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Chrace




Joined: 28 Apr 2010
Posts: 2906
Location: Eating a Yorkie

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:00 pm    Post subject: Feedback turbo trainers Reply with quote

My turbo is "smart" in the sense it has a powermeter and Ant+/Bluetooth but that's it. So far I've just been trundling along to Game of Thrones but I've now completed series 7 and was pondering Swift.

I guess it's all personal but how much more do you rate a feedback enabled trainer vs a PM only?
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hammerer




Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rode with PM and KK road on Zwift since Beta, bought a neo nearly 2 years ago and it transformed Zwift. Makes it a much more immersive experience. You could probably get some good deals on Neo 1 now Neo 2 is out. Erg mode on Sufferfest is also good until you get the spiral of death Wink
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 838
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having upgraded from a wheel on trainer to a direct drive trainer, I can say that the experience is much better. Initially I used the trainer as the power meter, but now using my bike power meter as the power source and Zwift just controls the resistance of the trainer.

I have a first generation TACX Flux, which was really cheap when the Flux 2 was released in the Autumn.

Zwift does a really good job of simulating riding up hills accurately, although the descents are pretty poor... in a race everyone pushes out big W on the descents, when in reality people would be recovering on the downhills
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Location: Kingston

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zwift is truly awful at simulating resistance, it assumes the CdA of a bus, it's not remotely accurate, even when it's driving a trainer that could be accurate (one with a motor that can properly simulate descents, not that the flux has that) Obviously if you're riding "uphill" at 5km an hour, CdA is pretty irrelevant so it's much more accurate there.

It's why I zwift with the feedback switched off, despite having a neo.
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 451
Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best any trainer (without a motor) can do on downhills is drop to it's resistance floor but that can still be fairly high (E.g. I can't go below 100W on my Bkool in the big ring at anything like normal cadence - that's me usual rest level between intervals so have to drop to small ring)

Bkool software does a weird thing where it artificially increases your speed on downhills based on gradient & power. It took me ages to work out why I was getting a different distance to my Garmin but only on real world courses not interval workouts etc.

Erg mode is great but there is also something to be said for the extra concentration of hitting a power target yourself. I've got some resistance rollers and have done a few sessions on those which are a different kind of challenge; balancing, changing gear and hitting a power figure all at the same time.

A fully smart trainer is a definite improvement but I'm still not desperate to spend every spare minute on the trainer and overall I would still class it as a boring activity, just marginally better with a full control trainer.
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
Zwift is truly awful at simulating resistance, it assumes the CdA of a bus, it's not remotely accurate, even when it's driving a trainer that could be accurate (one with a motor that can properly simulate descents, not that the flux has that) Obviously if you're riding "uphill" at 5km an hour, CdA is pretty irrelevant so it's much more accurate there.

It's why I zwift with the feedback switched off, despite having a neo.


Even up Alpe Du Zwift I am riding at 13+kph

What really annoys me is the transition from an uphill section to a downhill, if the feedback is set high, at the transition, my Flux records a big dip in power, by which time all of the people with the feedback turned off completely are 2 seconds down the hill and I have lost the draft. Now that I am using a PM rather than the Flux as the source of power, it is better, but you have to be really quick to grab a bigger gear to keep the power up
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TriSam




Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 1299
Location: Tunbridge Wells

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:
jibberjim wrote:
Zwift is truly awful at simulating resistance, it assumes the CdA of a bus, it's not remotely accurate, even when it's driving a trainer that could be accurate (one with a motor that can properly simulate descents, not that the flux has that) Obviously if you're riding "uphill" at 5km an hour, CdA is pretty irrelevant so it's much more accurate there.

It's why I zwift with the feedback switched off, despite having a neo.


