SS Base training - not out of small chain ring?

I am fairly new to TrainerRoad and have been working through Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume I. I’m about to enter Week 4 on Monday.

I have noticed that I have been hitting all the power (virtual as I have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine) and cadence targets for my training so far.
But one thing has puzzled me in that, I haven’t had the necessity to shift out of the small chain ring at the front, just working through the gears in the cassette. Is this normal?
Do I later use the large chain ring in more advanced training down the road such as SS Base II or specialized training?
Thanks for your help.

P.S. If anybody wants to know as far as gearing, I have a stock Specialized Tarmac Elite.

What ftp are you working with? If it’s like 185 then you might never have to leave the small ring to hit all your targets. But if your ftp is about 300+ then you will probably use the whole gear range.

What gearing you use for a trainer like the Road Machine really depends on your FTP and how the trainer is set up. For a particular setup, it’s only got one power curve, so lower FTP necessarily means lower gearing.

The gearing on a trainer really has no connection to gearing on the road.

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Hi MWGlow15 – my FTP right now is 193.

From the looks of this image it looked like 200 watts is about 18mph on that trainer. So that’s a 36/14 gear ratio at 90rpm. So with a 193 FTP you may not need to get out of the small ring until VO2 workouts (or if you raise your FTP).
Here’s the chart of speed vs gearing with a 700x25 tire and 90 rpm:

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What speeds are you seeing for your SSB rides? If your FTP is based on the curve then it will probably be inaccurate unless you are using a properly calibrated inRide computer on your Kinetic (or a direct power meter device). After I calibrated with an inride (version 3) it showed a massive 60W difference from the curve…as in 60W lower than the curve at 34 kph. Even then…a 60W correction seems suspect against the numbers I used to see on a Powertap when I had it. As a median, I chop off 30W from the curve and leave it at that until I finally resolve to get a crank or pedal based power meter.

As for gearing…I stay on the big ring with either 54, 55, or 56T…for a better chain line (efficiency)…at the moment a 56 x 18 and in about two weeks a 54 x 17. I usually target 80 - 82 rpm since I don’t totally trust that 90 rpm and higher are producing enough force to make improvement on the road. One must be wary of the “spin-class” effect with indoor trainers…if the cadence is set too high.

I’m in the same boat as you. FTP of approx 200 and in the middle of SSB MV 1

Not seen the big ring yet on a 34/50 set up using a Tacx Flow on both Virtual Power and latterly with Vector 3 pedals.

I did try out a few of the tougher workouts last year and you will get the see the big ring in those; guarantee it!

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