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I have a smart indoor trainer, and I have set the map on my bike, Mount Element.

Can you please tell me how to select or how to make the roller feel like you are actually riding a route? I don't know the settings to set the roller to change gear or simulate automatically through the route because whenever I ride on the smart trainer, I do not feel any effort or get the feeling of the route I am following, like when the climb is coming or when going downhill.

Please tell me how to set it up and make it feel like we are riding outdoors.


I have Wahoo smart trainer, and element bolt mount.

So before starting the training I have selected indoor and a route which I have ridden outdoor so I have all the elevation and all the data but whenever I start indoor and go through that route my trainer is not simulating the climbs, down hill, and I have seen in videos the people are actually doing that. So I have ask them but not replying so please if anyone knows please tell me.

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  • @VladimirFГероямслава the other two have been closed - this is now the only one remaining.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 13 at 18:35

2 Answers 2

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Please check one of the many YouTube tutorials or consult Wahoo's help section:

YouTube

All of the videos are a few years old but I think, the basic workflow of pairing/setup hasn't really changed since manufacturers often stick with their user interfaces as long as possible. #1 is even an official one by Wahoo, so I think it should still apply or they would have an updated one (in case of doubt, check for other videos on their channel).

Wahoo Support

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    On a side not: Bicycles SE is meant as a general Q&A platform for things cycling but not necessarily for product support, these questions often date very fast as products come and go and manufacturers usually provide guides and manuals. I think this has been made clear in various moderator responses, asking the same question over and over again won't help, and that's why they got deleted repeatedly - learn the rules and you will be helped. I hope this one gives you enough input to set your Wahoo products up. Ride on.
    – DoNuT
    Commented Feb 14 at 11:00
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Smart trainers are a fairly recent entry into the list of cycling equipment. What makes them smart? The resistance can be varied by software.

However, the software that simulates a course is typically complex and not inherently bundled with the smart trainer. Typically it's sold separately as a subscription. Wahoo tried to create a captive subscription program by buying RGT and merging it with its existing SYSTM (formerly Sufferfest). They couldn't achieve economies of scale. Zwift has a considerable first mover advantage. Wahoo and Zwift now seem to be cooperating.

In the past, I think that one of the major subscription services would let you re-create a course from a .fit file - those are the files generated by your GPS computer after a ride, and they hold route data. Or someone else can create and publicly post (e.g. on Strava or Ride With GPS) a route. It doesn't look like any of the current major services let you do this. Zwift has re-created some major courses and segments in real life. Other apps have taken a more virtual reality approach, but they still don't let anyone upload a .fit file and create their own course. By virtual reality, I mean that the software is showing video clips or simulated video of the course as you ride it, while also sending data to your trainer to simulate resistance.

However, the site BestBikeSplit appears to be able to let you simulate a course. It won't show video. Wahoo wrote instructions in 2017, and I still see that BBS is an app that can be linked to your Wahoo computer - hence, you will also need a Wahoo head unit to do this, or you would need to navigate Garmin's or Hammerhead's websites to see if they can offer the same functionality. You would upload your .fit file to BBS. Then you'd link BBS to the Wahoo ELEMNT app. Now, interested readers would need to investigate BBS themselves. I do know that it has both free and premium functionality, and what I described may be a paid service.

Note that Wahoo has two separate mobile apps. The app called Wahoo (whose icon is the company logo) is the one you'd use to update the trainer firmware or perform a spindown. It can also control the trainer manually. The ELEMNT app is the one that manages Wahoo head units (all of which technically have ELEMNT in their names, e.g. ELEMNT Bolt v2). That's the one that authorizes external apps to pair to the head unit. From there, the head unit would control the trainer.

You may have noticed that you can either have the head unit control the trainer, or an external software on your table, phone, or PC/Mac can control the trainer. This is not a typo.

What follows is a digression and is optional reading. People may observe that you shell out several hundred US dollars for a smart trainer. Then you discover you also need a head unit. Then you discover you need a subscription. Now, one response might be to blame capitalism. Capitalism has many flaws. However, consider that software is complex. You have to make your own software, and you have to maintain it by making sure new features interact properly with existing ones, and by making sure your app can talk to external apps, which by the way also have to update their software to account for changes. This is not an easy process. Then you have to design the smart trainers, which is also not a simple process.

The bottom line is that you have to pay in some way for things that benefit you. Paying directly is the most honest and transparent route. We can pay indirectly. However, this isn't a perfect solution. Traditional media is funded through advertising, but advertising revenues are declining. Or social media was funded through advertising plus selling your data (anonymized, we hope) to third parties for various purposes, some of which had ill consequences, some of which couldn't necessarily have been anticipated beforehand. This is the origin of the saying if you're not paying for it, you become the product.

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    It does not have to be this complicated. With a relatively modern Garmin navigation unit you just plan a route, select the indoor mode, and you select the route as if you would like to navigate it in real life. The satnav unit then adjusts the resistance and shows you the map and the slope profile as you ride it. No subscription necessary. Most models can also do structured training in the erg mode, simpler ones like Explore 2 only do the routes, in erg mode one has to change the resistance manually on the display. I would be surprised if Wahoo did not have similar functionality. Commented Feb 14 at 19:27
  • Quite honestly, this does all but answer the initial question asked, specifically for "Wahoo with Wahoo". It is definitely a feature that a Wahoo head unit can control smart trainers based on an existing GPS track, without additional training software. Video #1 in my answer shows the exact steps, you don't even need the Wahoo app to pair Element/Kickr, that's just like adding a sensor via ANT+ or Bluetooth.
    – DoNuT
    Commented Feb 15 at 6:47
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    @DoNuT You are quite correct. I felt that the initial question was not on topic for SE, and I chose to write the answer this way.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Feb 16 at 19:10

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