When Open Road sends the slope of the road to your smart trainer, it is up to your smart trainer to apply the correct resistance/brake pressure to simulate the slope of the road. But not all smart trainers can simulate high or negative gradients.
High gradients #
Smart trainers come in various qualities and specifications. The slope they can simulate varies depending on the price and quality of the trainer. Most high-end smart trainers support double-digit gradients. But many more budget-friendly smart trainers do not support double digit-gradients. If your trainer stops simulating a high gradient, it is most likely because you have reached the limits of your smart trainer.
The highest gradient supported by your trainer in real life is often lower compared to what you can read in the specification of your trainer. This is because the manufacturers often base the maximum gradient supported on the weight of a light person. So if your weight is higher than the person used for the specification, it means you cannot expect the trainer to simulate the same gradient. In other words, if the specification states it simulates a maximum slope of 10 percent for a 75 kg person and your weight is 88 kg, then you should expect that the maximum slope supported by your trainer is lower than 10%.
You may have to contact the trainer’s manufacturer if you think there is any inconsistency between what the specification states and what you experience the trainer is capable of.
Negative gradients #
Some smart trainers do not support negative gradients. If you are descending with one of these trainers, you will have to put in an effort equal to when you are riding on a flat road. This does not provide a realistic cycling experience at all. To solve this problem, we have implemented virtual speed. Virtual speed bypasses the inaccurate speed from your trainer and uses a calculation based on the laws of physics. This calculation is using your weight, your effort, and the slope of the road to provide the accurate speed on descents.
Virtual speed is turned on by default. But if it is off, you can turn it on before you start your rid