1st workout complete. A bit confused

I have a couple questions after completing the 1st training day since ramp test.

  1. I am really confused about whether or not we are supposed to be shifting gears. I have the Saris h3 using ERG mode. I was under the impression (and thought i read on here) that in this mode you should just put the chain in the middle gear of the cassette and the Trainer will do this rest. But in the dialogue during the exercise Chad was talking about changing gears for certain parts of the exercise (like standing or sprinting practice). And my cadence felt weird which leads to next question.

  2. Is there a delay or inaccuracy with these trainers and the software? It wasn’t hard to hold a cadence necessarily but was hard to keep the power at the suggested power even in same cadence. 96 cadence was all over the place for power. Sometimes 96 got me 108 power and sometimes 120 power going back and forth drastically.

Also with cadence, it was really hard to keep the cadence between 85 and 95 like Chad said to do while maintaining the power it wanted which was 112. Everything just felt weird. The longer the session went the higher cadence i had to do, in the same gear to get the same power off 112. In the first few minutes of the 3rd interval i needed around 93 cadence to maintain 112 but a few minutes later and for the rest of the ride I had to maintain around 105 to maintain the same 112 in the same gear.

Not sure if the link to the exercise will let people look at it but here it is. Maybe someone can look at the cadence and power the cadence is getting and let me know if I’m crazy or it’s normal. It just felt like i was using the whole ride to chase the power level to make it close to 112 instead of focusing on the ride, my posture, reading chads dialogue etc. felt like wasted energy but it could also just be that I’m not used to it yet and need more practice.

  1. For “normal use”, it’s best to pick a single gear for ERG use on smart-controlled trainers, like your H3.

    • For some standing or other efforts, there may be reasons to consider shifting, even when in ERG mode.

    • Edit to add: for some rider (hi/lo FTP) and trainer combos, shifting may be needed to hit high or low power targets. This comes from the lower cost resistance units that lack a wide range of power control abilities. In these cases, it may be necessary to shift up to hit higher powers, or down for lower powers. This could be the case for you, but I have not seen that issue with the Saris trainers since they cover a very good range of power adjustment.

  2. Rule #1 for ERG mode, focus on your cadence and ignore power.

    • The trainer and app are meant to work to set the power. If you are trying to “adjust power” to meet the target in ERG mode, you are defeating the purpose of ERG mode in the first place.

    • Watch this video to fully understand how ERG does and does not work.

    • Based on that, I use my ERG for beginners phrase: “Cadence is King, focus on it and be as smooth and predictable as possible”. Meaning, the more consistent you keep your cadence, the easier it is for the trainer and controlling app to keep you at the specified power target.

  • “Stop chasing power” is my other common phrase. You are causing the problem by thinking you need to increase your cadence to increase power. That works on a dumb trainer or smart trainer in Resistance mode, but it is NOT what you want to do in ERG mode.

  • Pedal at the actual cadence you want, keep it steady, and let the system monitor power. Trying to fix the power target only causes problems.


Totally agree with Chad above. Stay fixed gear, Small chain ring is good too. I have stayed in the mid gear of my 10 speed cassette for 3 years :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info. I watched the video and it was helpful. I will give it another go tomorrow and just work on holding the 90 to 95 cadence no matter what the power says.


Also, look in your settings and see what your power smoothing is. It will not affect how the trainer holds power or anything but just smooth the number that you see on the screen so that you are not constantly trying to bounce 5 watts up and down to hit the target. I’d probably start somewhere around 4-6s smoothing and see how that is.


Did all your suggestions. Everything worked great today and yesterday training so thanks a lot. I see what you mean about just holding a cadence and the trainer will do the rest. Was actually pretty cool once I could feel and understand how it was working. The training was 100% better. The only thing absolutely killing me is my butt! I almost didn’t finish today because it was hurting so bad. I couldn’t stop fidgeting around towards the end .

I bought the Garneau’s Fit Sensor 2 Bib Shorts from a local shop but after an hour it literally felt like I wasn’t wearing anything! Maybe its my technique? During training Chad talks about rolling the hips and sit bones being in the right place, I can’t picture in my head what he means so I might do some youtube research. Wondering if my butt isn’t on the right part of the seat. I also haven’t ruled out that I’m being a baby and just have to get used to it!


Awesome! Glad to hear that you had such a great improvement in the following workout. :smiley:

Here is my starter guide for saddle pain. Let me know if you have more questions after that.

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One other thing regarding cadence that I didn’t see mentioned…are you using a separate cadence sensor or the cadence sensor built into the H3? If your using the H3’s sensor it is horribly inaccurate and will fluctuate.