How tough are ProRides?

I’m aiming to try out a ProRide very soon. They look tough - and very different from the typical Sufferfest ride. I normally find I want to have a relatively easy day before and after a hard Sufferfest session but that they are calibrated to be tough but not to leave me totally shattered. Are the ProRides similar in terms of overall suffering? I’m guessing they might be harder as doing an hour or two simulation of a professional race effort will feel more like a full on maximum race effort requiring several days recovery? I’m tempted to dial down to 95%? Any thoughts ?

Hi @colin.ledlie , I recently did the UAE-Tour 1 ProRide and the Tour of Norway 1 quite a time ago. Both these rides are hard but manageable. I don’t think you will have to dial down right from the start. Of course it will depend on how the specific ride suits your abilities, but none of these left me shattered. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to do the same overall effort the pro rider did. The power numbers are already dialed down to your own numbers. So if the pro did go at 100% FTP, then you go at 100% of YOUR own FTP. And as it is often the case in pro races - they actually don’t go that much above threshold. It’s actually more the constant acceleration and deceleration and ON/OFF feeling of a race that will toast your legs :wink:


Some users have been discussing this on a separate forum and the answer, so far, seems to be “Well, it depends”.

I hope people won’t mind me copying a few excerpts as anonymised quotes, but:

“Tried to do Hammer Climb today
After 35 minutes I had to dial down to 90 %, and afte an hour I abandoned.”

“I find them hard but do’able. No shame in dialing them back to complete them: I’ve certainly dialed Pro Rides back depending on how I am feeling on the day.”

“I’ve ridden 3 pro rides, Norway (before Pro Rides), Giro d’Italia Donne 1 & Ride London 1. None were easy, but doable as an Attacker.”

“I did Strade Bianche yesterday, and boy, the last 15’ are brutal. No shame in doing them at 90%”

And my, rather extended, takes:

“Personally, I think Pro Rides are absolutely perfect.
If your 4DP is current then they should be completable, but you really should feel like you’ve had to put yourself through the ringer to get there.
It’s scaled to your capacity and the effort is one of an actual race event, you should be getting off the bike spent.
If you go into a real world race event expecting to get off your bike and feel tip-top, then you’re doing it wrong :smiley:

"I find the Pro Rides “easy”…

The inverted commas are required, because they’re definitely not easy, but… Much of training is psychological. I can get bored during sessions with long intervals and it’s easy to just be stuck in a grind and wondering why you’re bothering or not finding it fun.
The Pro Rides, with all the constant power changes, are engaging, they keep you (me) switched on and I don’t have time to get bored of any given effort.
They’re physically tough, but for me they are some of the mentally easiest and that makes me both enjoy them more and get through them more easily than some lower IF sessions.

Granted, it won’t be true for everyone, but Pro Rides come pretty close to my “why” so that’s half the effort done already."


EXC summary and compilation @Jon . @colin.ledlie I’ve only done Norway (both pre- and post-Pro Ride) but will go with the “challenging but doable” crowd. It was hard but not so bad as some of the SUFF workouts due to the variation and tempo differences. Also absorbing and makes the time fly.

Looking forward to doing some more as my plan(ning) allows. Enjoy!

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I think this comment from Sir Neal makes the most sense: They aren’t just workouts in the training sense…they are hard race-like sessions that should be approached like an actual race or test session.

So, they should be doable. But they are race efforts, so you should expect to bring your A-game. If you don’t feel that you can bring your A-game, then there’s no shame in dialing it down so you can get a sense of the effort involved.


Thanks Everyone. All really helpful. I tried Ride London today at 90% as I wasn’t feeling 100%. It didn’t go well ! Survived 15 minutes. A very different experience. I shall return another day when I’m definitely feeling good and start off with the shortest one. It will help now having a better idea of what the sessions entail - the freewheels were particularly “different” as was the extent, speed and less predictability of the intensity surges.


Absolutely agree here. You just listen to your director and do the efforts when they are required. Very little thinking involved which makes it go quickly.


Thats a great question - they are different in that things are changing rapidly.

