FulGaz Guide: Why virtual hills feel so HARD (and how to fix that)

New to FulGaz? Are the climbs feeling REALLY hard? Or maybe you’re spinning out too easily on the descents? Well you’re not alone, especially if you’re used to riding on Zwift where, let’s face it, everything seems a little too easy…

First up, Zwift IS easy – the default setting is 50% difficulty. This means uphill Zwift gradients are halved and downhill gradients are QUARTERED! An 8% incline feels like only 4% while the same 8% downhill only feels like a 2% descent.

FulGaz sets ALL gradients to 100% realism by default. Like they say – less virtual, more reality! Fear not though, there are ways to adjust the feel to suit your own tastes.

Dial in your Slope Settings! Hidden deep in the settings menu are a couple of controls that help you manage ride feel. Unlike Zwift’s single slider, Fulgaz lets you adjust the feel of uphills and downhills individually.

First, click on the cog in the upper right corner of the main screen, then scroll to Trainer Settings. Open up Advanced Trainer Settings, as shown by my totally professional looking big red arrow.

The three setting you’ll want to play around with are Slope Limit, Slope Scaling Uphill and Slope Scaling Downhill. I’ll deal with each of them below.

Slope Scaling Uphill: This is the “feel” of and climb that FulGaz sends to your trainer and the most useful setting. The default 100% setting means an 8% incline will feel like an 8% incline! Dropping this will make uphills feel easier. It’s also useful if – like me – you prefer not change gears as often (or are running out of gears on climbs). Adjusting this setting will NOT affect your speed in-game, it merely simulates a shallower gradient. Your speed is always dependant on power output and user weight, etc. 

Slope Scaling Downhill: The same as above, but for the descents! At 100% you can often spin out (run out of gears) and be forced to “coast” on the trainer, just like on the road. While this can feel pretty cool on a Tacx NEO with downhill drive, you may or may not want this while on the turbo. To reduce the chances of spinning out and coasting, reduce this setting until you are happy with the result. 

Slope Limit: This is the maximum uphill gradient FulGaz will send to your trainer. The default is 25%, which is a STEEP climb and more than many turbo trainers can even simulate! On my Tacx NEO this was too high, I was having difficulty overcoming the resistance and almost grinding to a halt. Experiment until you’re happy with the maximum feel. This will also depend on the max slope you’re turbo trainer can simulate! 

Want it to feel like Zwift? The default “trainer difficulty” setting on Zwift is 50% so to get a similar ride on FulGaz, set your Uphill Slope to 50% and Downhill Slope to 25%. I believe 20% is the maximum gradient (Slope Limit) in Zwift currently, if your trainer is capable of simulating that high.

My personal settings: I’ve ridden some FulGaz roads in real life and compared to my Tacx NEO, the virtual climbs do feel harder. The following settings give me a good compromise between road-like feel and effective indoor training.

Uphill Scaling: 85%. This gives me a fairly accurate climbing feel and stops the trainer from ramping the resistance up too hard, too quickly.

Downhill Scaling: 50%. I prefer not to “coast” too much on virtual downhills and keep pedalling hard most of the time.

Slope Limit: 12%. I find anything above this and my trainer clamps down way too hard or I run out of cogs on the casette. Maybe I just need more watts? ;-)

These three settings are personal and will vary depending on your trainer model and how you want your FulGaz experience to feel, so it’s something you’ll need to play around with. Ride, review, repeat. The results are worth it!

fulgaz.com

There isn’t a lot of in depth non-official FulGaz information on the internet at the moment. If there is a need for it going forward, I might throw up a few of these guides. There are quite a few interesting features hidden away!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. John Hallas says:

    Nice summary – do you ride much on Fulgaz?. We have talked before and I was following you but dont seem to get any updates re new blog posts. I was at https://sixtyplustimetrialling.wordpress.com/ which i have not updated for 15 months. I might restart it up again shortly now I have time on my hands.
    I am very active on The Fulgaz Facebook group – say hello if you are on there. Keep well
    John

    Like

    1. I’ve used FulGaz on and off for a couple of years, but really gotten right back into it this year since I got an Apple TV to run it on. I don’t have a Facebook account, maybe I’ll sneak onto my wife’s one and check out the group.

      Like

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