Full Frontal Level/Gears

Scheduled to do my first full frontal on Sunday. I am looking for advice on setting the correct level and also thoughts on gear selection. I’ve read the articles on preparing for full frontal and erg vs level and seem to get conflicting direction on setting the level. One says 3-4, the other 0-2. Thoughts on this question and gear recommendations would be appreciated. I do realize I will be changing gears during the test, but there might be a strategy to help me to perform better.

Thanks in advance for comments and suggestions.

Hard to answer and pretty personalized. I tend to shift my “level” around depending on where I am in the test. I go up to 5-6 for NM so I can mash on a big power curve for max Kw, but I probably go 2-3 elsewhere to bring the curve down so I’m not struggling with a power curve on the endurance efforts.

And like @JSampson and others have mentioned, I just put my head down and chew stem at the end, so couldn’t really tell you what I’m doing at that point.

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I usually do the 5-second test on level 3. I’ve done the 5 minutes test on level 3 and 2. And then the 20 minute test I do on 2. And then the 1 minute test on 2 or 3. You can switch it around any time you want during the test (I would only recommend it during the recovery sections, tho).

But, it will depend on your bike’s gearing, preferred cadence, and power levels.

I always recommend you do a few workouts in level mode to get a feel for your gearing. And then you can also do one of the Open series workouts and get to a power level you feel you can hold and then try out the different levels to see which ones feel better and allow you to hit the cadence you want. Otherwise, what inevitably tends to happen is you end up where your preferred cadence is somewhere in between gears.


Thanks for the recommendation. I assume, as mentioned in the other response, you do this during recovery periods.

Good idea on utilizing the Open workouts to get a feel for both the level and the gear.