Mixing and Matching Cycling Modes for Indoor Training

TrainerDay and other platforms have different modes for smart trainers and smart bikes. ERG is the most popular for workouts but even though we are the biggest ERG workout platform, we believe in a more wholistic approach. ERG is great for a specific purpose, but the other modes are great as well

The Four Modes of TrainerDay

Mode 1 — ERG

ERG is perfect for a few cases. One is when you just want to watch a movie or not think about the training itself but hit specific power targets. This is specially good for training in Zones 1 thru 4. It can also work reasonably well for Zone 5 with some adjustments. Most workouts are designed around your FTP but there is a problem with workouts that are Zone 5 or higher.

Generally ERG is the main workhorse of indoor workouts. We believe training should be more dynamic based on how you feel, but ERG works well, you must might want to press the + or – buttons in our app at times. You don’t need to kill yourself on the days that just feel a bit off.


Slope Mode

Our app has slope mode which you can instantly switch to at the click of a button. You also can design workouts that automatically switch to slope mode with a specific slope angle (design your own hills).

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Slope mode is great because you can use your gears and cadence to control your power output and you can decide how closely you want to hit your desired power targets for each interval. It’s just like Zwift but you can ride at a sustained specific slope as long as you want and more easily control your power output. ERG mode does not work well on short intervals, how short depends on the trainer you own but some where around 10–15 seconds are as short as works well in ERG mode, in that range it’s better to manually control your power with slope mode. Read more here

Resistance Mode

Resistance mode is like slope mode but instead up to a 25 degree slope (very rare to do 25%, 3–10% is more common) you specify resistance from 1–100%. The actual power output depends on cadence and your specific model of trainer. We do not have any automatic resistance mode but really slope and resistance are the same and slope mode is more standardly used. You can switch from allowing switching Slope mode to using Resistance mode in our Other Settings.

Heart Rate — HR Mode

Heart rate mode is a very specific mode that automatically controls your trainers power target (ERG mode) based on your target heart rate. If your heart rate is too high it will lower your power target and the opposite if it is too low. It moves very slowly giving your heart rate time to catch up. This works as a limit not an average. Meaning if you say 120 limit we try to keep it just under 120. Some people like ERG for the warmup and HR for some good Zone 2 HR based training.

You can see in this video you can design workouts that atomically switches in and out of any of these modes.

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