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Help Smart trainers, training plans, winter season

Thien Che

Cruising
Sep 14, 2020
32
39
My personal experience with direct drive trainers, in my case tacx neo2t with a 105 30-11 cassette. There's no reindexing needed. I've a trek with r8000 ultegra (rim discs, quick release) + my partner who has specialized tarmac r7000 105 with thru axle and I swap the bikes around once a day and so far I had to do zero reindexing for the trainer.

Very reassuring - I guess it might be that I'm not placing the thru axle adapters correctly onto the trainer. I'll fiddle around with the parts a bit, thanks!!
 

Nuff

Cruising
Jul 28, 2020
17
26
Have you tried Trainerroad or Zwift training plans yet?

I'm a newbie, so take my opinion with a grain of salt as I didn't do cardio for 20+ years and I was only doing strength/lifting weights until recently. I'm 43 for the record, although I'm not a newbie when it comes to structured workouts and sticking to them when it comes to lifting weights.

I did 6 week FTP Builder on zwift and my ftp went from 151 to 184W. I took 3 weeks of, since I was travelling/working, but I did few long rides. I've done the ramp test and my ftp dropped to 164W, I've ignored it and put in 184W from my last test. Now I'm into week 4 of trainerroad SSB1, I don't have results yet, but I've struggled through the first 2 weeks and I had to drop the load few times by 2-5%, I'm ok now. The workouts are very different and I do enjoy Trainerroad a lot more. I don't mind the boring graphics. I do see a big improvement from the 1 leg drills that some of the workouts has. I'm a lot smoother when I'm paddling. I don't have an FTP number yet, my next ramp test is in 3 weeks.

For TR you can get a 4 week trial code in TR forums, so you can try both and see which one is better for you. I'm sticking to TR, my partner likes Zwift.
 

Nuff

Cruising
Jul 28, 2020
17
26
Very reassuring - I guess it might be that I'm not placing the thru axle adapters correctly onto the trainer. I'll fiddle around with the parts a bit, thanks!!

Possibly, my adapters have DS and NDS, + there are different sizes. Also I've spacers too, which I didn't have to use.
 
Aug 23, 2009
37
42
I went with the Elite Suito recently, since my wife wanted an exercise bike... previously I was using their smart rollers “Elite Arion Digital Smart B+“. Actually I liked the rollers a lot, much more of a natural & fun workout.

So I probably need to move on the rollers to free up space/cash... just haven’t got round to it yet.

EOI if anyone is in market for a winter trainer? FYI I am in Kawasaki.

ref:
 

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
206
142
Another "silly" reason is different speed cassette installed on the trainer; 10s vs 11s for example. Speaking from experience here...
Ha I remember faffing for an hour trying to index a 9 speed shifter with a 10 speed casette.
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
157
227
Hi Thien Che
The only structured indoor training program I've tried was two years ago with a Zwift-like program called VirtuGo. The software has since been abandoned, but it was in beta at the time and free to use. I did a "climber" training program that was okay, but I suspect too easy. My normal riding usually includes quite hard climbs and I have a power meter, so I don't think an inaccurate ftp number was the problem. I've done free trials etc. with other trainer software like Zwift, but I am not experienced enough to talk about them.

Let us know how you get on with the Sufferest program. I won't start until mid December at the earliest. Despite having a trainer, an Elite Direto, I did nothing last winter, and also had no snow to do my other winter activity, XC skiing. I put on 5kg and my fitness disappeared.
 

Thien Che

Cruising
Sep 14, 2020
32
39
Hi Thien Che
The only structured indoor training program I've tried was two years ago with a Zwift-like program called VirtuGo. The software has since been abandoned, but it was in beta at the time and free to use. I did a "climber" training program that was okay, but I suspect too easy. My normal riding usually includes quite hard climbs and I have a power meter, so I don't think an inaccurate ftp number was the problem. I've done free trials etc. with other trainer software like Zwift, but I am not experienced enough to talk about them.

Let us know how you get on with the Sufferest program. I won't start until mid December at the earliest. Despite having a trainer, an Elite Direto, I did nothing last winter, and also had no snow to do my other winter activity, XC skiing. I put on 5kg and my fitness disappeared.

For sure, I'll give my newbie two cents after finishing the program. I've also secured a 1 month trial from Zwift and Trainerroad each as well, so I may create a new post after completing each to generate some contentious (and hopefully helpful) discussion!

Best of luck on the training!
 

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
1,317
1,123
I've used all three; Zwift, TrainerRoad and SufferFest. I am still useless.

I don't like Zwift so much as although it looks nice I find it a distraction. If I want to ride with my buddies, I'd prefer to meet them for real and have a face to face chat rather than giving/getting random kudos. I find that if I have an hour on Zwift, I am always nearly done a lap or nearing a milestone of some kind that I feel the need to keep going. The visual start and end arches are kind of nice in the training mode. Racing I have tried once and can see it being both addictive and a distraction to structured training where you want to take rest days, want to ride at endurance or want to ride at 130% of your FTP for X intervals etc. Lots of folks enjoy Zwift though and I am happy for them. I do get a month now and again and try it out to see what is new.

Sufferfest I have dabbled for quite some time. I do like some of their videos but again you need to do them to a plan if you want structured training. They have plans built in now so that is great. I think the 4DP stuff is interesting also and makes sense to me rather than the blanket FTP percentage approach. I still have an account. I do the yoga now and again. I hate the full monty as its so brutal. I think if you follow a plan and lower the percentages accordingly on your off days, its ok but I do get tired also of seeing the same videos over and over. The music is great though and there is some really funny stuff in there that makes me come back to it again and again.

