Using smart trainer (Kickr Core) in dumb mode

This may seem an odd question but here goes nothin’. As a newbie, I am enjoying Zwift sessions on my Wahoo trainer but might want to ride my trainer while watching a movie or TV from time to time - setting the resistance myself and/or changing it up with gear-shifts and effort. I am using Apple TV to Zwift, so obviously can’t be in Zwift while watching a movie (and even if I concurrently ran Zwift on my iPhone or tablet, I imagine that it would be pretty distracting).

What I would like to know is whether smart trainers (or more precisely, the Kickr Core) can be used on occasion without a cycling app. 20 years ago I had a basic Tacx trainer which I could use for that sort of purpose but don’t know how I would do so with my new one.

Yes. Most, if not all, smart trainers can be run in three modes:

  • “erg mode” - The trainer adjusts resistance to keep you at a power level set with software like Zwift (in workout mode), Sufferfest, or TrainerRoad
  • “slope mode” - The trainer adjusts the resistance to respond to simulated changes in slope in virtual worlds like Zwift or RGT
  • “resistance mode” - The trainer provides a set resistance (usually adjustable via an app or controller) and riders use the gearing on their bikes to make pedaling torque easier or harder.

You can use TrainerRoad in either erg mode or resistance mode. There are advantages to both. Erg mode can make it easy to keep your power levels even without having to focus on the app screen, but it can also be slow to react and level out for very short intervals. Resistance mode requires more focus, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Thank you for the advice. I will try to dind the resistance mode in the app.

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This covers how to swap modes (towards the bottom).

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