First FTP ramp test

I just finished my first FTP test with TrainerRoad on my Kickr smart trainer. At one point in the 17th minute I switched to an easier gear on my bike. Am I allowed to do that or am I supposed to allow TrainerRoad to control resistance and not change gears?

On a smart trainer in erg mode you shouldn’t NEED to shift. You can but it’s less than ideal. It will cause your smart trainer to adjust to compensate…no big deal, I guess.

Some lower to mid level trainers have estranged floors or ceilings that lead to needing to shift, to hit the top ends of power, even in ERG mode. Those are noted cases that require shifting to harder gears further in the test.

But your case sounds like a bail out and is not ideal. If you are shifting to make it easier, that is counter to the process of the test. It is all about increasing stress and fatigue to a point of failure.

Shifting to an easier gear in ERG is a bit of a cheat for a moment, you get some relief as the resistance unit works to get you back to the target wattage. You lose the power, so it penalizes you in a sense if you pop within a minute of the shift. But if it takes you further into the test than you could do without the shift, I see that as a mistake, IMHO.

Ride the rest straight and pop when you pop.

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I believe understand now. I’m coming from 30+ years of outside training where low cadence, high resistance speed equals high cadence, low resistance speed, or something like that. From now on I will let the smart bike do the thinking for me and I will not change gears during a session. Thanks

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Yes, with a kickr you should be able to do the ramp test without shifting. My last test on the kickr core, I ramped up form 120 - 380 in 1 gear, and on other workouts I can hit way higher in the same gear.

TR suggests the smal front ring and somewhere in the middle of the cassette. This will keep the flywheel speed lower and ERG will respond a bit quicker

Using a lower gear in ERG mode tends to allow for more responsive resistance changes. We recommend putting your chain in the smaller front chainring (middle chainring if you have three), and shifting into the middle of your cassette. This will allow for a quieter experience with minimal stress on your chain.

I read that the older flux trainers have a little less room for power difference in 1 gear:

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  • My advice above pertains to the Ramp test in particular. With your Kickr, it is more than capable of doing the test in any gear.

But gearing selection and even shifting in ERG for other workouts are legitimate to use.

Primary gearing in ERG can be selected by preference of feel.

  • You can use low gearing to mimic low inertia efforts like MTB, gravel, climbing and other slower riding. It also may apply for smaller riders.
  • You can use high gearing to mimic high inertia efforts like road and tt riding. It also may apply more for larger riders.

Additionally, you can also shift in ERG for standing efforts, like we do outside.

Good to know on the chain placement.

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