The Trainer Difficulty slider… The Voodoo setting…
For the purposes of this, completely ignore what Zwift officially say about this setting changing the gradient.
ITS ABOUT THE GEARING.
SLIDER @ 100% = YOUR ACTUAL GEARING
I will use my own setup as the example:
I am a TT’er and I use my TT bike on a Tacx Neo.
I race with 53/39 on the front and 11-23 on the rear.
I mirror this on the Tacx Neo with an 11-23 cassette.
(my FTP is 290, weight 87kg, w/kg 3.33)
As you can imagine for TT’ing, my setup works for me. However, when riding in Zwift, 39/23 is not the ideal gear ratio for the steeper gradients. Imagine using this gear outside for real on a really steep long climb…
This is where the Trainer Difficulty slider comes in.
100% on this slider for me would = my actual gears (53/39 11-23)
However, If I want to ride say the Epic KOM or Alp Du Zwift and I want to mimic a lower gearing setup of say 50/34 12-28 which would give me better climbing gearing and a better higher cadence during the climbs, then I would lower the difficulty slider to MIMIC SMALLER GEAR RATIOS
THIS is what the slider does, it allows you to alter your gearing to mimic smaller and smaller gear ratios.
I don’t know the ‘exact’ ratios it mimics as you adjust the slider downwards from 100% but this I would say, would be down to experimenting with finding a setting that gives you the cadence you require for the course you are riding.
The Gradient is always the same (ignore zwift’s official wording if this helps), its your gearing that changes.
So, if your bike and trainer have the same cassette then 100% = your actual gears
Want to know what riding Alp du Zwift would be like on your real bike,with your actual gearing? use 100%
Have large gear ratios like my TT bike but want to do a hilly course with lots of climbing? - drop the slider down until you get a comfortable cadence on the steepest gradients in your lowest gear.