Erg, Resistance, Standard?

Hi all,

please help me understand Resistance and Standard modes - I understand Erg and exclusively use that.

Under what scenarios would I want to use Resistance/Standard over Erg?

My understanding is standard mode simulates a fluid trainer powercurve while resistance would simulate a magnetic trainer curve…both are adjustable via a slide bar in TR. You could use these modes for sprints or shorter efforts where you need to wind up fast or erg mode doesnt react fast enough…have you tried erg mode with power smoothing disabled in your trainer’s app?

This article explains it well saying:

"Resistance Trainer Mode - This mode mimics the functionality of magnetic trainer with a linear power curve. This mode includes a variable resistance setting that can be electronically adjusted.

Standard Trainer Mode - This mode mimics the functionality of a fluid trainer. Fluid trainers have non-linear, exponential power-to-speed ratios (power curves) that are simulated in this mode. This mode often includes a variable resistance setting that can be electronically adjusted. Note: Not all smart trainers have Standard mode functionality."

Hope this helps!



This could also help to illustrate the difference. This graph shows watts on the y axis and speed on the x axis. As your speed increases on a fluid trainer (Standard Mode), your resistance increases exponentially. This mode more closely replicates the exponentially increasing resistance you experience outdoors, and some say this has a more “realistic road feel”.

For the Magnetic trainer (resistance mode), the resistance increases linearly.

The major advantage of the Fluid Power Curve (Standard Mode) is that one setting can cover a wider range of wattages. Since the curve ramps up, the maximum power you can generate in a giving setting is greater than the Magnetic curve (Resistance Mode), which can be seen in the graph.

I hope this helps!


I’ve seen a lot of people recommend turning off Erg mode for short sprints. Last week though I tried out Standard mode (first time) on a run of Bashful, and found the transitions (40% --> 125%+) slower/sloppier than if I’d just stuck with Erg mode. I have a Kickr Core.

In Standard mode, I’d have to cycle through about 5 gears to make the transition, and if I changed gears too quickly, the trainer didn’t handle it well (I think my power would briefly spike much higher than the steady-state power for my cadence/gear, then the flywheel would gather way too much momentum, then the workout would pause as my speed was so much slower than the flywheel’s). Maybe the problem was that my cadence in the rest intervals was a little low (it had to be to not go over target power even in the bike’s easiest gear with Level 3 resistance), but I think it would have happened regardless.

Was I doing something wrong when I tried out Standard mode?

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For any non-ERG, I recommend shifting from big to small ring (and back) as needed for jumps and recoveries. It is a massive jump and quick to do. You can then fine tune with a shift or two on the rear as needed.

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Thanks, I’ll give that a try. I think that I briefly tried that last session but was getting cross-chained. I’ll change up the resistance level so that I can use a moderate rear gear.

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Yeah, play with the Standard setting and find a combo that allows the front shift. I think you will find it to be a nice way to handle the power changes.

Good luck and please report how it works for you.

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While I’ve got you here… towards the end of my workout in Standard, half a dozen times (fortunately all but one during rest intervals) the trainer slipped back into Erg mode at 50W. If I went into the settings in the TR app, it still thought the trainer was in Standard mode, but that’s not how it was behaving. I’d have to change modes out of Standard and then back into it to fix the behavior.

I was chalking this up to interference with the bluetooth (I know I need to fix that from a separate issue), but have you ever heard of an issue like that?

Not sure I’ve heard of it specifically, but it may be happening and people are reporting directly to support.

Could be worth an email to if you experience it again, and maybe they can review the file data to find something.

Thanks, I’ll do that.

I am a bit confused now. I have had a Kickr for 4 years plus now and I have done all my ftp tests in resistance mode, level 3.

Is that good or bad? The test are always around where I expect them to be and are consistent with each other. I also use resistance mode when doing sprints or anything not in erg mode.

Would being in standard mode level 3 make any difference?

Yeah, that is weird. A couple things to point out, the first one I’ve experienced on my Kickr 2017:

  • Kickr 2nd gen and later uses an optical sensor to estimate power, it is possible for shadows or bright light (e.g. beams of sunshine) to interfere especially if you have a reflective floor under the trainer.
  • there is something called a “wattage floor” or “resistance floor” or “power floor” and I’m not sure what it is exactly for a Kickr Core. However it will hold you from dropping below a certain power.

and as you pointed out, Bluetooth/ANT+ interference can impact Erg mode but the strange thing is you mentioned the problem was in Standard mode where TR is not sending any commands to the Kickr.

As long as you aren’t running out of gears during your test, that 's totally fine! The concern with Resistance mode is that the resistance at your max speed (largest gearing combo) is lower than in standard mode at the same speed. This could limit you in some cases, but it is easily remedied by switching to a higher level of resistance

Since you haven’t noticed any problems, I’d say that your setup works for you :+1:


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Thanks @Bryce.
I will start using standard from now on.
I suppose if I was doing a max power test I might be better using standard anyway. Although I doubt I could run out of gear with my measly maximum.

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