UPDATE: 1 July 2019 - New Wattbike Firmware released which MAY address the issues set out below. Further update to come
Continuing the discussion from Gear sticks on 4:
There appear to be multiple issues with the Wattbike and Zwift relating to resistance control in bike mode.
There is a “guide” on the Wattbike site relating to Zwifting and the approach you need to adopt to achieve smooth results - leaving aside for a moment the advertising puff around ultimate bike feel etc that Wattbike claim - the biggest problem is that relatively small changes in cadence and output result in huge adjustments to the Wattbike resistance feel.
So one would expect that “freewheeling” would not elicit an automatic reset to gear 1 or equally a 10 rpm drop in cadence causing the bike to adjust my gears. If I want to mash the climb then let me mash it. Standing up becomes a bit of a lottery if you cannot control cadence and output.
It is outstandingly frustrating and made doubly irritating by Wattbike’s insistence that this is all perfectly “normal”.
I would suggest that what is happening is that Zwift cannot register the automatic changes in the Wattbike gear mode caused by cadence or power variations. So when Wattbike shifts from 11 to 0 in an instant the reporting of the actual gear fails at Zwift level as it has received no user input for the change. Probably made worse by the user frantically pressing the virtual shifters up to stop spinning out.
There appear to be some fundamental flaws with the way in which the Atom interacts with Zwift for the amateur Zwifters amongst us and while a software override to imitate what one experiences in real life ie in the wrong gear on the slope ought to be simple, this currently appears to be beyond the whit of Wattbike to implement.
The Wattbike Atom is currently a great Erg and not so hot bike simulator - unless you are ruthlessly consistent and perspicacious - would be good if Wattbike came down from the mountain and spoke to the common folk about what would work.