Direto XR ERG mode

I recently purchased the Elite Direto XR-T. Previously, I’ve been using a dumb trainer and my Stages power meter to run TrainerRoad. The XR-T is not performing like I expected (I previously borrowed a Kickr as my only reference point for smart trainers), it’s slow to respond, doesn’t hold power, etc. In Erg, I have to increase my cadence and the power still drops (see 2nd pic). I could try resistance, but what does that gain over my dumb trainer, if I’m shifting gears? DCRainmaker raves about ERG mode, but I’m not seeing it at all. I’m not using power match, updated firmware, bluetooth to my WIndows App and calbirated.

So…my question is – are you XR using ERG or resistance and am I missing anything? Thanks.


  • He and many of us do… and most of us are on trainers other than Elites. For the record, Ray is particularly fond of ERG mode coupled with the Saris H3 and TrainerRoad app. As a long time ERG users who has all the top end trainers (prior gen) I can confirm that Saris is well appointed and rewarding in ERG mode.

Sadly, Elite has a history of fair to poor ERG mode performance compared to the the other brands like Wahoo, Tacx & Saris. If you search a bit in the forum, you can see some similar complaints about the poor response and action of Elite trainers in ERG. Not sure what exactly they are doing wrong, but they are not the best in that light.


Thanks - I actually meant DCRainmaker raves about the Elite XR specifically . You linked to his video in this post Directo XR Review at 8:11 he gushes over it. I understand it’s not going to be as good as maybe the Kickr or Tacx Neo. …but this is just disappointing

One thing to note, yes the Direto is slow to respond, but in the image


You cadence is also increasing, one suggestion would be to try and level your cadence at (say 90) and try and keep it there, don’t shift, that will just make things worse


I give that a (better) shot. I felt like I had to increase my cadence to keep any power at all. I was trying to keep the power somewhat close to the target.

Copy that. Been a while since I watched that review.

As Womble mentions, if you are new to ERG mode use, cadence is key.

  • Hold a steady cadence and do NOT try to fix or match power targets like you would for resistance mode or other standard (dumb) trainers.
  • Ignore power entirely and let the system (trainer and app) do that work.
  • You trying to fix the power will lead to more problems than it solves.

What gearing are you using on the trainer?

Ray notes, and TR recommends using the small ring on a road bike. This keeps the flywheel slower and easier for the trainer to manage for resistance adjustment. If you are in the big ring, it could also be a related factor causing poor performance.

As always for ERG mode, I used the smaller ring in the front chainring (as recommended by trainer company and app company, as it helps control flywheel speed). However, I typically don’t worry too much about the rear cassette. But in this case I found that keeping it on the upper half made a big difference in the power stability (how much it wobbles). No biggie, that’s easy enough to do.


Yes, the problem is that as you increase the cadence, the turbo has to do further calculations, happens on my Neo (I have a Direto as well), increase the cadence, power goes down whilst the turbo adjusts to catch up,

I have an Elite Suito and have pretty much the same problem - to hit the power goals I end up with a cadence well over my normal on the road cadence (100+ on average). There is a chance this may be user error on my part but switched to Resistance mode just in the last week and found both the power easier to hold and that the feel in my legs more closely resembles what I would expect for the wattage at a more “realistic” cadence.


I did follow the small ring, middle cassette recommendation. I also moved it up the cassette as DCRainmaker mention (in that video or another one…I’ve been researching this issue) that the top 2/3 worked best for him.

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As a former Direto and current Direto X user, I’ll add some of my thoughts based on my experience over the last 3+ years.

Elite trainers are definitely not a “lock in and just ride” product. As yu note, they can be a bit slow to respond and get you up to the target wattage, and that tendency tends to get worse at higher wattages. In addition, there is some “float” to the wattage where they will bounce up and down around the target wattage. Finally, there are floors and ceilings that you can hit for some gears, whcih will necessitate you actually shifting to hit some target wattages.

That said, I have come to really appreciate these features…I call it Ergsistance Mode. It is a bit of a blend between Erg and Resistance. It allows you to up the wattage if you want to and “overpower” the target wattage. On the flip side, it will rarely drop below the target wattage by very much.

When you get to the start of an interval, you can just up your cadence / effort a touch right at the start. This will get you up to the target wattage very quickly.


Thanks for the insights.


Ergsistence mode sounds so ergxistential

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Well crafted :+1:

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the suito got lot of problems, do not buy that model. i returned mine and got the Directo X.

it was also discussed in DCrainmaker forums. Avoid suito.

But my next trainer will be a Wahoo.

I’ve had similar experiences to people above with really slow responsiveness to increases in workout power targets in ERG mode.

Today, during Mount Field -2 (3 x 12 mins tempo), it took the trainer 35 seconds (!) to reach the power target in each of the three intervals. Strangely, this does NOT happen in Wahoo Systm / The Sufferfest (reliably takes only about 3-4 seconds to reach the increased target.

Is this an issue with TrainerRoad? Does anyone else have similar experiences on other platforms than TR with their Elite Direto XR in ERG?

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I’ll contact TR support, something is off somewhere - I did a 20min workout today (Davis) and it ran low the whole time. It wouldn’t match 112 watts in the recovery portion.

This is not unusual for an Elite trainer….especially since some gears have floors, which I noted above.

Don’t get too focused on hitting recovery wattage…as long as you are in Z1 and feel sufficiently recovered by the next interval, you are fine.

Noted. Thanks again.
Troubleshooting, I connected my Stages to my Garmin and Direto to TR…thinking, I see if the power meter was off by a certain amount (or percentage) then I can adjust it in TR. But it actually hit the target on Sleeping Beauty -5 and Jepson -5, and was within a couple watts of my Stages (within the margin of error). Whatever it was, it’s working now. Hopefully, I can get a full ride in soon…but life is in the way of training right now.


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When a product peaks your interest, make sure to look at real customer experiences in forums like this. Youtube is full of sponsored ads that look like reviews, just like magazines have been for decades.

Yeah, those data lines look really solid there. I wouldn’t sweat it at this point.

Hope life lets up soon and you can get back to regular training!!

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