Lag response with ERG mode -Saris H3- using Power Match

Just purchased a Saris H3. I have completed 3 workouts so far using Assiomo Power Pedal and power match. Previously I had a cyclops fluid 2 so this was a big step up. Needless to say I’m new to ERG mode. My questions this:What should I expect reaction time to be for Target Power changes? It seem the lag so far is about 10-15 seconds (it can be within 10-15 watts plus or minus much sooner). I have used big gear up front but switched to small gear up front on a separate workout and noticed some difference. Any blog post, podcast episode, or forum thread I should read? Just to be clear this may be nothing negative with the trainer, it is mostly likely user error. Thanks in advance for your input!

Lag for the H3 is about 2-3 seconds typically, it is the one trainer out there with a smooth ramp up. I tried a Neo2 which has much faster response time and did not care for it one bit. The Kickr was somewhere in the middle, I liked it, but the H3 is definitely the most butteriest smoothest out there.

Personally I used mine in the small ring and middle of the cassette. Just maintain a steady cadence, it takes time to learn how to get along with ERG mode, but I ran my H3 with Assioma DUO also and had great results. Stick with it and don’t worry about nailing that 255w interval at 255, even if you are lower the first few seconds and even if you average 250w, you’re still getting the benefit of the workout.

Here’s a workout with some big power jumps as well as steady state stuff so you can zoom in and view response time, etc. this was with the H3 and Assioma

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  • This is the most important aspect to getting ERG mode to perform as designed.
  • IGNORE POWER. Stop watching it and potentially adjusting your cadence to “fix” the power issue. I call this “chasing power” and it is a bad thing to do in ERG mode.
  • Focus only on your cadence and keeping it as consistent as possible. Let the app and trainer set power for the workout.
  • Choose the RPM you want, and hold it there. Fluctuation in cadence will cause the trainer to adjust the resistance unit. If you bounce around, the trainer will do the same in search of solving the target power equation.
  • Adding in PowerMatch leads to more potential fluctuation since it adds steps to the solving process. So it’s even more important to hold your cadence steady with PM in use.
  • This is best for allowing the trainer to control and respond as fast as it is able.

This is very timely and good info. I recently switched back to using Powermatch with my Assioma Duos and H3. I had been running Erg with power controlled and reported by the H3 and it read as very smooth in the app (I’m sure the H3 has some amount of smoothing built into it) and didn’t have major swings at all. Ran Powermatch with my pedals last night and even while holding steady cadence, the reading on TR for power swung pretty significantly at times (I assume due to less/no smoothing?). I was seeing pretty substantial (like +/- 15-20 watts) fluctuations at times even while holding within 1rpm of the same cadence.

I’ll switch to my small ring to see how this improves things - are there any settings adjustments that can/should be made to streamline this? I know we have a Powermatch software update coming soon (I think?) that is supposed to improve it even further.

I recorded a few files during the workout with the different sources, so I’ll upload those and get some analysis/insight into what was actually happening.


@dubrose40 If you just purschased a smart trainer you cannot be on the European continent. With all this lockdown madness I said self carbon wheels can wait let’s upgrade to a high end Smart trainer. But I hemmed and hawwwed for a week that was 26 days ago a week later I decided to to pull the trigger and nothing availible everything sold out. On day 31 I said well this would be good time to play around with rollers heck the pros use them all sold out there is not a trainer availble online in the major online European cycling shops form the top of the line to the cheapest of cheap dumb trainer everything is gone :cry:
The good thing is the carbon wheels are still on the table :astonished: :grin: :rofl: :joy:

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Hey Junio I purchased mine for Clever Training at a 20%discount SPRING20, not sure if they ship to Europe.

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@mcneese.chad @Cleanneon98 Lots of good info there! I watched @GPLama video on ERG and talked about attacking the power change and the in workout text talks about increasing cadence 3-5 rpm for target increases. My next workout is tomorrow with some over and unders and I will just maintain the same RPM. Thanks for the input.

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  • Yes, that text can be confusing. It is not intended towards addressing ERG mode or power transitions in the way you might think.