Even up Alpe Du Zwift I am riding at 13+kph

What really annoys me is the transition from an uphill section to a downhill, if the feedback is set high, at the transition, my Flux records a big dip in power, by which time all of the people with the feedback turned off completely are 2 seconds down the hill and I have lost the draft. Now that I am using a PM rather than the Flux as the source of power, it is better, but you have to be really quick to grab a bigger gear to keep the power up


Does the opposite occur too? I've always noticed that at the very beginning of slight inclines after a downhill I get swamped by the bunches when I'm off the front
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Location: Kingston

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:
jibberjim wrote:
Zwift is truly awful at simulating resistance, it assumes the CdA of a bus, it's not remotely accurate, even when it's driving a trainer that could be accurate (one with a motor that can properly simulate descents, not that the flux has that) Obviously if you're riding "uphill" at 5km an hour, CdA is pretty irrelevant so it's much more accurate there.

It's why I zwift with the feedback switched off, despite having a neo.


Even up Alpe Du Zwift I am riding at 13+kph


Even at 13 CdA is pretty irrelevant, and it will simulate much closer to reality, the CdA assumptions just means the faster you go, the more wrong it is - but it is big time impacted by trainer type as you note, with trainers that can simulate very high inertia (those with a motor) being most disadvantaged in the game, and those with no feedback resistance the most advantaged as the user gets to choose the resistance so they can stay in their preferred cadence/inertia range the whole time.

Of course, those people are getting the worst replica to riding outdoors so likely even if they were training for an iso-power event rather than racing they would still be getting worse training.

Edit by worse I just mean less specific, actual quality of training has too many variables to say so definitively
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TriSam wrote:
mattsurf wrote:
jibberjim wrote:
Zwift is truly awful at simulating resistance, it assumes the CdA of a bus, it's not remotely accurate, even when it's driving a trainer that could be accurate (one with a motor that can properly simulate descents, not that the flux has that) Obviously if you're riding "uphill" at 5km an hour, CdA is pretty irrelevant so it's much more accurate there.

It's why I zwift with the feedback switched off, despite having a neo.


Even up Alpe Du Zwift I am riding at 13+kph

What really annoys me is the transition from an uphill section to a downhill, if the feedback is set high, at the transition, my Flux records a big dip in power, by which time all of the people with the feedback turned off completely are 2 seconds down the hill and I have lost the draft. Now that I am using a PM rather than the Flux as the source of power, it is better, but you have to be really quick to grab a bigger gear to keep the power up


Does the opposite occur too? I've always noticed that at the very beginning of slight inclines after a downhill I get swamped by the bunches when I'm off the front


Yes I think it does, but for me it is less of an issue for a couple of reasons, firstly as it is going into an uphill section 1 or 2 seconds is not a big distance, and the draft effect is reduced due to the lower speed. Secondly I am good at climbing (relatively speaking), so people on dumb trainers are still banging out 230W and I am pushing 300+ on the climbs
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Ade




Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 525
Location: Leics

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not what you asked as never used Zwift, but I switched from virtual power tyre on roller to controlled by app and use it for trainer road. On the sweet spot interval style workouts I tend to use it makes life a lot easier and I can just concentrate on tv (Vikings at the moment)
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do feedback trainers reduce resistance when you are in a bunch? It sounds like I'm just as well staying on a PM if all I'm mainly doing is races - which inevitably end with me in no-mans-land TTing anyway Rolling Eyes
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
Do feedback trainers reduce resistance when you are in a bunch? It sounds like I'm just as well staying on a PM if all I'm mainly doing is races - which inevitably end with me in no-mans-land TTing anyway Rolling Eyes


I don't believe so, however, it adjusts your speed. So riding at 250W at the front of a group I may be at 40kph, a couple of riders come past, if I maintain 250W I will gradually speed up to 45kph and will go back to the front of the group. What I find is that if I need 250W to maintain speed at the front, I need 210-220W to maintain my position in the group.

In a race, in order to increase the pace of a group to catch the next bunch down the road, you need 3-4 riders prepared to push 300+W, while everyone else gets dragged along doing 20% less work
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