# The Bell curve of cylists - how fast are the average TR users?

I imagine the data would show Inride as a power meter as it shows up as PM on system. Not shown as virtual power. For me the Inride was v close to my 4iiii PM until I got to higher V02 max levels (325 upwards) then Inride overestimated quite a lot. Taught me my Sprint isn’t as good as I’d hoped! My n=1 experience!

That’s a harder metric to develop, there’s a lot of variables to account for. We totally want to develop something like this though.

So I was listening to an older podcast this morning that made me think of this thread. It was one in which @Jonathan brought up the VO2 Max figure that you get from the garmin device (that data is actually stored and trended on garmin connect). He said he had a field tested 65.

If anyone checked the link from the slowtwitch discussion from a few years ago Dr. Coggan’s assumption about 3.9 W/Kg was based on a VO2 max of 65, which he thought should be achievable. Something doesn’t quite add up, and someone else mentioned it in the slowtwitch forum since a 65 VO2 max will correlate to a 2:30 marathon according to Vdot calculation (assuming you have good running economy and have the miles in your legs).

Sounds to me that ~4 W/kg is still setting a low bar as a genetic limit for an average person if that is based on the assumption that the average person can train up to the specified VO2 max.

Also thrown around in this thread a bit… But at 3.5 W/kg, you will be a competitive sport class (Cat 2) MTB with that sort of power. At least around here. Not sure what road category that will equate to, but at least a moderately competitive cat 4… It’s harder to guess with road riding since it is not self-selected like in MTB and you’ll have fast people trying to get the points to upgrade.

It seems low. My WKO4 VO2max report at peak for this past season ballparked me at 65 and I was at 4.5W/kg at that point in time.

This has been really insightful, taken with a pinch of salt.

I’m absolutely average in just about every form of cycling metric and I kinda love that. It stokes my fire. What the metrics can’t tell you is how deep I or any other rider is willing to push. Where can we take our minds? How badly do we want it?

I’m certain there is a session on TR with the onscreen copy that says ‘this is where you learn to be the rider that can’t be broken.’ I love that mantra.

6 Likes

Moar data!!!

It seems like people want to see what’s “TR Average” and compare themselves to that.

I’ve broken everything down a lot more. While I was doing this I wonder if we’re breaking new ground here…I don’t think anyone else has this much accurate data on riders.

Insights:

• You get slower as you get older (duh). You can see that there’s a steep decline starting at 3.5-3.75 FTP/kg for men and women when you compare age in 10-year buckets.
• For both men and women, there’s a large drop off in performance after 60 (compared to younger athletes)
• Men seem to lose about .25 FTP/kg every 10 years. This effect plateaus a bit between 40-60.
• For our users, women have a much more consistent FTP/kg ratio even when age is factored in. If you look at the women’s 18-30 graph you can see that it’s not a perfect bell curve. There’s an outlier at 2.25-2.5. If you remove this (maybe call them beginners?) then it pretty closely follows the male curve of -.25 FTP/kg every 10 years.
• If we take the above caveats into consideration, men and women seem to have a .5 FTP/kg difference in the same age group bucket.
• There’s very very few women over 60 who are above 4 watts per kilo. There are so few in-fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they have improper FTPs or weights set (more research needed).
• Less than 1% of men over 60 have a FTP/kg above 4.0
• 17.1% of men between 18-30 have a FTP/kg above 4.0
• Based on this data, you could compare yourself to people in different sexes/age groups. Is the athlete 10 years younger than you? Add .25 to your FTP/kg. Is the athlete a female? Subtract .5 from your FTP/kg. This is more interesting than useful.

Top of bell curve for men
18-30: 3.25 - 3.5 FTP/kg
30-40: 3.0 - 3.25 FTP/kg
40-50: 2.75 - 3.0 FTP/kg
50-60: 2.75 - 3.0 FTP/kg
60-80: 2.25 - 2.5 FTP/kg

Top of bell curve for women
18-30: 2.25 - 2.5 FTP/kg (breaks the bell curve a bit, 2nd highest is 2.75-3.0)
30-40: 2.25 - 2.5 FTP/kg (It’s pretty close to 2.5 - 2.75)
40-50: 2.25 - 2.5 FTP/kg
50-60: 2.25 - 2.5 FTP/kg
60-80: 2.0 - 2.25 FTP/kg

# Women

## All Women

86 Likes

This is me. Not trained I’m slightly under and trained I’m right at 3.0. Was hoping to break that barrier this year, but now I might just eat some cookies instead.

6 Likes

At my two years ago weight I’d be 3.10 but I’m 2.75. I’ll only get above 3.00 again if I give up rowing.

1 Like

@Johnnybabes im pretty much the same stats as yourself. started SSB1 LV at 198ftp and moved to 212ftp pre SSB2 LV with a weight of 65kg… improvements are coming and im sure u will feel this too. best of luck with the training…

1 Like

Sweeeet, top 0.5% 50-60, 2% overall, I like.

3 Likes

Nothing like a Bell Curve to reiterate just how aggressively average you are hahaa!

21 Likes

what about total number of people in each group? At least in triathlon, while the younger guys can be pretty fast, those age groups are nowhere near as deep as the 35+ age groups. i went from a podium level 30-34 year old, to just barely making podium once I got to 35-39. now that I’m in 40-44, the third place guy in my age group at my local race was the national champ at USAT offroad nats in our age group, and was 6th overall in the local race we both did.

1 Like

I feel like that might be sharing too many secrets for competitors to use (like marketing data). But yes, in general you can look at KQ spots in Ironmans. The 40-45 is always the biggest field.

6 Likes

2 Likes

Don’t worry, we are here…

3 Likes

@Nate_Pearson Would you be able to create the same charts using stats from virtual power users instead of those using actual power meters?

Time to start recruiting for that Trainer Road Informatics Department!

I thought they said on the podcast that most users are around 3.0 W/kg. I’ve been cycling for just under 2 yrs, TR user for 6 months, 42 yrs old and ride MTB XCO. My FTP is 260 for 3.28 W/kg. I follow mid volume plans.

(I think the All Women multi-bell chart is the men’s one repeated)

I wouldn’t think they would be meaningful. A lot of the power for VP is going to depend on your tire, tire wear and tire pressure.

All VP curves also are normalized so they are all equal.

VP works well if you’re only comparing it to yourself and you keep your setup consistent. It doesn’t work well for comparing to others.

3 Likes