Failing workouts ever since I got an E-Flex Plus platform

I recently started Trainerroad after being gifted a free Zwifthub. I’ve been really enjoying it but the discomfort and numbness that I encounter is making it tough to get through workouts without stopping multiple times. Since I got the trainer for free, I decided to invest in the Inside Ride E-Flex Plus plaftorm, which gives you nice side to side, and for and aft movement, similar to a rocker plate but with a smaller footprint. It feels so nice and very similar to outdoors, and has taken away 90% of my discomfort. It’s an awesome product.

However, I’ve noticed that ever since I’ve had this, i’ve been really struggling to get through workouts I would have no problem doing a week or so ago. I’m mainly doing Sweet Spot stuff right now, and i’m having trouble completing workouts without lowering intensity. Today I failed during Bondcliff -3, which was a “product” SS workout. Being at 80-90% of FTP is such a struggle all of a sudden.

Do you think this has anything to do with the new training platform? Or are the workouts just getting harder?

  1. How stiff do you have the front lean spring setting?

  2. Do you have any guess as to either lean or fore-aft motion being more relevant here?

  3. Specifically are you seeing notable (perhaps excessive?) motion in either or both directions?

  4. How long did you ride the Hub before adding in the E-Flex?

  5. Have you altered your basic pedaling action or cadence since adding the E-Flex?

  1. I have it in the middle, so not too much but not too little, feels good
  2. Not sure what you mean here - but both movements feel good, maybe a bit too much for and aft
  3. I feel like i’m leaning more to the right, and i find myself overcompensating to stay level. I’ve taken a level to everything and it’s all flat - it must be my natural position
  4. Used it for about 3 weeks before adding E-Flex, and have done 4 rides so far on the E-Flex.
  5. I don’t believe I changed anything pedaling wise, at least nothing noticable

I’m wondering if I’m using more body strength to keep myself balanced and its taking away from my power output…Or maybe it’ll just take some time to get used to it.

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  • OK, as long as you don’t think you are “fighting” to maintain balance or control your motion, this is probably ok.
  • Secondary question here, do you know if you are leaning the bike in the proper timing with your pedal stroke?
    • Proper is that the bike leans away from the side with the foot at the bottom.
      • Ex: Bike leans to the Right when the Left foot is at the bottom of the stroke.
    • This may matter, because I believe one potential source for lost power is doing the wrong timing.
      • Ex: Bike leans to the Right when the Right foot is at the bottom of the stroke.
    • I can share a video if this doesn’t make sense.
  • If you think the E-Flex may be related to your power production issue, do you have a guess if lean motion or the fore-aft surging may be contributing?
  • Is one direction of motion maybe the cause while the other is perfectly normal or not costing you anything.
  • Essentially, I am asking you the same question you are of us, but I am trying to see if you have at least a guess so we can dial in possible causes or relationships here… that are better than pure guesses.
  • This is interesting and potentially worth a deeper look. Per your comments, sounds like you followed the setup directions fully and have the trainer & bike all level? Just checking, because I have seen more than one person struggle with riding when they setup the trainer on the base incorrectly.
  • OK, decent amount before with just a few rides after. It may boil down to just needing a few more rides to fully get accustomed to the new motion. It is great for discomfort relief, but can take up to a week or more for some riders to really adapt to the freedom vs fixed states.
  • Yes, especially if you have a moderate to active setup, you are more likely to have a higher demand on your body overall. The additional muscles and action to balance and control the bike may well be the difference here.

  • An option would be to increase the spring stiffness a bit and get used to that, then drop the setting again once you really get used to it. You can surely test with a setting just a bit tighter in a future workout and see how it goes.

Highly unlikely.

I would consider getting another trainer. I think all the rock n roll won’t help you at all.
TR talks about trainers on one of their recent Ask a cycling coach videos.
Well worth a listen

Why? I’ve got a Kickr with E-Flex and it was the final part of the solution to close the gap between power output indoors and outdoors.

  • Despite clear feedback that says it does help?
  • Totally unnecessary. In the event they decide they don’t like the E-Flex Motion System, they can revert the Zwift Hub trainer right back to the original fixed trainer feet. No need to suggest a different trainer.
  • Sure, that is their opinion. I and many thousands of motion solutions are plenty happy with our setups after stepping away from rigid ones.

  • I get that these motion setups aren’t for everyone, but they work well for many… even if TR reps aren’t adopters. They are far from the only voices on this matter IMO.

  • And at the risk of beating the dead horse, there is a certain irony from Jonathan not recommending rocker plates when his trainer device of choice for a long time (still?) were the Elite Quick Motion Rollers. Those are not entirely different than many of the rocker plate setups (including the E-Flex here) that include lean control with fore-aft that are present in the Elite rollers. He seems to prefer that motion and freedom to the many fixed trainers at the very least. Sure, the rollers are different than many motion systems, but there are distinct similarities in parts of the experience that it’s a bit odd to see what came off as a blanket “no” recommendation with his history (and current use?).

