Help! My Vortex Smart isn’t changing resistance on hills!

This is a common issue new Vortex Smart owners encounter–I know I did! I thought I had done everything correctly–I unpacked my Vortex, plugged it in, updated the firmware, calibrated it, then fired up Zwift and paired it up. But when I started riding the hill of Watopia I found myself thinking, “Is the resistance not changing, or am I just in really good shape?”

The solutions to this issue are usually simple:

Solution 1: Update Firmware

If you don’t have at least firmware version 3.1.7 installed on the trainer Zwift will be unable to change resistance on hills.

Solution 2: Disconnect Bluetooth

Zwift cannot control your Vortex’s resistance via ANT+ if you are connected to it via Bluetooth. Strange but true. So while you need to connect to the Vortex via Bluetooth to calibrate it, you’ll need to disconnect it from your phone’s Bluetooth in order for it to respond to inclines properly in Zwift.

UPDATE: thanks to the June 2nd Zwift update you may also control your Vortex entirely using Bluetooth via the Zwift Companion app.

Solution 3: Pair as Controllable Trainer

Make sure you pair your trainer as a “Controllable Trainer” (bottom-right of pairing screen) AND as a power meter (top-left of pairing screen). You need to do both for it to function properly.

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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1 year ago

I have tried everything to get zwift to control my Tacx Vortex but no good. I have followed the insider solutions but still nothing, tried turning everything else off, still nothing. Tacx training app works no problem and so do most others but not zwift….any ideas?

1 year ago

I have calibrated and updated my Tacx Vortex but whenever I start riding uphill with Rouvy/Zwift/Tacx Training the load seems to oscillate (easy/heavy/easy/heavy) so I can’t establish a decent cadence. I realize this is a somewhat different issue but thought you might have an idea. I am using a Schwalbe trainer tire on my road bike. It is in a pretty cool garage (+5C) but I try to warm up for 10 minutes before starting.

Any clues?

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