Harder pedaling on high gear vs low gear, at same wattage

Hey all,

I have a question that’s been bugging me. While pedaling at a set power (using a Tacx Flux S Smart) and set cadence (like 90 rpm), I find it slightly easier if I’m in a lower gear compared to a higher gear. For example, all else equal, I feel that switching from the small chainring to the large one increases my RPI by 0.5.

Does this happen to others? Is there any explanation?

During full frontal, I always use the small chainring for the 5 and 20 minute efforts. Afterwards, I will use this chainring 90% of the time, as I feel the workouts are “calibrated” for this one rather than the large one.

Here’s one explanation. Different trainer but same/similar physics.


Thanks for the video. Indeed, makes sense that different flywheel speeds will lead to a different “feel” and to different leg muscles being recruited. And I guess I have to train more at higher speeds, to account for this imbalance.

To compliment the video here is a Blog Post by Mac Cassin, the Chief Cycling Physiologist at Wahoo Sports Science, to further explain.