New User - Power vs. Cadence

New to Wahoo Systm (and cycling in general really).

Currently doing the 14 day tour, so I appreciate I will probably get used to some things as I go, but I do have a few questions.

I have use virtual power, cadence and HR. When following a workout it will give a target/range for all 3. Very rarely can I make all 3 match.

Which should I treat as the priority metric?

I have done the Half Monty, so have an up to date (albeit maybe not accurate as I’m new) FTP and LTHR.

I find that I have to play around massively with the gears/cadence to hit the right power or be way off on power to hit the target cadence.

Any advice is much appreciated

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Train to power…

Then try as much as you can to match the cadence too.
Forget about HR, unless you’re literally about to die. So long as your test results are close to accurate, just worry about power. :slight_smile:


Hi @Sam_maS . Welcome!

Do you have a smart trainer? If so, you can run the workout in ERG mode, and the app will adjust the trainer resistance to hit the target power.

If not, then you will need to change gears as the power target changes. As Sir @Jon says, aim for the power target first, cadence target second. Gear shifts get harder for some shorter intervals - for example, at the end of Violator where it’s 5 seconds on, 5 seconds off, I don’t bother shifting gears, I just pedal slowly in the recovery.

HR lags power output quite a bit, so don’t worry too much about that during the workout.


Thanks for that, makes sense. I was leaning towards the approach that power is the main thing (otherwise there would be cadence tests and not power tests).

Will keep working on power as the focus and make do with the other values/gearing. Yes the gearing is a pain on some I’ve found so far (mainly as I have a low spec set up), but I’m training for fitness rather than any real world cycling so I would rather spend out elsewhere.


It really depends on the workout. G.O.A.T., power Station, and the Cadence Builds/Drills series need full concentration on Candence. Other workouts that have ‘Cadence’ in them are supposed to be done to a specific cadence BUT in them you need to pay close attention to power and come as close as you can to cadence. Other workouts are mostly power based. One that specifically is power based is Violator.


There used to be a chart, which has long since disappeared, which lists whether power or cadence is important if you cannot match both.

Here are the workouts, from my copy of the chart, where cadence prevails:
Cadence Builds
Power Station
The Way Out

It looks like you could pick either in The Omnium.

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If you have a smart trainer, most of the workouts are ok to do in Erg mode, in which case the power is automatically loaded to your smart trainer, and your job is simply to do your best to hit the cadence. No need to shift.

If you do not have a smart trainer, then yes you will be shifting gears a lot. It will take some getting used to to find the correct gearing to hit both cadence and power. As suggested, power would be the best target to aim for compliance first, and by increasing your cadence you can increase your power output. Then attempt to gear up or down and try to match the cadence the best you can. It’s ok if you are about 5 rpm’s off. With time and practice you will get more and more accurate.