I mostly use TrainerRoad. I like the simplicity of it. I like the fact its all laid out of my calendar and I can choose the type of plan I want to follow or use the plan builder as well as organizing my days. It never skips either and just works. I've also used group workouts which are a nice way to video chat and ride to a workout together. This works pretty well although I mostly use it for the easier rides. I'd like to try it for an FTP test to see. I like the fact also that if I do an ourside ride, it is pulled into TrainerRoad and I can see all the training stress in one area so I know where I am over the different weeks. Another thing I find useful is if I have a workout lined up that is called say "Fuji" and lets say that's a 90 minute workout. If I don't have 90 minutes, there is probably a "FUJI-1" workout that is 75 minutes and a "FUJI-2" workout that is 60 mins that are shorter versions of the same type of workout that "FUJI" is. So perhaps 1 internval less over 3 sets or things like that that make adjusting your workout easier based on what time you actually end up having or how much TSS you want to accumulate. Another thing they have is outside rides. If you have a indoor workout planned, you can convert that to an outdoor ride and it will upload to your garmin or wahoo. I have used that a few times also.

Anyway, probably forgetting lots of things but just thought I'd throw that out there.

Tom.
 

Thien Che

Cruising
Sep 14, 2020
32
39
Possibly, my adapters have DS and NDS, + there are different sizes. Also I've spacers too, which I didn't have to use.

I took some measurements last night - it seems that the rear derailleur alignment on trainer vs. on bike differs by about 2-3 mm (closer to centerline on trainer) and can be verified as it takes awhile to switch into the smallest cog.

Also, when I'm performing spin-down calibration on the Suito, it asks me to pedal up to 1.2 kph (speed is way too low to calibrate across range of values) and offers no offset value...something that I saw in DC Rainmaker's review as well (regardless of calibrating on Trainerroad vs. in-app; connection via Bluetooth). Probably no chance that anyone else in the forum has an Elite Suito to compare notes with?
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,400
1,138
Thanks for the quick response and insights. I've actually purchased a new bike - 2021 Canyon Ultimate Disc, with a full 105 R7000 groupset and 142x12 mm thru axles. Maybe you're thinking of @Ratchet21 who recently got a used Specialized?
Yes, indeed, sorry about that.
From what I can find in the spec sheet, the trainer cassette is also 105 R7000 (11-speed) and has adapters for 142x12 mm thru axles...so naturally I'm very confused here.
That sounds about right.
There's at least two separate gears that get skipped altogether when rear shifting, with chain rub on the cassette at other spots. The Canyon was already well indexed when I received it, but I did my own indexing again anyways, so it seems to be a trainer specific issue. I feel as though it might just be "bad" tolerances in assembly of the cassette onto the trainer freehub, but the noise and issues seem a bit severe even for that.
I'd try to remove the cassette from the trainer and put it back on. Perhaps it is not seated correctly.
Mildly tempted to get a pair of digital calipers and compare the on-bike cassette spacings vs. trainer casette, b/c indexing back and forth every day would be a PIA.
If you have access to one, then by all means.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,400
1,138
I'll be kickstarting that program tomorrow actually! The session I did last night was the Sufferfest Full Frontal 4DP (their fancy wording for establishing a power curve for 5s, 1 min, 5 min, and 20 min "maximal" powers to give you a rider profile). From what I read online, it seems quite a few people aren't happy with how uncomprehensive and non-specific Sufferfest's offerings are compared to something like Trainerroad.
TrainerRoad is awesome, not just the product, but the community that comes with it. It definitely appeals to another audience compared with Zwift, but at least that's why it is appealing to me. And it really does do what it promises. I have upped my FTP from 277 W (3.8 W/kg) about a year-and-a-half ago to 323 W (4.5 W/kg). Plus, I really, really enjoy the sessions on the trainier.

I haven't tried Sufferfest, but they seem to be the #2 in the market after TrainerRoad. In fact, Sufferfest was started by a former TR employee or founder (not sure which one). The significance of 4DP seems a bit overhyped. You will know your 4DP with TrainerRoad, too. According to TR, the benefit of automatically scaling your workouts with anything other than your FTP isn't large enough. In my experience, the variability is much larger anyway. For example, if I have slept well the night/week before a workout, I tend to do better (who would have thought). But if I slept badly the night before or had a very stressful day, I would do worse. With TR you'd just bump up decrease your difficulty by a few %age points. Or you could adjust your workout schedule.
 

Thien Che

Cruising
Sep 14, 2020
32
39
I definitely feel the same way - the simplicity, customizability and granularity of detail in the training plans for TR are amazing. Sufferfest seems fun in a very agro way, but not so rigorous in their approach to building fitness from ground truth principles, after listening to the coaching podcasts and videos from staff from both companies. Albeit, I'm someone who enjoys spending hours peering over the cycling literature and looking at personal data to inform my training.

4.5W/kg! Monstrous. Good luck bridging the rest of the way to 5!
 
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OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,400
1,138
Thanks!
Yup. And their forum as well as podcast are a wealth of resources. And like you, I really like the structured, scientific approach. Once I started to understand why they are doing what they are doing, it really clicked for me.
 
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