10 second warning interval before a cadence change

A quick question about 10 second period ahead of an increase in the cadence target (green bar on the dashboard). In erg mode, should one be ramping up cadence during the 10-second warning interval so as to be at the next target at the start of the interval? Or should one stay at the current target and only ramp up to the next target when the next interval begins?

I’m going to say that you should ramp up only at the last second of the countdown so that you get a jump on the increase in power, especially if it’s a big increase

If it’s just a change in cadence then wait until the countdown finishes

On AC intervals, if I ramp up at the last second, I go well above the target, so I ramp up 5 sec before the end.

I don’t ramp up at all usually… I just shift into an easier gear as soon as the cadence change occurs. That way you don’t overshoot your power target (vice versa for lower cadence so you don’t undershoot).

The OP asked about what to do in erg mode. Surely there’s no gear shifting or over-shooting in erg mode?

The short answer to this is ‘it depends’

Could you possibly share the specific workout example for us and we can respond to that specifically.

The reason ‘it depends’ is

  • Sometimes it’s just a continuation of the same power level, in which case you can basically do as you wish … personally I sometimes let ERG do it all if it’s over long intervals and I start increasing cadence slowly at some random point and continue increasing it into the next phase. And ditto for decreasing.
    Occasionally I’ll throw a gear change in to speed up the cadence change as you can pick up the slack at the same time as erg does it’s magic.

  • if it’s big changes in power (up) I make sure I’m pedaling faster as the interval starts (esp if in erg) so I don’t get the erg spiral of doom

It isn’t going to change the value of your workout though whatever way you do it … if you’re doing the cadence stuff then all is good, a few seconds either way … no worries.


I think it also depends on what trainer you are using. Some trainers respond to power/cadence changes quicker than others.

Typically you get a power oscillation as the trainer hunts for the new power/cadence level and I find this is less disruptive if I smoothly ramp up/down my cadence a few seconds before the change point. I generally aim to be at or close to the new target cadence as I reach the change over point so the trainer has less work to do in matching both power and cadence changes simultaneously.

Using the small chainring also generally improves trainer response in ERG mode.

My main concern is when the upcoming interval with increased cadence is short. If you are at 90 and the next interval is 30 seconds to a minute at 110, you’ve barely settled in before you dial back down to 90. It’s a nuance, to be sure, but nonetheless it is worthwhile to know which approach is better.

If you’ll indulge me, I’ll throw in a second question on a somewhat different topic. Some of the workouts will ask you to stand when the narrative calls for climbing or an attack. However, particularly when the workout is at reduced intensity, there isn’t enough resistance to stand on the pedals and remain stable. In such instances I remain seated and focus on the target power and cadence. I assume that this is an acceptable adaptation from a training perspective?

I agree on your approach to standing / staying seated. That is what I do. I believe I read elsewhere in the forum that SUF was looking at the stand instructions and may revisit those.

I know he asked about ERG mode, and it’s specifically ERG I’m talking about. I assume you’ve never used ERG mode?

If, say, you’re doing 90rpm and 300W and then suddenly increase your cadence to 100rpm, for a brief period you’ll probably do something like 320-330W until the trainer changes. In accordance with your cadence change, then it’ll go back to 300W.

If you’re doing 300W at 90rpm and shift into an easier gear your cadence will suddenly jump but because the flywheel will still be at a relatively similar speed your power output won’t change from 300W much.

You’ll just need to trust me, and try it :wink:

I shift in ERG mode sometimes to deal with cadence. It may only have an effect for a few seconds but that may be all you need.

Also gear choice can affect ERG as well. Here is a helpful article from Wahoo

ERG Mode and Gear Selection

@Ross you can accuse me of being a naive beginner but assuming that I’ve never used ERG mode is a bit patronising

I can accept that my kickr in erg mode takes a while to adapt to an increase in cadence. That’s why I “step on it” at the last moment. It makes the transition easier. If something, somewhere registers a surge I can live with it. It’s the next few minutes I’m mostly worried about

Apologies @Salsa for the distraction. My simple answer stands. Go up to the new cadence at, or very near, the end of the countdown

I didn’t mean to be patronising. Try shifting gears instead of ramping up just before. Can make it a nicer experience overall in my opinion.

Thanks for the reference to the article on ERG mode and gear selection. Just the kind of nerdy detail that I was looking for :grin:

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Sure - also check out Shane Miller’s video on the subject of gearing in ERG mode. I experimented recently with The Shovel - using 52/14 versus 39/14 and it was noticeably different…

Shane Miller - ERG Mode Gearing Video

This approach sounds good for a large cadence increase at the same power level to avoid that transient spike in power.

But when power is also increasing for the next interval (as it most often is with higher cadence) I think changing to a lower gear just makes it slower for the trainer to ramp up to the higher power level.

Personally I just leave it in a middle rear gear on the small chainring when in ERG and ramp my cadence up smoothly before the transition point and then the trainer only has to worry about increasing power (if applicable). Of course I do feel an increase in power as I ramp up my cadence, but that feels quite natural anyway.