Virtual Watts - which trainer to pick?

Hi All,

I was excited to have a go at Half Monty today to try and get some of my stats. To explain a bit about my setup, I have a Ribble R872 with 25mm conti tyres on an old Elite turbo trainer. I also have a Wahoo Blue SC to measure Speed and Cadence.

My question is, what do I select for the turbo in the Sufferfest App? I’ve attached a picture of my turbo to the thread.

I first tried with it set to Volare Mag Elastogel, as this seems the closest, but that didn’t seem to calculate my power quite right. I tried Half Monty today, but it constantly had my power around 35W. This meant I couldn’t really complete the set properly, as I was nowhere near the targets, even when I was putting some serious effort in. It then didn’t generate me any stats :’(

I then read a bit further in the article about Elite trainers, which says:

Elite designed two Novo Force trainers. The NovoForce has 5 resistance levels and the NovoForce Power Pack has 8 resistance levels.
**For the Novo Mag Force with 8 Levels, use the Super Crono Mag Force power curve since it’s the same power unit.
If you have an older generic Elite Mag trainer, select this trainer .

I then tried doing Igniter with it set to the NovoForce Power Pack, which seemed a bit better and I was able to put out around 60W (according to the app) for longer.

For reference, when I ride on the road, usually for about 1.5 - 2 hours and about 25 - 30 miles, Strava usually calculates my average power as somewhere around 100W.

To be honest I always do find the turbo a bit more difficult than the road, so it is quite conceivable that I just have weedy legs, but just wanted to try and understand first whether it was because I’d selected the wrong turbo model?

Thanks in advance!!

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Anyone got any thoughts please?

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I think you’d be best dropping an email to the minions. They’re super quick and helpful, and will get you sorted out.


Hey @Tim, the thing with virtual watts is that they aren’t very accurate but they are consistent. So as long as you select a setting in the app and stay there, you should be okay. With that said though, how does it work for you if you select the “Generic Mag” option for your trainer? I’d try that one and see how you do.


Just realised I never replied to this!! Over the winter months on the turbo, preparing for the Tour, what I’ve noticed is that generally I can do put out about half of what the app is telling me too. So if it says 100W, I’m generally around 50-60.

What I’m now wondering is, if I manually set my 4DP settings to lower values, is that useful? Will I get any sort of training value from it?

My turbo is over 10 years old and just after I got it the cable from the adjustment lever unit got caught around my cranks and ripped out of the resistance unit.:grimacing: I took the unit apart and managed to get the cable attached again. It wasn’t until I did my first fitness test in the app in 2017 that I discovered I’d put something together wrong, because with the trainer and app set to resistance level 1 my FTP was measured at less then 100w​:sob:According to Strava’s virtual power calculations it was over 200w which matched up with using a stationary bike in a local gym and a concept2 rowing machine. I upped the resistance level in the app until the numbers matched what I expected.

If you know that you can average around 100w on the road you could try and “cheat” virtual power the same wayI did by setting a higher level in the virtual power settings in the app than you have selected on the adjustment lever of your turbo, increase the level until the power number reported feels about right.

How easy do you find bottom gear on the turbo?
Can you spin out top gear in a sprint?
Do you have a HR monitor?

That’s a good tip, thank you!!

While I was last on the turbo, I realised that actually it doesn’t respond to me changing the difficulty level anymore, so I think it must be stuck on Level 5, which would sort of explain my poor numbers.

Think I might try sticking it on L3/4 and see how that effects it