Why am I so slow up hills?

In group rides or races, I seem to keep up fine on the flats or downhill, even gaining a bit downhill. But as soon as I get to an uphill, it seems the whole field shoots past me.

I have the latest Wahoo Kickr, trainer difficultly now set quite low at 20% (previously was at 50% with same issue).

I am quite light at around 62kg, FTP around 180W. I would have thought this would favour me uphill. I’ve looked at comparative power stats vs others on same segments, but can’t really work it out, my wattage seems to stay constant.

My only theory is that others increase their wattage uphill, and maybe I am not increasing as much, and any wattage difference is exacerbated on a hill. Anyone else seeing something similar or know what I need to do to keep up?

Thanks.

Is it possible that you are somehow stuck in ERG mode?

Assuming there is nothing wrong with the trainer, it is possible that since your trainer difficulty is set in the lower range, you may actually need to gear up at the bottom in order to put out more watts on the climbs.

That’s probably the correct assumption. Races are made on the climbs so we increase power on any climb. All my race peak power is on climbs.

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This is probably true. You can confirm or deny this by checking other riders’ w/kg on the nearby zwifters display. Try setting your trainer difficulty to 70% or higher. Your wattage will naturally increase on the climbs.