TR vs Zwift, more resistance in TR?

Are you talking about workouts performed using ERG mode in each app?


OK, I have seen some comments by people claiming a different feel in ERG between the apps. I have not specifically tested it myself, and only rarely do Z ERG workouts.

It’s possible that the implementation of ERG control is different between the apps, leading to those feelings. I have no way of knowing though and nailing that down to something quantifiable seems like a challenge.

You are right, that would be a challenge.
Maybe I can boil my question down to something easier answerable (especially by the TR crew):
Is inertia (or circle section, where force is mainly needed to turn the crank) only depended on the trainer and the chosen gear, or can and does the Trainerroad-App influence this too?

I’ve only done a handful of zwift workouts, but my recollection (as stated way above) was that it seemed to give a bit more latitude to target than TrainerRoad. I did a few of the Spring Classics workouts, and I definitely didn’t get the spiral of death I would’ve for the same poor compliance if I was failing to hit the same power in TrainerRoad!


I was also thinking this over Xmas. Did a few group rides and solo rides (not erg) on Zwift and almost immediately thought I could hold x watts for longer than i could on TR. I thought maybe it was just in my head but now seems a bit of a coincidence if others are thinking it too.

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There’s a whole thread on this rabbit hole, but that could also be trainer difficulty settings, and thus gearing. For sim mode/ racing, I’ve trainer difficulty around 35% - albeit grinding on some of the climbs, I got around the Fondo in the big ring. No way I’d be doing that in the real world, and in TrainerRoad I generally train in the small ring.

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In my case gears were the same and both ERG.
AFAIK trainer difficulty doesn’t matter in ERG mode.

Correct, Trainer Difficulty only matters in Simulation mode, not workouts in ERG mode.

Having done bjillions of ERG hours on both platforms, here is my $0.02:

Zwift ERG is a bit more forgiving. It isn’t as strict as the TR implementation. That is, Zwift allows for a larger over/under around the target power than TR before putting you back in place. As a result, it can feel a little smoother and/or easier.

That said, the newest implementation of Powermatch in TR makes ERG also a bit more forgiving than it used to be, although still not as relaxed as Zwift.

Am I saying TR has a problem. Absolutey not! I have no issues w/TR’s implementation nor do I think they need to change it to match that of Zwift.


I found Sweetspot workouts using just TR hard and difficult to complete. With Zwift, riding is so much easier. It is the distraction of overtaking, catching up to other riders that makes efforts so much easier. I have trouble on TR completing 4 x 12 min SS ride but on Zwift I can ride an hour straight without a break at above the TR efforts that I now do all my workouts on Zwift and very rarely use TR.

I can’t explain this, but when doing TR workouts while riding Zwift (TR controls trainer, Zwift reads only), for some reason when riding downhill on Zwift, TR interval becomes somewhat harder, than when I am doing same interval, but riding uphill on Zwift. I cannot see difference in power readings, but I see it in HRM. Maybe mental only?

Great that you enjoy Zwift.
Above SS is Threshold. If you can ride that for 1h straight without problems, maybe it’s time for an FTP Test.

My experience is that TR has more resistance. I don’t mean the wattage is higher. I mean, that TR seems to require pressure on the full rotation of the pedals, whereas Zwift seems to give you a bit more momentum. It feels sort of like pedaling into a headwind on TR.

I’m referring to workouts on both, so not free riding on Zwift. If I do a 10 minute interval at X watts, that interval is harder on TR than Zwift.

I don’t like it. Obviously, the difficulty is part of that, but it also doesn’t feel quite right. I’m having to apply pressure at an unnatural part of the pedal stroke (or so it seems) to keep cadence at my sweet spot.

I go through phases where I’ll just do workouts on Zwift instead of TR because I get so annoyed with it.

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Thanks! I now made some direct comparison experiments between Erg in Zwift and the new TR Erg with exactly the same wattage and I couldn’t feel any significant difference.
Either it was the „old“ Erg in the iOS App or it was just in my mind…

I think it’d be a good exercise to do 5-10’ blocks at a set power target in TR and modify the Powermatch settings by 0.1 each interval. You could start at say 0.5-0.6 and try dropping it until you find a “Zwift feel”. After spending a lot of time with both, I agree that the Zwift feeling is a bit more “natural” per se whereas TR seems to be more constant resistance. That’s not to say one is better or right by any means, as 10 minutes @ 90% is the same either way. I also would say the mental side of things isn’t a factor in my case as I don’t pay attention to the Zwift world regardless of workout or not.