Can this be right? 18% FTP increase?


I just completed the first week of SSBlv2. And the workout felts really really easy. For the short story I had my FTP set at 131 watts for ssblv1. Toward the en the workouts felt very easy but decided to carry on with the plan anyway. Got vaccinated 4 shots after one ride in my recovery week which got me sick. I the mean time over the week end I got my bike serviced for the winter.

Did a ramp test and even the 65 watts warm-up felt really hard. Tested at 130. I thought it was just me recovering from the shots. Then I did Ebbetts. Barely finished the workout. But did anyway. The following day I did 15 minutes of Taku and I was like no way 65% of FTP feels like this. So I calibrated my trainer (vortex). To make sure it was ok. When I got off the bike in unclamped the roller and turned the rear wheel. And noticed it stopped really fast. The brake was on!.

So I did another calibration with the tacx app. And retried Taku. And it was easy really easy. Did kaweah yesterday and upped the % 2 percent after the 2nd interval, 5 after the 3rd and 8 after the 4th even then It felt more like upper tempo/lower SS. And I noticed my HR recuperated much faster than I did like a month ago.

So I decided I would ramp test today and got a 155 watts FTP. My legs were the limiters, I was 10-15 beats lower at max than all previous ramp tests.

Now my setting is the same as before same tire pressure, did two calibration making sure the line was at the same place. closer to “too tight”. Room temperature is the same.

The only structured training I did prior to this is TBLV last fall to winter.

Is this newbie gain or a setup completely off?


Could be a bit of both. Newbies gain a lot initially, but the trainer you have is also famous for accuracy issues when it comes to power, so it’s hard to say.

Well I understand that for training purpose it doesn’t really matter as long as the setup stays the same. But I do generally feel much stronger and energic. What’s really telling is the recovery rate for HR which is much faster.

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Riding with the brake on will for sure affect your numbers. The vortex has no way of seeing that. It’s only seeing wheel speed and converting that to a W number through maths and a predefined power/resistance curve in its software.

Regarding calibration of vortex I always found best results calibrating it as close as possible to the bottom of the green zone. As you warm up it will swing towards the top of the zone without you needing to do anything.

Can’t comment on the trainer, but I can say that 18% from zero structured training to completing SSB1 is totally possible.

Part of it has to do with getting used to riding indoors.

Part of it has to do with getting better at FTP testing (the first is always the worst).

And the last part of it has to do with structured indoor workouts simply being a lot more effective than unstructured outdoor rides.

SSB2 will require more determination but with any luck, you might see similar gains.


Now my question is this: Is there a huge diffrence in the power output close to “too loose” to close to “too thight”. Or middle to too tight? Provided the 2 calibrations or 3 calibrations are done with a 15 minutes pre-warm-up and within the green zone? I don’t have a power meter so I really have no reference point.

My experience was if I set it near the top or recalibrated the workouts became unfinishable. Setting and forgetting at the bottom before workouts was my key to (very repeatable) success.

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It’s totally possible that you picked up that much power, maybe even more, I don’t want to try and take that away from you and I hope it didn’t come across that way.

And you are correct, consistency is more important than accuracy, so if the trainer always reads x% low or x% high then it’s not a problem, but I think the Vortex lacks consistency as well as accuracy

Regardless if you feel stronger and recover faster it’s a sign of improvement so keep at it

Don’t worry. I didn’t take any offence out of it. I know there may bit a little bit of both. I will try and test on a wattbike or a kickercore at my local shop the should give me an idea of where I really stand.


There’s a lot of great deals on smart trainers right now if you have the ability to get one I would take advantage.

I’d rather save for a new bike. I currently ride a 12 tears old aluminum sora mounted bike. Vortex is good for training purpose. I don’t mind if it’s a little bit off as long as it’s consistent which it has been. My goal is to get my ftp to aroung 3.5 Watts/kg entering the racing season april/may and do my first race then. I think it’s achievable considering I already achieved 250 watts FTP at 55kg, 900 max power. I was 32. Now I’m 42 last season was just a get back on the bike. Got about 4-5 kg to loose.

I agree with most of your post but this because it is simply not true. That is a blanket statement without any context.

An outside SST session along a flat road i.e following a river, a road on the flood plan (for example) is much more effect than indoors. I might be lucky but I have a 35 minute uninterrupted stretch of road nearby. Also a long steady climb 2 - 5% works.

Hill repeats outside are more effective than indoors.

Why?. because they are ‘real’ it is real life and how you ride. There is no worry about cooling like there is inside. You and the bike move naturally, not anchored in. You don’t need to worry about gear selection the size of the flywheel etc.

To agree with your comment if you have to travel a long way to a suitable outside stretch of road or just don’t have such a road then your comment stands.

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Bad wording on my part.

I was making the distinction between structured interval training and general outdoor riding (unstructured).

Depends hugely on the nature of the unstructured riding! Before I had TR and a PM I’d spent 5 years doing ~300 hours/year of unstructured riding - commuting, group rides, sportives - and my first ever proper attempt at an FTP test gave me a number of 311W.

3 years later, with a lot of structured training under my belt and having also increased volume (will be close to 500 hours this year though annoyingly I think I’m going to fall just short of that number), my FTP has gone up to 336W. So not a huge boost from structured training, and arguably most or all of the increase is from the extra volume.

Simple reason being that even though I had no plan and no power meter, if you look at what I was actually doing on my rides it was decent training. Went largely by feel so would take it easy on days when I felt tired. But I’m naturally competitive, like riding my bike hard, have a lot of like-minded friends and live in an area with plenty of short punchy hills. Which meant whether I was riding solo or in a group when the legs felt OK I was generally hitting the hills at either threshold and VO2, and riding a good amount of tempo/SS on the flats. Not much coasting other than descents, and not much in the way of junk miles. Consistency, intensity, volume and recovery - that’s basically the cornerstone of good training, whether it’s planned/structured or not. I know some very fast people with not much structure who just ride their bikes nearly every day, ride hard 2-3 times a week, and ride steady the rest of the time. It works, particularly if you’ve been doing it for years and have a good feel for when to go hard (and how hard) and when to go easy/steady.

I have a Vortex and think it is a good trainer but you need to keep the tyre pressure and calibration method the same to get consistent power readings. I used one for two years before I decided to take training a bit more serious and bought a power meter. I have never tried a direct drive trainer but think you would get more value from a power meter that you can use inside as well as outsdie rather than anything else.

I’m back on the bike after virtually 10 years of very erratic training. The last five being very very bad health wise. During which I very rarely went over 2000km à year. Except for the last season where I logged maybe 8000 km mostly steady.

As and update… Since my FTP test I have real trouble nailing workouts. My resting HR is 10-15 beats over what it’s supposed to be. I had to reduce taylor-2 intensity by 10% finished the last set at 92%. Did taku yesterday it felt like tempo. Today I tried my luck at Donner. Within the 2 minutes at treshold my HR went to 155. And for the first interval within 4 minutes my HR went to 174 LTHR is about 162-168. I tried reducing the intensity to 93%. And didn’t finish the first interval and bailed out.

I’m not sure it’s my FTP set too high. It much more feel like I’m fighting something. What do you do in those situation?

If your resting HR is higher then that may indicate that you are fighting something. Maybe wait a few days and try one of the workouts you struggled with again. If you feel good but still cannot hit the required targets then you may need to look at your FTP.