Trial Feedback with unsupported trainer


(Mark McDougall (ZBR) (WBR-D)) #1

I’m providing this feedback because, well, you asked for it.

Some background; I’m a relative newcomer to cycling (~5,500km under my belt) and normally ride a MTB on the road - with the occasional off-road jaunt - purely for fitness and leisure. I only recently inherited a JetBlack Fluid (1st generation) trainer and thought it would come in handy for getting a few km in the legs during inclement weather. I have no designs on racing, nor partaking in weekend bunch rides - I don’t even drink coffee!

Being a geek, when I first heard about it the idea of Zwift really excited me. The prospect of sitting on a trainer in the garage staring at my reflection in the window wasn’t quite so exciting, and beyond the sheer technical marvel of it all, the idea of being able to gauge myself against others in a virtual environment really appealed.

I’ve done 4 rides now during my trial period and what I’ve seen thus far is promising. What has frustrated me though is the lack of support for my particular trainer, and in particular the woeful experience of using the “unlisted” option. I tried selecting a few similar trainers, purely to get more of a feel for how it would ride if I did actually have a supported trainer, and whilst it was closer to the mark, it was still a fair bit off.

Having said that, I’m an engineer and have a decent appreciation for the variables that go into such an algorithm and I’m not expecting any miracles at all. But perhaps you may consider - for trial users with “unlisted” trainers - an option that scales/multiplies effort intended purely to give users a taste of what a more experienced - and better-equipped - rider would experience? Similar to “just watching” other riders but a little more interactive.

Beyond that suggestion perhaps added support for more trainers? It would seem to me that adding support for a (dumb) trainer isn’t overly complex or time-consuming, considering the potential increasing in user base as a result.

Finally, overall I was impressed, if not with the current state of affairs then with the potential Zwift has to offer. Sadly for me however, without a supported trainer it’s all-but-useless. If & when I do find myself in a position to upgrade my trainer, I will certainly give Zwift another look and I can definitely see myself jumping on board!

Regards,

Mark


(Jason K) #2

Just to be sure, you have something other than the Jetblack Fluid Z1? I don’t think we’re aware of any older models from JB, so that should be the correct power curve. As long as your setup matches the rest of our standards it should give accurate readings.

If you do have another trainer model, let us know. It’s not a trivial matter to add new trainers (we also need to physically own the trainer to calculate its power curve), but we keep track of all trainer requests and add new ones based on demand.


(Mark McDougall (ZBR) (WBR-D)) #3

Thanks Jason.

I’ve emailed JB about this trainer, it’s the one reviewed here in a 2010 online article. Dave Grupe from JB have advised that it’s the “version one fluid trainer” which obviously pre-dates their usage of “Z1” etc. I’ve just asked JB to confirm whether it has the same power curve as the Z1… will advise when I receive a response.