FTP 54 difference - SF vs. TR


I’ve used Sufferfest since February and just started TR today. I took the Sufferfest 4DP test last week for the 3rd time this year and got a 224 FTP (previous best was 229). The TR ramp test I just took today resulted in a 278 FTP. I don’t think I had any sleep, rest, or other significant prep differences between the test. I even rode a metric 2 days ago so I was thinking I’d be tired for the test today.

I expected some difference but not a 54-watt difference, let alone an increase that high. I had my Garmin watch tied to Favero power meter pedals and it suggested a 231 FTP. I’m hoping someone reads this and can shed some light if this is a normal occurrence. Also, what am I supposed to use for my targets for outdoor rides?

The TR app had me complete a calibration spindown and firmware for the smart trainer is up-to-date. In SF my NM, AC, and MAP were all pretty high compared to the FTP result(s).

Welcome to TR. That looks odd to me. What trainer are you using? Are you sure the test was using the values from you favero’s rather than your trainer? I have done an SF test and TR and there was only a couple of watts in it.

Thanks! I’m hoping TR gives me a bit more structure. I have a Wahoo Kickr Core. I made sure the Favero pedals were not connected or sync’d to the TR app before I started. The only reason I used the garmin watch was for tracking HR and it auto-connected to the pedals. I had a large increase in MAP on the last SF test, but no increase to the FTP.

It sounds like ramp test, over testing to me. I may be wrong but I would use 20 minute protocols if that’s what you’ve done in the past. Or continue to use 4DP.


It will definitely give you more structure and will make you faster if you follow a plan or use plan builder. The ramp test is not too taxing so you could try another one in the next couple of days and see what result it gives you. If not, try a workout from a plan and you will soon find out if it is wrong or not.

If you had a big increase in MAP but not FTP on SF, then its very possible that TR ramp test is overestimating your FTP. Ramp tests were designed to measure MAP. TR ramp test estimates are subject to error, some will get FTP estimates that are too high, some will get too low, and most will be close to actual FTP. I’d use the SF estimate of FTP, and going forward switch to doing TR’s 20-min test.

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I guess it wasn’t that large of an increase (from 285 to 305 MAP for the SF test) in comparison to the 54 FTP increase. I know I’m better at shorter efforts than long, constant endurance ones so maybe I’m just an outlier from TR’s formula or could that be a result from the training I did in SF (Advanced Hilly Gran Fondo). I’m only doing the mid-volume for the transition so that should give me the chance to try it at both FTPs, try the 20 min test, and ultimately decide whether to stay with TR or not but I’m still open to other ideas.

use a test that works and gives consistent results. Here is the tip from week 1 of a TR plan:

TR doesn’t require ramp testing, you are welcome to do another test and the 20-min and 8-min tests are in the library.

Not withstanding the above comments ref MAP etc which are all valid; when using TR you should pair both your trainer and pedals to the app. This will allow TrainerRoad to use your pedals to control the ERG on your KICKR Core and ensure you have a consistent measuring device whether you are riding indoors or out (people often see significant errors between their power meter and trainer-reported power values)


Not sure which is right, but you should be able to tell after one or two TR workouts. Having done SF before you know what a Sweet Spot, Threshold, VO2, and Anaerobic efforts feel like. I’d pick one FTP and try a workout. If it’s too easy then go with the higher wattage, if too hard then go with the lower FTP. Good luck! And let us know what you do.

I guess I should have included this earlier. Independent and concurrent recording of the power levels between the previous Sufferfest training and the Kickr Core versus the power pedals recorded by my Wahoo Roam/garmin watch/Wahoo app, show that they are close enough to each other to consider them the same (less accurate at sprint power).

I intend to use the power meter pedals on my non-trainer outdoor bike, they just happen to be installed on the trainer bike today. I don’t know what metrics the garmin watch used to suggest the 231 FTP.

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@harrierpilot222 see my post “A better (for me) ramp test”. Use my HA Hybrid ramp test. You will get a result that more closely matches your SufferFest 4DP test results. The 5 minute effort previous to the ramp more closely mimics what you do in the 4DP test.

This methodology is recommended by Hunter Allen. See my post for more details.

If I set my FTP according to my HA Hybrid Ramp Test I can hold that power for an hour. If I set my FTP according to just a regular TR Ramptest I can’t come close to holding that power for an hour. Many riders have this same problem.

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@ Brennus. After reading your post I decided to take the 20 min normal TR version just for comparison. Result was 248 and I probably left some on the table since the last couple minutes had a higher wattage and my heart rate maxed at 171 versus the 184 during the ramp test yesterday. (184 is the highest I’ve seen in a few years)

I think the sprints and 5 min max efforts in SF may have really hampered my FTP number(s) there as my heart rates reached or exceeded my estimate lactate threshold well before the 20 min portion.

Using these results in TR, I’m manually entering 250 and starting the mid-volume plan but replacing the Wed rides with a longer zone 2 ride like Warren when I can. My current weekly TSS is exactly in-between the mid-volume and high volume.

My hope is that when I start over-unders, I’ll have a good idea if ~250 is valid. Its just frustrating to do 3 testing methods and have the results perfectly spaced 10-12% apart.

I’ll still welcome inputs and feedback, but I wanted to thank everyone for their inputs!

@rkoswald - honestly, I’m not sure I know what those efforts feel like. I feel like some of their workouts are all over the place. I did start with one of their more advanced plans though so maybe I missed out on some valuable info.

@WTriathlete - Pedals and Core are within ~1% of each other. The only real errors I see are really low and really high watts. I was actually surprised by how close they are. Sidenote: they are a pain to clip in and get out of, compared to other options.

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making sure I’m following… so your recent FTP estimates were:
278 ftp - ramp test on June 15
248 ftp - TR 20-min test on June 16
224 ftp - Sufferfest 4DP test on June 6

(updated the June 6 date based on post below)

I have a Kickr Core. I know you believe your Core and pedals are within 1% of each other, but trainer’s tend to drift during workouts and can be significantly off at different wattages. The only true way to have consistent numbers is to use TR’s powermatch having the pedals inside and out.

Below is a ramp test using my Quarq PM and my Kickr Core. It starts out all tracking very close but drifts as the wattage increases. At the final step the Core is 16 watts off from my Quarq PM. I’ve done numerous tests and learned you just can’t rely on two differently power meters.


@bbarrera SF testing was 6 June. Most recent metric was 13 June.


wow that is some difference!

@Mi-XC interesting! I didn’t know TR had that capability. I’ll absolutely look into using that for sure!

I recorded power from my trainer with TR and simultaneously paired my PM to my head unit. So I was able to record workouts independently using the two power sources. To compare them I loaded each file into the DC Rainmaker Analyzer.

@Mi-XC that makes more sense. I thought the graph was from TR. I’ve been interested in the DC Rainmaker Analyzer as I’ve seen it on some of his reviews but haven’t looked into it much.

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