ERG on or off and train with resistance?

Advice and thoughts
ERG on or off. I am thinking to try training with just resistance.
Training with FTP on currently but have to spin fast to hit numbers sometimes.
When struggling if I spin slower the breathing comes back to me and I push the same numbers but is more muscular work out then at that point. Talking to a coached athlete who’s pretty switched on he says he does all his on resistance only. The tri team he trains with are pretty good AG winners ect and the coaches have been placed in 70.3 Ironman events.
Thoughts and advice welcome.
Regards Ollie

Just try it and choose for yourself. You can find people that swear one is better than the other. Ultimately, it probably falls well down in the marginal gains spectrum.

There are considerations related to flywheel speed, with an aim to mimicking a feel more like you have outside. Beyond that, its probably splitting hairs.

Edit to add some links the existing discussions on this topic:

General “ERG Mode” search results:

General “Resistance Mode” search results:


I’m a relatively light rider and I found I’d strain things being thrown into the spiral of death with ERG. Perhaps it was a limiter I’d select a too sustainable FTP to avoid that on later intervals and wouldn’t let me push to far above it on a good day without pressing buttons mid ride. So I mostly have TR set to resistance. However, I can see the benefit of having to achieve a certain target with ERG, its easier to slack off with resistance so you have to be disciplined, there’s no slacking with ERG. Also on mundane work outs (such as recoveries) it useful to have ERG controlling things and turn your mind to something else.
My suggestion would be to try both and see what you like. Also if you are using a PC its easy to toggle (the ‘t’ key) between both. I sometimes do this start out with ERG on for the first couple of intervals and when I feel like my cadence is falling, toggle to resistance.


First impressions after buying a Kickr and using Erg:

Still feels weird, I just don’t notice it anymore. :man_shrugging:

Personal choice, on what feels ‘right’ for you. My journey… three years using resistance mode on a Stages bike in the gym, two years using Erg on a Kickr, and now 18 months switching to resistance on Kickr and much happier. Personal choice, mine is making inside (resistance mode) behave more like outside.

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