Compared to other Suf workouts I think they’re best compared based on IF as a ‘starting point’.

(IF like any other stat can be hit or miss, before anyone jumps all over that - it’s just an option)

That is what I use anyway. So I can get through Ride London (the lowest IF for me). But so far can’t do the rest. And there are plenty other SUF workouts I can’t complete on up to date numbers aswell.

So to the question if dialling down…. Whether they’re the original SUF workouts like Nine Hammers or Hell Hath no Fury, or whether they’re the high IF Prorides, I go in starting at 100 usually and then see what happens.

And they’re all in the bucket of ‘need to be rested’


I love the pro rides! Totally agree with some of other comments in that mentally they are really engaging, but they are tough.

Some of the rides have little no to no downtime - Hammer Climb 1 was particularly brutal and UAE Tour 1 not much better. However, they have all been achievable.

This morning I did UAE Tour 1 followed by Tour of Norway 2 and was achievable apart from the final sprint which I failed at half way through.

ToN 2 has plenty more recovery time and definitely easier on the legs, the other way around, I would have really struggled.

Looking forward to many more of these rides.


It really does build respect for what the multi-day pro tour riders are capable of (and why so many turned to doping for so long)


ProRides are on the same thought line as Team Scream. They are supposed to be difficult, but not impossible. As others pointed out, you have to be well-rested and ready. If you aren’t, you will find out REAL quick. There is absolutely no issue with dialing down (for instance, I ride at 70-80% for any new ride that I’ve never been through before so I can pay attention to speed/cadence/power changes, learned that lesson very much the hard way and almost trashed a bicycle in the process). And Sirs Neal and Mac both recommend dialing back if you are having less than a stellar day. Save it to ride hard another day!

Hey everyone, I was trying the Strade Bianche pro ride and experienced 2 severe crash in the application. After 16 and 25 minutes. I’m using the Windows version of Systm. Does anybody else had the same problem?

Welcome to the forum.

No problem when I ran it last here (was also Windows).

Worth sending the support team a ticket at
in parallel for app failures.

What was the failure? Did the app literally shut down?

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Are you downloading the videos first, or trying to stream them?

Pro Rides are a great addition, really enjoying them.

They are tough and for me I think part of the reason is the mental side, with a hard SUF workout that is intervals based I would be mentally ticking them off so to speak and getting through to the next recovery interval.

With Pro Rides the power profile just looks and feels constant without any real breaks/recovery. Even when you do ease back a bit they are constant power jumps!

They definitely feel like a hard group ride!


The Ride London Pro Ride is my favourite so far, the crowd noise is great, just seems like constant cheering!


I think peoples experience of these will be determined in large part by whether you have raced IRL or online say in Zwift. Very few of the old video’s prepare you for ProRides in quite the same way.


These are 100% my favorite rides on the app. (Barely) finished Giro d’Italia Donne today - over 2 hours of pain. But just about manageable and as close to doing a really tough, fast group ride there is.

Totally immersive and shows not even the pros can go 100% for the duration of a stage.


I did the Box Box Hill double today. The Wretched, followed directly by the Ride London pro ride. Both start with Box Hill, which is literally on my doorstep. I could see the Olympic rings from my house… (lucky, I know).
I figured that the riders in the video have already been beaten up by several hours of racing so it didn’t seem right to go into it fresh…
At points I felt it could have been a mistake, but on the run in from Esher to Kingston there’s a long descent for rest.
One thing I did realise is that it’s important to anticipate the power changes. You’re going from freewheeling to 130% of your FTP. This can catch you unawares. Found that when I wasn’t paying attention the sudden change strained my knees. When I was ready I was already powering up for the change.

Ride London though was great. The mix for the sprint in the final 10k had me engrossed in the screen. Just so much going on. Crowd noise was great (it was for the non pros as well)

And being local, and having ridden these roads almost hundreds of times (the first part of the video literally is my commute to work) it’s just bonkers insane how quick they are going!! And when their power flashes up, not a little humbling!


Haven’t done Ride London yet but love the start of The Wretched with the music pumping getting harder and quicker as the effort increases