Erg Mode workout Plan

I don’t really care for ERG Mode. I’ve tried and just don’t really like it. Can I still do my training program in normal non ERG Mode & No Resistance. Just adjust my cadence and gear for my plan ( ramp test, sweet spot, Sustained Power, Climbing Phase )?

Yes, simply switch to Resistance mode. This is listed in % of your trainers resistance. Often, something like 20-40% is good. Then you simply shift as you would on a standard trainer to hit different power levels.

On PC and Mac, there is a switch right on the lower part of the workout screen. On mobile, you need to go into the trainer in Devices to make the change.


Thanks a bunch

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Curious to hear you experience with standard vs resistance. I am currently using ERG for all of my base work but I have read this isn’t the best when intervals approach 30sec or less.

I don’t like how it changes on it’s on. When I’m in a rhythm and maybe look down and my cadence may change in erg mode it starts adjusting and this throws me off. I would rather make all changes myself just like if I was out in the road.
It a lot more natural feel. Mentally it’s better for me.

I have good luck using ERG, even in some of the shorter intervals. There’s a few tricks that can help.

Sometimes I slow my cadence about 5-15 rpm prior to the interval. It allows for more initial resistance and ramps up quicker.

Another trick is to use the small ring in normal power, and then shift to the big ring when you are at the jumps.

And finally, I sometimes swap to Resistance mode when I really want to. The beauty of the smart trainer is the ability to choose as needed for best results.


I was really frustrated with Erg mode for a while and I found that it was directly related to looking at the fluctuations of the watts. I would see the watts dip, increase my effort/cadence, then be over target, then the trainer would get easier, I’d fall under target, increase my cadence again…round and round. I basically try to ignore the watts completely and focus on my effort and cadence. This has helped a lot and feels more natural. For shorter intervals, I do two quick shifts to build up initial resistance.

Has anyone played with the smoothing durations? I’m still running default but now that I am on a base plan, I’m thinking about going to 7-seconds.

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For sure, DO NOT CHASE WATTS when you are riding in ERG.

Let the trainer and TR do the work. Attempting to increase or decrease power via cadence in an effort to match target watts will only cause problems.

As to smoothing, yes. I run 3-5 seconds on all my devices, even my trainer. Choose a setting (up to 10 seconds) that allows you to feel “OK” with just pedaling at your preferred cadence and let the whole system do the other work. Be as steady as you can with cadence and that will make it work the best possible.

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Are you adjusting the smoothing in your trainer or with trainer roads I have a Wahoo KICKR Snap

As I understand it, smoothing is an adjustment to the watts displayed. ie: 3-second smoothing is simply the trailing 3-second average. It is done within TR but doesn’t actually change anything other than the number you see on the screen. I’m not 100% on this but I’m sure Chad can confirm.

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Cool thanks. I’ll look into it.

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Correct. The smoothing is for the on-screen power info. The core data, stored in the workout file, is still at the 1 reading per second IIRC.

So, the idea is to calm that neurotic devil in our head that wants to hit the numbers perfectly. The smoothing makes it look nicer and way less jumpy. I definitely like using it in all but specific cases when I am testing between various power sources.



I was wondering if you might have some suggestions for a 2018 Wahoo Kikr in ERG mode issue. The resistance when I do workouts that include intervals that range from 110-135% of FTP are impossible (suddenly) due to there being way too much resistance to turn the pedals.

I will reach out to support, but thought I would ask here. This did not happen with my old Kikr. I did recently conduct and FTP test and I am working at a higher FTP, but I did the same % of intensity outdoors with no issues.


Yes, email the same to so they can take a closer look.

But can you share a link (or two) to some workouts that show the issue so we can all try to pitch in while you wait on that?

  • If you want to do that, you will need to make sure that your account is “Public” or we won’t be able to review your workout data.

Are you on the latest Kickr firmware?
What device and communication are you using (ANT+ or BLE)?

I did not realize I could dig into the workout data for the solution. I am a luddite about sharing, bit I cut his link from my account.

Your account is set to “Private”, so we can’t view anything until you set it to “Public” in the [Account] section.


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  1. Looks like you have Garmin V3 pedals in use, along with the Kickr.

    • Do you have the latest firmware installed on the pedals and trainer?
    • Because of the pairing, you are using PowerMatch. Read this to understand how it works, if you don’t already.
    • PowerMatch is great in theory, and works well for some people, but there are others that have issues with it. I have no idea if it is related to your issue, but it is a variable that must be considered.
  2. You are using a low cadence in the first 2 steps of your warm-up.

    • 82 rpm in the first step.
    • 78 rpm in the second step.
    • These are really low for a warm-up and generally you want to be getting faster through the w-u, not slower.
    • Looking at the first actual effort step in the warm-up, the trainer appears to increase the resistance and your cadence drops in the same timing (from 72-68 in only 7 seconds).
    • You need to be pushing harder and effectively accelerating to meet the increase in resistance when it steps up like this. If you don’t you will end up in the spiral of death that leads to stopped pedaling. And that looks like what we see in your warm-up.
    • If you lock up to 0 cadence, you need to backpedal for a few seconds (5-10) to let the resistance release. Then restart pedaling quickly and firmly. There will be a small “wall” of resistance that you have to push through, and then it will be easy for a moment while the trainer re-adjusts the resistance to hit your power target.
    • It looks like you didn’t do the backpedal, and may have been fighting the resistance too hard at the start. This is not a good way to restart an effort.
  3. Looking at the 2nd VO2 step:

    • image
    • 74 rpm cadence to start, which again, is very low. For a VO2 effort, you should be spinning faster. Most people shoot for high 90’s at a minimum, and often you should be over 100 rpm.
    • Your cadence is so low that I expect muscle fatigue is beating you up. We see this as the power jumps to the target (yellow line) and it proceeds to drop, as you lower your cadence. This is the start of the spiral of death, as you slow, and the trainer continues to add resistance.
    • It’s all part of the ERG process if you don’t work to hold a steady cadence. When you bounce around or drop cadence, you can expect issues like this.
  4. Looking at your career

    • You did a Ramp test not to long ago. It seems to have gone well, but there is a fairly low cadence there too.
    • Was this ramp in your normal schedule, or did you do it because of an equipment change?
    • It looks like you haven’t finished many full indoor workouts before or after the ramp test. Is there a reason for this that may relate to your current issue?
    • I’m wondering if there were any changes recently that may have lead to the issues you have now.
  5. How much have you used ERG before?


Hi, if I don’t mistake in the Device setup page you can adjust with a slider the speed in seconds with which ERG mode adjusts power to cadence. You can slow down this reaction time increasing the time. Hope this helps.

Can you post a screen shot of this?