Strade Bianche 1 - ERG or Level Mode

I’m looking at the Strade Bianche profile and there are a lot of changes in a short period of time. I’ve heard that it’s better to ride in level mode due to trainer lag (I have the Kickr). For those who have done it, what are your thoughts?

Btw, I generally prefer ERG mode just to avoid shifting; but I do have trouble transitioning from high cadence to lower cadence in a very short period of time.

I use bluetooth on my Kickr and use ERG mode.
I find BT power changes are pretty instant. ANT+ there is a definite lag to, for me.

I’ve been badge hunting in the Pro Ride series, I’ve ridden all but one of them. And all of them in ERG mode paired via Bluetooth to my Kickr 18.

Changes occur instantly (within 1 second) when riding in a low gear ratio to keep the flywheel speed down 34 x 28+

With ANT+ I experienced frequent lag and dropouts, but I have 30 WiFi networks within range, from neighbors in my building and the neighboring ones. No way to avoid interference on the ANT+ channels. So you might have better results.

Level mode is generally recommended for Violator and other workouts with short intervals. But Pro Rides on level mode would be hard to hit all the power changes especially without sound effects.


I’d also recommend ERG mode. There are many power changes in these ProRides, and it would be hard to try to keep track of them in Level mode.

As others have said, Bluetooth is much better at sending the new power setpoint at the right time. It then depends on how fast your trainer responds. I’d still go with ERG mode, even if your trainer takes a little while to adjust, as it will be one less thing to think about during the workout.


+1. Definitely cuts down on the inertia generated by larger gear pairings. Of course, makes my “virtual speed” look like @#$%…but what are you going to do?


Counterpoint: I’ve ridden a couple of ProRides in level mode and I really enjoyed it.

Concentration? Of course! It’s a pro ride!


I have done all of the ProRides except Strade Bianche 1 and all in ERG. I don’t find a big lag on my Kickr bike and I think I would struggle with the constant changes in level mode, particularly when the change would be over multiple gears. I think the lag time there might be worse.

I just did Hammer Climb 1 in ERG a few days ago. Trust me, you will still get a right good flogging in ERG mode doing Strade Bianche 1 to start the ToS.

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Thank you all for your replies! ERG it is!

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Interesting to hear a different perspective, @titanicus. I will have to try one in Level mode some time and compare the experience. I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve done in ERG mode as I’ve been able to focus on the action on the screen without thinking about the power output.

@way9e0 @titanicus I won’t lie - I’m a complete level mode homer (as you can tell from prior threads), but I too find the rapid changes in the pro rides to be a little much to keep up with. That said, some of it is comfort with the ride - I’ve done Norway a few times now, so would consider doing it in level mode now.

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Do you use the SYSTM speed virtual sensor (I think I have the name wrong, but it shows up in my device list automatically)? It’s supposed to base speed on power instead of on flywheel speed. I tested it several months back and I think it did.

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All: Again, thanks for all the feedback. I wanted to close the loop on this as I did this ride last Saturday.

I used ERG mode and reduced the gear ratio to reduce flywheel speed. The latter was key as what I was experiencing in previous rides was not “lag”; but when reducing cadence, I had to wait what I thought was a long time to “re-engage” the flywheel. With flywheel speed much lower, I could keep pedaling, and get the cadence down without spinning freely.

This was a great ride. Lots of suffering!