General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Slow Grind = No Resistance Rss Feed  
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2020-09-16 3:41 PM


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Subject: Slow Grind = No Resistance
Hey all-- hoping someone can help me wrap my brain around a trainer question: I get a workout that says to do high-resistance, low-cadence work. I go to my highest resistance gearing and trainer combo, but if I'm at the prescribed RPM for the interval (say, 50), I can't generate the high power that the workout prescribes. I have to keep my wattage at about 150, otherwise I'll end up spinning way faster than the interval prescribes (like, I could end up at 80-90 RPM just to hit the power output). It *feels* like I need way more resistance to end up at the power and cadence combo I'm supposed to hit. And this isn't humblebrag-- I'm a bike weenie. I just can't get anything out of a slow-resistance workout because I have to pedal so relatively light that it's a bonus recovery day.

I'm on a Saris Mag+, on the highest resistance setting. I'm on the stock chainring combo of my bike, so I max out at 52 chainring/11 cassette. What I wonder is if this is a sign of a really inefficient pedal stroke, 'cause the only other thing I can think of is that my trainer just doesn't have enough resistance, which would make me really sad. Because, again-- bike weenie.

Thanks, and be well, everyone--


2020-09-16 6:23 PM
in reply to: runningmon

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Subject: RE: Slow Grind = No Resistance
Originally posted by runningmon

Hey all-- hoping someone can help me wrap my brain around a trainer question: I get a workout that says to do high-resistance, low-cadence work. I go to my highest resistance gearing and trainer combo, but if I'm at the prescribed RPM for the interval (say, 50), I can't generate the high power that the workout prescribes. I have to keep my wattage at about 150, otherwise I'll end up spinning way faster than the interval prescribes (like, I could end up at 80-90 RPM just to hit the power output). It *feels* like I need way more resistance to end up at the power and cadence combo I'm supposed to hit. And this isn't humblebrag-- I'm a bike weenie. I just can't get anything out of a slow-resistance workout because I have to pedal so relatively light that it's a bonus recovery day.

I'm on a Saris Mag+, on the highest resistance setting. I'm on the stock chainring combo of my bike, so I max out at 52 chainring/11 cassette. What I wonder is if this is a sign of a really inefficient pedal stroke, 'cause the only other thing I can think of is that my trainer just doesn't have enough resistance, which would make me really sad. Because, again-- bike weenie.

Thanks, and be well, everyone--


I would look at your trainer. 150watts on in 52/11@50RPM on the highest resistance is not right.
2020-09-23 5:49 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Slow Grind = No Resistance
It sounds like you may not have the tire torqued down enough. I too would expect in that gearing, with proper resistance, you should be able to hit the wattage. When I used a dumb trainer I’d tighten the flywheel so it just touched the tire and then 3 turns after that. Mine didn’t have variable resistance via a control cord, so I’d suggest you start with the resistance at it’s lowest setting and do 2 turns rather than 3. Also, when you are ready for it - I might suggest a fluid trainer at some point as I find they support higher resistance as the work level goes up.

Edited by dabrosca #power2tri 2020-09-23 5:52 AM
2020-09-23 9:51 AM
in reply to: dabrosca

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Subject: RE: Slow Grind = No Resistance
I think it's not just a limitation of the trainer. I have a mag trainer (Cycle-Ops) and can get to 300+ watts for (short) big-gear work with high resistance at similar RPM. And I'm a lightweight. Guessing a big guy could probably hit or pass 500 on that trainer with no problem. The fluid trainer probably does have a bigger range but for most age-group triathletes, a mag shouldn't be holding you back much. I would check tire pressure and that your tire is properly seated in the trainer.
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