Can you expand on this? Like a different brand of smart trainer? Not sure i’m following…

Interesting. I do love the product. Just confused about my performance on it after a few rides. How long did it take you to get used to it?

  • Did you recalibrate your trainer after moving it?
  • How is your fatigue?
  • Did you change anything else, like nutrition, time of the day for the workout…
  • I did not calibrate anything - I think the ZwiftHub auto-calibrates
  • Fatigue has been an issue, but the one i failed today was after a 3 day rest
  • I’m working out in the morning more, and not eating a ton beforehand. Maybe I’m not fueling enough for 12 minute SS intervals at 85-90% of FTP

Sometimes I have trouble completing workouts and nothing has changed with my bike or trainer setup. I’m confused why you think its the E-Flex. As they say, s**t happens. The only thing I had to learn was getting on and off the bike. The actual time on the trainer was more comfortable and almost immediately I started hitting similar numbers on short end-of-ride sprints.

I must admit, some years ago I had a rock n roll trainer and absolutely hated it.
I got rollers for the real feel which is more realistic because you can crash.
I still think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for them (OP) to try a fixed trainer because then they’re not left wondering if the flex is the right one.

  • Sure, as I said, these motion systems aren’t for everyone. I know plenty of people who tried them and went back to rigid. Great for them, but there are many people quite happy with the Rock & Roll trainer specifically, and the many other options we have seen since that was about the only one.
  • I have spent plenty of time on rollers too. Pretty fun but super hard efforts (and the recoveries) can be quite sketchy on them too. That reward of motion, but related risk are what drove me to make my first rocker plate (along with the Rock & Roll trainer) since I wanted more freedom without the same risk of rollers.
  • But that may be what you are missing.
  • They already have experience on this exact trainer setup fixed just as it comes stock. That is the foundation of their time here so that angle is already a known factor.
  • They added the E-Flex after that time and are talking about the experience since then.
  • It’s an option to revert back to the rigid state and evaluate, which is a more extreme option than the one I mentioned above to stiffen the lean action at least.
  • The fore-aft motion is not adjustable on these, so a test back to rigid might be worthwhile in that sense, but they have time on the fully rigid trainer to look back on.
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lets look at the clues:

  1. recently started TR
  2. struggling to complete workouts with hard start SS efforts.
  3. admits under fuelling before the workout.
  4. admits recent fatigue.
  5. new equipment gets the blame?

do the basics, starting with fuel. 1 hour with 90 grams carbs starting at 1 min in. the 90 grams will increase blood glucose levels for the brain, help fuel the work and aid recovery, thus reducing fatigue.


I’m not blaming it per say, it’s just a pretty major setup change so I think it is fair to wonder if it’s affecting performance, given I haven’t “failed”, or had to lower the % on a workout since I got this. Personally, I think my FTP is set too high and these 12-minute SS internals are just too much for me at my current level. I’m going to do another ramp test tomorrow because the AI FTP i think is too high.


Hey @ftwinnick :slight_smile:

I took a look at your Calendar, and I don’t think your FTP is set too high or your Ride E-Flex Plus platform is to blame :sweat_smile:. Rather, I think you may have progressed yourself into higher workout Difficulty Levels too fast.

For example, you went from a SS 2.2 to a SS 3.7 and then from a Threshold 1.7 to 2.5.

You are also going into your 5th week of interval training with no recovery, so I’m not surprised with the mix of the two; you are having a hard time completing the workouts.

Since I don’t see you’re following a plan when you choose workouts, what process/logic are you using? That way, I can understand a little bit better what you’re after and suggest a solution :slight_smile:

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Hi there!

I’m not following a plan yet, I’m just selecting one of the “TrainNow” workouts depending on how I feel that day. 90% of the time i’m choosing Sweet Spot though.

I never actually did a proper FTP test, when I started TR I just input one that I was using on Peloton (255). I used that for a few weeks, then lowered it to 245. Then after a few more rides, the TR AI FTP detection bumped me back up to 253.

I think you are right that my SS PL is getting too high and it’s recommending workouts i’m not ready for. How can I adapt to this?


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Hey @ftwinnick

I see you just applied a training Base Phase! This is great, as Adaptive Training will recommend future workouts based on your workout performance as well as give you a proper Recovery Week.

Note: you can continue manually adding training phases as you see them fit, or you could build a more long-term training plan with Plan Builder. If you have any events in mind, this is a great tool since it will create a training plan leading up to your main event. If you don’t have an event, that’s OK too :slight_smile: