TACX SmartBike and SYSTM Questions

Hello, I use a TACX SmartBike and SYSTM but am confused by the following:

  1. I just did the full frontal and it says at the beginning to disconnect the ERG feature but if I do there is no way I can get the resistance up to meet the power targets no matter how hard or fast I pedal, so I reverted back to ERG, is this just a mistake in the video instructions.
  2. It says I am a rouleur (roulette with autocorrect sounds much sexier) so how do I get stronger, base, tempo, hills, what?
  3. How do I know if I am overtraining, I am kind of obsessive.
  4. I have trouble meeting the heart rate targets, I can meet the power and cadence but my heart rate is just lower than the target, is that something to ignore?

Hi @AusTex

  1. Yes, FF does need to be done in Level mode where you adjust the power required/ achieved according to gearing. The targets are there as guides rather than targets. I’m not sure the specific workings of a TACX SmartBike (I have the Neo2T) but with max power of 2200W you should be able to get to those targets.
  2. Rouleur - like me. Generally &*@% at everything so anything works! But seriously you should have received an email that states your weaknesses and strengths (as a rouleur) with suggested workouts. For me, it’s repeated efforts - my AC really needs work. However, doing FF in ERG may not be giving you an accurate result and therefor profile. See https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/en-us/articles/360021387460-How-to-get-your-most-accurate-Full-Frontal-Results.
  3. Listen to your body - fatigue, sleep, crankiness. Be disciplined with either a 2 weeks on, 1 off or 3, 1. Resting HR and HRV monitoring if you want to be a bit more specific. I use HRV4TRaining but find listening to my body more accurate.
  4. Power and cadence are the key targets. HR slow to respond and many variables come into play - hydration status, fatigue levels, sleep the night before etc. I find HR targets super useful for ensuring I stay in Z2 when doing a base ride (I use that instead of power although they usually match) but generally don’t worry about them for harder efforts. Except - I do want my heart rate to drop appropriately quickly when the effort comes down. Not doing so is often a sign of fatigue building.

Hope that helps.


This is very helpful. I wish this guidance was there before I rode this torture fest. I don’t know why I could not figure out how to disconnect the ERG feature and leave all the others like cadence, heart rate, power output and time on. I need to figure out which of the icons I need to click to deselect it. I am sure you have the same thing if you are using an iPad

I need to revisit the rest aspect as I am sure I am not resting enough between rides. Thanks for all this rich information

Pleasure. Did you perhaps disconnect your smartbike rather than just change from ERG mode? (BTW, I use Level 2 or 3 for FF. I also use the keyboard shortcuts on a Mac/ PC - “~” for ERG, numerals for Levels.)
See below:

If you do a search through this forum for Full Frontal you’ll find loads of info/ help. There’s also a great podcast from Breakfast with Boz on doing FF - ‎Breakfast With Boz Presented by Wahoo: Real Life 4DP: Understanding Power and Using it to Train on Apple Podcasts.

Finally, there’s a learning curve.


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So I wasn’t sure if moving to level 0 or any other level turned off ERG mode. As you can surmise I’m a kind of clip in a ride and leave reading the instructions for restroom reading. Then I thought if I deselected the first icon with the electric :zap: and the dot next to it. That didn’t work


Kindest regards,

David Dimston
Austin Texas

Not only a learning curve to FF, but also a learning curve to Smartbikes/ trainers AND the software they use!!! Happy training.

For what it’s worth, this is absolutely the correct terminology.

Please remove your phone number from your post. Personal information is not supposed to be posted to the forums. Keeps spam calls down as well.
As to using level mode, try Level 2 or 3. FTP tests should be done on a steady climb for some reason. Even my Garmin won’t give me a new FTP if I ride level, but ride for 20 minutes on a false flat and it’s there.

FWIW: For testing, I always do the 7 day test plan that includes a HM on day 3 and the FF on day 7. The HM sets the targets for the FF. I believe this yields more consistent results as I’m going into the FF with the same 6 days of prep each time. It’s also a solid week of workouts. When I do the FF, I try to just beat the targets as best as I can, and it’s a killer.

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My bad, I did not notice it doing that.

Yes, I did the one week plan as well with the Half Monty (it took me five minutes to figure out HM stood for Half Monty). Now that I know what I did wrong I will try it again when I have a couple of easy weeks under my belt. I think given my age and recovery speed I need a day or two of rest before the test, not a week full of riding and then the test. Thanks

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One really good suggestion is if you are taking the test on a Sunday is to do Recovery Spin vice tapers on Friday and to do Primers on Saturday. You want to be fresh but not so relaxed that the first sprint buries you. Do some sort of flexibility/relaxation Yoga both days. No strength or ‘hard’ Yoga sessions. No long walks in the park either. The purpose is to clear your body of anything that remains from Half Monty (lactate clears in a matter of hours through your liver) but some folks will have other crud remaining from natural muscle breakdown and rebuild. You should feel ready to go on test day. If you feel sick or not ready, don’t do the test.

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Thank you

Kindest regards,

David Dimston
Austin Texas

Don’t feel too bad if your first Full Monty doesn’t give you the results your looking for. The Full Monty is a real lung buster and even though there are plenty of rests between the 4 tests you and your legs will feel absolutely spent afterwards. It’s supposed to feel that hard. But this will get you set up as others have said so when you go to do the workouts after Full Monty you will find them hard but most you should be able to finish, a few might take more effort than others but that’s where the Mental Training comes in to help. Good luck with first Full Monty attempt.

*Full Frontal

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Obviously I’ve been lacking in my honey and caffeine gel intake lately and my brains a bit slow @titanicus

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Thank you for this. I feel like I have plateaued and “just riding more” is not making me better. Given the broad menu of rides I am struggling for direction on what to work on next.

I only started cycling 4 years ago I’m 49 now as a substitute to running during the Autumn/Winter. My first Full Frontal gave me an FTP of 169, I’m only 53 kgs, my last FF gave me numbers of 222 for my FTP, 275 MAP, 324 AC and 633 for my NM, I’m very happy with where I am now compared to them. The yoga and strength can be helpful additions as well as the Mental Training which should give you a clear focus on what your aiming for even over Winter. The workouts are very engaging but even the workouts which have no videos with them can still be done while watching something else on the same screen, while doing those workouts I’m usually watching more cycling on GCN but I can clearly see what my workout is and it’s not like TrainerRiad with just the workout taking up the whole screen.

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Very encouraging!! I am 69 years old and two years ago when I started trying to get fit I could barely hold 120 watts for 5 minutes at 65 kgs!! I started just doing my own thing on a dumb trainer about 8-10 hours a week just 4/5 x 2 hour sessions steady with no idea about my power and a few GCN sessions thrown in now and then. This year around April I joined here and started with the 12 week general purpose program and did my first FF a few months back now and my figures were weight 61kg’s FTP 213, MAP 250, AC 332 and NM 747. I was totally shot after the test but well chuffed with that TBH. I have just finished the MAP program because that is my weakness (Map compared to FTP). I did my first ever TT (10mile) a few weeks back in 27.51 secs (age related VTTA thingy brought this down to 24.59) Only four riders raced but on VTTA standard I actually came first and all the others were in full TT gear/aero TT bikes/disc wheels etc when I was on my road bike in normal cycling gear and all were a lot younger than me!


@AusTex What are your goals? Have you tried the Mental Toughness Program which includes a workbook for goal setting? If not I would start there and then take a look at the plans to see what fits best - eg training for a race, esports, being able to keep up with the group ride or just general fitness. Once you figure that out let us know and we can provide more guidance. Further there are coaches that pop in all of the time and they can provide guidance as well.

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