Front big ring vs small ring on indoor workout

Wanted to find out if there is any difference between using the front big ring vs small front ring when doing indoor workout e.g 5 x 8 @ FTP

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It depends. If you’re using a smart trainer, and have programed the workout, I asked a similar question of Tariq Ali of Smart Bike Trainers a few years ago. Ali’s response:

That’s correct. In the small chainring, the flywheel or roller drum is moving at a lower speed, making it easier for the trainer to react to changes in your cadence. You will notice your power chart much smoother if you switch to the smaller ring. That doesn’t mean it’s better though. It’s mostly a preference thing. I’ve talked about this in more details in this video:

I think nobody really knows if it makes much of a difference.

But I am guessing that @steveneal has a view on this?

@geeceee Oh dear…I was sooooo trying to avoid this one :slight_smile: you got me!


So here is what I would suggest rather than my opinion.

Try a certain duration of interval small ring at a fixed cadence.

Then repeat the same duration, power and cadence but in the big ring.

Then look at those two intervals and check the torque and smoothness of the intervals.



Share your data with us and let’s have a look together :slight_smile: