gradient. So you feel like you have a wide cassette range on the climbs, and a narrow range on the descents.

Set at 100% and you’ll have to shift a lot on climbs, maybe even run out of gears. And you may spin out on the descents.

Gearing analogy just doesn’t work. I don’t understand why people always want to use it. And there’s no way Zwift would go for it!

“Gradient Feel” or “Trainer Realism” get my vote.


I think it’s unclear what the effect will be if we talk in these terms.

At the extremes, sure, it is simple enough. But at “halfway”, it seems far less clear.

For example, a Tacx Vortex can simulate up to 7%.

At “Max” trainer difficulty, you’ll get 7% on a 7% hill, and 7% on a 10% hill.

But at halfway, what? On that 10% hill? We’ve cast it in terms of the range the trainer can emulate, so 50% here could mean simulating a 3.5% gradient, because the trainer can only produce up to 7%. But it could also mean simulating 5%, because that’s half of 10% and the trainer can manage it. That’s 71% of the maximum range that the trainer is capable of producing; so the “halfway” slider position becomes disconnected from trainer range.

Ride comfort adjuster.

Save your knees setting thingy.

Graidient Simulation or Climb difficulty

             Virtual Cassette Changer

<- low gearing ------------------------- high gearing ->

So many options…
Why not just leave the naming field empty and everyone will name it as they wish.


Gearing scope

There appears to be two different issues. The first is the change in gradient which has no effect on distance traveled with respect to wattage or physical effort. The second is the effect this has on what gears people use based on the gradient setting. The slider affects the first directly which then has the effect of leading to gearing changes depending on what one’s set up is.


Hi all,

For my understanding the trainer difficulty is nothing more than a virtual cassette for the people that want to climb and do not have a real climbing cassette. So, why dont you change the % percentage on the difficulty bar to cassette numbers? that will make it easier for people to figure it out which difficulty to choose depending on the ride they are doing.

Just my opinion.