Free Ride - ERG vs Incline Adjustment?

Hey all. I’m recovering from knee surgery and using Free Ride custom workouts as I re-build time in the saddle and quad strength. During my 45min ride, I’m starting to include periods (a few minutes each) of higher resistance/wattage and then backing off to my more comfortable pedaling.

What’s the difference (if any) of turning on ERG mode on the workout start up screen vs leaving it off? I can adjust resistance on the Companion app with either setting…either increasing the ERG mode level if I switch it on at the start of my ride or increasing the “incline” if I leave it off. Is there a difference between the 2 methods?



Erg mode will adjust the resistance to try and keep you on at the target wattage and if you turn it off the resistance doesn’t change.

for example, if ther targett is 200 watts with erg mode on the resistance will vary (up or down) to try and maintain 200 watts, pedal slower and the resistance goes up, pedal faster and it goes down.
with erg mode off the faster you pedal the higher the wattage as the baseline resistance won’t change so you have to change gears/vary cadence to hit target.

the plus and minus in erg mode increase you FTP by +/- 1% (although it only changes in 5 watt bands) and your trainer will keep you at the new target.

with erg mode off you can increase/decrease the resistance and/or the target but the watts you put out is determined by your gear and cadence.

When I got started again after surgery on the femur I just started riding at easy watts in an appropriate gear.

No erg modes because they would have been too difficult and not enough easy control on resistance.

Using the gears is easier to control resistance. And I only used Tempus Fugit Route - ignoring other riders (important just to go at your pace).

1 Like

Thanks for both replies. Easy explanation of how ERG works. I did some additional research and agree that for my early rehab, “ERG off” is better. Something about “spiraling down the Well of Death”…if I start to decrease cadence when I need a rest, resistance will increase to maintain the same watts! Decrease cadence more and, yeah, I get it.

Chris…double knee replacement for me. I can’t even do Tempus Fugit…yet. Just can’t deal with 2 or 3% grade. I need to adjust resistance up and down manually when I want. Free Ride gives you that regardless of what’s on the screen.