TrainerRoad Ramp Test - ERG mode - broken? (Video included)

Did my first ramp test tonight and found it very frustrating.

Is it supposed to tug you down to low 50s/high 40s cadence? Is that part of the test?

I was doing just fine when out of nowhere it forced my cadence down to the low 50s and ultimately to the high 40s where it felt like I was climbing a 10% grade in 52/11.

I was able to record a video of the issue.

Anyone else experience this? Did I do something wrong?

Kickr core
Ftp: 325 (at least that’s what it was set at)

Can you share a link to the full test?

It might help us see the full picture and offer suggestions.

Is that correct?

Your account is “Private” so we can’t view the test. If you want to keep it private, maybe post a screen shot.

What was your average cadence in the earlier parts of the test?

Should be public now

102 avg for first 11 mins

You control the cadence. It does not matter if you are in ERG or resistance mode. The cadence is 100% under your control. If it started going down, either you weren’t paying attention or you were starting to fail muscularly. Either way, that results in the spiral of death.

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Idk about that. My power was far above target as it was tugging me down. I was nowhere near failure at that point.

Hopefully data is public now so someone can help explain what happened and how i can avoid it in the future.

Admittedly this was my first ever ramp test so maybe I did it wrong? I just don’t understand why the resistance skyrocketed in the middle, resulting it higher power, lower cadence, and the trainer never recovered. I held on for awhile but i don’t think that test was an accurate representation of my current ftp

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Again, the cadence is 100% under your control. If the resistance was erratic, that can disrupt your cadence. However, then the problem is the ERG resistance, not your cadence. You may have experienced a TR ERG glitch or a Kickr Core glitch or signal interference which caused the ERG resistance to be erratic. Hard to say!

Do the test again tomorrow. I’m sure you will crush it! Oh, and update your Kickr Core firmware. I believe a new version was just released in the last day or so.

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Agreed. Over 100 rpm for the first 7 mins, but you can see a notable slide down in cadence from there. It’s gradual, but at no point after that did you hold a consistent cadence without dropping.

10 mins in and you see the wheels really start to come off. The cadence drops more and lower becomes erratic. This only gets worse from there.

This looks like fatigue and muscle failure to me. ERG is an unrelenting beast, and if you slip like is seen here, it will punish you. It looks like you rallied back in a way. But I think the damage was already done.

You need to stay on top of the gear and maintain cadence. If it slips down, you have to react quickly and firmly to get over the minimum power and get back to a desired cadence. Easier said than done in a Ramp test, but it’s needed or you will continue to slide into the spiral of death.

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Submit a ticket to support@trainerroad.com so they can review it and offer their take.

Maybe we are wrong and something happened. But we have seen similar comments from first time Ramp and ERG users.

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Are you supposed to shift gears while in erg mode? I typically aim for 95 cadence as that seems to be my sweet spot. I saw I was hovering north of 100 during the warmup and clicked it up a gear or two as the test went on to get cadence down to my desired ~95.

Could that be the issue?

If I was fatigued, I would expect the power to drop, not climb higher and higher. Perhaps that’s incorrect but i didn’t feel anywhere near my limit at 12 minutes in which is where things really went haywire.

“If cadence slips Down” - slips Down from where?
I was over 100 to start so does erg mode force me to stay there for the duration of the test?

Not sure I follow

In most cases, you should not be shifting in ERG. Some trainers require it to reach higher or lower power levels.

But that is not the case with the Core. As such, shifting will likely disrupt your ERG workout.

How much have you used ERG and a smart trainer like this before now?

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Never. This was my first time using erg mode and my first ever TR workout

I was a zwift user before this but never in erg mode.

You were over 100rpm in the early parts of the test. At the times listed you can see an decline in cadence. Slower speed requires higher resistance force, so the trainer clamps down.

If you don’t respond with the appropriate force, you will slow down more. That’s what it looks like here.

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Watch these then. ERG is commonly misunderstood when used at first. I think that’s what is happening here.

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Another variable I see is that you are using a Stages power meter along with the Core. This means you are using PowerMatch (unless you changed the default settings).

As such, this also impacts the results you see in ERG mode. It is another layer of reading power and adjusting the trainer.

That along with any inconsistency in controlling tour cadence can lead to the problems you experienced. If you do a better job of maintaining your cadence (with minimal variation in rpm, and no shifting), you will have better results.