Workout: Cadence Issues

(Mike Thorson) #1

Hey. I was unable to find a resolve for this. I am having cadence problems. New to zwift, and not sure if this is a setting or issue with trainer compatability.

Trainer: Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control.

The cadence reporting in Zwift increases/decreases based on grade rather than my actual performance. During interval workouts cadence seems to almost always be off. Pretty demoralizing to fail workouts because cadence interval calls for 100 RPM but I’m climbing a hill and showing 50.

Does anyone have a resolve?


(Gerrie Delport) #2

Do you use a cadence sensor or do you rely on the Kinetic to report cadence


(Mike Thorson) #3

I rely on the Kurt Kinetic to report the cadence. It show it as paired. 

(Paul Allen) #4


I think what Gerrie is getting at is that the cadence for the Kinetic is not very accurate and that you should be using an external sensor for it.

(Mike Thorson) #5

Thanks Paul. Is it usual for a inaccurate cadence sensor to impact workout mode like I’m experiencing though?

When in workout mode and changing grade my reported cadence changes, even though I know I’m maintaining the same cadence.

(Carl Eschenburg) #6

Mike I experienced the exact same problem about three days ago and I agree it was frustrating to say the least.

My cadence would drop along with my speed in relationship to the grade at the time. The crazy thing is that my cadence in the “real” world didn’t change at all. So to be clear…I’d be peddaling at a cadence of 90-95 and the game would show my cadence dropping to about half of actual as the grade in the game increased.

No matter what I did in game, paused workout, repaired cadence sensor etc. it would not fix the situation. 

I finsihed the workout ride (which was in ERG mode) and then turned everything off and rebooted my Zwift machine too. When I rebooted everything and reconnnect d all my sensors the next day everything was back to normal and I haven’t had any problems since.

i hope you have a similar experience if you try to reboot and repair all your sensors as well. 

Good luck!

(Mike Thorson) #7

Thanks for the response Carl and potential solution! Rebooting right now and will report back after my workout.

Thanks again,


(Mike Thorson) #8

Restarting computer did not resolve. I also uninstalled and reinstalled.

Did a VO2 group ride today and cadence was reporting half of what I was actually peddling when going up hills. Frustrating.

(Carl Eschenburg) #9

Mike, I’m sorry to hear the reboot didn’t help. :frowning:

The only other thing I could thing of is a signal issue with your cadence sensor. Is it possible there could be some interference or maybe a low batter issue? I’ve heard stories of Zwift going into simulated cadence mode when it losses communication with a cadence sensor. Might be worth checking out?

(Mike Alexander) #10

Hey Mike,

I noticed my cadence seemed erratic on my trainer too.  The trainer has no way to know what your cadence is, so I’m sure they all have their own algorithm for estimation.  Use an external cadence sensor if you want that info - Although I don’t think Zwift uses cadence data for anything other that showing your legs pumping on your avatar.

(Joe Daknis) #11

@Mike Alexander,

The issue is that some workouts in Zwift have a cadence target for the intervals (ride at X watts at 90 rpm for 5 minutes, ride at Y watts at 60 RPM for 2 minutes, and so on). 

When your cadence is more than +/- 5 RPM off from the target, you’re told to ‘SPIN FASTER!’ or ‘SPIN SLOWER!’ in much the same way you’re told to increase or decrease power.  So, you effectively have two targets to hit at the same time.  I’m guessing here because I never had an issue with it - but presumably you can ‘fail’ a workout interval (no star / XP) if your cadence spends too much time outside the target window even if your power is spot-on.

To the OP: I second (third, fourth, whatever) the suggestion to use an external cadence sensor.

(deborah nixon) #12

I have the exact same problem and posted a question about this. I’m always failing my workout and have no idea how that affect me.  What is the impact of no star/xp? I’m new and dont’ know if I should care about this. 

I read another post from a person having the same problem.  It must be a zwift glitch. 

(Gerrie Delport) #13
  1. As stated before you need to use a dedicated cadence sensor if you are looking for accurate cadence numbers.

  2. I you are using ERG mode in workouts then you need to adjust/change your gears to be in the correct cadence zone. 

  3. If you still have a hard time, try to turn off ERG and use the resistance buttons and your gears.


Not getting a star does not effect anything. the stars are there for motivation, if you know you did your best and you know why you did not get a star then the workout worked. 

Your legs and fitness does not know if you got a star or not. LOL

let us know what worked. 

Good luck.

(Mike Alexander) #14

Thanks for adding to this post @Gerrie Delport!

Good to know stars do not equal XP.  (I thought I was missing out on XP).

My experience in ERG mode (with a smart trainer) is that gear selection is irrelevant.  If i’m in the big ring and small sprocket on the cassette, the trainer will maintain the target wattage regardless of my cadence.  I like to use small ring/big cassette sprocket to keep noise down.

(Gerrie Delport) #15

Yes Mike I agree that the gear selection “should not” matter.

But some trainers has a band of cadence / power ranges that just work better at specific blocks. 

(Johnny Enemark) #16

I have a Tacx Bushido paired to Apple TV. I am pretty sure that Zwift uses cadence in erg mode. Recently my cadence (from trainer) keeps randomly dropping to 0. Interesting this affect the Erg mode on a workout, the trainer increases the resistant dramatically until I come to a standstill. Once I can no longer turn the cranks and stop the resistance comes down again and allows me to start pedaling again.