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I just started using a Tacx Smart Flow in combination with TrainerRoad to try maintaining and getting up my fitness level over the winter.
My problem now is that TrainerRoad tells me to keep a power level off around 60 in my workouts while having a cadence of around 80-90. When i have a cadence of 80-90 i'm either over a power level of 60 or in a very low gear and are bouncing around on the bike to keep the cadence. If i try to keep a power level of around 60 im mostly at a cadence of around 60.
Is there anything i'm doing wrong or should i just ignore either the power level or the cadence?

  • You may have a problem with a trainer in that the wheel does not have enough momentum to maintain smooth operation at low resistance. The fix is either to use a trainer setup with more momentum or increase resistance. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 21 '16 at 19:35
  • To clarify, the system is telling you to work at a lower power? Might be your fitness level is higher than you think, so you are at a beginner's course but working at a higher level. – Criggie Dec 21 '16 at 21:48
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    Yes, the system is telling me to aim at a power of around 60. Could be that my fitness level is higher, that's why I'm asking if I should ignore the power aim and try to maintain the cadence of around 80-90 – ProfGhost Dec 21 '16 at 21:55
  • Some smart trainers will struggle to provide low resistance levels. Not sure about the Tacx but on a Computrainer it's almost impossible to pedal at less than 100W, as that's almost the baseline resistance level due to the tyre press on force and the minimum wheel speed required for the system to operate with accuracy. If you have to drop the wheel speed right down to get the watts down, then it's quite possible the trainer's resistance unit can't accurately read nor set the power demand. And as Daniel said, low wheel speeds on trainers = very low inertial load which creates other issues. – alexsimmons Dec 22 '16 at 7:22
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64 watts is well within the margin of error of 60w target.

Don't be afraid of going to your lowest gear on the trainer.

You should be working up to your target cadence, if you can't hold 90 without bouncing then you should aim for something lower. It will take time to get up there.

60w is relatively low for most people, it may become easier for you to hold a higher cadence at more watts.

Trainerroad philosophy is to focus on the power, especially in your intervals.

Bouncing and poor form won't help you get faster.

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    However learning to pedal smoothly does help, so the OP should learn to ankle. +1 – andy256 Dec 21 '16 at 21:08
  • The 64 was still a left over from my first take on the question - I've edited it. – ProfGhost Dec 21 '16 at 21:41
  • "60w is relatively low for most people, it may become easier for you to hold a higher cadence at more watts." That's what i was thinking, so should I just ignore the power level aim and try to get to a cadence of about 80-90? – ProfGhost Dec 21 '16 at 21:42
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Sorry to hear about the troubles!

I was just able to locate your career to gain some context for your issue. I believe one of the main reasons we're running into problems is how you're pairing your Tacx Smart Flow. The Flow is what's known as an electronic trainer, and when properly paired to TrainerRoad, we'll be able to lock you into a target power and adjust the resistance of the trainer in accordance with the demands of your workout. Based on your recent workouts I believe the trainer isn't paired correctly to TR.

When you have time, can you get in touch with us at support@trainerroad.com to make sure we can get you using TrainerRoad in its full capacity with your Tacx Smart Flow? One of our agents will be happy to walk you through the process to do so. :)

We'll look forward to hearing from you and getting things hashed out.

Until then, Happy Holidays!

Community Manager at TrainerRoad — Cycling's Most Effective Training System

  • Welcome to Bicycles! Seems the down vote was a mistake; it happens sometimes. Thanks for responding the OP's problem. – andy256 Dec 24 '16 at 2:39
  • Thank you for declaring your association directly and obviously. Much appreciated. Also, when the question is resolved please post the answer/s here for future researchers. – Criggie Dec 24 '16 at 8:51

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