VO2Max/Sprinting, Cadence and Erg Mode

I’ve searched old threads and couldn’t quite find the answer to my question. I’m fairly new to this indoor training thing, therefore lots of questions. I have a smart trainer (Elite Direto) which I have just kept in ERG mode. This morning I completed Pierce ( 6x4.5-minute sets of VO2max repeats where you’ll ride for 15-25 seconds at 125% FTP and then “float” for 15-30 seconds at 88% FTP). In order to get to the power targets in the intervals quickly, my cadence has to shoot up to 120+rpms. Or I could maintain a steady cadence around 110rpm and it would take 5-8 seconds for the Erg mode to catch up, at which point in some cases the interval only had about 10 seconds left. All of this was without shifting gears, just let Erg mode do its thing. Over 120rpms seems really high to me (maybe it isn’t). I haven’t really paid attention to max rpms on the road or trail, but is 120+rpms useful or pointless?

I have Spanish Needle coming up which is 8 minutes alternating between 15 seconds at 140% FTP and 15 seconds at 40% FTP with a goal of maintaining a steady cadence. My thought is that leaving in Erg mode, the “microburst” will almost be over by the time the trainer catches up to the power target if I maintain a steady cadence. Is that okay?

Are sprints/VO2max workouts better done in Resistance mode with regular gear changes to hit the power targets quickly and to maintain a somewhat steady cadence?

Which is “better” for these sorts of workouts?

Thanks, everyone.

I am using a Neo. The lag is much less than 5-8s, more like 1-2s. For the really short stuff like Spanish Needle, I can still use ERG mode. Keep your cadence up and smooth, even in the rest periods. I am typically around 110rpm.

You most likely will not average the target power per interval due to the lag and super short interval duration, but that is not all that important. My understanding is that your HR here is key. If your HR is getting up to VO2max levels after you get into the intervals, then you’re good. If the avg power is a sticking point w/you and/or your HR is not getting up to where it needs to be, you can bump the workout 3-5%.

Again, do not grind through these, keep the cadence high and smooth which helps the ERG as well as your HR.

1 Like

Hey there!

The best way for you to increase the response time of your trainer is to shift into an easier gear for these types of workouts. When you are in an easier gear, there is less inertia in the flywheel, which makes it easier for the ERG controller to make quick adjustments.

So if you haven’t already, shift into the small ring in the front and a somewhat easy gear in the back, and then give it a shot to see how it feels :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Bryce

5 Likes