Training on a Boardman MTB 8.6 single sprocket 10 speed

Hello One and All

i have just started to train using my only bicycle, a Boardman MTB 10 speed, i want to be able to train for longer road distances and climbing some of the Northampton hills in the spring time, so feel i have enough time to train for this…

Today i did the 10/12 week FTP Builder, Day 1 and completed this quite easily, i had the FTP level at 91, something i put because i haven’t completed the FTP test and wanted to do the full training before i did it.
I did try the FTP test before but an old tendon issue, flared up, causing me to go into the training modules first, so i could come at it in a slow manner…

After finding that Day 1 to be extremely easy i changed the FTP number to 165 and then proceeded to attempt Day 2

The warm up was at 100w… a little quicker on the cadence but something that i was able to do until it began to rise above 120w, this is where i found that my gears were lacking. Due to it being on a flat surface, i continued to rise my cadence, until it started to rise towards 120w and 140w… my legs couldn’t go fast enough… on the flat surface, i was spinning the pedals to a point where it was like road runner

The general idea was that i had do the warm up, then return to 85w, then for 10 second periods hit 345w , i had one go and my cadence was just so fast and my highest wattage was 160w, i knew that i wouldn’t be getting 345w in my dreams.

it would seem that the gears are just to low…

How can i do the FTP training modules if i dont have high enough gears to get to 345w, or enough stress on my muscles to even get above 160w… im sure if i have another cog on the front or 2, i would have it within my reach but not in my wildest dreams to get 345w on a flat surface with a 10 speed MTB

My motivation for this are based in riding on roads and doing longer rides within the 40-50 mile range but predominantly on the roads, so not to far but to do this without bonking or taking most of the day i need to do the training , building muscle and stamina for at least an easy 50mile ride… even training for longer rides of 100 per day…
I cant really see myself riding cross country but if i had the training and ability, then i would be happy to have that in my tool box

So i dont know how to go about the training for roads, when i cant even get past the second day of a 12 week FTP Builder trainer

Any help or Advise would be appreciated


What sort of trainer are you using? Is it a smart trainer with ERG mode? If so, then don’t change gears. Use the smal chainring at the front and the middle of the cassette at the rear. Then keep your cadence constant and let the trainer adjust - the faster you pedal, the lower the resistance will be (opposite to normal riding).

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Hi Steve,
Thank you for the reply
i am using the Elite Nova Smart trainer, it does have the ERG mode (as when i stopped for a while, it did come up with resetting ERG-i believe thats what is was anyway)

So put it in 5 gear (middle of rings at the back and slow the pedalling down??

It would seem that after having a look online, elite products(going by what i have just read), seems to have a long lag in this ERG… as a beginner in these things, i need all the help i can get :grinning:

then again i could be mistaken

A long lag in the ERG won’t help, but yes, you need to put it in a gear like that and don’t change gear. In ERG mode the trainer adjusts the resistance so that you’re generating the power target. If you change gears or pedal slower/faster then it has to adjust, and any lag of course just makes it take longer to adjust properly.

It’s counter-intuitive because you pedal faster and it needs to reduce resistance ro maintain the power target (since otherwise higher cadence = higher power). Similarly it needs to increase resistance if you pedal more slowly (which leads to a “death spiral” if you’re not careful and you pedal slower and slower with increasing resistance.

So yeah, middle ring at the back (or whatever gives you a nice straight chainline) and the small ring at the front if you have a choice there. Then just try and keep your cadence nice and smooth, and if you see the power is too low when you’re up to your desired cadence then don’t pedal faster, just wait for the trainer to catch up and increase resistance.

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Ill give it a go, tomorrow…

Cheers Steve :pray: :pray: