Real-life comparison

I recently bought a bkool smart pro 2 trainer. I firstly checked out a few flatish rides, and was impressed. But it was the big climbs I really want to try. So, I started with an "easier" one, the col d'aspin. I was pushed and it was a challenge, but not too bad. So, I decided to go up a notch and took on Alpe d'huez. I was just hoping not to embarrass myself and possibly get to the top but, again I was surprised that I got to the summit in okay shape. Sweaty, legs and back aching, but I felt okay. Not a quick time, 1hr 34. But I didn't want to blow out and have to stop. So really, I'm just here to ask, what is it like compared with the real thing? Has anyone on here done Alpe d'huez on a bkool? Using the bkool simulator or the Zwift version of the climb? And also done the real thing? I obviously get that there is no altitude to contend with, or summer heat. I would just love to know how it shapes up. I've only really been riding for 2 years, and the only "tough" real-life climb I've taken on a few times is Haytor on Dartmoor. Many thanks.


  • FatTed
    FatTed Posts: 1,205
    You will find you can climb the real Alpe in a similar time, but it feels a whole lot better.
  • Did D, Huez in summer last year, and took around 1.20...and after doing it on a Kickr from someones saved file I can say the smart trainers do replicate it quite well, however as you cannot in ANY way replicate the heat!!
    We went in early July and it was 30-32 degrees all week , beautiful conditions...but very hard work riding..If you have done it on a simulator/smart trainer there is no doubt you could do it for real..just dont go out too hard..the first 4-5 k are very tough until you find your rhythm.The climb is made all the more fun as you can choose several descents, all very quick/exhilerating...its ticked off the bucket list now...considering the Swiss Alps next time.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    If you have an accurate power meter (either on the bike or in the trainer) and the trainer can simulate the resistance of the real gradients, it can be remarkably similar in terms of effort, and if you can learn to pace yourself on the simulation it can carry over to the real thing. You need to have the resistance simulation dialled in though as you ride differently at the same power output with higher resistance. With the resistance set correctly you will be getting in and out of the saddle just as with the real climb, and a continuous climb is really just a matter of pacing with little in the way of bike handling involved, so can be simulated really well (things such as heat and wind excepted of course).
  • ronnierocket
    ronnierocket Posts: 172
    I have done the col d'izoard on both Big ring VR on a Tack Neo and also on real life a couple of occasions.

    The times were very similar and it would be a good replication if training for an event over there. Big Ring VR was good as I did the real life version first so I remembered a lot of it.