Can you control ERG with garmin (or any other head unit)

I’ve been debating the idea of getting a head unit.
I was thinking something small and “cheap” like a garmin 130. Maybe a 5xx or something.
I currently have a 935.

I would like to use this instead of the the cellphone.
Is that currently possible with TR?




Now at this point the Edge 130 Plus doesn’t yet support indoor smart trainers. That’s coming in a near-term firmware update. Once that happens it’ll be able to control your indoor smart trainer via ANT+ FE-C. But until then you can still do structured workouts indoors or outdoors the ‘old fashioned’ way.

Garmin’s head units from at least 520 / 820 / 1020 can control a trainer via Ant+ FE-C.

Wahoo Elemnt / Bolt can also control a trainer via Ant+ FE-C.

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I’ve done it a few times with my 820 where I’ve re-riden or pre-riden a route. You can also create training sessions on some of them.

The only problem I see with this is that I don’t think you could do standard indoor workouts? You could schedule TR to push the outdoor version of the workout to your Garmin and then run the trainer from that, but AFAIK TR doesn’t allow for the export of their nor so indoor versions. In many cases they aren’t too much different, but it’s worth noting.

From a bit more research on this, some units can actually control the trainer. Similar to TR. So it would be a TR ride but done like a Garmin indoor ride. Or at least that how I understood it.
So now I would not have 2 wo on my garmin feed!

you could always flag the workout as outside, and tell your Garmin to control Erg mode. Or do it like outside and use resistance/standard mode. In either case your bike computer is the only recording. Post workout in TR you’ll lose the blue bars, but workout targets will appear in Garmin Connect.

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Oh! Thats why i see people posting WO without the nice bars on the daily wo thread…
I mean…not that is matters.

Now the question is what unit to get…

Can you explain why you would rather use the head unit instead of a phone or computer for inside workouts?

The only benefit I can think of a head unit is for outside workouts.

For indoor workouts, a phone and computer will have much better UI, resolution and processing power.

The head units absolutely can control ERG mode, however, you are unable to load a “normal” indoor TR ride directly into a head unit. You can either load the outdoor version or build your own copy, but I don’t believe TR provides the option to download the actual workout file for their indoor workouts.

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My experience might be different but I use a head unit to run my KICKR. It’s been a bit since I’ve used TR so some things might be outdated.

  1. I don’t need to worry about my PC dying in the middle of a workout. More relevant now that I’m working from home and never know what the charge is going to be before a workout. Charging creates a trip hazard where I complete my workouts.

  2. Garmin 1030 is no better or worse at controlling the KICKR than the TR app was in my opinion.

  3. I can increase/decrease the power target by watts versus percent. Minor detail but I memorize zones by power values and not percent.

Two disadvantages I can think of are;

  1. I don’t know of a way to switch from ERG to resistance mode during a workout like one could with the TR app.

  2. As soon as the next step starts on the head unit, the target will change to the preset value for the workout using ERG mode. One would need to change the target at each step if they want to do more or less work for an entire workout.

I really have no reason other that because i can…
Its a 100% first world problem.

I do want a computer for races and outside rides. I figure i would use it also for indoor wo since i can…

Are there differences between outdoor wo and indoor wo?
I know that for longer things, they just tell you “keep the power between x and y for n amount to time”
Not sure for intervals they do more structure.

I use my garmin 830 for TR workouts sometimes…

I like having the L/R and cycling dynamics data. Worth noting that you can also power match recording power from a power meter whilst the garmin controls the trainer.

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Do you need garmin pedals for this?
Or would this available with other PM…?

I have the Favero Assioma pedals that also have (most of) cycling dynamics enabled.

Garmin opened up cycling dynamics so that other power meter companies could use it but I think favero are the only ones that have implemented it so far?

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Also note that Favero have a partial integration (not the full suite), per GPLama.

Yep…no pedal offset measurement.

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