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Discussion: Zwift

in: Adventure Racing; General

Dec 17, 2019 3:48 PM # 
OK, since my last post was kind of a downer, how about something more fun?
Anyone using Zwift for training purposes? Wondering if it might be a fun holiday gift for a certain special someone in my life.
Dec 17, 2019 4:51 PM # 
Yes, well worth a monthly subscription in the winter months.
Dec 18, 2019 3:56 AM # 
Dec 18, 2019 7:58 AM # 
Zwift changed my life (for the better)
Dec 18, 2019 1:03 PM # 
i prefer TrainerRoad since it was easier to set up, and i like the “less social” aspect. just an introvert’s perspective :). also, doesn’t your special someone read these threads? or are you asking for a friend? :)
Dec 19, 2019 3:35 PM # 
Hi Silky, we do have TrainerRoad and we like it a lot. But wondering if the social aspects of virtual racing in Zwift might have a higher enjoyment factor, instead of the sufferfest feeling of knowing how many intervals you have remaining on TrainerRoad. Also, yes that certain special someone does have an AP presence, but I keep things unpredictable so she never knows what I'm up to :)
Dec 20, 2019 3:52 AM # 
Best training decision I have ever made for the cold months! Social aspect is great but I especially enjoy the workout programs and although cartoony the scenery is fantastic as well.
Dec 20, 2019 8:04 PM # 
I use Zwift and it's been great and motivating. You can engage in the social aspect as much or little as you want, but I can say the few "races" that I've participated in there have definitely motivated me to push way harder than I normally would.
Dec 23, 2019 3:05 PM # 
OK, you've convinced us! Hope to see you all on the virtual trail sometime soon.
Dec 23, 2019 6:32 PM # 
Wait, shouldn't it be as sucky as possible to build up mental toughness? Like just a resistance knob and no display?
Apr 1, 2020 1:08 PM # 
TrainerRoad has now introduced Group Workouts. You can invite up to 4 or 5 of your friends to do the same workout as you. :-) Anybody else on TR?
Apr 2, 2020 8:50 PM # 
Kateness is now situated comfortably in Watopia, but I'm holding out, and I recently joined RGT, which is offering a free Premium trial through the coronavirus crisis. If there's anyone out there looking for a free knock-off of Zwift, I've been enjoying RGT thus far and can help give you more info if you want it.
However, I will say that it's acting like a gateway drug...every time I talk to Kate about all the features I want in RGT, she says Zwift already has them added.
Apr 17, 2020 2:58 PM # 
So I've signed up for a month of Zwift, and I'm having a problem that I'm wondering if you fellow Zwift/AR crossover types can help with. I'm pretty much only using my biggest gear, maybe just downshifting once on the steepest climbs. On easier climbs, flats, and downhills, I run out of gears and can only reach half-power, to the point where I'm free-spinning some of the time on flats all the downhills.
I'm riding my 1x11 MTB, and I think that's the base of the problem. I've looked all through the Zwift forums and only seen frustration from others with the same issue - no answers from Zwift. It seems there is no way (like in TrainerRoad) of increasing the difficulty settings or the magnification of resistance in Zwift. Am I missing something? Anyone else here ride mountain bike on Zwift, and have you encountered the same problem?
Apr 17, 2020 5:35 PM # 
FAR FROM AN EXPERT in this area but while Playing with my kickr and zwift I found myself in ERG mode and experienced the same symptoms. Is is possible you have it in Erg mode?


You will no longer feel course gradient changes. This is important to understand. When in ERG mode, Zwift will ignore any changes in course gradients. It will only adjust resistance according to your intervals. However, it will still calculate your speed based on your power and take course terrain into account.
Your trainer will automatically adjust the resistance to reach your target watts. If the interval calls for 200 watts, the trainer will increase resistance until you reach 200 watts regardless if you pedal at 120 rpm or 50 rpm. The slower your cadence the higher the resistance.
No need to shift gears.
Apr 17, 2020 5:52 PM # 
I concur on the erg mode but in free ride I don’t have any issues. I’m on a 2x warbird.
Apr 19, 2020 12:39 AM # 
Got back on the bike today and continued my frustrating experience in the freeride mode, during which I couldn't figure out how to toggle the ERG mode.
But then I did a workout and that did have an ERG mode I could activate, and i had a really good ride...I'm wondering, does ERG mode work in freeride?
Apr 19, 2020 2:28 AM # 
Erg mode does work in Freeride but only to provide a little variation in resistance as the little block kind of shows when you create the workout. Besides that slight input the majority of the resistance just comes from your gear selection. Need more power, shift down on the rear derailleur just like you do outdoors essentially. However, I can see where a 1x set-up would be too easy in the Freeride block and lead to frustration.
Apr 19, 2020 3:00 AM # 
Thanks JXC...In Freeride, I run out of gears on the flats...I can get up to around 170W with my biggest gear but that's not enough to keep up any kind of steady ride. Too bad there's no way to toggle up the difficulty, as you can do with the Companion app during a workout session or with TrainerRoad. Unless I'm missing something?
Apr 20, 2020 9:22 PM # 
StrongMachine - I found the same issue when I tried Zwift on the weekend. It doesn't seem possible to wind up the power on the flat sections. However power does increase on the ascents.
Apr 21, 2020 1:35 AM # 
Well, they billed me twice, so now I have the perfect excuse to call and try to get an explanation. Will update you all if I get an answer.
May 8, 2020 11:08 PM # 
@strongmachine just curious if you got anywhere? I ride my mtb on zwift and have never been able to freeride or race because I cant figure this out....
May 11, 2020 12:56 PM # 
Hi P-K, well I haven't been riding recently since our gears fell off our Wahoo trainer. We've been waiting for a crank-arm to repair it, so my efforts on this front went on the back-burner for a bit.

