Zwift rider moving too slow, dummy trainer

Hello, I am new to Zwift and I think I may need some help with the set-up. I have a canyon speedmax that I’m currently using for indoor training on a dummy trainer. The brand of trainer is Health Line Fitness (Amazon). I purchased wahoo cadence and speed censors for the set-up. I’ve linked the sensors to the zwift app on my computer and made sure I didn’t get the two switched. I went for a 30 minute ride and only averaged 10 mph but I know for sure it should be at least 20 mph. At some points it was only saying I was moving at 2 mph… In the setup menu I’ve chosen the unlisted smart trainer since mine was not included. One issue I did encounter was with the actual mount of the speed sensor on the rear hub of the bike. The rear hub is too narrow to have the sensor mounted flush… so I used some zip ties and mounted the sensors on a thin layer of foam on top of the hub so it would have something flush to mount against. I’m assuming the sensors measure the force using centripetal motion so that shouldn’t be an issue, but yeah. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Because your speed in Zwift is determined by the (estimated, in the case of a dumb trainer) amount of power you are putting out, your speed in-game may be different than what you think it should be (based on what your legs are doing) depending on the terrain. Could it be that you were climbing a number of hills?

The course was relatively flat the entire time. I had to pedal exhaustively just to reach 18 mph and that was on flat terrain. The largest ascent was 4% and other riders were flying past me.

One option is to select a different trainer in Zwift. Since your trainer is not a smart trainer Zwift uses a speed curve to estimate the power you are producing (and each “dumb” trainer has a slightly different power curve). You can play around with picking some of the supported trainers until you find one that produces the results you’d expect for the effort you are putting out. This might take quite a bit of trial and error.

The other option (but costlier) would be to get a power meter (crank or pedal based) and use that as your power source instead of Zwift estimating it based on a power curve of the speed sensor.

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Thank you, that seems like a good suggestion! I’ll try this out and hopefully I’ll have some luck. I appreciate the reply!