Turbo training-Resistance

Andrew Larigo

New Member
Feb 5, 2003
I am 1 week into riding the turbo as have just taken a max test for H/R.
I have a Cyclops trainer & as you have to manually adjust the resistance to the tyre I'm not sure I have it correct. Too easy or too hard??

However, I have a particular session, for example today's.

Level 2 ride. Which works out at 141-161 bpm. Attaining a mid range (153 bpm), 85-95 rpm cadence and gearing at 53x19/17.

After a 15min warm up in 39x21 I hit the 53 chainring. But, I cannot hold 53x19 without pushing the H/R to 168-170 which is the limit (almost). I drop to 21 on the back & can hold it fine. H/R of 153-156, 93 rpm average & 17-18mph. The session was 40mins at this level of H/R.

My question is, am I ok selecting a lower gear to keep the H/R in line with the range for the session? Or should I back off the resistance so as I can push a 19th sprocket and maintain the same levels as I am in a slightly lower gear?
I feel if I was to back it off more, when warming up It'd be FAR too easy for spinning (almost no resistance at all).

I don't want to end up wasting time pushing lower gears than I should, but this is only my 3rd week into a programme. I completed 2 weeks in 39x21/19 on rollers & w/ends on the road.

Any responses very much appreciated.

i don't have any experience with turbo trainers but basically you should look to adjust the resistance and gearing so that your session falls within the desired training parameters

by this i mean that if your plan says to train at 153 bpm and 85-95 cadence then the gearing and resistance can be adjusted up and down to achieve this and it won't matter what they are once you are in this zone

out on the road for example when i train in my aerobic conditioning zone i ride at 167-186 bpm with a cadence of 85-95 and i adjust the gearing as needed to maintain these numbers ignoring speed which varies with road conditions and wind etc

sounds like you are trying to get all the variables to add up when its not entirely necessary

hope that helps and if you've got any more questions feel free to ask
Speed was never the issue during the Turbo sessions, but it will be important to maintain an average on the road, which I feel I can do with the given 16-18mph at the level 2 parameters above.

Thanks for your reply. You have basically confirmed my doubts that it is more important to ride within the zone rather than be selective to gearing & speed. As these sessions progress along with my fitness and adaption to the workload, I'm sure a higher gearing will be feasable and maybe am trying to attain too much too soon. Am I right here??

Thanks again.

P.S. Don't you ride a turbo? Or is Sydney sunshine all round without the need for internal training. If I didn't work full time, I wouldn't be doing too much turbo work either, but have to select quality for quantity during the week.
Just a comment: I've found that the trainer feels most like being on the road if you use a big chainring and slightly less resistance on the trainer itself. It just keeps the momentum up, which is more like riding on the road, so ride in your big ring and keep an eye on your heart rate and cadence.