Level mode for noobs

So I have a few sessions under the belt now, and am trying to figure out level mode. I’m running a Wahoo Kickr Snap and have done a couple workouts where they recommended level mode.

I guess my question boils down to what is more important to target: power, or cadence? I’ve found gearing that allows me to hit cadence while being in the ballpark for power, but my wattage output ends up being all over the map (I recognize that part of that is lack of efficiency in my pedal stroke…just getting back on the bike after 20 years!)

Thinking about repeating these workouts in erg mode just to see if I get a smoother output letting the smart trainer do the work, but wondering the downsides of this for short, intense efforts?

Appreciate any thoughts and experience.

Welcome! Have you read

? Great resource…I’ve downloaded the chart. They should sell posters of it.


Thanks for this. I’d been through all of the help center info, but hadn’t found this. Interesting!

Definitely will need to work to smooth out my stroke for power transfer though.

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I would start off by trying to match the cadence targets as consistently as possible and use your gears to get power close to target. Once you learn to pedal with a stable cadence then power will automatically become stable too. Then you just have to figure out what gear to be in for each power target. In reality you will find that matching both cadence and power precisely is not possible, in which case I usually adjust my cadence slightly In the nearest gear to hit target power.

But as a beginner I would tend to stay in ERG mode until you get better at nailing the cadence targets consistently. If your workout has some very short sprint intervals that your trainer struggles to react to in ERG mode you can always pause and switch into level mode just for those efforts.

Is that chart still available somewhere? The linked resource is a rewritten article but I wanted to hand out the original chart to a friend who is new to SYSTM.