Outside workout on Zwift

After doing a few TR outdoor workouts In Zwift, I am feeling like I am onto a good combination that suits me. This indoor block I want to avoid using ERG Mode for workouts and having zwift handle the resistance changes throughout a free ride gives me a close to outdoor experience and I can just concentrate on the power number . It also gives me the chance to dig my way out of a dip in power, as opposed to ERG mode which just was destroying my confidence and left me a bit “flat” when I went back outside after winter last year.


Sim mode is the best. Load the workout on your bike computer, pick a flatter route, and it’s like doing the workout outside! Recommended.


If its working for you, carry on. If you are running TR outside workouts on Zwift just remember there isn’t really any analysis of the rides and its a bit subjective based on your survey subjective. Although with the introduction of RLGL recently you shouldn’t burn out (that might have been a risk before with subjective surveys). To get the full analysis of indoor rides though I advise switching to another mode from ERG. Myself I do my TR inside workouts in ‘Resistance’ mode as I equally found my trainer and couldn’t handle things and left me a bit ‘flat’.

Smart Trainer Modes Explained – TrainerRoad

I did a threshold workout in (Zwift) New York recently. Even with the various rollers and the KOM it was perfectly possible to nail the power targets, albeit with the “trainer difficulty” setting at about 50%.

In fact, it made it more mentally engaging, which was a useful distraction from the messages my quads were sending me.


I forget - is there anyway you can run TR but keep it from controlling your trainer? That way OP could run both TR and Zwift, Zwift would just show power targets and then be able to analyze it as an indoor workout, but it would feel like an outdoor workout b/c Zwift is in control.

  • Pretty sure this should be “TrainerRoad”, not Zwift.

I don’t think so if the only power data device is the trainer itself. Once you pair a smart trainer in TR, it will try to be the controller of that, even if using Res or Std modes AFAIK.

  • MAYBE you can use those modes in 0 setting and still have Zwift have control the trainer by Sim mode, but my guess is that you will have the typical Tug-O-War between both apps which makes the trainer act badly.

Ive had it TR reading off my Ant + Power Meter and not connected to the Trainer at all, RGT (I don’t use Swift) controlled the trainer. That’s perhaps an option.

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Sure, if someone has a separate power meter on the bike, this is the way to mix two apps without having the trainer fight itself. (Trainer paired to Zwift or another app with sim mode, power meter paired to TR for pure power data capture.)

But for those with only the smart trainer for power data, they can’t avoid the issue present in the preferred trainer control by Zwift in Sim mode while also using TR.

Indeed, it only could be an option.

You can disable ERG on the trainer while allowing zwift to read the power at the trainer. That’s what I do when I run TR & Zwift on my Windows laptop at the same time.

Sure, but that is the opposite use case compared to what the OP is doing and likes (and is the reason I didn’t cover that angle here despite using exactly that myself for nearly all my TR workouts inside).

  1. They have Zwift to apply resistance via Sim mode and the virtual terrain, and then perform workouts against that load with shifting and cadence changes. This is a proxy similar to doing workouts outside by terrain as well.

  2. What you describe is the use case where Zwift is simply a distraction using power data to propel the virtual rider in that space, but trainer resistance comes from another app source like TR via ERG or any other trainer mode.

Two different use cases.

FWIW - I run TR and Zwift at the same time on the iPad. You can do it where you can see both at the same time as well. I have the trainer control the resistance via TR but Zwift gives me something more enjoyable to look at/still ride with a friend group (Meetup with “Keep Together” on).

TR - Resistance and HR
Zwift - Power Source and Cadence sync to trainer but NOT Resistance

Only issue I have founds is both activities sync to Strava so I just delete one. This keeps for accurate activity tracking while still completing my TR workouts.

I usually stick with erg but when I do this I put trainer difficulty at 0 and it’s even easier to hold a steady power. I admit being able to hold steady power over rolling terrain is a handy skill for riding….how do you guys say it?…riding outside. Whatever that is.


With the TD setting = 0 (full left on the slider), you remove any terrain simulation from the process. This 0 (Zero) setting effectively turns the trainer into pure Slope mode (Zwift’s term which is parallel to Standard in TR, Level in Wahoo) and pretty much makes the trainer the same function as an old fluid trainer.

It’s easier to hold power because there is absolutely no delta in power/resistance presented regardless of the terrain changes in Zwift.

Set it to 0% and you won’t feel gradient changes at all!

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So of course the big question is…if I have a smart bike and I move the slider to 0, what is it called?


A dumb bike :wink:

… or a “Standard Bike” for those so inclined.


I tried TR app with my Kickr in resistance modes and just couldn’t get a resistance l was comfortable with.

I vastly preferred standard mode on my kickr, felt natural, easy to find 2 or 3 gears for a workout plus throw down some big power surges without shifting.

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If you are connecting via Bluetooth or Direct Connect, you should try Standard mode. (IIRC, it’s not available on ANT+ for Wahoo trainers.)

I tried both modes, and wasn’t happy with either. I am running direct connect. Sim mode resistance in Zwift seems to be just right for me.

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