Difference 'just ride' and 'free ride workout'

I have an issue when doing a workout during the ‘free ride’ part (no ERG)
eg. the FTP test 20min test portion or just the ‘45 min riders choice’.

I would think the resistance should be fixed, but the trainer keeps changing resistance (slightly) up and down - very annoying.

I don’t have this problem during a normal ride with Trainer difficulty set to 0 (so no gradient changes), so I don’t think the trainer is at fault.

The trainer is an Elite Direto. This trainer makes a noise when the resistance changes, so I can actually hear this, it’s not just a ‘feeling’.

I have a Direto, too.  I can’t say I’ve paid close enough attention to know if I have the same ‘problem’ (only one FTP test on the Direto so far, and one 60 min rider’s choice).

Per Zwift support “A: The actual FTP test portion holds a flat resistance, so you’ll need to change your gears to increase/decrease wattage, like you would on a regular ride.”

Now, it’s well known that when ERG mode *is* active, Zwift is not particularly strict re: holding *exactly* to a given power target and if one isn’t really consistent w/ cadence that the Direto wanders around a bit trying to dial in the correct amount of resistance.  

What’s not clear is what is meant by ‘holds a flat resistance’ and whether or not the Direto wanders up/down trying to hold that in the same way that it does w/ power targets in ERG during workouts.  

My gut feeling is that it doesn’t.  I’m familiar enough w/ the ERG mode variability and I can’t remember feeling anything like that during my FTP test.  I thought I read somewhere that Zwift holds a fixed 1% grade simulation during the test portion.  My Direto has (so far) been very consistent when it comes to applying resistance on hills in SIM mode (aka ‘Just Ride’) - so if that’s the case for FTP, then there shouldn’t be any noticeable changes in resistance.  Only the pain and eventual cracking of legs and morale!! ;)  

Thank you for your reply.

Can you hear the beeping sound of the resistance changes when in ‘riders choice’ workout? Or is it completely quiet?


 There is ERG mode, free ride ERG mode and Sim mode.

ERG mode uses a target wattage.

ERG free ride (ERG OFF) has no target wattage, but still acts like ERG mode - easier uphill, harder downhill.

Sim mode is like real life if you use 100% Trainer difficulty. Harder uphill, easier downhill. a.k.a. Just Ride.

Trainer difficulty high = more shifting., low = less shifting.

That’s the way it is.

Ok Cary, but that doesn’t really address the OP’s issue… ERG free ride (ERG OFF) can’t ‘act like ERG mode’ if it has no wattage target.   

What I think you mean to say is that ‘ERG free ride’ effectively flattens the terrain (no added resistance on hills, no decreased resistance on descents).  This is true for all “workout mode” riding, whether ERG is enabled or not. Only that in 'rider’s choice/free ride intervals, you go at whatever W you feel like doing.

The OP is saying that resistance on his trainer still fluctuates up and down noticeably during ‘ERG free ride’ sessions unless he sets trainer difficulty to 0.  

So, what’s that about?


Same thing here, I swear I used to put a free ride interval in my custom workout and it would hold a flat resistance regardless of in game terrain.
now when I make a custom work out and use ERG mode free ride sections act like SIM mode.
if I choose zwift 90 min riders choice with ERG mode active it holds a steady resistance so it’s annoying that workout mode free ride doesn’t act the same.

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I use Zwift with Apple TV and Wahoo Kickr, I have linked my Training Peaks account to Zwift, and when I finish the Zwift ride, the activity is uploaded to Training Peaks… However I have not been able to find in Zwift the structured workouts available in Training Peaks… And tried several times… 

Then I have done some of my structured workouts in “plain routes” as just ride, however the up and down hills and trainer changing the resistance is very annoying to do structured workouts,

I wonder how to use the ERG mode and how to change the wattage during the ride using the Riders Choice workouts available, 

Thank you for your suggestions…