Trainer Feel & Virtual Gearing

indieVelo controls your smart trainer in five distinct ways while you ride through the game; Slope, Braking, Wind / Draft, Workout Resistance Mode and Virtual Gearing. Each of these are customizable in the Trainer Settings menu in The Hub.

Changing these settings will not affect your speed in the game, only how much resistance you feel from your smart trainer.

Slope Feel

How much you want to feel the game’s terrain (i.e. hills and descents). If you have this setting at 50%, a 10% gradient climb will feel like a 5% gradient climb.

Brake Feel

The amount of resistance applied when auto braking is active in corners. Higher values provide progressively higher resistance when your avatar is actively being slowed down.

Wind Feel

How much you want to feel the game’s wind (or reduction of it when drafting). As you ride, you will notice the ever-changing wind speed and direction. At the 50% setting, a 10kph headwind will feel like a 5kph headwind but also a 10kph tailwind will feel like a 5kph tailwind.

Workout Resistance Mode

When doing a workout you can choose between three different ways your trainer can provide resistance:

  • Terrain Mode. When in terrain mode, the resistance you feel will be the resistance provided by the terrain you can see – hills, descents, wind etc.
  • Fixed Mode. When in fixed mode, the resistance you feel will be fixed – equivalent to riding on an infinitely flat road on a windless day.
  • ERG Mode. When in ERG mode, the resistance you feel will be continually updated to match the current wattage target in your workout – this means that you will always hit the indicated target power (if your legs can supply it!) without needing to concentrate on your virtual surroundings or exactly what effort to make.

Total Virtual Gears / Current Virtual Gear

A control which acts as a virtual cassette, allowing you to increase/decrease the resistance as you ride without shifting physical gears. This is useful for many reasons, for example:

  • You have a single speed bike and want to ride up / down hills more easily.
  • You have a bike with naturally low gearing (e.g. a mountain bike) and don’t want to spin out going downhill.
  • You want to use the same bike as another person without needing to change the rear wheel.
  • You want to reduce cost / maintenance of your bike by just using a single physical cog.
  • You want to increase drive-chain efficiency by having a straight chainline.
  • You want a harder workout than the in-world terrain provides.

You can select the number of gears in the cassette, and which sprocket from that cassette to use. The selected virtual gear can also be changed using hotkeys for quick shifting between gears as you ride.

Virtual gearing is set up so that you can decrease the resistance a little way, but increase it a lot. For best results, set your bike up using the small chainring up front, and mid-cassette at the rear. This will give you a nice straight chainline for maximum efficiency, with access to a good range of virtual gears above and below the physical gear.

Compatibility Mode

Some trainers do not fully support the ANT+ and/or BLE trainer control protocols that indieVelo uses to provide its advanced braking, wind and virtual gearing. If you cannot feel these sources of resistances change with your trainer, then enabling Compatibility Mode may help.

There is no automated way for indieVelo to detect whether a trainer needs to run in Compatibility Mode – though usually it is with older, or less expensive, trainers. To manually check whether this setting is needed, simply do a quick ride around the in-game velodrome (so you are constantly changing direction!) and see if you can feel the wind in your legs as you ride between headwind and tailwind and/or change virtual gears to see if you can feel the resistance getting easier/harder. If you can, there is no need to use Compatibility Mode; if you can’t then enabling Compatibility Mode should mean that you can.

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