  • That text is largely about handling higher power outputs by using faster cadence, to shift more towards a cardiovascular system demand than a muscular one that exists at lower cadences.

  • That said, it is a potential “tool” to use cadence adjustments to manipulate ERG mode for desired purposes. But I consider that more “advanced” and should be ignored until a rider really nails consistent cadence control in the first place.

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Personally if I spin up for an interval I start gradually increasing my cadence 15-20 seconds before the interval, and try to make it so I’m at my desired cadence 5 seconds before the resistance change is going to happen, that way it’s nice and smooth

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That works pretty well for regular power target jumps. For larger jumps to say VO2 Max and above, I find that slowing cadence (say around 90 rpm from my normal 97 rpm), until the trainer start to add resistance for the new target, and then accelerating to my desired cadence (say 110 rpm for the VO2 interval).

  • This initial “slow” cadence makes the trainer add resistance during the recovery step of the interval. It sets the resistance to a “higher resistance” due to the lower cadence. When I jump on the cadence to rev up for the interval, the “step” that the resistance unit has to climb is less than if I was already spinning at my higher cadence. That quick cadence acceleration closes the gap and gets me to the higher target power sooner.

Thanks, the problem with shipping to Europe is one, the shipping cost and two, the TAXMAN they put VAT(value added tax) and its a killer. I learned that the hard way… It´s all good. I am still able to train effectively even if my smart trainer sounds like a mix of helicopter and propeller airplane.
thanks again for the reply Train Hard but smart

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Just wanted to follow up. I completed another workout today the response from the H3 was much better. The solution was to maintain the cadence and not speed up prior to the interval. Thanks for all the advice. @mcneese.chad

On a different note I was doing over/Under workout and attempted to back pedal for a little rest on the 4th interval. However it seems the Assioma Power Pedals kept transmitting a power reading via BT to my Ipad. So jumping back in was like having to overcome the spiral of death everyone speaks about. Are there any solutions for this?

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How long did you back pedal?

It takes probably 5-10 seconds for the resistance unit to drop down. It may be longer in your case from the comments on the power meter. Additionally, when you restart pedaling, there is a “wall” that you have to overcome when pedaling. It takes some extra power at the start and it’s in your best interest to be a bit aggressive with the start, to push through the wall, and establish your desired cadence one you overcome it. Then let the trainer pull resistance up to your power target.

Chad is about to sigh… I don’t understand why replies to this question often start with focusing on the trainer. :man_shrugging: Why not treat the trainer like the road, and shift focus to training your brain and body to respond as fast as possible? When I’m out on the road my response to small “bumps” or rollers in the road is to put down more power - a rapid power spike for a second or two and I’m over the bump. On the trainer I’ve been very happy with results of training neuromuscular response to reduce lag. Maintain cadence, rapidly dump power at the start of an interval, and you are developing a skill that benefits riding outside and on the trainer.

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Yeah I back pedaled for 30 secs, lol. So good to know about the wall, that’s exactly what I experienced.

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Many ways to skin the cat. My comment was purely on the issue of lag.

I think people can choose implementation from a variety of angles. Training can lean directly towards specificity, but it can also lean away and still be beneficial.

Play around, learn what works with each individual and their setup, because there is no single answer here.

as was mine. On the Kickr direct-drive I contend its a muscle recruitment issue. But the standard answer on the forums is to make it easier by changing gearing. The muscle recruitment angle isn’t presented.

It will depend on what gear you are in. I primarily use the big ring, and for me, just by itself, the H3 took about 5-6 seconds to settle in. I know reviewers claim 3 seconds, but most use small ring, except for SMART Bike Trainers, who uses big ring. Though, I believe he indicated 3 seconds too, but for me it was definitely in the 5-6 second range.

I also don’t have the smoothest pedal. I don’t like the small ring because I don’t like how it feels especially during recovery sections, and higher cadences. It just feels completely wrong, compared to riding outside.

Just wanted to follow up. I just updated the firmware with Assioma Power pedals and now everything is right as rain. I was seeing some flat lining with the pedals and this could have been the cause of the issue with lag, backspinning, and the huge wall when returning to the workout .

Just completed Taylor -2 and everything went great!

Thanks for all the help.

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