I began questioning how accurately FulGaz’s “Trainer Feel” feature reflects the actual feeling of climbing. I decided to do a test this morning.
The test was simple.
I completed the Mirador climb in Mallorca three times with different Trainer Feel settings. This climb is part of a FulGaz ride, which is one of my favourites. It is 2.30 km long with an elevation gain of 151 metres, and an average grade of 6.6%. The first climb I had the Trainer Feel set at 50%, the second at 60%, and the third at 75%. On each climb, I started in the lowest gear, and every 3 minutes I changed into the next higher gear.
This is what I learned.
The lower the Trainer Feel % (50%) specified, the slower the ascent, the lower the average wattage expended, and average speed. Conversely, the higher the Trainer Feel % (75%), the faster the climb, the higher the average wattage expended, average speed.
This finding is not earth shattering.
It is what you would expect. What I didn’t expect was how realistic it felt. The first climb was easy, especially in the lower gears. The last climb was more challenging, although I could have worked harder. This is exactly what I would expect. A 6.6% climb does not fully tax me with the gearing on the bike.
Last week I did the same climb with the Trainer Feeling set to 100%, and recorded a faster time by almost 3 minutes. I enjoy this ride, both the climb, and following fast descent, and plan to complete it frequently, using it as a benchmark to test my fitness.
Strava records the climb portion of this ride as a segment, and apparently I have the fastest time on record for my age group by 30 seconds. You see. There is a benefit to getting older. The fastest time recorded is a full minute faster than mine.
I have work to do.