Happy holidays everyone. Quick question: I’ve using TR for about 30 days and love it. I’m training for a Grand Fondo in early February and want to get the most out of my TR time: should I use ERG mode or natural resistance to get the best effect?
ERG for the most part. I rarely use the resistance feature as I do all of my workouts in ERG mode. In ERG, you will be made to hold a wattage as set by the workout and not worry about shifting your gears as long as you continue pedaling (assuming that you have a smart trainer). Although I am aware of the difference in flywheel inertia between ERG and resistance mode, I don’t really see the benefit of resistance mode unless you want to replicate the climbs in your upcoming fondo. Here is an article that goes into greater detail about ERG mode: ERG mode explained: what it is, how to use it and when to turn it off - BikeRadar
Do what suits/ works for you. I prefer resistance mode and being more engaged with following a power target and being able to push higher, especially on short sharp intervals. I find ERG, especially with the previous version of power match would drag me into the ERG spiral of death sometines or cut out resistance when I spun at high cadence both of which would strain things in my legs. But sometimes when I don’t want to engage and want to be restricted to a limit or held to a target (especially long SS or Endurance sessions) I’ll use ERG.
You’ll find tons of articles about the pros and cons of ERGvResistance on the forum but at the end of the day do what suits / works for you.
I’d use erg mode until it was giving me the cadence spiral of death (you’ll know it when it happens to you) and then switch out of it. Usually that happens for me when operating at near max ability and at threshold power or higher.
When your cadence starts to slow, in ERG mode, your trainer will increase resistance to keep the power at the targeted power level. (Power = cadence * resistance).
As resistance increases, it becomes harder to pedal so your cadence starts to slow more, which causes resistance to increase which causes cadence to slow which causes……BOOM - the Spiral of Death. You eventually reach the point where you can’t turn the pedals over anymore.
I think this is largely a personal preference thing, and most people will figure out the pros and cons of each for different types of workouts given a bit of time and experience.
I’m personally a resistance mode person, but I don’t train to power exclusively so I like to have a bit more flexibility with my wattage. In a similar vein I think all-out efforts are better suited to resistance mode, but with anything else I think the physiological differences are negligible all else being equal, so I’d go with what works for you mentally!
Maybe dumb question, but related. I use ERG mode all the time. Recently I was trying out the SIT workouts, and they suggested not using ERG mode at first. What I found is I couldn’t get a gear range which worked during the rests AND the sprint phase. Does TR increase the resistance when target power increases in non-ERG mode, or is it entirely fixed by the setting in the device menu?
With a Neo, they generally adjust to new power targets quickly in my experience. I’d suggest at least trying an ERG based workout to see how it works. I still use ERG for workouts for nearly all my workouts and am pleased with the response time on all my trainers over the years (Neo 2, Kickr V3/17, H2).
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