Does anyone with a smart trainer switch off erg mode?


I use the smart trainer for the resistance change for hills on Zwift.
I could give the ERG mode another try.


I just keep it at 0% mostly. There are times I increase it when I need to simulate climbing, but that’s pretty rare.


I think that standard and resistance modes are two words for the same thing… are you seeing them used differently?


I’m glad I read through this.

I love erg mode. I’ve tried all the trainers. I knew after ever return/ride that I was never going to be happy until I got a DD trainer that could nail ERG. Which I did get recently (Kickr Core).

BUT!!! I think next time I do something like a West Vidette +1 or Petit +1 I will turn off ERG at the very end to allow myself to just go hard during the two sprints.


I’m on a Tacx Flow Smart. Leaving the gearing alone this morning it was doing 50% FTP to 95% FTP in 6 seconds.

If you’re on top of your gearing and cadences you can (and have to in many cases) use these to your advantage to get good and sudden power increases). So in many ways yes, that is where your more expensive smart trainers show their colours…however to me it doesn’t justify the extra £300-800 additional!! My Tacx Flow does just fine :slightly_smiling_face:


As long as you accept the limitations and work around them they are fine. But taking your point here.

If you are doing say 8 second sprints at 170% of ftp or even 20 second sprints at 120% of ftp then that interval will be pretty much all over before the smart trainer has caught up, and in my experience the greater the jump, the longer the trainer takes to catch up.

In those circumstances then changing from erg to resistance and using the gears is the best option to hit short high power intervals IMHO


Just to bring some additional perspective and diversity to the discussion: With a ftp of 305+, I don’t miss anything using a cheap, magnetic 120 USD Tacx Blue Twist. A new trainer is somewhere on the bottom of the list of things that can make me a faster and more pleased cyclist.


Obviously :blush:

I agree, as long as you already have the resistance and gear selected to allow you to hit those numbers; probably needing a few sprints to “get your eye in”. Or the alternative as I mentioned is to use the gears with ERG mode to allow the jumps. I tend to find jumping from small to big chainring enough to hit the numbers :slightly_smiling_face:


I did have a Tacx vortex smart trainer but when I got an outside power meter (p1’s) I soon found they were giving me an ftp 50 over what I could actually do and my FTP went from around 260 to 210…not all trainers are reliable and accurate.


If you’re only training indoors the figure is arbitrary. As long as its consistently 50 over true then the training effect is still the same.


I like to turn it off once in awhile. I droned along for awhile on a lower level endurance ride last night and toward the end turned it off. For whatever reason I like to do that some and I like the variation. I also go to resistance mode sometimes to ride out of the saddle a bit as I think that works better.

But I think KICKR’s work well on something like 30/30’s in erg mode.


Haha in theory yes. Just depends what you value, what makes you a pleased cyclist :slight_smile:

Some people would rather invest in a fat bike for the winters instead of a high end trainer. Some people don’t want to go outside summer or winter and prefer to just get in a nice workout indoors.




He is talking about workouts that feature 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. The trainer responds well enough to perform them.well in ERG.


I use ERG mode on a smart trainer and have pretty much never “zoned out”. You should really think of it as not ever “hiding from the watts”. Basically, no matter what your cadence is, the trainer will hold the wattage at the prescribed level. This has huge implications for all kinds of work, from very high-cadence spinning to very low-cadence mashing. It keeps you honest - whether you like it or not.


The only time I really zone out using ERG is in the lower power stuff. Low Tempo down to Endurance and Recovery. It’s easy enough that about any cadence will work and you can just pedal along.

Once you get into SS and above, you have to stay on top of the cadence to keep the “Spiral of death” away. If you slack on cadence a bit, it can reach our and bite you faster than you realize.

ERG is just nice because you can use ANY cadence and make subtle changes. On resistance and using your cassette, good or bad, there are times that some cadences aren’t possible or practical.

Different trainer horses for different trainer courses :stuck_out_tongue:


I turned on ERG mode tonight for a workout.
It went well.
The one thing I did like is it let you know when your cadence or power dropped because the resistance would become harder so you needed to increase the power.


Thanks Joeyfrench,
I like your honest answer to my question. I’m a tech geek at heart anyway, so will probably go down the direct drive ‘smart trainer’ route in the end.
To be honest though, I’ve never had a problem completing workouts that then give figures under the suggested targets. The figures are always over because I tend to do my best and use the targets as a guide for my minimum.
In that regard, I would say a regular trainer gives me a harder workout based on the final power figures.


Hi mcneese.chad,
I’ve often encountered the problem with gears and cadence on my bike. It’s made worse on my new bike with Eagle as the little cog grinds when I get into the high power stuff.
Chain crossover is way worse on the trainer. At least it sounds worse than when I use that gear in anger out on the trails.
One of my many reasons for considering a direct drive ‘smart’ trainer. Will it make me train harder? The jury is still out on that one with me.

A new trainer is off the cards for a while now. Thanks for all the replies.
I just spent an hour setting up the wifey’s new treadmill. Nordic track T10 I think. Unfortunately, I’m highly doubtful there will be a new Kickr core under the tree this year.

Peace out.


ERG mode all the time for me - it was the main reason I upgraded from a “dumb” direct drive.

I have it set up with an old 7 speed as a permanent turbo bike now (after testing my power meter v trainer “power”), and haven’t properly indexed the gears so I kinda don’t have much choice to switch between anyway!

On the dumb trainer, I always used to pretty much overshoot power just making sure I hit target power at a comfortable/ appropriate cadence (usually IF was higher than intended) - I’m not sure that type of thing really helped me long term. And cadence drills/ target cadences always seemed to be a compromise to what the workout text was saying.