Getting out of the saddle with ERG

I understand that getting out of the saddle in a controlled fashion is beneficial to do once in a while.

What I don’t understand is how to do this effectively accomplish this with ERG enabled. I ask because unless I’m doing an effort that puts a lot of tension on my chain, say 200% above FTP, then my pedal strokes are bottoming out. Clearly, this quite detrimental, because I lose the fluidity of my pedal stroke.

This is troublesome for me, because I feel I’m more than I should be after a hard effort in the sense that I feel incredibly stiff. I think that I would feel better after hard efforts if I could effectively get out of the saddle and give my poor bum a break.

Does this make sense?

Any tips?


:point_up_2:Nice, I hadn’t seen that before.

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Give it a shot and let me know if you like it. :smiley:



Great article you wrote there.

Thank you.

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Checking in that was able to successfully employ the link @mcneese.chad posted.

I didn’t bottom out at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but I did notice that I would overshoot my wattage. Asides from that it worked really well.

I’m going to keep practicing.

Thank you.

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Good deal, good it worked for you. It takes a bit of practice, but I find it much better than the alternative.

Had to laugh that this is on Zwift where 99% of the users use Resistance Mode all the time! :rofl:

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To that end, it seems like the current trend is that a lot of people are turning trainer-difficulty down quite a bit (reducing the need to shift gears.) It’s kinda funny to me that it seems we’ve almost come full circle: smart trainers to replicate real roads, then using software to tune out the need to shift all the time.


Well, I shared it with another group to get it published. But that said they didn’t like making the suggestion and any related risk.

I know Eric at ZI and mentioned my thoughts. He liked it and thought it was worth posting. There are plenty of people in Zwift doing ERG workouts too. So it’s worth sharing around, since it works for any app really.


Apologies for my newbie question about TrainerRoad on the Wahoo Kickr 5. Long time roadie, but very new to indoor riding. I am using the ERG mode in TrainerRoad, but I find that when I get up for an out of saddle drill, I am unable to do it because there is very little resistance in the pedals. I noted that there is typically a couple of seconds before the trainer/software kicks in, but I have not seen this happen. Am I doing it wrong, and if so, how can I correct this?

Along the same lines, I frequently find that I am often “ahead of the pedals” as on person commented. As an outdoor rider with years of experience, and with a cadence sensor, I was never aware that I was pedaling with a force that varied enough for the palls in the cassette hub to disengage as if coasting. I believe I am keeping reasonably consistent pressure on the pedals so as not to be “coasting” on the Kickr. Again, is it me or is it the setup?

Thanks for your advice on these issues.

As a long time roadie, you might find Standard mode to be a better option. Erg doesn’t work like riding outside.

So if I use Standard mode, would I need to shift to change resistance?

Henri A. Demers

Yes, for example if I set TR app

  • Standard mode
  • level = 2

shifting is required between work and rest intervals. The advantage of Standard vs Resistance is that standard mode increases resistance the harder you pedal.

Thanks for that. I thought ERG mode was the only one that increased resistance the harder you pedal. If pedal pressure is actually what raises resistance I’m not sure what effect the increase in watts or cadence might have. TR has drills where you are supposed to sprint out of the saddle. And ERG mode is recommended, however I don’t think TR is able to respond to a 10 second sprint out of the saddle. IMHO.

Henri A. Demers

In Erg it’s possible, but in my experience it requires a lot of muscle/torque control.

Here is the info from Wahoo support page (Standard and Level modes are the same):


I found working on form sprints, where you sprint out of the saddle and try to keep a smooth pedal stroke with lower resistance to be a big help.

If it’s an interval with a steep increase in Erg mode, sometimes I wait for a second or two for the resistance to kick in and rise from there,

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Are you shifting into harder gears for moving to standing position?

Per my guide above, and similar to outside riding, it helps to shift up around 3 cogs in the rear (or swap from small to big ring) when you move to standing on the trainer. This applies in ERG mode as well as Resistance Mode or on dumb trainers.

Standing cadence tends to be functional for most from 55-75 rpm, unless you are sprinting. Typical seated cadence of 80-100+ is not good feeling when you stand without shifting.

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