I just finished Base 1 (6 weeks). Starting Base 2 on Tuesday. I have been using the large ring in the front (2 rings 50-34) and the smaller rings in the back (11-34) to keep the chain fairly straight. Even though I have it in ERG mode I have periodically changed gears in the rear during the 6 week training. Now I have read that I was supposed to use the small ring up front, a gear in the middle in the rear to keep the chain straight and not change rear gears. Did I ruin any results from not doing it this way in the first 6 weeks? It just seemed like being in the small ring up front would make my cadence to be too easy and loose.
No harm doing it that way since watts are watts but I personally do 36x17
No harm, bit usually using the big ring up front allows the trainer flywheel to generate more inertia and therefore is very slightly easier on your legs. Use the small ring to promote more muscular endurance if thats a requirement.
I use big ring up front and the middle cog on the rear and leave it there…keeps the chain straight.
I thought ERG mode recommends small if 2 and middle if 3 in front.
Varies more with trainer type and spec. Low end ones may need shifting to hit highs and lows for power targets.
(This is just my opinion, but I have been working to articulate this over the last few months.)
The short answer of what gear should you use for best training effect is, “Use about the same gears as you would on your actual outdoor rides.”
Watts are watts when you are training. The trainer handles the resistance to keep you on target, and you want to work on good cadence across all workouts. Some workouts will instruct you to aim for certain cadence, typically 85+ for tempo and FTP work. Some workouts intentionally practice lower cadence to work different muscles and achieve specific training goals.
You will likely find that using a certain gear combos allows you to hit your good cadence. For me, if my cadence starts to drop, sometimes I can raise it back up again by shifting up one easier gear. (Technically you have slightly easier leverage , even thoughts the watts are maintained the same). BUT, on longer intervals (4-20 minutes) sometimes I find it easier to maintain a higher cadence in a harder gear which (as mentioned above) is somewhat due to the higher flywheel speed. (I think).
In total, watts are watts and your total work competed is the same. There are some subtle differences introduced with different gearing choices.
This is covered elsewhere but is easy enough for you to test. Try 2 different gear Choices during an interval set and see how it feels!
You can read more about this here:
I ride on an Elite Suito. Is that considered low end?
I use small ring up front and middle of the cassette in the back. On Strava it means consistently low kms but since power is what matters I just let the distance be. The distance ends up being lower because the flywheel speed is lower. One upside to lower flywheel speed is that it is easier for the trainer to respond to changes in resistance more quickly because it doesn’t have to slow down as much a fast moving flywheel. So something to consider if there are frequent changes. However if the intervals are long and steady than the faster flywheel speed might be preferable to give more realistic road feel.
Like some else said though, the power is the power so it shouldn’t affect any previous workouts.
Middle of the road. I haven’t heard from many users yet. But it might suffer from the power floor and ceilings we have seen on the Direto models.