Fitness - How Specific to Cycling?

We often hear about people taking a break from cycling due to injuries, travel, vacation or really just life and its dramatic impact on FTP and other cycling-specific benchmarks. Such a break however is often referred to as a pause from cycling, but it generally implies a pause from any physical activity whatsoever.

In your experience, how much cycling-specific fitness can one expect to lose - or perhaps retain - after spending say a month or two of greatly reduced time in the saddle while remaining physically active (strength training, running, crossfit-style workouts, yoga, etc)?

I had a forced 5wk break last year (43yo then) due to a bowel cancer op. My relaxed ride before was 17.8mph and the same 40mile ride (solo 20/ club 20) after was just 16.6mph for a bit more effort looking at my HR. Speeds quickly bounced back to above the pre op speeds though and my next 40 mile group ride 2days later (albeit with a faster group) was 18.5mph and the week later the original group on a 62 miles ride was 18.3mph, so I don’t think I lost much fitness at all.

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I lost 18 watts 4 weeks after a broken foot and much reduced intensity and volume.

Just tried sprinting this morning after 6 or 7 weeks…

Down to 1000 watt peak from 1300 :grimacing:

Possibly breaks from cycling during which somebody has had an operation or a major health issue could result in different levels of fitness losses from those breaks where no such issue was involved.