Did my first Ramp test. Didn't feel hard or controllable

Hi all, I did my first Ramp test this morning. I kind of struggled with it. The power seemed to be fluctuating wildly as I was going through the ramps. I was really struggling to keep a smooth cadence even in the easy stages. To be honest the test never became uncomfortable but I couldn’t seem to keep my power output in range towards the end so I just finished and it gave me a new ftp of 197 which I rejected as it’s way down on my 216 which my Garmin Fenix 5 calculated for me in an ftp test last week.

I have a 4iiii left only power meter and a Tacx Blue Motion turbo trainer. This turbo never feels smooth and I always feel like I’m jolting the pedals. Is that normal? It’s the only one I’ve ever had so I don’t know if that’s just how they are.

I generally never train this early (7am) and I had not eaten as I try to do 16-8 hour fasting/eating windows. Was I right to reject the FTP? I did accept the adaptations recommended to my training plan afterwards if that matters.

Here is the link to my workout:

Based on what you wrote I think you were correct to reject the FTP. However, the link you shared is private so I couldn’t review the actual test data. Maybe you can post a screen capture, or my your profile public.

It is not normal to be jolting the pedals while on the trainer. We’re you in erg mode?

Are you using Power Match? This will allow TR to set your trainer’s resistance based on your power meter.

1 Like

Doing a ramp test fasted is a very bad idea if you want to perform at your best. I think you took the right decision not to accept the result.

A ramp test is by definition to failure so they should feel very hard. Factors like nutrition and motivation can easily end the test prematurely.


Okay, I have made my profile public now so you should be able to see it.

My trainer is not a smart trainer, it only provides resistance so there are no modes on it.

Got it. Since the Blue Motion is a non-smart trainer, how much experience do you have on it? Overall it looks like you followed the power profile of the ramp test but it definitely isn’t smooth. Maybe this is related to your other comment about the pedal stroke being ‘jerky.’ Is the trainer new?

The purpose of the ramp test is to properly set your threshold for training workouts. Therefore, you should ideally perform the ramp test under the same conditions (e.g. sleep, nutrition, time of day, etc) as when you usually train.

IMO that is no problem, you just have to be more focused on the task at hand. A common advice is to use smothing, for instance a 3s moving average. I never do that because it delays the feedback given and only makes it difficult to adjust the power output. Try to raise your cadence slightly as power increases. I tend to start att ca 75 rpm and end at about 110 rpm. It takes some practice to keep a stady power output without ERG-mode but in reality it won’t influence the end result significantly as long as the last minute is a maximal effort.

1 Like

Yeah, I don’t think it would be a problem either but I couldn’t make smooth increases in power. I would try to smooth it and I would end up losing power so then I would have to push hard to make a step which obviously put me way over the target power.

It’s not a new trainer but it has always felt like this. Maybe it’s set up wrong. Each pedal stroke feels like there is a lot of inconsistent resistance to overcome. The tyre pressure should have been around 100psi.

Are you sure there aren’t any slippage tire to roller?

I found this to be key when ramping on a dumb trainer (I was on a ~12 year old cheapest-Cyclops-you-could-buy until last year). The natural tendency is to push slower against a harder gear as the power requirement increases. Fight that urge and spin faster.

Mess around with the amount of resistance the trainer is placing on the tire. To get it smooth, you might need a lot of resistance and chill at a low gear or a little resistance and work at a high gear.

1 Like

I’m going to check it out this evening. I’d say that could be my issue. I have borrowed a friend’s trainer which is the same as mine to check if that doesn’t solve it.

1 Like

@The_Conductor made me think again about how I used to run my Tacx Flow. I used a high gear that left me with comparably high inertia. A higher wheel speed lowers torque and makes it easier to transmit the power to the brake. Might be something to look into.

1 Like

Okay, so I have adjusted my turbo and the feeling of slipping is gone. It feels much smoother.

However, my power readings are all over the place.

I just reloaded the ramp test this evening for a brief trial of how it was behaving. You can see from about 8 minutes on my power is declining massively as I increase my cadence! I’m in the same gear and just increasing cadence. Surely that should equal more power? I calibrated the power meter before hand so it should be right.

Now, unless its possible that I have a colossal power imbalance between my left and right legs I cannot understand how I’m going down in power as I increase cadence in the same gear. I did focus on putting power through my left leg around the 9.30 minute mark and it seems to have brought my power up but it felt a bit unnatural. I hardly have a power imbalance to that degree do I? Is that even possible to be putting almost all my power through my right leg?

Not if the resistance has gone down. It looks like your trainer uses a flywheel for resistance; it’s going to take less power to maintain the flywheel spinning at a given rpm than it takes to get it there in the first place.

Not sure if it’s the only issue but I’d imagine it’s a contributing factor.

There is something seriously wrong with this power meter. The readings are all over the place. I’m trying to do a 50% ftp recovery ride. I’m barely pedalling here and I’m being told that I am putting out 230watts at 75bpm. There seems to be zero relationship between rpms and Watts.

Has anyone else had issues with a 4iiii unit before?

This very irritating.

At this point, you are best to contact 4iiii support.

1 Like

Yeah, I have no idea what is wrong with it. I’ve tried a new batter, hard reset and it’s still mental.

This was my latest workout:

I’d have an ftp of about 400 if that was reading right.