Cadence patterns during ramp test

Had a ramp test this evening at the midpoint of Short Power Build and noticed a trend in the data for this test and my previous three TR ramp tests - my cadence (‘naturally’ around low 90s, but often in the 100-110 range for VO2max) begins around 90, steadily rises to 110ish, then falls to the low 100s right before I crack. I feel like I’ve read that many people’s cadence is steady till the point of failure when falls to 60-70 or that they even hit the spiral of ERG mode doom at the end of a ramp test.

Just wondering what other TR users experience regarding ramp test cadence. I definitely go to the point of failure, so this isn’t an ‘am I leaving FTP on the table’ post. I have consistently matched or exceeded previous max HR during ramp tests. Nor is it a ‘what is the optimal cadence’ post.

What does your cadence do over the course of a ramp test?

Similar. Looked at the last half dozen and the pattern is the same. Start out averaging ~94rpm. As the power starts to rise my cadence gradually rises and is at about ~102rpm until the last minute or 2 when things start to get really tough. At which point it declines a bit more steeply to ~92rpm before I blow up and stop the test.

I don’t really do the spiral of doom thing, or only for a few seconds at most before quitting. I’m a pretty “good” tester in that I’m good both at pacing myself and at digging deep and so nearly always get a number that stretches me or occasionally needs dialling down during the rest of the plan, whether doing 20 minute, 8 minute or ramp tests. So I think by the time I get to a point where I’m physically incapable of holding cadence above 90, then there’s nothing left in the tank to fight the spiral!

Good topic. I’ll be interested to see where people land on this.

I’m similar, I start around 93 rpm and drift up to ~103 rpm as intensity increases. Then I start to grind down during the final minute or so. At this point I know I’m basically done and the exercise in not mentally surrendering begins.

I think about this as, my body is ‘looking for more power’ by increasing force. Other athletes show the opposite pattern: they look for more power by spinning faster. I’m curious where TR athletes land along this spectrum.

I also typically cut ramp tests off for myself and other athletes after a ~10 rpm drop in cadence. This is because with an incremental ramp test (power increases continuously at 1 W / 2sec) on Erg mode trainers we see power tends to stall during those final moments as cadence drifts lower faster than resistance can ramp up. So instead of a nice continuous ramp we get a plateau at the end which will affect peak power output and possibly even create a ‘false’ plateau in VO2.

Start at 95. Go up to about 100 as it goes past threshold. Then final minute declines from 100 to 90 and then it declines very quickly to 0.

Starting with controlled 95rpm, unintentionally steadily drifting 105+rpm throughout test. It feels if I try to slow down I’ll blow up earlier. No final minute decline, always have to stop because can’t suck enough air any more. I guess it means there is muscular endurance but cardiovascular system is limiter?

History: 1st year of structured training, repeated SSBHV twice. During coming winter will continue with usual base/build cycle, hopefully helps with higher intensity.