Advice for new smart trainer

Hi there

New to the forum.

I wondered if there is any generic advice that I could be given regarding use of my first direct drive smart trainer with TR. It is a Cyclops H2. ERG mode, is it better. What resistance should i set the trainer to? My first ramp test on resistance mode came back with a FTP of 262 compared to my virtual FTP of 290 based on my old Cyclops Mag+ trainer.

I’m just interested if anyone has any opinions/thoughts.

Much appreciated guys.

Did you calibrate via Rouvy?

Thanks for getting in touch.

I calibrated through TR only. I read somewhere that Rouvy was not good.

When I had my KK Road Machine, I was at 246 FTP, and the smart trainer had me almost 30 clicks lower. My new power meter confirmed the H2 is very accurate

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ERG vs Resistance mode is a personal preference. Neither is “better” than the other and both will work to get you the stress you need to get the desired training adaptations.

If you use Resistance mode, you can try something between 10-30% and then adjust your power via shifting, just like you would with a standard (dumb) trainer.

Ignore your prior FTP that came from VirtualPower. You effectively switched “tape measures” and need to disregard old data. As such, you should create a new Season that starts from the date you changed to the H2. You can also create an old Season that covers the range of time with your old Mag+ trainer.

Are you new to ERG training? If so, I suggest watching this video to start so you understand what ERG does and does not do.

@fairwarrior, I see Chad is replying, and hopefully he can give some insight. I’m not sure where you heard that from, but I’ve been told the exact opposite. Chad, pipe in???

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Thank you @kbeers81

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  • What I have seen and heard is that Rouvy is the best app to calibrate the CycleOps trainers. With the H2 and assuming you leave it in place between use, you only need to calibrate it about once per month.

  1. Open Rouvy App.
  2. Go to “FREE RIDE”.
  3. If you have connected to Rouvy in the past, your trainer should be recognized and CONNECTED.
    • If you this is your first time, you have to go through “SELECT TRAINER” process.
  4. Press the “CALIBRATE” button, located under trainer name.
  5. Follow instructions to calibrate.
    • Pedal to 19-23mph for duration of time requested by app. 20 seconds. But it generally takes roughly 25 or so.
  6. Stop pedaling when it tells you to stop pedaling.

I am new to ERG. I have not tried it yet on the new trainer.

I will look into creating a new season, that is news to me! Your information is much appreciated.


@mcneese.chad Brilliant, thanks! :ok_hand:

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Some info from a related thread.

  1. Cadence is king. Focus on holding your cadence as smoothly as you can, at your desired cadence.

    • If you are not steady, you are making the app and trainer work harder to hold the desired power target from the workout.

    • So, make sure to pedal with intent to hold your cadence above all else. Ignore power… let the trainer and app do the work of setting the resistance to reach and maintain the power target.

    • This includes changes up and down in the workout. Let the trainer and app make the change. DO NOT CHASE THE POWER! If you do, you are making the adjustment period more complex and longer than necessary.

    • When you start getting fatigued, it is common to start slowing your cadence. But you must fight this and resist slowing. When you do, the trainer and app increase the resistance to hit the power target. When left uncorrected, this leads to the “Spiral of Death” that ends with the rider pedaling locking to a stop under heavy resistance.

    • When you lose cadence, you MUST accelerate into the trainer and get back to your desired cadence. This means you will be facing increased resistance from the moment that you accelerate until you reach your target cadence. When you do, and hold that cadence, the trainer and app will reduce resistance.

    • Understandably, this is more difficult to do in the moment, but it is what is necessary, to make the most of ERG mode. It is one reason some people regard ERG mode as more difficult compared to Resistance mode. ERG mode punishes the rider if they aren’t prompt and firm with their cadence changes.

  2. There are more tricks to add with respect to some power target changes, but the somewhat contradict the axiom I shared above. You can include them, but I feel it is more important for people to nail #1 before adding the more complex use.


my question is what would a bad calibration do and how would it show itself?

The scenario is this: I just opened up my new H3 this past weekend, brought it from the cold side of my basement to my pain corner and set the thing up. After getting everything set up and useable I updated the firmware and immediately started doing spin down calibrations, first with the Saris app then with Trainerroad before trying out that erg intro workout, clearly without doing a 7-10 minute spin to get the thing warmed up. Saris doesn’t give numbers and Trainerroad spin down times started in the 11 second range then went to 12ish. After realizing my warm up mistake later that day I made sure to let the trainer warm up before I did a spin down mid workout. Timing went to late 13s. After doing a few more spin downs in the rest intervals during today’s workout the spin down time went up to the mid 14 second range. After completing the workout I did a spin down with the Saris app again.

How much did my improper(cold) spin downs effect accuracy and response? Likewise, did the cold spin down done with the Saris app a couple days prior effect accuracy and response in Trainerroad? You have said in previous posts that the Rouvy app is the best for calibrating Saris trainers, have you found the new Saris app to be effective or should I be using the Rouvy app for my branded calibration? And should I be doing spin downs with both the Saris/Rouvy app and Trainerroad every few weeks or just stick with one app, probably Trainerroad, and just use that?