Erg mode - pros/cons podcast

This is one of the reasons I use ERG so often. I bought my Saris H3 because it was so solid in ERG mode. Now i’d feel bad not using that key feature.

I use a Kickr Core and have the option of three apps to control my workout:

  • Wahoo - on level mode;
  • Zwift - w/ Companion app to switch ERG on/off when needed (actually learnt this when doing Base Camp rides).
  • Rouvy - on a friend’s family subscription

No Garmin device to control the trainer, but rather to control the time for each interval/recovery.

Don’t use TR, as I have my own workouts designed by some good coaches and a coaching education programs.

Bought the Kickr so I could experience what my athletes go through, and advise accordingly. I previously used a wheel on CycleOps, which is okay, but not as great as a direct drive trainer. Still use my 4iiii left side PM on the bike to record power on and off the trainer. The Kickr is purely to control the avatar on those virtual apps.

FWIW, I like the “crude” nature of the podcast, even if it’s triple sanitised. In the words of Peter Sagan, “Why so serious”.


I laughed out loud when he said that. I’m from the same area as he is and people have mentioned I can be an A-hole, when I’m really not trying to be. It is what it is and unfortunately us massholes are sarcastic and blunt at many times. Maybe that’s how the term “masshole” came about. :joy:


One thing that kind of annoyed me about the podcast is the thought that once you set ERG mode on, you’re stuck there. Like, have you not heard of the + or - button? You do know you can change the wattage right? They kept hammering it like you could be set higher than you should and your workout is ruined. Like the example of an endurance ride where you ride at 200W, but you should have started at 160 and increased to 240. You can do that in erg. If RPE feels off you can just change the ERG target.


True, but I suspect most people don’t, even/especially those who should be going easier on their easy days, but in fact are riding above LT1 every day. That’s a big part of the issue.


I think some feel that would be failing the workout. For instance struggling with a threshold workout and the thinking goes; I couldn’t possibly change it to 90% as it’d then be sweet spot and the workout ruined.

What are you basing that on? I’ve been on ERG for almost 5 years and have always used +/-. Particularly when doing z2 and or recovery rides.


I mostly agree that the average person won’t reduce the erg % in order to stick to the “spirit of the workout”, but I don’t understand why you think people who don’t use erg WOULD reduce the effort. I think the desire to achieve the “spirit of the workout” is the same. If they go into a Threshold workout, they’re not going to reduce it to a SweetSpot workout regardless of the method used to complete it. The fear of failure is an incredibly strong motivator, even if that motivation is mislead.


Maybe I’m naive in this, but I like to think the merits of the work speak for themselves. Most things that are genuine bullshit seem to disappear after a bit because the feedback cycle on whether it works or not takes time, then people forget it and look for the next big thing (check out the last episode with Patrick). And to their credit, it’s been long enough we can say that fad-forget cycle hasn’t happened to TR.


Gut feel and not much more … hence “I suspect” :slightly_smiling_face:

I have “reduce” the power while ERG and drop a gear on resistance, if that means I will complete the wo…
I think the point is that while on resistance is much easier to reduce the power output by changing a single gear, while on ERG its harder to do. You are ALWAYS forced to the power you selected.

Harder is true in essence, but lets be clear on the reality here:

  • Taking one hand off the bars and tapping the Workout Intensity button on the app screen a few times when in ERG.
  • Shifting with your hands on the bars (or even just dropping cadence) while in Res/Std.

Yup, that is “harder” in a way, but far from a challenge IMO.


So people who don’t use ERG use better judgement?


I find it “harder” because its not “natural” while changing gears is a more natural approach… plus ERG will drop to a percent or power. I think all and all its just feels different when dropping power on ERG and when you drop power by changing gears.


Sure, and that change in feel is at least partly related to the change in flywheel speed when the bike is shifted to a lower gear (and/or rider decreases cadence) to get lower power while in RES/STD modes.

That is in contrast to ERG being the same flywheel speed (assuming the rider holds cadence) and alters the power target with the Workout Intensity setting.

Those are two different changes and may have a different feel to the rider as a result.


Same. Here is my take on the cognitive load topic. Make inside (sim) and outside the same as much as possible. Lowest cognitive load. Kickr mounted to an InsideRide E-Flex - my bike and seat and handlebars are always moving around, better than fixed but not completely like outside. Inside (sim or standard/slope) and outside I hit the same power targets/ranges during workouts.

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You’ll have to show me where I said that.

Honestly I think the most important argument in the podcast and what got me to try resistance mode was the using RPE for LT1 and LT2. There have been many times where I would choose an endurance workout and complete in ERG mode - but would just hold the wattage because it was supposed to be “endurance”. There were many times where I was going above my RPE at LT1 (most likely, who knows if my RPE-dar is correct) just because of progression levels and the workouts. I was working way too hard when the ride was supposed to be easy. But TR has to use some metric to judge a workout. But as mentioned in the pod if your LT1 is at 55% FTP and the workout’s IF is 0.70 you are actually riding tempo.

Same thing with LT2/MLSS/threshold. I think its valuable to have the option to change in real time (not just hitting the % for ERG mode) because there is no way MLSS/FTP and LT1 are always the same day to day.

Just my opinion/2 cents.


exactly. train your brain and develop RPE-dar.