TR vs Zwift, more resistance in TR?

Just started with TR and noticing it’s a lot harder to hold intervals as compared to Zwift (erg). In the last five week I been running the two side-by-side mostly with TR in charge and Zwift as distraction (weekdays and Sundays) and a few Zwift only non-workout and outdoor rides (Saturdays). The workouts are mostly endurance rides. Weekly TSS is around 350 (CTL was in the upper 60s before this break) and IF less than 0.76. Basically just riding around after my first double century in late June (restarted after a week rest to prep for another DC but cancel after 4 weeks in the prep) but plans to restart in October for the triple crown attempt next year. It just seem there’s more resistance in TR (more constant?) for a given power target.

I notice something similar when I got the trainer, Drivo, initially and was testing it with Golden Cheetah, Garmin Edge 520, Elite’s Real, and Zwift. Thought that was just an initial adjustment thing (only did a handful of test rides before defaulting to Zwift). Just wondering if anyone had similar experience.

Not a novice thing to structured training. Majority of my rides on Zwift in the last three years have been workouts (first following a Zwift’s training plan, ad hoc/self directed base building, and two years following FasCat base and build plans) but I generally don’t use erg. I use the game’s sim mode (game terrain, e.g. hill repeats) on work portion of the interval. Warmup, recovery, and cooldown are generally on erg.

I don’t know of any actual data for reference, but have heard from many people with similar comments. In general, I have read that people moving from Z to TR notice “better” and maybe “harder” workouts in ERG, with all else being equal.

It may boil down to how well (or not) each one handles the ERG experience. I suspect the math behind th scenes may differ and lead to a different experience. IIRC, the Drivo is noted for having some “interesting” behavior in ERG mode that is different than other trainers. If that is all true, it’s entirely possible that one app may get different results from that trainer.

I’ve only done one Zwift workout so take this with a grain of salt but i noticed a difference. I could be wrong but it seemed to me that Zwift was not as aggressive about forcing you to hold the specific target.
Zwift seemed to let you drift a a fair bit above or below the target than gradually nudge you back. TR, to me, seems much more aggressive about sticking on the specific target. Slight variations are punished and that makes the workout seem harder.


I have also noticed that Sim mode seems to be “easier” compared to Erg recently.

I’ve been doing more of my workouts with the trainer in Sim mode with my power meter paired to TR recently and it’s made the workouts more enjoyable, in a small sense.

Perhaps this could be a feature request for Sim implementation in TR?

1 Like

So you are essentially riding ‘outside’ while riding ‘inside’ on Zwift? Interesting.

Could be a way to bridge the transition from ERG to real riding for outside workouts. Adds the need to shift and manually set power, but has less variables than outside since there is no wind in Zwift. Also nice since you can presumably pick a route that is useful for the given workout, something that may be difficult or impossible for some riders and areas they access locally.

IMO it’s mostly about feel from the FE-C weight setting that gets passed through to the trainer, which adjusts the power response. (if I am explaining that right)

For whatever reason, I like the gentle 0-2% undulation in grade and I can fine tune the power with shifting/cadence to hit my TR power targets just fine. Gives me a bit more wiggle room when I’m feeling tired to not have to adjust resistance up and down on the trainer.

It could just be as simple as allowing Sim as an option and letting you select a grade

1 Like

While I’ve only done 1 ride in actual Zwift workout mode, I do structured rides on Zwift in sim mode probably half the times i ride on Zwift (the other 50% are group rides/fondos or races and I like it for recovery rides too). Zwift is great for 2x20 type sweet spot rides or those long fairly steady weekend workouts, but I have also done pretty intricate targeted intervals as well. Just about anything you can do outside you can do on Zwift.

1 Like

It is more like being in the real world. I’ve commented before that most of my power charts are unnaturally smooth, and that one advantage of power match is that my power charts look a bit more natural (but still incredibly/unrealistically smooth) and that feels more road-like :+1: I’m not going to resubscribe to Zwift, and so last week I converted a workout to outside ride, synced to my Garmin, and put trainer in resistance mode. That was even better, except the Wahoo app only lets you change resistance in units of 5 (from 20 to 25 to 30 to 35 etc etc). And I don’t care to run the Wahoo app just to control the trainer, next time I’ll try using TR app with Free Ride workout and see if I can control the trainer. Maybe I can control trainer on bike computer, while having it record power from crank power meter.

Fully support your idea of having a better way of simulating mildly undulating terrain in TR, taking us beyond switching from erg to resistance mode. And of course having it support power match.

1 Like

I have done some longer endurance rides and even fondo events with a goal of a training ride. Really fun way to get the work in during the times it’s not possible or practical to do outside, and get away from the ERG domination sometimes.

Yup, I needed to work on my climbing with realistic cadences. It was nearly impossible on Zwift with erg (but haven’t found that to be true with TR, just need more concentration). Lot’s of recoding to switch out erg segment for freeride with flatroad option turn off and training notes. The variety of climbs in Zwift seem adequate for tempo through VO2 Max, long to short efforts. Flatroad option came in handy for crisscross and OU intervals.

It would be nice if TR can run a crs file type or follow an alignment/course. There’s always dual setups with Golden Cheetah or Garmin Edge (guess Wahoo also).

1 Like

I have been a die-hard ERG guy for years. Kickr, Neo, TR, Zwift.

TR vs Zwift ERG… TR is a bit more aggressive in their implementation. Zwift allows more drift away from the target wattage and/or is gentler in getting you back to said target wattage. The difference in feeling is def noticeable for the exact same workout/wattage. I wouldn’t say it’s easier in Zwift. After all, it’s the same avg wattage for X min and my HR is typically the same. I would describe it as a bit more relaxed when using Zwift ERG.

That said, I rarely use Zwift ERG. I typically ERG in TR while riding along simultaneously in Zwift. However, for the last couple months, I’ve been riding sim mode in Zwift and doing my intervals like @mcneese.chad states…


Has anyone mentioned that TR has PowerMatch and Zwift does not? If your trainer is overestimating your power then intervals in Zwift will feel easier when compared to TR that is configured to use your bike’s (supposedly more accurate) power meter.

I think Zwift ramps into the intervals a little easier than TR, but I actually thought the intervals felt easier (albeit slightly) on TR compared to Zwift. When I get a chance I’ll have to test this out to be sure.

Pretty sure Zwift does have power match. I still cant believe that Sufferfest hasnt implemented it yet.

1 Like

You are right! I didn’t even know it was in Zwift.

This is my experience with Zwift’s Erg mode also. On long SS intervals, I enjoy varying my cadence and Zwift’s ERG seems to allow it to fluctuate more naturally without getting rapid commands to the trainer to reestablish the interval’s wattage. I also like workout mode in Zwift without ERG. In this mode, terrain changes are turned off and the resistance is determined by trainer speed. During the interval Zwift allows you to adjust the “slope” effectively fine tuning the resistance level to your gear/cadence preferences. This also makes it easy to change cadence while maintaining a wattage goal.

Can it potentially be, that mind is more distracted in Zwift? With TR, it’s just you and the trainer, for this reason many do TR workouts while riding Zwift…

TR does the same basic thing when you switch from ERG to Resistance mode. You can fine tune the precise resistance as a percentage in 1% bumps. Really helps if you are in between gears and want to tweak a bit.

Thanks. I had played around with standard mode, but never resistance. I should try a workout with the phone app rather than the pc so it is close at hand.

1 Like

Since I use both (TR&Zwift) during the last weeks, I had the feeling, that 200W in Zwift feel less hard than in TR.
HR and Hardware are the same.
Is it possible that TR keeps the resistance up during the full circle of the movement and Zwift has it only in the first quarter - in other words more inertia feeling?