However, last week, I posted on the Zwift forum to try to get a definitive answer. This is what I received for a response:

"Just as when you ride with friends on road bikes, you might spin out your top gear riding outdoors on flat pavement because your gearing range is limited on the top end vs. a road bike. You’ll run into some of that in game as well, because many trainers in general (and direct-drive trainers specifically) are designed around road bikes.

In game, we have some sections of gravel and dirt surfaces which add virtual rolling resistance and that’s when your gravel bike would have an advantage vs a road bike, which would feel overgeared. At this time today, there’s only a handful of dirt trails in Zwift, but we do have plans to add more off-road features in the future.

Not sure how feasible it is to put a bigger chainring on your Niner for indoor training, but if 1) a 48 or 50 teeth ring (or larger) is available for your crankset and 2) there’s enough chainstay clearance for that ring, you might consider that option?"

At this point, I'm not considering buying a new chainring just for my Zwifting, so I guess I'm SOL. I still don't understand why the game can't make the +/- resistance feature currently available for Workouts via the companion app available in Free Ride mode.
May 11, 2020 4:32 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
LOL at "might consider 50T ring"

Current 1x maxes:

Rip 9 = 34T
Jet 9 = 36T
RKT 9 = 38T
Air 9 = 36T
Sir 9 = 36T

So not even just the ring, you'd need a 2x or 3x crank...many of which don't ship stock with anything resembling 48T...FB marketplace/craiglist/bikesdirect for a road bike?
May 11, 2020 6:06 PM # 
Steps I found useful when my MTB was on the trainer with Zwift
1. Go into setting and move the trainer difficulty to max. It is set at 50% as default. I have the Wahoo Kicker and see the bar once the trainer is paired.
2. Ride routes that go up hill. Epic KOM with Radio tower until you open Alp de Zwift. The steeper and longer the hill the better. You're still likely going to run out of gears on flats. Practice getting those RPMs up to over 100 so at least your lungs get a workout.

3. There is a good MTB specific workout and once you start the you just stay in the same gear and the smart does all the "shifting: to make it harder.
4. you can also create you own training plan and then adjust watts up or down
while riding.

Other options: pick the slowest heaviest bike in your garage (the MTB is pretty ). Make your aviator fatter and taller. It's the opposite of weight doping for e-racing.

Once I tossed an old road bike on the trainer it made
May 13, 2020 12:16 AM # 
Thanks Mr. Wonderful for the bike info - definitely not buying new components just so I can Zwift. And Robsmith, appreciate the tips.

I think the bottom line - and this was my hunch from the beginning, is that Zwift is made for road bikes. You can make do with a mountain bike but honestly I've found I got a much better workout with TrainerRoad, though it's less fun and more work. Depends what you're after, I guess.
May 21, 2020 11:13 AM # 
Could you play with Zwift settings like your weight to at least increase resistance on climbs? My trainer has a smaller road cassette on there, but I use a bike with a big front ring too.
Not that I use Zwift all that much though, so no expert.

Incidentally, I’m using my road recumbent, which is in reality produces less watts on climbs but is faster on flats and descents, which Zwift can’t handle either. Closest equivalent is the TT bike.
May 30, 2020 12:23 AM # 
Well, the Zwift saga continues. I've had pretty good success with Workouts, especially after re-testing my FTP, which came out a solid 30 points higher on Zwift than TrainerRoad (weird, right?).
Last night, I tried another Freeride, and intentionally chose a flat course to try to figure this thing out once and for all. Even with my new FTP, I couldn't get above 110 watts in my hardest gear. So I looked in the settings and the difficulty was already at max. Then I changed my weight to 150 kg, then 300, then 3,000 kg (!) and got no change in resistance on the gears. So I trimmed myself down to 30 kg, and besides going from Jabba the Hut to emaciated zombie, it made no visible difference in the resistance. So I finished out my unsatisfying ride and have vowed never to do another Freeride on Zwift.
The Workouts are getting better, though, so I'll stick with those for a bit, but in the near-future, I'm likely heading back to TrainerRoad for a superior workout experience.
Jun 3, 2020 9:10 AM # 
I'm enjoying the MeetUp function on Zwift. This enables you to ride with your mates and keep you together with a virtual 'elastic band' around you all even though you all have different FTPs/fitness levels. You need to toggle a switch in the MeetUp to enable the 'elastic band'.
Jun 22, 2020 1:11 AM # 
@strongmachine I haven’t read this whole post, but have you done a spindown?
Jun 22, 2020 9:47 AM # 
Did a vEverest on Zwift yesterday!
Jun 22, 2020 7:19 PM # 
Jayzus, that's nuts!

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