Never race with anyone on workout mode

(Eddie) #1

Have been riding some workouts and noticed i’ve been motoring up hills so easily i’m pretty much always overtaking everyone. Have i just become the latest greatest cyclist that ever lived? - highly doubtful.
Can someone please confirm this:

  1. in workout mode the climbs and descends have no gradient - it’s like cycling in the flat??
(John) #2

No, not at all you just go up that hill at a set power if you are in ERG mode completing a workout. If your watts/kg are high you will go up the hill faster, if your watts/kg are low you go up the hill slower. This would be the same behaviour as in real life. Your power is just capped to the level set in the interval in the workout.

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(Eddie) #3

i was doing the 2x15 mins at FTP - i was using 205 as my FTP. And i was slowly but surely going past everyone up the fills. And i don’t think i felt the resistance of the hill at all - which could explain why i made it past everyone so easily?

(John) #4

In ERG mode you will not feel the resistance change with elevation but your speed will decrease as you climb due to the increased elevation in comparison to flat ground. This is at the same power level.

It does depend on your weight as well. Watts/Kg is key when climbing, the other riders could be outputting a higher wattage but still going slower as they are heavier.

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(Mike) #5

I do think there is a lower speed limit though. I can be warming down in erg mode at 90W up a 15% grade and I don’t drop below 2-3 mph.

(Joe) #6

No. Just to add to what John wrote -

You ‘weren’t feeling’ the resistance associated with an increase in gradient, that’s true. Because, in an ERG workout, you wouldn’t be able to sustain exactly 205W for 15 min if hill simulation was still active w/o shifting gears - and even then, it would be challenging to do so.

If you were passing people on climbs any more than you typically do, it’s because they were, coincidentally, riding slower than you - not because ERG made you faster.

If you pay close attention to your speed (or go back now and review your workout data on Strava), you’ll see that your speed decreases as you go uphill (and increases as you descend) even though your power output is ‘flat’ at 205W the entire time.

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(Joe) #7

Here’s a follow-up illustration for you…

This is a portion of a workout I did in London on 12/3. It’s an SST(short) workout, and this is a snapshot of one interval where my power was ‘fixed’ in ERG mode at 210W. Notice how my speed increases as elevation decreases and - more importantly - notice what happens to my speed when I hit the ‘wall’ indicated by the arrow (Wingardium Leviosa segment) and circled in red. My power is still 210W. BUT my speed crashes from ~ 26 mph to 5 mph when I hit the climb even though the resistance I feel on the trainer is exactly the same throughout the interval - regardless of whether I’m climbing, on a flat, or descending.

You can’t go faster up a hill in ERG mode even if you want to, and often you might be slower. My PR on that segment is 9 seconds (@ 534W). In ERG, at a constant 210W, ‘not feeling the hill’ (as you say)? - my time was 24 seconds.

(Andy) #8

Hey it might just be that most of the people u passed were doing workouts too (look for the screen in front of their bike) and were in warm down / up phase . What was their watts / kg compared to yours when u overtook ?