Elite Drivo won't go below ~ 120 watts

Hi all,

I’m having an issue with something in my setup. In ERG mode I can’t go below around 120 watts during recovery intervals (see image).

I’ve been using this setup for years and it’s always been like this. Probably not that big of a deal, but during tough workouts I feel like I need all the recovery between intervals I can get!!

My trainer is an Elite Drivo from around 2017-2018. I use a 4iiii power meter to control resistance and I’d like to continue to do so to keep things consistent when training outside. I’m not sure if any other info would be relevant. I’m away from the trainer, so I can’t see exactly how I have the devices set up on the TR app (I use an iPhone during workouts).

I’d really appreciate any help to get this figured out.


What gearing are you using in ERG?

  • Some Elite trainers can’t drop resistance low enough if the bike is in a higher gear (like a 50t big ring up front). This means some riders need to shift to an easier gear for recovery intervals and would be my guess here based on your description.

Thanks for the quick response! I typically keep it in the big chain ring (52t) and somewhere in the middle of the cassette. I’ll try shifting to an easier gear during recovery. Any reason I shouldn’t just keep it in an easy gear the whole time? I’ve read that the “feel” of the trainer might get worse in a lower gear.

Come to think of it, my trainer has some difficulty resuming at higher power output if I stop pedaling and restart during an interval. Could this improve if I use a lower gear?

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Related TR support article:

  • I am pretty sure this is the issue and shifting to the small ring will get you to the proper wattage in the recovery intervals. Do keep in mind that this could also lead to the trainer not having enough gear to hit the higher levels (wattage ceiling). There can be issues at the top just like the bottom. The only way to really know is to see what happens once you drop to the small ring and do some workouts.
  • Yes, broadly speaking the resistance unit responds faster & firmer with a lower gear & associated slower flywheel speed. It’s like comparing the ability to slow a car from 30mph vs 60mph. The greater inertia present in the higher speed means that the “braking” function of the resistance unit has a harder time “clamping down” when the gearing & flywheel speed are higher.

  • Many trainers and apps (including TrainerRoad) recommend a small ring road gear (around 34-39t) for best ERG response time. Additionally, the lower gear will be more quiet since the moving parts go at a slower speed (which is the real source of noise in these systems).

  • Ignoring the resistance unit function & noise, riders have noted preferences when using high or low gearing in ERG. Lots of factors but rider weight, riding style, riding type and other details of their outside riding might lead a rider to favor high or low gearing.

  • All else being equal, using a gearing similar to what a rider uses outside makes some basic sense. But the reality is that we may well be talking less than marginal differences here. So setting gearing to suit noise, trainer limits or other reasons may be perfectly fine.


Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out! I’ll mess around with gearing and see what happens.


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Happy to help. Let us know if you have any more questions after testing. :smiley: